What Does an SEO Analyst Do for You?

SEO analysts are experts at presenting your website to major search engines. They prepare your website for indexing and improve its rankings by poring over the wealth of data available through analytical tools. Then they draw conclusions, brainstorm ideas for improvement, and implement those ideas.

The process sounds simple, but once you start breaking down the individual tasks that an SEO performs on a daily basis, you’ll find that the big picture for search engine optimization is actually made up of thousands of tiny little pictures. Each task that an SEO performs is part of a smooth-moving engine, and those tasks require analysts to pull skills from wildly differing fields, such as:

  • upward trending line for seo analysisHTML and CSS
  • Web Design
  • Content Creation & Curation
  • Statistics
  • Data Analysis
  • Business Administration
  • Management
  • Information Technology

Want to appreciate the lengths that SEO analysts go to when working on your website and business? Take a closer look at what technical skills they are using and deep analyses they are performing nearly every day.

Data Analysis

Using tools such as Google Analytics, SEMrush, SpyFu, and ahrefs, SEO analysts watch and organize countless charts and tables rich with data about your website. On a daily basis, they monitor such dimensions as:

  • Unique entrances to your website
  • Time spent by visitors on specific pages
  • Rises and falls in organic traffic
  • Demographics of website visitors
  • Traffic acquisition types and sources
  • Marketing campaign successes and failures

line graph with two upward trending leverage colored lines

Using the data they collect, SEO analysts develop a picture, over time, of what kind of people are visiting your website, how they are interacting with it, and why. Watching and building an understanding of what types of web content bring in traffic and keep it there helps augment the success of your website and the knowledge of your brand.

Technical SEO (Making Sure Googlebot Can Read Your Site Efficiently)

You may have heard the term technical SEO if you’ve worked with a digital marketing agency before. We use the term because the technical part of search engine optimization comprises so many tasks that an umbrella term for those tasks has become necessary.

spectral lines representing multiple seo jobsTechnical is a fitting term because SEO analysts have to use a breadth of technology-related knowledge to accomplish tasks under the category of technical SEO. The goal of technical SEO is to prepare and maintain a website that can be read efficiently by web crawlers such as Googlebot.

Sitemapping and Hierarchy

Reorganizing and mapping out your site allows web crawlers to extract information from your website that helps index the site properly.

For businesses who already have a website, SEO analysts take a look at what pages are important to your site and how they are organized, then come up with a plan to restructure the site so users and web crawlers can enjoy simple navigation in a logical hierarchy.

For businesses who are just getting started, SEO analysts gather information about your most important products

and services, then plan a website structure based on a seamless user experience. The plan is made with bots and users in mind.

Activity Moderation

As users engage with your website, you’ll have to provide feedback to those users to keep them engaged. SEO analysts help by moderating comments on websites, ensuring smooth interaction with ecommerce integrations, and refining email marketing campaigns and outreach campaigns.

Whitelisting & Blacklisting

The realm of moderation goes even deeper into whitelisting & blacklisting.

Blacklisting is the creation of or addition to a list of users or websites that have been disavowed by your business. A disavow is a denial of responsibility or support for entities that interact with your website, such as other websites who link externally to your website.

More simply, blacklisting is the same as severing ties with people and websites who are destructive to the success of your business. Similarly, whitelisting ensures that entities that have been incorrectly identified as disavowed are allowed to access and interact with your business.

Content Planning

whiteboard for content planningThe content of your website is one of the first things major search engines such as Google look at when deciding how and where to rank your website. Optimizing your site for search engines relies heavily on the creation and curation of quality content that helps your visitors make that vital decision whether to purchase your product or service.

Content Additions and Changes

Creating that content starts with the content plan of a seasoned search engine optimization expert. After reading and analyzing your data, SEOs decide what kind of new articles, service pages, product pages, graphics, and videos your website needs to help your potential customers interact with your business. They can then offer solutions to you for improving website rankings and customer interaction through new or repurposed content.

