Alves Radcliffe, LLP is a team of lawyers with a combined 25 years of legal experience. They’re based in Gold River, near Sacramento, and represent clients from Northern California to the Greater Sacramento and Bay Area. Their areas of representation range from general counseling to the specifics of cannabis appeals for homeowners. Alves Radcliffe is recognized for their legal authority in media including the Sacramento Business Journal and Capital Public Radio.
Alves has partnered with WSI Connect to optimize its website to make a lasting first impression on visitors. To do so, WSI audited the website design to determine how to improve appearance and functionality. After implementing a new design, WSI turned to Alves’ SEO campaign to improve its search ranking for cannabis appeals for homeowners. Part of this campaign includes publishing monthly SEO-optimized posts about cannabis appeals to Alves Radcliffe’s blog, and the offsite blogs Pro Business Information and Business Advice Now.
By optimizing onsite and offsite content, WSI is boosting Alves Radcliffe’s relevance for their services. The offsite content has an additional job of increasing the quality and quantity of Alves’ links. When its service pages are linked to other websites or blogs with high authority, its pages become more attractive to search engines. Also helpful to building authority is sharing the links to social media sites, such as Facebook.
Going onward, WSI Connect will monitor Alves Radcliffe’s progress through Google Analytics and Google My Business. WSI will review how prospects find Alves, whether through Google search, Yelp, or other sources. Progress will be summarized in monthly reports containing data about visitors, web traffic, and conversions.
WSI plans to help Alves increase their client base, providing clients with quality representation that lets them live worry free.
WSI Connect provides custom digital marketing solutions to help businesses increase engagement and improve their conversion rates. Schedule a consultation today to learn how WSI’s digital marketing services can help your business.
SEO Blog Writing
The goal of this article is to provide an overview of SEO blog writing and how it fits into WSI Connect’s content creation process and SEO strategies. It illustrates how we tailor the content to deliver significant value to the reader while at the same time optimizing it to perform well in search engines.
Throughout this article we will use a blog post from one of our clients, Higher Education Recruitment Consortium (HERC), and highlight changes that we would recommend based on our SEO blog writing best practices.
Here are the most important steps for SEO blog writing
Step 1: Start with the concept
Establish your concept. Focus the content on this one key concept and think about how you are going to deliver value to the reader. This helps begin the formulation of the structure of the blog content.
Example Concept: Imposter Syndrome
In this example, we pulled the concept from the existing content. If we were creating new content, we would spend time brainstorming a concept, what our readers need to know about it, and how we could help.
The structure and formulation of the content will continue to change and be revised throughout the entire development process.
Step 2: Keyword Research
Once we identify the concept of the blog, we dive into keyword research. This helps to better understand the keywords that our potential audience uses to search for the content that we are going to create. This also helps us improve our SEO blog writing by focusing the content on the best search terms.
Our favorite tool is Google’s Keyword Planner, but that requires an active Google Ads account to access accurate data. A good alternative is a free tool, Ubersuggest.
In this step, we look for the keyword that aligns with our concept and has a significant amount of people searching for it. The column titled “VOL” shows the average number of monthly searches for each keyword.
In our example we recommend the keyword, “overcoming imposter syndrome”.
This keyword aligns because it clearly defines the content of the blog post. Also, it averages 390 monthly searches so a well written blog post that ranks well in Google has the potential to be a valuable long term asset.
Step 3: Identify Related Topics
Identifying related topics is a useful way to build out content and add more depth. Answer the public (https://answerthepublic.com/) is our favorite tool for this process. Input the target keyword and it will produce a wide range of related topics.
At this point we pull out the topics that are important to the target audience and begin developing them as subtopics within the blog post.
Here are a few examples that we thought were interesting in relation to imposter syndrome.
Interesting topics to cover:
- How to overcome imposter syndrome?
- What is imposter syndrome?
- What causes imposter syndrome?
- Is imposter syndrome good?
- Is imposter syndrome bad?
Step 4: Competitive Research
This is the most important, easiest, yet most often overlooked step. Take the target keyword, pop it into Google, and review the first 4-5 articles that appear. Take notes on the commonalities such as total word count, content structure, inclusion of images, and/or videos.
Example Google Search Result:
Interesting Note: In this specific search result there is only organic result appearing above the fold. This article, in particular, is currently capturing the majority of the traffic related to “overcoming imposter syndrome”.
Below are the top results that we reviewed. Keep in mind that your results will vary. Google uses information such as your browsing history when determining which content to show in your search results. If you’ve visited the blog post before, it will show up higher than it would for someone who hadn’t already viewed the content.
