How to optimize your SEO efforts with Marketo

Watch how to implement steps for success to create beneficial SEO and PPC strategies.

Now that you’re familiar with how SEO works we’ll discuss how you can use Marketo’s SEO feature and best practices to optimize your site’s pages in search results. In this exercise, we’ll be showing you how to get started with Marketo’s SEO feature, add and manage SEO keywords, pages and inbound links understand SEO reporting and the SEO dashboard and how to optimize your Marketo-built landing pages.
To get started, we’ll do some initial setup. First, select the SEO tile from the My Marketo dashboard, if you haven’t set up this feature before. Click the Getting Started button and in the popup window, click the first step, Confirm your website domain. If you are revisiting this feature after doing some prior setup, click the Admin dropdown in the top navigation and select Admin. In the Setup tab you’ll make sure you have the correct website domain and include any sub-domains. You can edit the site name by clicking the pencil icon and making any changes, or add a new site by clicking Add Site and entering the new site details. Next, we’ll click the Search Engines tab to pick the region for the search engine that you’d like to get keyword rank information. Then click Save. Next, click the Competitors tab. Adding competitors will allow you to track how they are performing for the same keywords and inbound links you choose to monitor. Click Add Competitor, type in the name and URL of your competitor and click Save.
Next, we’ll click the Marketo superball and select keywords from the dropdown menu. Keywords are the backbone of your SEO strategy. The ultimate goal is to appear on the first page of Returned Search Results and as close to number one as possible. The keywords section in Marketo’s SEO tool will show you how successful your site is at achieving this goal and how you compare to your competition. Marketo will add some basic keywords to get you started, but we’ll demonstrate adding some. Click the Add Keywords button, then enter up to 25 keywords separated by line breaks or commas. You can choose an existing list or create a new list to add the keywords to. Then click Save. You can also upload keywords from a CSV file by clicking the Import link in the top right of the page, browsing for your file and clicking Import. If you click the Get Suggestions button Marketo will provide keyword suggestions based on a single keyword or URL you provide. Enter a keyword into the field at the top of the pop-up window, then click the Suggest Keywords button, select the checkbox to the left of each keyword suggestion you want to keep, then click the Add Selected button. On the Keyword dashboard you can customize the column information that displays. Click the Gear icon then select the items you want to appear on the dashboard. Then click Save. You can also filter the results in each column by clicking the arrow at the top of each column. The rank and trend column tells you how the keyword ranks by page. For example, if the number is six, then your site will show up on the sixth page of the search results. Your goal is to appear on the first page of the search results. You’ll want to pay attention to the results not only to those that are ranked as a one. This helps you make decisions on how strong your website is and where you might need to update your content. Click the number to see a graph of how the keyword performed over the last month and the arrows to the right of the ranking will show if the keyword rank has gone up or down in the last 30 days. The competition level column tells you how difficult it will be to get your specific keyword ranked. For example, high competition would be a more common term like email marketing, where low competition would be something more specific like Marketo. The Monthly Searches column tells you the average amount of time someone searched that exact keyword in the last month. The Highest Ranking URL for Keyword Phrase column tells you the highest ranking URL that corresponds to that keyword. You can also view how your competitor’s ranking compares to yours by switching the summary view to competitor.
Next, we’ll click the Marketo superball and select Pages from the dropdown menu. Pages are the exact URLs you want to track. Marketo’s SEO tool will crawl your site to find the pages to track, but you can also add new pages here. To add a new page, click the Add Pages button and paste in up to 100 pages separated by line breaks or commas. You can choose an existing list or create a new list to add the pages to, then click Add. The average page optimization score meter at the top of the page is the average score of all your pages. The optimization score or trend column tells you how well your page is optimized for search. Your goal number is on a scale of 1 to 100 with 35 and below, not well-optimized, and anything 70 or greater is where you want your score to be. The Links column tells you the number of different domains with at least one link to your site. For example, if 37 companies have a link pointing to your page, this number will display as 37. The Target Keywords column tells you the keywords the page is optimized for. To change the keywords listed click the link in the Title column select the check boxes for the keywords you want to add, then click Update. Now refresh the main browser tab to populate the new target keywords. The Issues tab provides a list of any problems that can affect your page optimization. The Issues column lists the specific URLs with the issue. The Impact column indicates how critical the issue is to your score. For example, if the issue is listed as high it’s something you should take action on first. The Category column shows the category of the issue. The Status column indicates the status of the issue. A yellow triangle icon with an exclamation point will appear if the issue is outstanding and a green check mark will appear if the issue has been resolved. To add notes to issues, just hover the row item then click Add Sticky Note, and type in your message. To view more specific information about each page issue click the link to view the page detail. With the information provided in the Issues tab you can take actions to improve your page optimization.
