Cover Story: Growing Leads
Interlinking has been another key strategy for influencing positions in natural search, building out links between the corporate site and microsites, as well as between franchisees and local community organizations including Big Brothers Big Sisters and Chamber of Commerce memberships. "Creating that connectiveness between all of the relationships you have or can control is going to be beneficial certainly to influence natural search," explains Lisa Wehr, founder and CEO of Oneupweb.
Spring-Green also uses Google Maps to improve natural search, which allows it to create business listings and provides embedded links back to Spring-Green's sites. "Anytime a business can appear in Google Maps and influence what [its] listing looks like, that's something [it] should take advantage of," says Wehr. "And you have the power to do that with Google Maps, whether you're one location or 100 locations."
While the paid search program peaks during spring for Spring-Green, SEO is a year-round program; the marketer looks at SEO and paid search results on a weekly basis during the spring and then on a monthly basis for the rest of the year. Once paid search winds down, Spring-Green is able to devote more time to refreshing content and posting new material to its sites. "If you're going to make content improvements, you're going to make them at the back end of the year in preparation for the search engines picking everything up and carrying by the first part of the year," notes Young. "We're doing a lot of content revisions annually in the fall. We'll add content through the year, as we do additional interviews with franchisees, or we'll drip out content in terms of podcasts and things."
Succeeding at SEO requires more than simply the best strategies. "Doing good SEO work really depends on the client to implement the SEO work and staying committed to it over the long haul," says Wehr. "If you're going to invest in it, get the most out of your investment and continue to grow that, whether you do it with a vendor like us or you're doing it internally. It's not a set-it-and-forget-it type of marketing."