Keyword ranking has traditionally been a critical part of measuring a website's success… but things have changed.

Over the last decade the focus has been on keywords, keywords, rank and keywords. Marketers and business owners wanted to see those keywords showing number 1 page results on Google, Bing (and Yahoo?). Why? Because we knew that our websites were showing up in the results of people’s search when and where we wanted them. We used Google Analytics and many tools built around Google Analytics … but somethings have changed.

A contributing factor may have been when 5 years ago Google phased into their analytics tool the “not provided” source of link clicks into our websites. So while we used to be able to see our page rank based on keyword rank, then tweak by adding some keywords, some backlinks and move our rank on up, we aren’t able to use that strategy anymore.What this did to the importance of keyword ranking was shift the focus towards getting traffic to pages. Because the keywords used in a search are “no longer provided” to us we don’t know exactly why someone came to our website. Now we must focus on the quality of our content pulling users to our website vs. the strategic placement (or gaming) of keywords.

"Not Provided"

I still want to measure my keyword rankings.

Keyword ranking is still important – right? Kind of… based on the above you don’t have that much visibility to the rank, but they still effect your search engine results’ ranking. But here is another wrench to throw into the mix. The ranking varies by who is searching, from whose computer you are using and the location you are in while searching. Your average death-care company may be trying to maintain and grow their keyword/SEO ranking, but they hit a MAJOR hurdle just finding an accurate keyword ranking report.

Ranking is no longer universal. Everyone’s preferences and device-type make the results different for different people. Layer in all the geo-targeted content online and you will be hard pressed to find your true keyword ranking. Try searching from your own computer, from your hometown, from a computer that sits in your office then, Google your keywords and guess what might show up top of your search results? YOUR WEBSITE! However; do that same search 800 miles away, from a different machine and profile, with different search history, interactions and preferences and your website may show up on page 100.

They are STILL important, but they should no longer be your core strategy. So what now? The answer is content. Rather than trying to game the system with strategically placed keywords, you should be creating great content – content that is relevant to your target audience. Examples of valuable content for the death-care industry include articles and campaigns on dealing with grief, pre-planning, aftercare – and so much more. The great part about this is the more quality content you put out online, the more your local community will grow into your audience. This creates brand loyalty, trust AND higher search rankings – all good things to have when members of your community need your help.

Keyword Rankings - so what are they good for?

Content gets me higher rankings but how do people see my content?

A wonderful benefit of the strategy discussed here is that your main page (domain) WILL gain rank because of the valuable content you are creating. It’s a side effect – and it’s a great one!

The key to making this content based strategy work for you is:

1. Make sure you have the right website setup.
2. Ensure you are pushing your quality content out via multiple marketing channels.
3. Make sure your content leads your online guests back to your website!

The Importance of the Right Website

If your website was built 10 years ago then it’s probably not serving your needs in this strategy. Your website should have the ability to add new content (with new pages) as well as serve your community (ease-of-use, mobile, quality imagery and information). If it is doing one without the other, then it’s not working.

Are You Using Multiple Marketing Channels?

So you are thinking – great! I will have all this amazing new marketing content on my correctly configured website. Who is going to just come visit it? That sounds like a lot of work when I don’t have that much web traffic anyway. The answer is when you create content for your website, you must distribute and promote it in many places to drive traffic to your site. That doesn’t happen on its own. So you must incorporate a multi-channel marketing approach. Things that work well include; interesting emails, consistent newsletters, Facebook ads, Instagram posts, and of course great website landing pages.

What Will Success Look Like For You?

Having the tools in place is key. Marketing isn’t a perfect science, so testing and measuring is important. Using you results to optimize your future marketing content and campaigns are critical. Ways to do this include Campaign Analytics and a Customer Relationship Manager (CRM).

Ready For The Good News?

If you don’t know where to begin on implementing this strategy Funeral Innovations is here to help. Our full product suite – called The Growth Engine – manages all the moving parts. From writing and designing a steady stream of quality content for you, to the distribution via your marketing channels including Facebook, Email, Newsletters, Website and even Campaign Performance Analytics and a CRM – we have your affordable, automated, end-to-end, digital marketing solution. Contact us to get started.