Keyword Research

SEOs dive deeply into researching trending keywords (words used by searchers to find web content) and their value in major search engines. They spend time and effort deciding what keywords are most relevant to your business, how users are searching for those keywords, and what kind of content will help draw visitors to your website according to those keywords.


Once the content is created by an online content specialist, your SEO takes care of implementing the content into your website. Analysts help minimize code so the content is crawlable, integrate it into your web design, and optimize it for user interaction.

Business Expansion

blocks representing the growth of business

The goal of search engine optimization is to bring in organic traffic. Organic traffic is traffic that comes to your website free of charge

through the use of a search engine. Doing so naturally helps your business grow by increasing the number of available and potential customers. But a quality SEO analyst is aware of more than just organic traffic increases and is invested in helping your business grow in whatever ways with which he or she can help.

New Content

Analysts don’t just plan for content that’s already relevant to your site; they can also help you discover new avenues of reaching larger audiences through new content. SEOs may bring potential new audiences or products and services to your attention, and sometimes have ideas about how to create content that markets to and for them.

Implementation of Your New Services and Products

Similarly, when you have a new idea for a product or service, SEOs will help you integrate that new product or service into your website in a way that is search engine and user friendly. Using their specialized set of skills, they will analyze how customers are already interacting with your website and find the best way to ensure that your new products and services see as many eyes as possible through today’s search engines.


clipboard representing seo reporting

Often, your SEO analyst will prepare a report for you that lets you take a look at the most important data regarding the performance of your website. He or she will observe relationships between page visits and interactions, pair that data with engagements, and explain to you how all the pieces fit together.

Reporting helps you understand how the SEO work that you don’t see is helping to improve the performance of your website. It also helps you understand how and why your SEO is making essential decisions regarding the future of your website and your business. The opinion of your SEO analyst is well-informed, and we encourage all digital marketing customers to pay careful attention to his or her reports.

Search Engine Optimization Directs the Future of Your Website

It’s difficult to trust, initially, that an SEO has your best interests in mind. It takes sustained effort over long periods to see results, and you rarely get to see what’s happening in the back end of your website. Sometimes, despite the best efforts of an SEO and a content team, major search engines such as Google may even drop rankings for websites. Part of the reason the digital marketing industry exists is the closely guarded secrecy of search engine algorithms, and legitimate, white-hat SEO teams have to contend with the whims of an automatic indexing system.

Still, it is the efforts of search engine optimization analysts that are shaping a better future for the internet – in conjunction with the ever-improving indexing of search engines, of course. The goals of SEOs and search engines align to create ever-improving web content that is easy to find instantly. SEO shapes the future of the internet, and we encourage you to find an SEO analyst you can trust to put forth his or her best effort.


You guessed it – we’re experts in SEO at Leverage Marketing. Our agency is built on trust, and we’ve got client success to back it up. Talk with us today about what SEO can do to improve your business.

Why Losing Net Neutrality Could Harm Digital Marketing

Net neutrality has been a buzzword for the last several months as the current Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has sought public opinion and voted to repeal the Obama-era regulations. But what is net neutrality? How are this debate and legislation even relevant to digital marketing?

In December 2017, the FCC voted (3-2) to dismantle a previous ruling that recognized broadband Internet as a public Title II utility, like electricity or water. For the past few years, all Internet traffic has been treated identically, with no one website or provider getting higher priority for their traffic.

net neutrality pai

Ajit Pai, Current Chairman of FCC (credit USDA)

The FCC’s vote to deregulate broadband Internet could have far-reaching effects on digital marketing, disrupting advertising prices, viewability standards, and creating unfair competition. If a powerful company like Amazon can prioritize their own ad traffic through their servers, customers are more likely to click on their ad copy, giving them a competitive advantage in the marketplace that heretofore didn’t exist. The impact of repealing net neutrality is damaging not only to consumers but also to brands and agencies.