- 10 STEPS YOU CAN USE TO OVERCOME IMPOSTOR SYNDROME https://impostorsyndrome.com/10-steps-overcome-impostor/
- Impostor Syndrome – Facing Fears of Inadequacy and Self-Doubt https://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/overcoming-impostor-syndrome.htm
- 6 Strategies to Help You Beat Imposter Syndrome https://www.inc.com/john-discala/no-you-arent-a-fraud-here-are-6-ways-to-beat-imposter-syndrome.html
- The Five Types Of Impostor Syndrome And How To Beat Them https://www.fastcompany.com/40421352/the-five-types-of-impostor-syndrome-and-how-to-beat-them
Commonalities in the search results:
- Long form content
- Bulleted and/or numbered lists
- Use of videos and images
- Multiple internal links
- Multiple external links (open in a new window)
- Referencing related articles
- Titles start with a number (this typically improves click-through rates)
After reviewing the content that Google currently believes is the best content related to the search query, there is a very important question to ask:
How do we create a better resource than already exists?
We know that if we cannot create something that is better than what already exists, then the chance of developing a blog that will be a valuable long term resource is very low. The commonalities help us uncover useful ways to improve our content and create something that is overall a better resource.
In this example we would recommend that HERC develop more content (step 3 can help with this), break up the content with subtitles and bulleted/numbered lists, reference authoritative resources, link to related internal content, and adjust the title to include a number.
Google’s blog post, What webmasters should know about Google’s core updates, provides a good outline for evaluating content for quality.
Step 5: SEO blog writing best practices
There are key elements that have been measured to show strong SEO correlations with the content that captures significant traffic from search engines. In this step we review the content and make adjustments to ensure that as many of them as possible are included within the blog content.
Many of these elements are very helpful to the visitor as well. The majority of readers skim content rather than reading every detail, thus content needs to be adjusted so that the reader can quickly find the content that they are most interested in.
Key Elements of On-page SEO:
- Keyword in URL
- Keyword page title
- Keyword in <h1>
- Keyword in the first sentence of the blog
- Include keyword within name of an image file
- Keyword in the meta description
- Keyword in the last sentence of the blog
- Break up content with bullets, numbered lists, quotes, sub headers (h2,h3,h4,h5), images, bolded text, embedded videos
- Include relevant internal links
- Include relevant external links (open in a new window)
- Text length should be comparable to the top results, although longer is generally better
- The content of the post needs to tie back to your core mission.
- Relevant categories and tags (try to avoid redundancy)
- Referencing authoritative 3rd parties
- Citing sources
Examples of how we recommend modifying this post for SEO:
Keyword: Overcoming Imposter Syndrome
Recommended URL: https://www.hercjobs.org/4-strategies-overcome-imposter-syndrome
Current title: What is Imposter Syndrome and how can you overcome it?
Recommended title: 4 Strategies to Overcome Imposter Syndrome
Step 6: Guide them to a next step. Use a call-to-action (CTA)
When someone visits our website and consumes our content, we need to do our best to drive that visitor to some type of action (conversion). This significantly increases the chance that the visitor will become a customer sometime in the future.
To drive them towards a conversion we use a call-to-action (CTA). The action needs to be consistent with the content of the page. If this was a product or service page, we would drive them to purchase or a consultation.
In the example, it is an informational page so we recommended using a newsletter signup for the CTA at the end of the blog post. This would allow HERC to capture the visitor’s email address and continue the communication. HERC offers ebooks in their right column, which is also a great way to drive conversions.
This step doesn’t improve your SEO blog writing, but it is essential in order to get the most value out of your content.
Conclusion to 6 Powerful Steps for SEO Blog Writing
Creating great blog content takes effort. It requires in-depth knowledge of the target audience and how they search for the concept that the blog is about. It has to provide the reader with value and it has to be better than the content that already exists.
If you need help with content creation, schedule a free consultation. We will discuss your goals in-depth, help you develop valuable content assets and reach your audience through powerful SEO blog writing.
With two fully-equipped, custom-built teaching and event kitchens located in Berkeley and Oakland, Kitchen on Fire has hosted and taught many individuals and groups in their private cooking classes. Kitchen on Fire offers a unique culinary experience for those looking for a hands-on, educational activity that can bring groups together around making and sharing food.
The professional chef instructors lead birthday and anniversary parties as well as business community groups through the preparation of various menus until it is time for participants to enjoy their finished dishes. Kitchen on Fire also offers 12-week courses, nutrition classes, and camps for youth. Previous customers have included groups from Google, Facebook, Twitter, Pandora, Pinterest, and Pixar.
