Check out Mason Digital’s Director of Inbound Marketing sharing some steps to implement a SEO program to help you create solution-driven optimized content, engage customers and maximize your business success.


Good morning. I’m Carly Layton. I’m very excited to be here with you at the Collaborate Summit. Hopefully you’re starting off your day with this great event, and I’m going to be talking with you about how no one is finding your website and three simple ways you can fix it. I’ll take you through the agenda, we’ll jump right into the content, and then hopefully, get out a Q&A afterwards to answer any questions you might have.

So, today I’ll tell you just a little bit about me, so you know who’s presenting to you and where the information is coming from. I’ll talk about how telling your story isn’t enough. You’re going to hear from a lot of people today about how to tell your story, which is critical. It’s not the only thing that’s critical, though, so we’ll talk a bit about that, the three simple steps laid out right there for you, and then the Q&A.

So, a little bit about me. My name is Carly Layton. I am currently the Director of Content and Inbound Marketing at Mason Digital. I have been the Director of Marketing and Communication at two big non-profits here in Rochester: United Way of Greater Rochester and Hillside Family of Agencies. Before that, I was a Vice President of Public Relations for an international PR firm in Manhattan. The letters by my name mean that I became a certified project management professional last year. Happy to talk to any of you if you have questions about that. 

What qualifies me to talk about this? Well, I do this every day at my job. I also work with nonprofits throughout the country to help them with their sites and help people find their sites better. So I’ve been doing a lot of work again with non-profits through an agency that helps them get some free support for marketing and other things they need.

Telling Your Story Isn’t Enough

Okay, so telling your story isn’t enough. As you’ve probably seen if you looked at every opportunity to see a speaker today, a lot of speakers are talking about how to tell a story, how to prepare a story, how to edit your story. And so stories obviously are critical. Non-profits, for profits; telling your story is really important. You want to engage people. 

The problem is that you have to have this deep understanding of your offering, and then you also need to know what your audience is looking for. And that gets you to a great story. You have those pieces pulled together. You’ve written it all, you’ve put it all on your website, which is great. But making sure people find your story is really just as important, if not slightly more important because if nobody’s finding it, it doesn’t really matter what’s on the screen.

So it doesn’t matter if your site is wonderfully designed and you have the best-written content, if no one’s finding it when they search. And that is how most people find information, through search and mainly through Google. That’s why onsite content and SEO really does need to be a critical piece of your marketing strategy and your marketing puzzle, figuring how that fits in. A lot of times it’s ignored. It’s said, “Oh, that’s easy. It’s not a big deal.” But really, it is. When you do it right and more people find your site, and not just more people, but more of the right people, more of your prospects, more people that are going to engage with you in the way you want them to.

How to Get Your Website Found in 3 Simple Steps

So, two things go into that strategy: SEO tool stack, which we’ll talk about, and then brains that look at that data, understand your offering, understand how prospects are engaging with your content, and then put it together into a plan that helps grow engagement on the website. And we’re going to walk through all of this, and you’re going to be all set to, to start on this journey.

Okay, so, now you have realized you have this issue. People aren’t finding your site or maybe you don’t realize it, but I can probably tell you if you haven’t optimized your site. If you haven’t paid attention to onsite content, they’re probably not. So how do we get you there?

Step #1: Conducting an SEO Audit

The first step is an SEO audit. And for those of you that don’t know, search engine optimization is SEO. I’ll probably say both terms throughout. So, first thing’s first, for an SEO audit. Do you need special tools to do an SEO audit? You do. You do need some tools. A lot of them are online, a lot of them are free, but you definitely need some tools. 

Step #2: Conduct a Content Audit

So we ran through that. That’s your first thing you’re going to do. You’re going to look at all these very technical search engine optimization things that you can do to change them. And a lot of times what we’ll find is, we’ll have to write over a thousand H tags or meta descriptions because a lot of times people don’t do them. So this is something that you really want to get your technical SEO in a good place. Because it’s going to do a lot of work for you while you’re potentially fixing some on site content.

Step #3: Take Action to Get Your Website Found

So we’re on to step three. You’ve done all these audits. You have reams and reams of paper with all this research. You know where you’re going. What do you do next? Take action. Do you need special tools? You do not. Can you do it by yourself? Depends. It depends on your team, your resources, whether that’s people or money. It depends on how much time you have. It depends on what you’re actually going to be doing.

Story Starter “Cheats”

Invite staff, members of your community that you serve, other local officials or partners to provide content. This is a good opportunity for audio and/or video if you have that capability. You can increase your page depth of existing topics with additional content. So always, whatever your area of interest is, just think about that. Fact and fiction. Your area of interest and … Anything going on! COVID, families, mental health. Whatever makes sense. How to get help if you’re experiencing this issue. The path to this and how to address it. The benefits of it. The area at a certain holiday, at a certain time of the year. Any of these things are good ideas to make content.

You could also search keyword terms and refer to that “people always ask” section. It usually comes up about a fourth of the way down the page on Google. And you can see here, I did some about nature, and it was “People also ask: How do you get into more nature?” Write a blog that says “How do I get into more nature?”. Write about it if that’s what you’re talking about. And you’re answering a question that people always ask and most of them will recognize that.

You’re going to use specific words. Position a lot of your titles as a question because that’s really how people search, right? “How do I”, “ways to”. Those are some good formats. Consider taking action by adding sections to the pages or new sections based on this topic. So maybe you have a really strong topic and you can write a whole section based on that with lots of different pieces of content.

And then, again, look at other organizations like yours throughout the country and see what content they’re posting. I’m not saying to steal the content, but the ideas are probably pretty evergreen. And you can take that idea and say how it works for your organization and your area.

You Totally Got This

So, the three steps, again: do an SEO audit, do a content audit, and take action. You totally got this. It’s going to make people find your site. All that work you put into your site means that people are going to find it, be able to engage with you, and hopefully become a customer or a sponsor, or whatever you’re looking for to engage.