Make this the year that you truly get to know your users. Work hard to deliver the information they’re looking for. To learn how others are approaching their SEO goals, you can access over 70 data points and trends from over 3,400 marketers around the world. Dive deeper into HubSpot's survey data by clicking the download button on the banner below. 
Specifics: Be as specific as you can with your recommendations. For example if you’re suggesting partnering with meal home delivery sites, find out which ones are going to provide the most relevant info, at what cost if possible, and what the ideal partnership would look like for content and SEO purposes. Even provide contact information if you can.

Traditionally, defining a target audience involves determining their age, sex, geographic locations, and especially their needs (aka pain points). Check out usability.gov’s description of personas and how to do task analysis & scenarios for more details, or better yet, read Vanessa Fox’s upcoming book about personas related to search and conversion.

Search engines are getting better and better at understanding search intent, which means they are providing  more unique and granular search results that better address the user’s specific ask. The content on your website needs to provide a solution to a user’s problem, whether it’s a long-form article or a one-word answer. In the most recent HubSpot Research survey, 64% of marketers actively invest in SEO. While I’d like to see that number increase significantly, I like that SEO is becoming more of a priority across all industries.
Overall, search engines are getting better every day at understanding what the searcher wants. When approaching your SEO strategy, you should approach every decision with the user in mind. First, establish the foundation of your SEO (ranking and crawling) so search engines can find your content and serve it to the user. Then, focus on improving your site’s technical infrastructure (speed, accessibility, mobile, etc) to improve the user experience on your site. Finally, write content to solve for users’ intent. The days of forcing your way to the top of a search result with keyword stuffing are over. It’s the decade of the searcher. 
Use your keyword list to determine how many different pillar pages you should create. Ultimately, the number of topics for which you create pillar pages should coincide with how many different products, offerings, and locations your business has. This will make it much easier for your prospects and customers to find you in search engines no matter what keywords they use.

Thanks so much for this entry, Laura! I loved the way your post is so practical, straightforward, newbie-friendly - and most importantly, how it emphasizes the bottom line at all times. It's easy to get "lost in the fog" of SEO with so many looming tasks and forget the main purpose, so it's wonderful to have a straightforward outline of what to do and why certain tasks need to be done. I look forward to reading your future insights!


My name is [YOUR NAME] and I’m the [YOUR POSITION] at [YOUR COMPANY]. I was doing some research on [TOPIC] and discovered your guide about [TOPIC]. I really enjoyed it. I never realized that [SOMETHING YOU LEARNED FROM THEIR CONTENT]. Super cool. Anyway, I won’t take up any more of your time. Just wanted to thank you for putting the article together and wanted to let you know that I linked to it from my article: [INSERT NAKED URL] – it’s about [TOPIC].
Let me tell you a story. Early in my tenure at Yahoo we tried to get into the site dev process in the early stages in order to work SEO into the Product Recommendations Documents (PRD) before wireframing began. But as a fairly new horizontal group not reporting into any of the products, this was often difficult. Nay, damn near impossible. So usually we made friends with the product teams and got in where we could.
See the screenshot below for some of the sections for specific recommendations that you can add which will provide the meat of the document. Keep in mind this is a very flexible document – add recommendations that make sense (for example you may not always have specific design considerations for a project). Remember, it will be different every time you do it.
Building a robots.txt file can be confusing, and there are many online SEO tools that don't make the job much easier. You want to make sure that when search engines crawl your site, they don't have access to sensitive files, but they do have access to others. User our free Robots.txt Generator Tool to build or modify your robots.txt file, and get a look at how your current robots.txt file will work versus your new one.
Stop building your SEO strategy around algorithm updates. In search, Google’s goal is the user’s goal. Instead of chasing an algorithm that won’t stand still, place your attention on content that aligns with your user’s intent. For example, HubSpot placed a heavy emphasis on winning featured snippets for important keywords because of its real estate and the great user experience they provide for the user. Here’s how we did it. 
Laura,Great post.  This touches something I wish more SEOs practiced: conversion optimization. I think most SEOs think of what they do as a service for, instead of a partnership with clients.  The end result should never be raw traffic, but value obtained through targeted, CONVERTING traffic.You make excellent points about market research, product input, content creation, and other functions many SEOs and SEMs neglect.More and more SEO providers focus only on assembly line basics and worn out techniques instead of challenging themsleves to learn product marketing, usability, and conversion optimization.Your advice on market research is extremely valuable.Great start to a promising series.  I look forward to more!
I am happy to also ask for a plug for my family’s apparel website in the opener of said post if you think this post suggestion is a good idea. Shameless I know…..LOL! But hey maybe it will get your fans to keep submitting ideas. There might be something here to channel your fan base to get us to help your business. Think it over…..You really have reached Malcolm Gladwell Tribe status. And have done a great job with that. At this point whatever you asked the tribe to do they would deliver for you.
One of the biggest challenges in lead generation campaigns is learning enough about your leads to qualify them. Convertable makes this easier, offering much more data than traditional forms allow, providing you with data on everything from the browser they used and their operating system to the traffic source and the keywords they entered, as you can see in the screenshot below: 

One of the biggest challenges in lead generation campaigns is learning enough about your leads to qualify them. Convertable makes this easier, offering much more data than traditional forms allow, providing you with data on everything from the browser they used and their operating system to the traffic source and the keywords they entered, as you can see in the screenshot below:
What it does: CoSchedule helps you plan your marketing, organize your campaigns, plan your content and get ahead. Marketing needs to be organized, and so does scheduling. It’s not enough to simply create content and make updates. CoSchedule helps to streamline the process. Its integration with Chrome, Wordpress, Google Docs and Evernote makes the process even easier.
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