What is Net Neutrality?

 Simply put, net neutrality is the fundamental principle that all data on the Internet should be treated equally, no matter where it comes from, or where it’s being sent. Net neutrality means that Internet Service Providers (ISPs) can’t decide to discriminate against or charge differently based on user type, content, platform, application, method of communication, website, or other factors. The definition of net neutrality is Internet equality.

There have been many attempts over the last two decades to infringe upon these basic precepts, such as Comcast throttling peer-to-peer (P2P) file-sharing companies like The Pirate Bay, AT&T limiting FaceTime on the iPhone to users with certain data plans, and companies like Verizon Wireless slowing down video services on their network. Despite the evidence that ISPs will violate net neutrality for their bottom line, the FCC repealed its Open Internet Order on the basis that the market could self-regulate. The loss of net neutrality’s effects will be extensive across the consumer and business sectors.

How Does Net Neutrality Impact Digital Marketing?

Digital marketing is currently an $80 billion annual industry. While there are many large players in the sector—Google, Facebook, Amazon, Microsoft– it’s the many small marketing agencies and ad networks that drive competition and innovation in the space. Without a free and open Internet that creates competition for organic traffic and the best paid search, larger companies will begin to gain a clear advantage in the space over a short period. Why should an ad network like Google prioritize your ad if they can prioritize one from a corporate sponsor?

Digital marketing, including SEO, content marketing, paid search, and even social media marketing, could lose previously level competition from non-net neutrality rules. Small- and medium-sized businesses could lose out, have their traffic and revenue drop, and watch as the larger players take a bigger slice of the pie.

What is the Future of Net Neutrality and Digital Marketing?


net neutrality rally

Net Neutrality Rally in San Francisco (credit Wikimedia)

Despite the potential gains for many large technology companies, Reddit, Google, Facebook, Twitter, Netflix, and others are standing up against these anti-net neutrality rules. Many members of the Senate are trying to overrule the FCC and reinstate the Open Internet Order. It’s unclear what the future of the Internet will look like under the new guidance (or lack thereof) of the current FCC. In the short time it was in effect, net neutrality helped to create a more open and fair Internet.

Digital marketing has flourished and grown in the last decade and hopefully, the repeal of net neutrality will only be a blip in the innovative new ways it grows in the next. Agencies and ad companies must adapt to the new rules, advocate for the return of net neutrality, and work toward a future with Open Internet.

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How to Tailor Your Content Marketing to the Sales Funnel

From a content marketer’s perspective, it would be great if the typical sales funnel looked something like this:

A web user searches for tips on networking for creatives.

The user finds a blog post called “How to Master Networking as a Creative Professional” and clicks on it.

The user is awe-inspired by the tips in the article and checks the author’s bio. They see that the author is promoting a networking book she wrote, and they immediately drop $30 on a copy.

There may be some situations where the conversion process is this quick (especially for smaller purchases), but in most cases, movement through the funnel is slower. Content marketing is a long game that depends on building trust with your audience over time. To build that trust, you must be consistently useful to your audience. And to be useful, you must tailor your content marketing to the sales funnel.

For our purposes, we’re going to define the content marketing funnel as having three sections:

  • Awareness (Top-of-Funnel Content)
  • Consideration (Middle-of-Funnel Content)
  • Decision (Bottom-of-Funnel Content)

There are no strict rules about what types of content to produce for each section of the funnel. However, we do have recommendations for content types that are well-suited to each stage.

Awareness Stage Content

Your top-of-funnel content should be tailored to potential buyers who have little or no familiarity with your brand and products. At this stage, the shopper is:

  • Looking for an answer to a question
  • Trying to figure out how to solve a problem
  • Looking for a tool or resource to meet a need

Your content needs to provide the solution the web user is looking for, in an easy-to-digest format. Content types that work well at the Awareness stage include:

Blog Posts

Quora inspiration for top of funnel content

When planning blog topics, think about the problems your customers are typically trying to solve with your product or service. If you’re stuck, the question database Quora can be a good place to start. Search for key terms related to your business to find out what real people have been asking.

