Authoritative, High Quality Content – The Key Ingredient to Long-Term Success Online
The key ingredient to any successful online business is visibility. And if you want visibility, you have to first make sure the search engines know you’re there. That’s why Search Engine Optimization (SEO) has become the cornerstone of any successful campaign.
Google Is the Search Engine
And while we might use the term “search engines,” it’s understood that we mean Google. As the world’s go-to source for the web, they are how the world navigates the labyrinth of trillions of websites out there. Google’s organic (e.g. non-paid) results make up roughly 90 percent of these searches, so SEO is vital to capturing those searches and growing your brand or organization. And capturing those searches is pound-for-pound the best form of marketing, more than social media or even pay-per-click ads via Google Ads.
How Does Organic SEO Work?
As Google races through the Internet, scanning, and indexing trillions of web pages, it employs a ranking algorithm that judges each page based on the quality of its content. Essentially, this acts as a “sniff test” to ensure that it promotes pages that offer well-researched, quality content that educates, empowers and otherwise enriches its reader’s life.
Not only does this deliver a better experience for anyone who searches these pages, but it also forces you to deliver on what you promise. It’s not enough to simply say you’re the best, you have to prove it by providing the best possible content for your customers. That’s where Electric Lemonade shines, with content that sets you apart as an authority, with trusted content that consistently ranks and rises above the competition in the search results for the long term.
Rethinking the Old Model of Marketing – In the Digital Age You Earn Your Potential Clients and Customers
The traditional marketing campaign is all about the push: pushing the message out where it can’t be ignored and pushing your sales pitch to the top of a customer’s mind. With SEO, it’s less of a push and more of a pull. You pull potential customers and clients in with the value of your content and information, earning their trust and loyalty through the education and empowerment you provide them to help them solve life’s challenges.
Once you have their trust, you don’t need to push any sales pitch on them. They’re already on your side as both repeat customers for sustainably increasing growth and revenue and as loyal fans helping you reach new audiences.
By flipping the script on old ways of marketing, SEO has emerged as the single greatest source for new business, recurring sales, and revenue for every brand and organization online. It’s not only cheaper than traditional marketing and offers better ROI, but with SEO you can track and measure exactly how effective your words, stories, and helpful information are to your audience. No more hoping that your campaign will bring in new audiences, you can watch it happen in real-time.
You are What You E-A-T
The inner workings of Google can be mysterious, but the methods they use to rank your brand’s website content comes down to one simple acronym: E.A.T. Standing for expertise, authoritativeness and trustworthiness, they are the metric by which your content lives or dies, and the deciding factor in building trusted relationships with potential clients and customers.
- Expertise: Google doesn’t want content that comes from just anybody — they want to verify that the brand or organization behind that content is knowledgeable and credible. This means your content must be accurate, comprehensive, and reliable within your area of expertise. The better the content, the more Google trust its author.
- Authoritativeness: In this sense, authoritativeness refers to the greater sphere of influence a content creator or website has. Its algorithm searches for authoritative backlinks, mentions from credible sources, and social media to determine how much authority your content wields.
- Trustworthiness: Misleading and inaccurate information has become a major obstacle online and it’s become more important than ever to establish your content as trustworthy. This means brands and organizations have to be transparent, authentic, and helpful with no expectation of anything in return.
Brands and organizations that focus on expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness consistently rank higher on Google, attracting more organic traffic and increasing long-term growth.
Naturally, increasing your presence on search engines like Google isn’t simply a matter of pushing a button and watching new potential clients, customers, and followers flow in.
Instead, organic SEO encompasses a very wide range of strategies, each of which plays a vital part in building your brand’s visibility and ranking.
Keyword and Content Research: This is how we determine what your audience is looking for before we ever start creating content. This also gives you a glimpse into the content topics that are most important to your potential clients and customers and it allows your brand or organization to better understand what challenges they are trying to solve and how you can be of service to help them solve their problem.
Each key phrase that you are trying to target will end up becoming an in-depth webpage or major section of your website (similar to creating a chapter in a book). Keyword research and content research are of paramount importance as they lay the foundation for understanding your audience’s journey.
Without taking an inventory of what content and topics your competitors are ranking for or targeting, you are sailing a ship blind. Both keyword and content research, along with competitive research are the lynchpins to every successful SEO campaign that Electric Lemonade has ever embarked on.
This is our special sauce and it takes more time and hard work than another other ingredient in a successful SEO campaign.
