4 Elements of a Winning Seo Strategy and How to Use Them

Pound for pound, few marketing strategies can compare to SEO for generating leads, building brand awareness and authority, and increasing revenue. There are more than 3.5 billion searches executed every single day. Tapping into even a small percentage of that massive volume can fuel your growth for years to come.

Prior to joining Revenue Pulse, I served as Klipfolio’s digital marketing lead and captained our SEO strategy for close to 7 years. I saw first hand how SEO can be more than just an acquisition channel — it can be a competitive differentiator.

Klipfolio’s organic search results have given us a big advantage in a hyper-competitive market. SEO continues to be our number one channel for growth.
Jonathan Milne, Director of Marketing, Klipfolio

Why build an SEO strategy?

In my opinion, SEO is the single most powerful top of funnel marketing strategy you can employ. There is just no other acquisition channel that combines quality and volume quite like SEO does.

An effective SEO strategy does more than fuel growth — it can establish your brand as the de facto leader in your space. If content is King, then SEO is the throne upon which the King sits.

Benefits of an SEO strategy:

  • Support long-term growth by establishing a scalable acquisition channel
  • Build brand awareness, recognition, and authority by being top of mind for key searches
  • Develop a continuous stream of qualified leads for your business
  • Amplify other marketing strategies like social, email, and advertising by fuelling them with content

Using SEO we’ve been able to establish Klipfolio as the leading authority on KPIs and metrics. By owning this conversation, we can help customers through a critical part of their journey to becoming data-driven and to becoming successful with dashboard software.
Jonathan Milne, Director of Marketing, Klipfolio

Elements of a winning SEO strategy

Without going too far into the weeds, I wanted to provide some insight into how to build a winning SEO strategy. These are tried and true insights, acquired through the experience of growing a website from 3,000 to 300,000 monthly organic visitors.

Here are 4 elements of a winning SEO strategy:

  • Build a strong base by consistently investing in your SEO
  • Make topical authority your objective, not keywords
  • Seek synergies with marketing automation and conversion rate optimization
  • Boost win rates by unlocking insights contained in your SEO and content strategy

Build a strong base by consistently investing in your SEO

Building an SEO strategy that nets 100X growth is the result of smart investments and sticking to your strategy. As much as I love SEO, it’s a long-term growth strategy.

If you’re looking to increase leads today, then SEO is probably not your best option. Consider running a Marketo email campaign instead.

Think of SEO as an investment strategy: the value of your investments will compound over time. Albert Einstein called compound interest the “greatest mathematical discovery of all time” and “the most powerful force in the universe.” SEO benefits from the same rules as your investment accounts growing thanks to the power of compound interest.

Like investing, SEO strategies gain momentum through the frequency of deposits into your bank account. For SEOs that means developing a content calendar and consistently updating and creating content. You want to focus on creating rich content appropriate for your audience and your capabilities as a marketing team.

Over time this investment in content will compound and give you a rock-solid foundation.

Make topical authority your objective, not keywords

Keyword-focused SEO is the starting point for most search marketers, and a good one, too. However, I think that focusing too heavily on keywords can have unintended consequences. The days of keyword stuffing and shady link building tactics are gone (thankfully); now, it’s all about building up genuine authority through well-written, engaging content.

Topical authority should be your true north as an SEO, and it will help you craft better SEO strategies. Focus on your area of expertise and develop a content knowledge base for your customer.

At Klipfolio, for example, I focused on building topical authority for key performance indicators. I focused on building a library of knowledge, examples, and articles to help our customers get as much value from KPIs as they could.

By seeking to establish our brand as an authority on the topic of KPIs, it allowed us to dominate search results for 100s of terms and fuel our growth for 7+ years

“Topical authority trumps keyword targeting every day of the week. Mastering a topic takes more than stuffing an article with keywords; it takes a deep-rooted understanding of your audience, their needs, and crafting content that solves a problem.”
Cameron Conaway, Director of Marketing Communications, Solace

Seek synergies with marketing automation and conversion rate optimization

As your SEO efforts take off, you’ll notice two things:

  • You’re generating an increased volume of visitors to your website
  • You’re generating more qualified leads for your business

Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) and SEO are two peas in a pod. Work on one aspect of your website results in improvements in another. The fulcrum of this entire relationship is improving on-page engagement which sends a clear signal to Google: this content is worth ranking.

Marketing automation and SEO are siblings united in their quest to engage with people at the right stage of their journey. SEO resides comfortably at the top of the funnel and much can be inferred from a person’s search intent. When automation and SEO operate in concert, good things happen.

As you might expect, the highest volume keywords for most websites are often the ones with the lowest intent. That doesn’t mean there is no intent, just the leads are very early stage. By coupling journey-appropriate nurtures with a winning SEO strategy, you can tap into the massive potential of SEO.

“People come to our website through search because they want to be educated about a complex topic. Instead of dismissing low intent traffic that is failing to convert, take the opportunity to educate them about the topic by providing valuable and practical content. We’ve turned our SEO volume into the starting point for a journey which educates people about the basics right through to becoming an expert in our software. By the time people are starting to get a feel for the world of data and KPIs, we’re already a credible source in their eyes and giving Klipfolio a try is (hopefully) a no-brainer.”
Phil Gamache, Marketing Automation Manager, Klipfolio

Boost win rates by unlocking insights contained in your SEO and content strategy

A fully optimized website built with consideration of your topics, audience, and use-cases should have a URL structure that provides rich information that can be used in segmentation. URL optimization is a basic tenet of SEO and provides both Google and web users with a clear sense of your site’s architecture.

URLs provide a roadmap for your content and should map clearly to your buyer’s journey. A simple example is looking at your website through the lens of the funnel:

  • URL contains ‘blog’ = top of funnel
  • URL contains ‘examples’ = middle of funnel
  • URL contains ‘product’ = bottom of funnel

I like to layer this type of insight by pulling keywords from the URL. For example, if you wrote a blog about setting lead lifecycles in Marketo, I’d want to pull that information from the URL. Let’s say your URL is /blog/lead-lifecycle-marketo, I could pull two insights:

  • URL contains ‘blog’ = top of funnel
  • URL contains ‘Marketo’ = product interest category

The holy grail is to turn these insights into segments and to start personalizing journeys within your Marketo instance. Time and again, we see irrefutable evidence that personalization increases conversion rates.

The hardest part about SEO is starting

You know the old saying: the best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago; the second best time is today.

SEO is one of the most effective digital marketing strategies on the planet. Even if it all seems daunting, you know that tapping into search has the potential to change the course of your business.

I recommend starting with an SEO audit with an expert. A good audit will cover all the bases and give you a sense of where you are, and where you should be going.