Once you’ve decided on a question, give a concise answer in the first paragraph of your blog post, and then use the rest of the post to elaborate. This format can increase your chances of landing in a Featured Snippet (i.e., the content box that appears at the top of many Google search results pages.


Webinars provide an opportunity to educate and start engaging with your audience. As with blog posts, your top-of-funnel webinar content should focus on solving a problem for your potential customers rather than promoting your products or services. You may also want to build in a Q&A component where webinar viewers Tweet or message you questions to answer at the end of the webinar. This allows you to interact with your audience directly and get ideas for even more Awareness stage content.

Bite-Sized Downloads

Single-page guides, checklists, or tip sheets are great resources to attract potential buyers at the top of the content marketing funnel. They can also be powerful lead generation tools: simply make them downloadable and ask readers to enter their email to get the PDF file. We tested this at Leverage and found that we get a steady stream of leads from a downloadable list of 40 questions to ask before hiring a digital marketing agency.

Video Tutorials

video rounded corner cutout with trees and mountainVideo tutorials appeal to visual learners and can be a useful tool to walk your audience through a process that’s difficult to describe in words. Videos are also highly shareable on social media, making them a key content type for the Awareness stage.

If your company produces video tutorials for your website, you should also upload them to YouTube. YouTube is the second largest search engine and has 1.5 billion logged-in monthly users, so it can be a powerful platform for growing brand awareness.

Consideration Stage Content

Your middle-of-funnel content is for potential buyers who are starting to search for the best solution to their problem. They may already be actively comparison shopping. This is the point in the content marketing funnel when you need to convince them that you can deliver something your competitors can’t. You can do this with content types such as:

Case Studies

Case studies provide cold, hard proof that your product or service has helped real people. You should incorporate data, but your focus should be on telling a story. Each case study should reveal the problem your customer or client was facing and how your product or service helped them.

Downloadable Long-Form Content

Have you come up with a topic that’s too in-depth for a single blog post? Turn it into a whitepaper or eBook that site visitors can download when they enter their email. Focus on providing information that your audience can’t easily find elsewhere online (after all, there must be an incentive for them to share their contact info). If possible, include original research.

Product Demo Videos

Shoppers typically want to see how a product works before they buy it, especially if it’s a type of product they haven’t used before.  Product demo videos give you a chance to show your product—and your brand voice—in action. One great example of a successful product demo is Blendtec’s long-running Will It Blend? series, which has given the Total Blender a chance to pulverize everything from iPhones to glow sticks.

FAQ Page

It may not be the most glamorous piece of content on your website, but the FAQ page serves an important role. It gives you a space to publicly answer some of the questions that customers commonly ask you when they contact you. Your FAQ page can also address objections or concerns that potential buyers may have. Use your FAQs to reduce friction so that buyers can move to the decision phase of the sales funnel.

Decision Stage Content

Bottom-of-funnel content is intended to sell buyers on your product or service. At this point, the buyer has done their initial research, become familiar with your brand, and compared you to your competitors. Now you can encourage them to convert with content types like:

Comparison Charts

example of bottom of funnel content

Comparison chart example from Permaflow Gutter Protection

Make it easy for buyers to see how your product or service packages compare—or how your products stack up against competitors’. A comparison chart or table lets buyers review the pros and cons of each option without toggling between multiple pages.

Customer Testimonials

85% of consumers say they trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. Let your current customers become your salespeople by featuring reviews or testimonials on your site. If you’re a smaller B2B company, you may want to reach out to clients directly to see if you can feature them on your site. If you’re a bigger company, use social media and email surveys to encourage your customers to share their thoughts.

Email Drip Campaigns

Email series are ideal for people who have engaged with your company (think: added items to their shopping cart or downloaded an eBook) without completing a purchase. Run an email campaign with an offer your potential buyers can’t resist, like a free trial of your software or a discount on their first order.