Once you’ve gained insights into your competition and conducted meticulous research, the vital ingredient for achieving search engine rankings is nothing short of top-notch content. Comparable to a bestselling author captivating reader, the key to reaching your potential audience lies in crafting impeccable content that serves a singular purpose: to be of service and assist others without expecting anything in return. In this digital era, earning the trust of your audience and emerging as a hero requires a strategy of offering valuable content, almost to the point of giving everything away. This approach starkly contrasts with your competitors who rely on intrusive advertising and forceful messaging to drive sales. By prioritizing quality content over aggressive sales tactics, you can establish meaningful connections, nurture trust, and distinguish yourself as a reliable source of information and assistance.
This is where we start to go under the hood with your content, executing strategic edits to content for optimal readability and conversions. This includes optimizing content headings and subheadings for content skimming on all digital devices. It also includes optimizing page names, page titles, and webpage formats. Finally, it includes optimizing images, audio, video, and rich snippets to deliver the best user experience.
Building on the authoritativeness we mentioned earlier, this aspect of SEO involves building your brand’s reputation and visibility outside of your web presence. This can mean anything can include being a guest on an authoritative Podcast, contributing a content piece to a major media publication, working with influencers, and more.
Good optimization involves more than just social engineering; it takes a wealth of technical know-how to make a site truly search-engine-friendly. Getting into the 1s and 0s lets us optimize a site’s structure, navigation, and loading speed by improving XML sitemaps, indexing, crawlability, and all the behind-the-scenes data that makes your site move.
User Interface and Experience (UI/UX)
At the heart of the best website experiences lies a robust user interface (UI) and user experience (UX) that serve as a vessel for exceptional content. The strongest optimized websites embody a carefully planned and strategic approach to UI and UX, seamlessly blending user-centric design, visually captivating aesthetics, intuitive site structure and navigation, responsive adaptability across digital devices, and optimal speed and performance. Together, these elements create a harmonious and impactful online presence that captivates and engages users. By placing a priority on UI and UX in your website design and optimization, your brand or organization aligns with the objectives of search engines while simultaneously elevating the overall experience for your potential clients and customers. This symbiotic relationship fosters long-term growth and cultivates positive, lasting impressions.
Local SEO strategies revolve around developing content that caters to the local audience and integrating location-specific details. This involves managing online business listings and directories, cultivating positive customer reviews, and establishing consistent NAP (Name, Address, Phone number) information across different local websites and platforms. These may include popular third-party aggregators like Apple Maps, Yelp, and more, depending on your brand and industry. Additionally, it entails setting up, verifying, and optimizing local business listings directly with search engines such as Google Business Profile and Bing. By implementing these tactics, businesses can enhance their local online presence and improve visibility within their target geographical area.
SEO is a Marathon, Not a Race
Unfortunately, a popular view of SEO is that it’s simply a matter of making some refinements to a site or a few one-time technical tweaks. As you have seen above, there are under-the-hood adjustments that can boost overall visibility, but it’s one small piece of a much larger puzzle.
True SEO that delivers consistently higher rankings – and thus greater revenue – is a long-term investment, one requiring regular allocations of time, money, and effort to truly deliver the results you’re looking for. It’s not simply an expense. It’s an investment in the longer term and all the returns and growth that entails.
So why do we say that SEO is a long-term investment? Because simply put:
Organic Rankings Take Time: Search engines need to see that the quality they’re seeing during their crawl has staying power. Creating a consistent publishing timeline of high-quality content gives those crawlers a clear signal that they can trust your content to deliver quality search results.
Reputations Aren’t Made Overnight: As the old saying goes, a reputation takes a lifetime to build. Fortunately, we won’t need that long, but it is still a process. Just as you build no your reputation in your community, you need to work toward earning that trust from search engines and online users by consistently engaging your audience that is helpful and enriching.
Competition: In your business, you know that there is no “beating” the competition, there is merely getting out in front of them and staying there. The same principles that apply to competing for market share apply to competing for search rankings: you need to stay strategic, plan, and continue to find ways to innovate and optimize. Everything in life is fleeting. Your content is not different. Someone else will come along and make better content to surpass your brand or organization.
Pages to Pages: SEO from a Publishing Standpoint
If all of these concepts are flying over your head and all these technical terms are a little too specialized for you, it might help to think of good SEO as being like a book. Just like a book publisher creates and optimizes its content to engage with its specific audience, a well-optimized website dials into what the audience needs and ensures that it delivers consistently.
Look at it this way. Both a book publisher and an SEO firm work in the same ways when it comes to:
Content Creation: On the web or in a book, content is king. Book publishers look for stories that engage, information that enlightens, and insights that captivate. SEO requires all of that, with a few more options beyond the written word to engage.
Target Audience: Book publishers start with the target readership to truly understand which works to publish for which audience. With SEO, it’s a matter of digging into keywords, relevant search queries, and user data to get a complete picture of your target. What are the needs of this audience and how can I empathize and empower them?
