Why Ranking Is A Team Effort

Ranking in search engines is essential to enhancing the digital visibility of your business. With approximately 1.8 billion websites in the world, it’s fair to say that every business competes against hundreds of other domains for visibility. Managing your ranking strategy is all about ensuring that your target audience can easily find and see you. Yet, ranking strategies involve search engine optimisation or SEO for short. Optimising your position in the search results has been a marketing priority for companies since the start of search engines such as Google and Bing. Ultimately, you want to appear close to the top of the page so that you can attract more visitors to your site. 

However, there is more to your rankings than meets the eye. Companies that choose to manage their digital presence in-house often struggle with a multi-disciplinary strategy such as SEO. That is precisely why an SEO agency can be your best choice when it comes to visibility. Indeed, the agency has full access to specialist tools, too expensive or cumbersome for individual businesses. They are also a team of dedicated experts who understand the implications behind each ranking decision, from improving the crawlability of your site to identifying the most relevant keywords for the company. 

But, more often than not, companies fail to realise their role in the SEO strategy. Indeed, while a specialist agency can improve your digital presence and develop a strategy to appear on top of the search engine result page, the strategy can fail without the support of the business. To ensure the agency’s efforts are not wasted, companies need to build ranking awareness at every step of their processes. Maximising your visibility online is teamwork. 

Track relevant keywords within the business

Along with your agency, you should determine a list of search terms or keywords for which you want the business to appear. These keywords can often be divided into different categories:

  • Primary or secondary
  • Branded
  • Long-tail keywords (aka a long phrase)
  • General keywords (common to your industry sector)
  • Etc.

 

The agency can help understand the role of each category and how to use them best. But, it is necessary to share the list of relevant keywords with the company. Indeed, companies can use an excel spreadsheet to build a to-do list of keywords and track their use among different teams. Indeed, it makes sense, for example, that your sales and customer service team use the same keywords as the marketing team to describe the company products and services. Failure to agree on the most relevant terms can lead to confusion for customers, partners, and potential leads. Additionally, when people in contact with the business hear their interlocutor use a specific keyword, they are more likely to google the term in correlation with the brand name. The process also reinforces your ranking position.  

Design an SEO guideline for blogging

Regardless of whether you run an in-house blog or encourage staff members to contribute to industry blogs, it is essential to decide on a common format. Using keywords in content is a no-brainer to promote ranking. However, experts creating informative content require SEO guidance to identify and use keywords properly for ranking purposes. Indeed, you want to ensure the blog articles will promote business expertise. Therefore, it’s essential to determine:

  • Keyword hierarchy for each piece of content
  • Keyword placement
  • Keyword volume
  • Use of H titles and CTAs
  • Use of alt text and meta description when relevant

 

Inform your partners

Partner sites often publish a brief introduction of your business on their pages or refer to the business in their marketing communication. While you often get to review the content before publication, it doesn’t help keep your partners in the loop regarding keywords. This can ensure your branded keywords are homogenous throughout the whole digital presence. You can also seize the opportunity to mention your preferred long-tail and primary keywords for different target audiences. Indeed, highly specialist keywords can be used with a knowledgeable audience. Yet, generic and primary keyword terms are preferred for broad audience groups. You can also indicate different links based on the expected audience knowledge and needs. 

It’s the best opportunity to decide on your branded hashtags for social media presence, as some partners create active engagement on Twitter, LinkedIn, or any other social platforms. 

Keep social media hashtags SEO-friendly

As we’ve just mentioned hashtags, it’s worth explaining that ranking strategies also apply to social media platforms. However, social media networks do not use the same algorithm as Google. In other words, the business needs a unique Instagram SEO strategy. The good news is that you can still use the keyword research provided by your marketing agency for inspiration. Beware, though, hashtags do not work like keywords. But they can include your most relevant keywords. 

Start with optimising your profile for search and visibility, using keywords in your name and/or username whenever possible. The bio is a great place for keywords too, using #hashtags for clarity. Picture captions are the opportunity to use your keywords, both in the caption text and in the hashtags below.