Producing content for every stage of the content marketing sales funnel can help you nurture leads and increase conversions, but it also requires a lot of work. If you need help creating content for the entire buyer’s journey, contact Leverage Marketing. Our content marketing team is ready to help you meet your business goals.

3 Ways To Use Emotional Marketing To Reach People

While you might not immediately think of emotions when you think of marketing to your customers, they are an integral part of relating to your clientele and establishing a genuine brand connection. According to Shayna Smilovitz from Instapage, “Emotional branding then is creating an emotional connection to one company that separates it from the rest, creating brand loyalty over time.” By playing on different kinds of emotions, you can humanize your brand and show customers how your products and services solve their essential problems.

You can establish genuine trust with customers by making them feel like they’re an important part of your brand and creating content that gives your readers something to discuss. Fifty percent of every buying decision is driven by emotion, so creating effective emotional advertising is the most effective means of gaining and retaining customers.

But how do you craft this emotional connection effectively? Do you use branding, ads, or stories to facilitate the relationship? We’ll explain how to use storytelling to engage with your audience, review several different approaches to emotional marketing, and show how utilizing this strategy can benefit you in the long run.

Using Storytelling to Connect with Customers

storytelling advertising

Ultimately, whether you’re writing the great American novel or crafting retail content, you’re trying to tell a compelling story. Emotional advertising is about developing a story that speaks to your audience by entertaining them. Even if you’re just writing a “how-to” guide or a recipe, you can make it fun and exciting, adding storytelling elements into it. Customers respond more readily when you use emotional marketing that appeals to the senses directly.

When writing or creating emotional ads, you’ll need to consider your audience. What are their wants and needs? Understanding their desires and aspirations will help you create relatable content.

When telling your story, it’s essential to use the tone of your audience. Write in the vernacular that your target customer is familiar with, with authentic words and powerful verbiage, to craft copy that directly speaks to your customers.

Different Approaches to Emotional Marketing

An excellent emotional branding campaign successfully transforms a casual customer into a brand advocate. According to the Disney Institute, emotionally engaged customers are:

  • At least three times more likely to recommend your product
  • Three times more likely to re-purchase
  • Less likely to shop around
  • Much less price sensitive

These statistics show why it’s integral to create a campaign that stimulates your customers’ emotions.

There’s more than one way to make an emotional connection with your customers. Hubspot has identified six core emotions that encourage sharing, engagement, and purchase including happiness, sadness, fright, surprise, anger, and disgust. By playing on these feelings, you can create personalized advertising suited to your customers’ needs. Emotional advertising is about understanding how to utilize these core emotions, evoke a response in your readers, and have that lead to action. That act can be a purchase, sharing, or engagement, depending on your goals.

Your Customers’ Deeper Desires

emotional advertising

Emotional marketing can also tap into certain desires of your customers, utilizing deeper feelings than the core six emotions. Developing an ad or campaign that utilizes these approaches (detailed in Entrepreneur), can be more powerful and lasting. They include:

  • Inspiration: Creates pride, like a human interest story
  • Aspirational: Taps into audience’s dreams, like a lofty goal, lifestyle, or experience
  • Expressing love: Reaches into personal and raw emotions
  • Milestone Connection: Celebrates a brand anniversary or important life events
  • Local angle: Connects to people’s passion and pride for where they live

This way of approaching emotional marketing helps create meaningful connections with your customers in a way that feels reliable and honest. If you don’t manage this authenticity, your advertising can fall flat and damage your relationship with customers. It’s essential to determine which strategy will work best for your business. The key to emotional advertising is understanding your audience and telling an authentic, believable story that will stick with them.

Are you interested in developing an emotional advertising strategy? The Leverage Marketing team specializes in creating campaigns that build lasting relationships between brands and their customers. Contact us today to learn what we can do for your company.