Really Simply Guide to Search Engine OptimisationSEO, the art of increasing the visibility of your website on search engines to drive more traffic, sales and enquiries
Search engine optimisation is complex, yet many businesses still look at SEO as a do-once and forget activity. To truly succeed at search engine optimisation, on-going investment is essential to showcase your business to the world.
What is SEO
Almost every digital marketing topic touches on search engine optimisation activities in some way. SEO should not be seen as something that is simply bolted on afterwards in the sense “OK, we’ve done xyz, now go and optimise it for SEO”. This is the wrong approach and is unlikely to lead to any significant results.
Instead, what search engine optimisation is about is providing awesome content, resources and information to your customers and audience. This, along with a few technical considerations will work to show users that you are indeed a great website and business that people enjoy interacting with. Working towards this will mean that you will not only be pleasing users, but search engines too.
Search engine optimisation is a broad topic covering content marketing, website platforms, content management systems, analytics, tracking, social media, pay per click advertising, email marketing, video creation, promotion, branding and more. When SEO is truly integrated throughout your business, you will achieve awesome results.
Always remember, Google wants to drive traffic to the best and most relevant website on the internet about a specific topic when a potential customer is searching for your products and services online. Think, if you don’t fall into this category, why do you deserve any traffic at all?
Take a look through this interactive website from Google which outlines some of the finer details about how Google search works and how this fits in with search engine optimisation.
What SEO isn’t
Search engine optimisation isn’t simply just about adding a few keywords into the text on your website, anyone can do this. If it was that easy to be successful at SEO, then everyone would simply tweak a few words and have enormous results. No. SEO requires more effort to get great results. The more directed effort you put in, the better results you will have.
And no, Google+ doesn’t help with SEO. Read through our digital myth buster to learn the facts.
Your customers are searching online for your products and services. Are you being found when they do? Just because you can see your website ranking highly on Google when you search online, does not mean that this is what your customers will see. This is one of the biggest misconceptions that we hear businesses talk about, there is more to SEO than simply ranking number 1, to the point whereby there is no real thing as ranking number 1 as Google understands the context of the searcher including where they are based (location), what they have searched for previously and their behaviour on different websites. This is why it is important to understand your customers before jumping in and playing around with SEO.
Keyword Research is the process that allows you to identify clearly what your customers are and aren’t searching for online. You never have to guess what your customers are thinking, instead find out the facts and make informed decisions about where your business is heading. Simply use the Google Keyword Planner Tool which is available within Google AdWords.
Search engine optimisation requires extremely good onsite optimisation to succeed. This covers a lot of topics ranging from content, technical items, content management systems and more. There are a lot of opportunities to help both users and search engines understand your products, services and website content easier. Ranging from obvious items such as making sure that your content can be easily found by users, to the more technical items such as canonicals and rel=next and rel=prev.
Offsite search engine optimisation has been focused on quite heavily by large brands in previous years, often with disastrous results due to them focusing on tricking the search engines rather than genuinely trying to create a better product or service for their customers. If you are heading out to simply build links for the search engines, then you are on to a penalty, which is why we no longer build links for clients.
Instead, to succeed in offsite SEO, it is important to provide valuable information, trends, reports, blog posts, resources and guides on your website that your customers naturally want to share with the world. When you get those things right, links will naturally come for your website. You can nudge this in the right direction by making the connections and promoting your awesome content to the right audience, but always remember, it has to start with the content on your website.
Search engine optimisation requires a large amount of sustained effort to succeed. If you are thinking about just tweaking a few things and dipping your toes in, then you are not going to get anywhere. Serious results takes serious effort. It’s time to stop tinkering with things and giving your digital marketing strategy a serious overhaul.