Search engine optimisation, or SEO as it's commonly referred to, should be a key part of any active website marketing campaign. SEO involves several activities both on and off site that result in your website and it's pages ranking higher for targeted keyword phrases. Not to be confused with Pay Per Click advertising (or PPC), SEO targets organic search traffic which means the traffic it brings to your website doesn't cost a penny.
SEO is often referred to with a modicum of ambiguity as there’s no definitive guide to follow in order to achieve higher rankings, or even position number one, for any keyword phrase. As Search Engines constantly change their algorithms and ‘move the goal posts’, it’s up to experts like us to interpret these changes and ensure we’re employing the best methods possible to maximise return on investment for our Clients. Unlike PPC which can deliver instant traffic, SEO is an ongoing activity which can take between three to six months to start delivering consistent results for the targeted keyword phrases. Search Engines constantly update the algorithms they use to ‘judge’ relevant websites, so SEO should be part of your ongoing Online Marketing, to ensure your website stays up to date and doesn’t get penalised as a result of algorithm changes.
So what does SEO consist of you may ask….. well!
Research into the keyword phrases that are currently performing good/bad for your product or service and identifying a strategy that maximises return on investment.
Ensuring your website is built in a ‘search engine friendly’ manner from the ground up.
The content on each page of your website should be unique, relevant and easy to read. Search engine friendly ‘meta tags’ should also be present, with relevant and topic specific content.
Product and/or service pages are good for SEO but sometimes it’s necessary to create landing pages that are specifically targeted to a keyword phrase. Content landing pages or blog pages provide the perfect platform for this and have been proven to deliver positive results.
User experience is at the heart of website interactivity and makes the difference between a good website and a bad website. Search engines recognise this and reward websites that delivery content quickly to the user.
In November 2014 Google introduced the ‘Mobile Friendly’ tag to inform mobile users, at a search engine result page (SERP) level, that a website is mobile friendly. In April 2015 Google updated it’s algorithms to expand their use mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal for mobile searches, ensuring high quality search results that are optimised for their device.
A website’s true ‘size’ can be judged by the number of relevant links to pages on the site (called backlinks) that exist throughout the internet. These backlinks create the ‘spiders web’ network of relevant refers to your website and start to form the digital footprint that builds weight and relevancy for content on your website, and ultimately the website itself.
Having your business listed and recognised in search engine business directories such as Google My Business and Yahoo Listings improves your ranking for local searches and also helps users local to you quickly find key information such as a contact number of opening hours.
Social Media Presence
Google started to reward websites with a relevant Social Media presence around February 2014, so having regular, relevant content that links to your website on Social Media platforms contributes very strongly to your SEO performance.
SEO – Month on Month
When undertaking SEO for a Client our first steps are to complete a website audit and produce a keyword research report. The website audit assesses the suitability of the website for SEO and identifies what work needs to be done, if any, to ensure it’s compatible with Search Engines and can deliver the best results possible. A keyword research report will help us identify which keyword phrases are likely to deliver the best results for your product or service. This report goes ‘hand in hand’ with a website audit as it identifies the strongest keyword phrases to target and identifies any gaps in content the website may have, that need to be resolved. These activities form the majority of work completed in the first month of an SEO campaign. Subsequent months focus on creating and building on the network of links to your website as well as ensuring it’s content is both up to date and more importantly relevant.