Did you know that nearly 60% of all web traffic comes from Google? There is a lot of competition in this busy space.
Bearing this in mind, you have no excuse for ignoring SEO. Don’t panic, it’s not half as complicated as it sounds. Mastering SEO will boost your business profile and attract more online traffic, so bear with us and read on for a quick how-to guide.
What is SEO?
Let’s begin with a brief, straightforward explanation. SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is the act of taking steps to ensure your organic content ranks highly on Google and other search engines. By optimising your content, your web page is more likely to appear in the top one or two results pages (because who looks beyond those?). As SEO relies on organic ranking, not paid advertising, it’s an easy, low cost way to ensure your content gets seen.
Yes, it’s fairly straightforward but you do need to demonstrate some skill when optimising your content. You may have heard of keyword stuffing, the process where sites jam targeted words and phrases into their web pages and meta descriptions to boost search visibility? Well, Google has cottoned on to this badly worded practice, but with a little finesse and research, you can optimise your content so that it reads well, without being penalised by Google.
Bear in mind that Google is a fickle beast and you could easily get caught up in ‘beating’ its algorithms. Instead, take the time to focus on growing your brand by producing clear, engaging content.
How to Optimise Your Content
Start with Quality Content
When people search for something on Google, they want a quality result and they’ll assume the top results are the best results. Why? Because Google searches for top quality content and when it finds it, it will push it to the top of your search results page. By doing this, Google builds trust and you can do the same by creating top notch authentic content. Do this by answering questions and solving problems: giving users what they need. Because why else do we hit Google?
Understand your Users
To guarantee your site ranks well in search engine results, you first need to understand your users. By building a well-rounded customer profile you can create content that will reach your target audience and provide solutions to their problems. One way to do this is by analysing your social media engagement. Build a picture of the types of people that engage depending on the platform, topic and the date and time you post.
Forget Walls of Text
Recognising that users have short attention spans will make it easy to replace walls of text for blocks of interesting content, interspersed with appropriate images, headings and subheadings.
Direct your User
You’ve optimised your web page but there’s nowhere for the user to go. What will they do? They’ll leave. Make sure each and every page has an action attached. Whether that’s a link to a product or a ‘contact us’ button, you want to retain their interest, not push them into the arms of a competitor.
Go Back in Time
Google hates stale content. So, take some time to trawl through your old blogs and check that they contain fresh, up-to-date information with the latest statistics and findings. The same applies to your website content; ensure your links are active and your copy is appropriate, incorporates calls to action and addresses customer pain points.
Research your Keywords
Yes, keywords and phrases are still very much needed but caution is advised. Stuffing in keywords will render your copy unreadable and it won’t impress Google. There are online tools that can help you find keywords for your business. When performing keyword research, input the URL of a top-ranking competitor into the tool to see what keywords they’re using.
If your business is relatively new you’ll have to work harder to convince Google that you’re the real deal. Throwing in common keywords won’t necessarily bump you up the ratings. Earn your spot at the top by learning exactly what your customers are searching for in the first instance. For example, if you’re a florist you’ll want to use phrases like ‘buy a bouquet online’ or ‘send flowers’, rather than ‘bouquet arrangement’. Why? The latter phrase won’t necessarily identify an online florist; it could come from a ‘how to make a bouquet arrangement’ flower arranging site. It’s all in the research.
In conclusion, it pays to take the time to whip your website and social media content into shape. There are lots of handy online SEO guides that won’t blind you with science, so take a punt and with a bit of work, you’ll soon find yourself on page one.
Don’t be tempted to let things fester; if it means subcontracting someone to update your web content on a regular basis, then do it. We have experts in-house who can optimise your content in a jiffy; just get in touch.