Here are some SEO tips for every pharmaceutical marketer in 2017 and beyond.
VIDEO... AND MORE VIDEO
Gearing up for video will be critical. If you have content that is suitable, video format is a hugely powerful search opportunity. One SEO professional I asked said SEO for 2017 will revolve around video. If you have no video content optimised, well worth getting some.
WHO IS SEARCHING FOR YOU?
Doing your keyword research is key to know what your target audiences are searching for, not to mention knowing exactly who is searching for those keywords in the first place.
It's hugely useful to understand your audience before undertaking any marketing activity, be it keyword research or content creation. Knowing your audiences means that you know what type of content resonates with that audience, and therefore, knowing which keywords to target for an SEO campaign.
PROMOTE YOUR PRODUCT CHAMPION
Somewhere in the business there will be that one person who is willing to be a thought leader, push them front and centre. Build a persona around them. Make sure its someone from the technical side, not sales or marketing, and make each content offering around technical solutions, not heavy product selling. But you already know that I’m sure. Not strictly SEO I grant you, but it's content that people want and this equals views!
WORK ON YOUR SITE UPLOAD SPEED AND BE READY FOR GOOGLE AMP
It's well worth getting to grips with AMP (accelerated mobile pages). This is Google's commitment to delivering faster page load speeds on mobile sites that are heavy on content) Stands to reason really, the better and quicker the user experience, the fewer people bounce. Good mobile performance will result in lower bounce rates, increased organic visibility and improved user experience.
KEYWORD-RICH INTERNAL LINKS
Internal links are assumed to be an old method of optimisation, but this is not strictly true. Internal links are important for the reader and the more content they have a quick link to, the better the user experience.
PLANNING AND PREPARATION
Before you begin working on a specific piece of content, it is important to define and communicate your goals. Have you really thought who this is targeting? Creating buyer personas and analysing the buyer's journey is absolutely critical in getting the right content in front of the right person.
Make sure you match each piece of content to a buyer persona and to that buyer persona's position in the buyer's journey, Try and resist the temptation to launch until this is done, results will be better.
SEO takes time. As does inbound marketing. Don’t expect results after one or two months. Businesses often give up, don’t give up. SEO and Content marketing are a long-term investment. Strap in and be prepared to explain this to the powers that be who are looking for the quick win.
ALGORITHMIC CHANGES AND MOBILE-FIRST INDEXING
Google is making unapologetic progress in the direction of mobile and other devices. The Possum and Penguin algorithm both came out recently and it meant some big changes. Have you notice the changing face of how paid ads appear on the first results page, #1 on Google doesn't mean the same thing now that it used to and we're having to adapt our SEO strategies and ranking software to reflect that.
SEO SPLIT TESTING
OK for the really serious SEOers out there here is an exciting development. Just as there is split testing in digital marketing, you can split test in SEO. Split testing for SEO is a little more complex than in the digital marketing space, but so worth it when a major campaign is about to be embarked on. Dip your toe in, there’s plenty of advice on forums guiding you through it. Some results may surprise you.
ASSIGN TIME (AND PEOPLE) TO SEO WORK
Many companies I speak to know a great deal of the theory of SEO and SEM. Trouble is, in the busy world of day-to-day, it doesn’t get owned by anyone. The marketers think the tech guy is doing it, the tech guy thinks the sales guys are doing it and the MD thinks they are all doing it.
Trouble is, no one does it. Admit it, when was the last time you checked if your site was indexed, or if all your image alt tagging was clean? Assign a person to assign time to SEO, set goals for content, list out other tasks and circle back with the checklist. Do it on a monthly basis. It's important, but always seen as “tomorrows work”. It won't feel like that when your competitor is above you!