So what is SEO?
Search Engine Optimization is anything that attempts to improve search engine rankings. Search engines display links to pages that it considers relevant and authentic to the user. They measure this by analysing the number of links and quality of the links from other web pages. Any webpage has the potential to rank high on sites such as Google as long as other web pages link to them - Find out Why link building is important.
Knowing your customers
The key to any good digital marketing campaign is to get to know your customers characteristics. This includes geographic, demographic and psychographic variables also known as IAO Variables (Interests, Activities, and Opinions). Your digital marketing efforts will become more powerful the more you know about your audience!
Customers can be people who already take an interest in your product / service, or a potential new customer who is in need of your merchandise. There are around 50 different types of customers including B2B (Business to Business), B2C (Business to Customer) and Loyal customers who regularly purchase from your company.
Conducting Market Research is crucial to obtain as much information as possible about your target group which will later allow you to create personas. Generally most companies will put around 3 months of research into their company. Another very powerful means is researching social networks, also known as Social Listening.
This allows us to monitor our customers on a much closer scale and discover exactly what is being said about our brand or competitors and generally anything that is relevant to our business. After gathering all of your data from your research, you should be able to understand what customers are interested in, how much they are willing to pay, and hopefully build a loyal relationship with them.
So why use SEO?
There are many key benefits of using SEO, one being that it makes your website easy for users and search engines to understand and interpret. No matter how intelligent search engines have become, they still struggle to interpret webpages the same way us humans can! This ensures the we get the right visitors to our website with ease which can then lead to expanding our business’ profits and customer directory.
Websites will effectively contain more relevant information for that persons search, however it is crucial to keep your website up to date. If your website is outdated, you probably won’t come up on search engines as your information may not be of any relevance anymore.
Facts for using SEO
In 1993 a single patron stuck gum to the wall of a nearby alley of Seattle Theatresports, Unexpected Productions. Not long after this, passer-by's followed suit sticking gum on this same wall. This ultimately created a Gum Wall which became the second most germiest tourist attraction after the Blarney Stone.
One single piece of chewing gum is thought to be a nuisance, however hundreds of thousands of pieces created a tourist attraction. On the online world, we don’t stand out with one single piece of chewing gum, instead we need to create ourselves a Gum Wall. A collection of relevant and effective content that can attract visitors from different types of search's.
We can make our website an attraction for searchers too! All we need is a blend of effective pages and ensuring we create unique content to attract links and share our website through social media.
- 93% of users come to an organization’s website through search engines
- 50% of visitors are more likely to click a result if the brand appears multiple times in search engine results
- Search engines drive 300% more traffic to sites than social media
How to identify the right keywords
Keywords are simply the words that we type into a search engine when looking for a product or service. When companies create their websites, they assign keywords to certain pages to ensure they come up on search engines when users type that specific word in. Therefore selecting your keywords is a crucial part of SEO. The more relevant your keywords are to your product or service, the more likely people will find your website. Be mindful of local language when selecting which words to use.
A word for one culture may mean something different to another, for example, Tea is controversially associated with the working class and is typically eaten between 5pm and 7pm. Whereas upper class social classes are said to associate tea with a hot dish followed by cakes, bread, butter and jam. Detail like this would have been collected through your market research which will help you to target your specific audience with the correct keywords.
In the Digital Marketing world there are two types of keywords, Long Tail keywords use more words when conducting your search and generates a high conversion rate but less search volume. Typically they are more than 3 words in length and not as broad as the results of short tail.
Short Tail is the use of less words and creates a much lower conversion rate yet higher search volume. Short Tail keywords are 3 words or less, also known as Head Terms. These tend to be the first 3 words we think of when considering the product or service in mind. Typically you should aim for Short Tail when putting together your list of keywords.
Short vs Long Tail
In the graph above we can clearly see the effect between using Short Tail and Long Tail. We can also see Middle Tail which is similar to Short Tail however we use more specific keywords.
Designing content on your website
When creating your website, it is important to remember that the visitor comes first! With this in mind, you must ensure that you are consistent with your design, layout and colour scheme. Your pages should be clear to navigate throughout to ensure your customers don’t loose interest and deter.
Apart from the content itself, the most important element on a page is the title. The page title sits at the top of your browser on the tab which is what shows up when searching on Google.
Use conventional English when creating your copy for your pages. This means using easy words that everyone can understand to ensure maximum customer satisfaction.
It is important to provide as much relevant information as possible for your product or service. One way to determine if your content is relevant for your users is by creating a welcoming blog page for customers to leave their feedback. Another way Is by checking analytics to see where people are leaving your pages and which ones are leading to your landing page.
When designing content avoid using jargon as this can denote between making a sale or loosing a potential customer. If you are selling B2B then this may not be the case as both party’s may understand such technical terms.
It is good practice to have a page to emphasise your companies key values, this is usually the ‘About Us’ page which would state your terms and values. An example of this would be ‘We are very passionate about our customers’ or ‘We will get back to customers within 48 hours’.
We as individuals enjoy nice looking things so with this in mind, try to make your content as attractive as possible. If colours are too heavy on our eyes we naturally deter away so instead use enjoyable colours that complement each other and are easy to look at and read. It is also important to make colours accessible for everyone and this includes disabled people too.
Imagery for your website
When using imagery, try to tell your story through them and try to be selective when choosing what images to use for your website. By this we mean having real, personal, unique pictures and avoid using stock imagery as much as possible!
Finally always check and test your website before going live! Make sure everything is perfect before launch to avoid any mishaps which could greatly effect potential profit. If you have any questions in mind for your customers, this creates the perfect opportunity to test the market and discover what works.
Mobile friendly optimisation
Optimizing for mobile basically means visitors who access your site from a mobile device can do so with ease. Mobile usage worldwide has grown to 52.1% compared to desktop at 44.2%, with this in mind it is important to make our websites mobile friendly!
There are many benefits of having mobile friendly website such as generally improving user experience. There is an improved search for SEO performance and it is also a much more flexible and cost-effective alternative compared to app development.
- 40% of people search only on a smartphone
- Nearly 80% of internet usage is expected to have been mobile in 2018
Create an engaging website full of valuable content and make sure to target the right audience for your business. Ensure your website is easy to use so your customers have access to information they need quickly. Lastly, don't forget to do keyword research for your product or services and include these words naturally into your web pages.