Optimization and Promotion
They say you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but why else does so much thought go into the design, from the font to the synopsis? Because it’s about more than just what is inside, book publishers build on this with promotional campaigns and author tours to attract readers. With SEO, all of that promotion is done by spreading your content far and wide across multiple online channels. This is often done independently by online users who share and link to helpful content that assists them in solving life’s challenges.
Long-Term Impact: Success breeds success in both book publishing and SEO. Well-received books enjoy multiple editions and a place in the pantheon of successful works. Companies that employ SEO enjoy the same long-term success through sustained organic growth and higher rankings.
Building Authority and Reputation: By selecting the right books by the right authors, a publishing house establishes itself as a well-regarded brand within its industry. By putting out high-quality content, enhancing user experience, and building backlinks among reputable sources, SEO establishes your brand as a leader in its space.
Adaptation to Trends: Just as the book market is always changing, search engines are constantly tweaking their algorithms to optimize the content they deliver to users. Staying relevant in either case is a matter of constant monitoring, adjustment, and vigilance.
While there are vast differences between publishing a book and optimizing a website’s search rankings, at their core they are similar endeavors. It’s all about creating valuable content, getting it in front of the right audience, and developing a reputation over the long term.
Our SEO Recipe for Success
Not to give away too many secrets, but the approach Electric Lemonade takes delivers a solid ROI for our clients while being built on a simple premise: quality over quantity. Over 20 years, we’ve developed techniques for researching your audience and the content they want that create results. We take the time to make sure your content is going to find its audience and serve that audience. And we help you establish yourself as a true authority.
There are several reasons this approach has delivered consistent results for our clients:
Building Trust and Reputation: It’s not enough to produce content that simply ranks well. We build content that ranks well and establishes trust between you and your audience, asserting you as a reputable source and building toward long-term loyalty.
Customer Satisfaction and Retention: It’s an old joke that the cheapest customer to attract is the one you already have. Putting a focus on their satisfaction, through better content and an overall better experience, helps create repeat customers.
Setting You Apart: Let other brands compromise on quality to squeeze out a little more sub-par content. You need to ensure quality, consistency, and a superior experience to truly stand out, and that’s what our optimization calls for.
Sustainable Growth: As much as search engines have improved our lives, there’s simply no substitute for word-of-mouth advocacy to build a brand’s long-term growth. We cultivate that advocacy by delivering quality that builds customer loyalty and referrals. Every happy client or customer that you have had is an active salesperson for your brand or organization.
Cost Efficiency: Any endeavor in the world falls into one of two categories – it’s either done cheaply, or it’s done correctly. It may be cheaper to cut on quality, but over the long term, it’s far more cost-effective to deliver high-quality content that builds reputation and customer satisfaction.
Brand Value and Longevity: Your brand’s long-term success rests on the value proposition it can give to your customers. Brands known for quality enjoy greater loyalty, resistance to market changes, and a foundation of success on which to build over time.
Asking the Real Questions
Of course, your business is about more than just your online presence. You want to raise your profile on the search engines, but you also need to know what it will cost, how long it will take, and how much you’ll be able to continue building on the rest of your success while it’s happening.
Let’s start with the cost. Generally, there will be a fee upfront to either build a website or audit an existing site to ensure that it is optimized and enjoys a solid foundation of quality content. From there, an ongoing monthly retainer keeps Electric Lemonade working as your authoritative digital publishing agency to help maintain that growth. Both the initial fee and the monthly cost are calculated based on your needs, objectives, and the relative competitiveness of your industry and market. We do charge for initial SEO audits with a competitive analysis, based on the complexity of the audit, with that fee going toward the initial fee if you choose to recruit us as your agency.
Your next question – how long it will take – is a little more complex. As mentioned earlier, SEO is a long-term investment. Anything from the quality of your inbound links, content, and user experience can lengthen or shorten the amount of time to reach your goal. Generally speaking, however, you can expect 6-8 months or longer to really start gaining traction in Google’s organic results. In hyper-competitive markets, it can take much longer.
Finally, you’ll want to ensure you’re building on your success while SEO efforts are underway, and we welcome that. Using pay-per-click Google Ads simultaneously with SEO optimization allows for a steady pipeline of paid traffic to your site that can supplement organic traffic during the early stages. Once the organic traffic begins to grow, you can scale them back, use them strategically throughout the year, or deactivate them altogether.
Schedule a 30-minute Discovery Call with Electric Lemonade (Zoom, or Phone)
We are in the business of building long-term relationships, and that starts with you, our potential client. Before we begin, we want to understand your needs, goal, and objectives. This allows us to create an SEO strategy truly tailored to you.
Conversely, we want to allow you to get to know us better as well. We want to make sure we answer any of your questions, address any of your concerns and build a successful foundation before moving forward together.
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