Posted on 26 November 2015
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is a widely implemented method for a business to increase the visibility and popularity of their website, and in turn their business. Despite SEO being highly effective, it certainly isn't easy. Search engines frequently update how the searches will be ranked, making it vital to optimise certain aspects of your website to increase your ranking.
Some people seem to think that a company can offer you the top spot on Google if you pay them enough money. This is one of the biggest myths of SEO, - no-one can guarantee this, as ranking not only depends on what you do, but also on changes the search engines make, as well as how competitive your area is and what your competitors do. If you are lucky to get the number one spot, staying there is a whole different matter.
You can pay Google through their AdWords scheme to appear on the first page of search results, or even at the top of the page in the paid area, but no-one can guarantee to get you to you first place on an organic search. Much less can they guarantee to keep you there.
That said, there is a lot you can do to increase your chances, and get as high up the rankings as possible. There are 7 main SEO activities which we believe can greatly improve your Google rankings:
One of the most important aspects of SEO is using the right keywords. It is very important that as a business you do some keyword research to investigate which keywords your potential customers are using to find you. It is a balancing act of weighing up which keywords have a higher search volume than others, whilst also having low competition. This is usually a trial and error process as your competitors will be doing the same. Using so-called "long tail" (ie: generate lower traffic per keyword, but there are many more of them) keywords has been seen as highly effective. These are those three and four keyword phrases which are very, very specific to what you are selling. Whenever a customer uses a highly specific search phrase, they tend to be looking for exactly what they are actually going to buy. So while you might not get as much traffic through these, they tend to convert into sales better than so-called "head" keywords, or the few keywords which generate the most traffic.
Technical optimisation of your site is also important for SEO. This makes sure that Google is able to read your website the way it was meant to be read because of the appropriate text and coding. Below are 5 tips on how to technically optimise your site:
In this day and age having a mobile responsive website is key. A responsive design makes your site compatible on mobile devices, tablets, and laptops. Depending upon your industry on average 40% of web traffic comes through a mobile device, so if your website isn't optimised for mobile, 40% of your potential customers aren't seeing your website at its full potential. Having a responsive design is sure to bring about better visibility and popularity, slowly increasing page rankings. Google is also actively favouring sites that are optimised for mobile devices, both in mobile and desktop search results, so the investment will pay off for SEO as well as converting potential customers.
It is all very well having a website that looks the part and it might even have lots of lovely content, but this is all irrelevant if the website isn't easy to use. The user should be able to find what they are looking for easily. If they can't then it doesn't make sense to the user, in turn increasing your site's bounce rate (bounce rate measure what % of your users leave the site after viewing only a single page).
Content should be labelled appropriately for the users so it is easy for them to find what they are looking for. The site's navigation should be clear and intuitive so that the users can easily navigate all the pages of your website, not just the homepage.
Finally, to retain your target audience's interest, make sure you include quality content with all the relevant keywords for what you're selling.
A lot of people don't understand why, after designing and developing a beautiful website, why they have to invest more money in frequently updating the content of their site. One of the prime focuses for SEO is good quality content with fresh and engaging information. To stay relevant in the Google rankings you need to be regularly changing your content. At IO42 we recommend at least monthly changes.
Other things we recommend to keep your site fresh:
If you don't have a blog already then get one, because uploading new content in your blog can help gain quality links and also increase the authority of the website.
It also lets existing and potential customers know that you are an authority in your sector.
Social Media and its ability for marketing your products or services has grown massively in popularity over recent years. An effective social media strategy will work wonders for your business, but only when you first understand your target audience and make use of a few specific social media channels where they are most active. It is also beneficial to try and connect to people/groups or pages that have lots of social media connections as this will mean your information will be shared quickly.
Link Building refers to the process of getting external pages to link to a page on your website. It's almost always the most challenging SEO activity, but also the one most critical to success. No two link building campaigns are the same, and the way you choose to build links depends as much upon your website as it does your personality. Below are three basic types of link acquisition: