Here are three ways in which it’s easy to get off track, along with insights into how to make sure you’re really connecting with your target audiences through the SEO strategies you’re using.

Keyword Research Intent

Your marketing director may know the technical aspects of finding keywords through research and may know how to use them in copy. But, if you don’t take a step back to consider a searcher’s intent in using a certain keyword, then your SEO strategy may be off-kilter from the start.

As one example, let’s say that you’re in the lumber business, and you’ve found this keyword: “Can you stain cherry wood?” It’s got 90 searches a month and you figure this would be a great blog post title. Is it? Well, it depends upon your customer. If, for example, you sell to companies with experience in making furniture, they already know the answer. So, if they saw this type of content on your site, they might feel as though you don’t understand their needs, a disconnect that you definitely don’t want to foster.

On the other hand, if you also take that lumber and manufacture unstained jewelry boxes, knick-knack shelving, footstools and other assorted trinkets to sell directly to consumers, then you might very well want to educate your customers on how they can stain the cherry wood products you sell. Maybe you even cross-sell the stains!

How this plays out varies by industry, of course, but it’s crucial that you analyze the keywords you find from your customer’s point of view. The fact that a question is searched upon is a great step one in your keyword strategy, but what really matters is whether or not your customers would search upon this and want to know the answer. Whenever you’re not sure, ask the people in your company who directly deal with customers, and find out what questions they’re being asked.

Also think about what lingo your customers would typically use. Let’s say you have a law-related business and you find that 320 people a month search on “de facto law.” If your business is prepping law students for upcoming bar exams, then that might be of real interest to them. If you offer legal services to people in your state, though, it’s not likely to draw the right kind of traffic to your site. They want you to help them in the situations they’re in.

Along that same vein, let’s say you sell fairly techy B2B components. Then, the depth of IT lingo you use on your site should depend upon who, exactly, is typically charged with choosing suppliers in the types of companies that buy your products. If you know that your sales team often deals directly with the people in IT departments, then use more technical language. If you sell more to corporate buyers, use less.

Content Creation

As another B2B example, as you create service pages, again be ultra-aware of who within the company is likely to buy your products—and then write your informational and sales copy accordingly. Let’s say that you sell blue widgets with highly technical specifications to manufacturers, but you know that you deal more directly with company executives who don’t have as much technical know-how as their engineers do.

In that case, ensure that the benefits you’re listing in your services/sales pages are ones that would satisfy requirements of company execs, quantifying the benefits as much as you can. For example, if you want to share the quality of your products, that’s great—so include how the long-lasting nature of your blue widgets means that companies need to replace them 47 percent less often when compared to your competitors, saving the average purchaser X amount of dollars per year. Let them know about your service guarantees, including a case study that shows how much that benefits your average customer. Those are the kind of benefits that executives want to understand and compare.

Then, as one of your benefits, include high-level technical specs and link to a page that lists them in detail so that the executives can share the information with their IT and engineering teams before making a purchase. Include a download on that page that makes it super easy for the executives to share the technical benefits of your blue widgets. That way, the IT team has the option of evaluating your product’s technical benefits in language that satisfies their needs.

Link Building

The best link building campaigns tend to be multi-faceted and, in many regards, are similar among industries. In one way, though, they’re very industry specific—and that’s when you get your website listed in industry-specific directories of quality.

Dental business, for example, should investigate the American Dental Association site, while label-makers should look into ThomasNet.com, wedding videographers should investigate WeddingWire.com, and so forth. There are plenty of industry-specific directories available for lawyers, doctors, and more.

You’ll want to discern which higher-profile bloggers and journalists write about what you offer and build relationships with them. That way, when you create a valuable piece of content, you’ll know whom to contact to ask if they’d like to share that information on their own sites and link back to yours.

Bottom Line

Yes, there are plenty of foundational pieces of SEO campaigns that are largely the same from industry to industry but, as this post hopefully shows, it’s also important to get industry and niche specific to truly target your audience and glean the organic traffic you desire.