Actionable Steps Marketers Can Take to Improve SEO

Hal Conick
AMA Annual
Current average rating    
Key Takeaways

​What? Approximately 74% of business buyers research online before making a purchase. Poor SEO likely means poor sales.

So what? Marketers must invest time into executing an SEO strategy and set realistic expectations with leadership about its results. 

Now what? Begin with keywords and consider the competition for them in your industry. Reach out to relevant bloggers for link-backs. More advanced strartegy can incorporate influencers.

Sept. 12, 2017

As more customers begin their journey with online research, businesses can't afford to not be found through search. Follow these steps get to get your brand in front of the customer

There are plenty of actionable steps companies can take toward improving SEO, according to Karen Parisi, CEO an founder of Oodi, but it's important to start with the basics. Parisi gave some basic steps to take at the AMA's 2017 Annual Conference in Las Vegas.

Setting expectations for SEO with company leaders is important, Parisi says, as she often gets frantic phone calls in the middle of the night from executives asking her why a page isn't ranking on the first page of Google. It's important to set the expectation early that search engines only recognize content and keywords after about a month.

Parisi says marketers must also be realistic and set SEO expectations for themselves. This means being realistic about the timeline, starting with low-hanging fruit and realizing that SEO can be a full-time job.

Putting an SEO Strategy to Work

Before putting a keyword plan into place, marketers must first know what customers are searching for. Parisi says marketers can use Moz, Keyword Tool or Google to find popular keywords. There will be competition for each keyword, she says, so it may be better to dig down into geographically local keywords (for example, “Las Vegas SEO company” instead of simply “SEO company”).

After a strategy is in place, Parisi says companies should create quality content so that other websites will link to their website. As soon as content is created, companies should start posting content on social media channels and have employees do the same.

A more advanced phase is using influencer marketing via thought leaders, industry experts and partner blogs linking back. Parisi says companies can e-mail bloggers who have broken links and suggest using their new page to fix that link. However, marketers must keep relevancy in mind, as irrelevant pages will be ignored by bloggers.


 Influencer Marketing: 3 Strategies for Success


Not following through on a good SEO plan can be damaging. Parisi quoted a stat from Forrester that shows 74% of business buyers conduct more than half of their research online prior to making a purchase.

“You need to be found online,” she says, adding that it will be more important to have an SEO plan as more people start to search online.

Parisi suggests following SEO thought leaders like Debra Mastaler from Search Engine Land, Rand Fishkin from Moz and Wil Reynolds from Search Engine Journal.

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Author Bio:
Hal Conick
Hal Conick is a staff writer for the AMA’s magazines and e-newsletters. He can be reached at or on Twitter at @HalConick.
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