Next, we’ll click the Marketo superball and select Inbound Links from the dropdown menu. Inbound links are pages that people outside of your domain have linked to your domain. These links are important, because the more inbound links you have to a page the better your page is going to rank. The bar at the top of this page shows you the total inbound links total linking domains, the average page rank of linking domains, and the total number of outbound links. The URL of inbound link is the specific URL pointing to your page. The priority is how valuable the URL is to the page rank. Links to Competitors tells you if your competitors are linked to from that page. Links to My Site displays how many pages linked to your site. Link from My Site tells if you are linking back to that URL. And Page Rank tells you where that URL ranks in page search. Click Add URLs if you have specific URLs outside your domain you want to reference and measure. With Get Suggestions, Marketo can suggest which inbound links are valuable to your off-page optimization. These are measures that can be taken outside of the actual website in order to improve its position in search rankings.
Next, we’ll click the Marketo superball and select Reports from the dropdown menu. You have two out of the box reports, the keyword rank trends and the competitor keyword rank trends report. The keyword ranked trends report shows how you are ranked on keywords over time. When you open this report you will see the keywords ranked trends graph. This graph can show you what keywords are ranked in a specific range. The competitor keyword ranked trends report shows how you and your competitors are ranked on keywords over time. When you open the competitor keyword ranked trends report you will see the keywords ranked trends graph. This graph shows you what percentage of your keywords are ranked in a specific range and how you compare with your competitors. Both reports show you the number of keywords you are tracking, the number of ranking URLs, the average rank of keywords in the range you’ve set, the average number of searches on those keywords and the average number of searches on those keywords that occurred during the last 30 days. You can filter your data by date range, lists and by ranking position, and you can export the data.
Next, we’ll click the Marketo superball and select SEO dashboard from the dropdown menu. Marketo’s SEO dashboard allows you to get a high level view of how keyword rank is trending and how well your site is optimized for SEO. The SEO dashboard shows you your site’s keyword rank. The keyword rank summary indicates how your site is ranked for the keywords you’re targeting. Looking only as far as the top 20 in search, green showcases the keywords that are first in search, yellow highlights those keywords that ranked second to 10th in search, and gray is 11th to 20th. Your average page optimization score this meter shows you how all of your pages perform on a scale of 1-100. You’ll want to aim for having your score in the green area which is approximately around 70. Keyword rank trends which pulls your keywords with the five highest monthly search volumes and charts and how they’re ranking over time. Top page optimization issues, which shows you five high impact ways to start optimizing your site right away and top link opportunities, shows the highest priority opportunities to update and optimize your site.
Marketo also provides an option to optimize your landing pages for search engines by editing the page’s meta tags. To do this, navigate to Marketing Activities and select your landing page. Click Edit Draft. Now click the Landing Page Actions dropdown menu and select Edit Page Meta Tags add a page title, and add keywords. This page title and description is what people will see when your page appears in search results. Set robots to index, no follow, then click Save. In addition, it’s best practice to include keywords in your URL to optimize your page for searchability. Back on their Marketing Activities dashboard select your landing page, click Landing Page Actions, hover URL tools, and select Edit URL Settings. In the new URL field update the URL to include keywords and use dashes or underscores in place of spaces and click Save. Now that you’ve learned how to use the SEO tool in Marketo you can apply best practices to optimize your site’s pages and search results. -