Kitchen on Fire is partnering with WSI Connect, a member of one of the nation’s largest digital marketing networks and a Google Partner, to expand their visibility online and generate and convert new leads. WSI Connect began with learning about Kitchen on Fire’s business and the audience they want to grow in order to understand the digital marketing strategies that will best fit their needs.
WSI Connect will develop a tailored SEO program beginning with a website audit as one of the first steps for SEO optimization. This SEO optimization process includes an extensive competitive and keyword analysis, as well as developing an SEO page level strategy and page development. Kitchen on Fire’s SEO optimization will also entail link building through on and off-site content creation with the development of two onsite blogs and two offsite blogs. The offsite blogs will be shared on a lifestyle blog and wellness blog.
As an ongoing component of their strategy, the SEO program will focus on the development and syndication of original and engaging content relevant to Kitchen on Fire’s audience, including SEO optimized blog posts and social media updates. With this digital marketing strategy, WSI Connect expects to increase Kitchen on Fire’s visibility in SERPs and grow their audience.
About Hill Point Montessori
Hill Point Montessori is a private school for children ages 2-12. Their curriculum is based on Dr. Maria Montessori’s Montessori Method. Hill Point’s students consistently test several grade levels ahead of their peers, illustrating the great success of their education programs. They specifically target parents looking who want to provide an advanced form of education beyond what the local public schools are able to offer. They deeply care about their students and put a tremendous amount of effort into hiring the best teachers and creating the best educational environment.
Despite having an outstanding educational program, enrollment was declining at Hill Point Montessori. In the past, they grew almost completely based on word of mouth. As students graduated from their program, they found it difficult to fill the excess capacity with new students.
Hill Point Montessori specifically struggled to attract new elementary level students. They lacked the marketing ability to help local parents clearly understand Hill Point’s unique differentiators. Without those distinctions, many parents were opting for the free public elementary option.
Hill Point Montessori needed to attract new families to the school, specifically parents. They knew they needed to get more parents to tour their school and really see the value of their educational program. The conversion rate on tours is very high but they were only averaging 1-2 tours each month. It wasn’t enough.
We engaged Hill Point Montessori with a discovery call to clearly understand their goals for growth, current marketing strategies, and local competition. They were anticipating 30 open seats across all of their classes for the upcoming school year. With an average annual tuition of $13,000, Hill Point Montessori was at risk of losing $390,000 in potential revenue.
We identified two core personas. Parents with preschool aged children and parents with elementary school aged children.
The next step was conducting a competitive analysis to identify the marketing strategies used by other local schools. Several of their competitors had better websites, stronger social media presence and had invested in PPC (although it was clear there was a lot of wasted ad spend).
At that point, we crafted the overall marketing strategy. We focused all of our efforts on parents with an elementary school aged children persona. This is where Hill Point Montessori had the most unused capacity. Acquiring preschool students was less challenging as they didn’t have to compete with a free public school option.
It was very clear to WSI Connect that every part of the marketing strategy needed to be focused on driving parents to the school for a scheduled tour.
We focused on conversion rate optimization in several areas. We helped them develop content highlighting their highly qualified faculty and administration. We added several CTA’s to drive parents to a dedicated landing page for the tour process registration.
We added several photo galleries for their programs, summer camps and extra curricular activities to help prospective parents gain a deeper understanding of their educational environment.
Upon completion of the tour form, parents are taken to a “thank you” page that includes videos highlighting a recent parent testimonial, a school overview and recent commencement speeches. Parents also receive an automated email response with additional information about the tour process and next steps.
We implemented a monthly content calendar and inbound marketing program to help attract and educate new parents about Hill Point Montessori and the Montessori Method. This includes blog posts that are distributed across their GMB, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest accounts.
In the video above you our client details the metrics that we discussed frequently to help judge the success of the campaign.
Here are the core metrics that we reported back to the client to illustrate that success:
- 96% Year over Year, Google Organic growth
- Which led to a 300% increase in school tours.
- Based on their tour conversion rates they’ve been able to receive a 356% Monthly ROI!
“ WSI Connect has helped immensely from implementing SEO, building an attractive and effective website, writing informative blog posts, creating Facebook ads, giving us monthly updates about our progress, being available to us for anything that we need and working with us collaboratively on different ideas. Always offering a creative and informed perspective… We could not be more pleased with our experience with WSI Connect. We recommend WSI Connect to all the other small businesses we know and we owe a great deal to their team for all of their outstanding work.”
Hill Point Montessori