Website content usually refers to text and image content included within pages for visitors to read.
So you’re writing some fantastic, high quality content and you’re regularly posting it to your social media channels. Yet despite everything, you still don’t see your website at the top of Google. What could you possibly be doing wrong?
The most likely reason is that you haven’t fully optimised your content for search engines. Yes the content itself may be great, but if other bloggers are writing mediocre content that is fully optimised, they will always have a slight edge and better chance of ranking near the top.
So here are the top reasons why your business needs to get on board with search engine optimisation (SEO) and how your other marketing efforts can benefit.
SEO is a form of inbound marketing. It’s preferable above other types of offline advertising because it continues to offer rewards for the effort you put into SEO content writing long after the blog post is published. It can also work out more cost-effective than other forms of online marketing such as Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising, social media marketing and email marketing. But perhaps best of all, you want to be enjoying the best visibility possible for the content you have spent so much time writing.
PPC and social media may boost your revenue and showcase your brand image, it’s SEO that remains the backbone of your online presence, constantly working hard behind the scenes and marrying seamlessly into your other digital marketing efforts.
SEO is also favourable because it’s largely invisible and sympathetic to searchers needs: if you have optimised your site and blog post well, hopefully it will rank for the types of questions a searcher might be entering to find an answer to their question. You become a type of answerbank, and in this regard both your aims and those of Google’s become the same. Separate studies have also shown people are more willing to trust the quality of accuracy of organic search results over paid (or sponsored) Google AdWords.
SEO does the hard part for you by getting potential customers through the door, it’s then your job to convince them that you’re the best business to fulfil their needs.
In the SEO world, it’s no secret that Google rules. This search engine holds credibility and the trust in the search results it delivers. It’s a natural assumption that those businesses at the top of the SERPs are the most relevant and trustworthy for the searchers phrase, while those at the bottom are probably less so.
But what helps Google trust your website? As well as considering the keywords you want to rank for, you have to consider things like backlinks, links to other websites, traffic volumes, easy and user friendly web page navigation, ensuring none of your websites pages contain errors, and more recently, attention to how fast your web pages load, SSL certificates and more.
Keep on top of all these factors and you’ll be in good stead to beat the competition by showing you’re a credible company with a trustworthy website.
An unoptimised site will find it more difficult for customers to find you – compared with the same site when fully optimised. And it will prove particularly difficult to attract those who didn’t already know they needed your products and services.
This is why Keyword Research is a vital step to ensuring your blog post can attract the type of traffic looking for the content you are providing. It gives you a straw poll of the types of searches people do when attempting to answer the sort of questions you may be writing about. Like many forms of advertising, it’s both based on intuition and educated guesswork. While you may feel you know all types phrases people might search for, there will always be that one person out there who would say: “That’s funny, I would have searched for … instead.” And they are not wrong, hence why keyword research is necessary. Both to analyse the levels of search volume on the phrases you know about, and to highlighting any alternative keyword opportunities you may not even have considered when writing the post in the first place!
To put this into another context,if you had a high-street store selling discounted mountaineering equipment you’re much more likely to be successful by opening it in the Lake District where there is a constant footfall of your target customers, rather than opening it on London’s Bond Street next to a Prada and simply assuming people will come inside.
SEO is a long term commitment and in order to see true success from it you need to continue monitoring and tweaking your approach as you would with any other marketing strategy.
Google Analytics is an invaluable SEO tool allowing historic and realtime analysis of traffic to your site. It gives you all the detail you need to identify sales funnels, your visitors behaviour including how they found you and in some cases what they searched for. It is also not limited to organic searches, but will also give you a detailed analysis of any active PPC campaigns you may also have.
So don’t lose out on customers simply because you don’t fully understand search engine optimisation, or assume it takes more time and money than you have to spare to get it off the ground. Some things are intuitive and, as the site owner, you may be best placed to understand your searchers habits and needs.
Our team of SEO experts can conduct a complete SEO audit of your website and identify what tweaks can offer a world of difference to your rankings and site traffic. If you are interested in ramping up traffic, increasing your sales leads and enjoying the full benefit of the content you’ve carefully written, you should get in touch with us today!
Before you embark on any online marketing, it is vital to ensure your site website meets certain requirements. Otherwise it’s likely that much of the marketing benefit is wasted and you won’t get the results you need. In order to avoid wasting your marketing budget, you need to make sure your website is in a fit enough shape to begin this exercise.
So without further ado, here is a checklist you need to consider when carrying out an SEO website audit:
These are the meta tags within the head of your websites code which guide search engines to understand the topics the page discusses. Typically, most search engines will supply this text along with a link to your website in the search results. For many potential visitors, this text may be their first glimpse of your website, which is why it’s key to get these right!
Ideally the text within your pages should use phrases you would like to rank for – but not all will be equal. Headings will have more influence than the rest of the text. By ensuring the ideal keyword density (around 3-5% for important phrases) you can expect to get better rankings in search engines.
There is no need to highlight that content should be unique and shouldn’t be repeated neither on other websites nor on the pages of the same website.
Each page on your website should have a single URL. If there are several URLs for one and the same page, for example /article/ and /blog/article, than the crawler can treat it as having duplicate content and lower the position of both pages.
There are several approaches to the problem. The first one would be to avoid indexing one of those pages. This can be done with the help of robots.txt or using a nofollow tag in the header.
Another way to solve the problem is to use rel=”canonical” with a link to the page you need. In such a way search engines will know which page is the primary resource and will index it.
The speed of your website is a very important factor. Google and other search engines care about user convenience and thus, lower the position of slow websites. Moreover, users won’t wait for too long.
It has been estimated that if it takes more than 5 seconds for a page to load, most users will close it before its content will show up.
There are several aspects as to the website speed, including the amount of graphic elements and their optimisation, hosting overload, and the speed of site code. In addition, cache and compression setting also affect site speed. There is a great Google service with the help of which you can check the site speed, notably Page Speed Insights.
How easy your site is for search engine crawlers to index is one thing, but ensuring your visitors have the best experience possible, will assist them in finding what they have come for, which in turn will help your website have the best conversion rate it can. When a user comes to your website, they should be able to intuitively understand where they need to go. Users must understand where the necessary information is placed. If speaking about landing page, which aims to sell a service or a product, the button “buy” or “order” should be found in the most convenient area.
There are many services that provide A/B split testing that will help you determine where it is more effective to place certain elements on the page. This method is focused on taking some users to an alternate version of the page. After a while, when you have enough data, you can analyse which version works better (lower bounce rate and higher percentage of sales). Thus, you can check how effective a new design is before making it the basic design of the website.
This is not a complete checklist. But if you go through all the above mentioned steps, it will definitely minimise the difficulties of promoting a website.
One of the biggest issues business people will often raise about their website, is not being able to see their website in the search rankings (SERPS). Perhaps understandably, many will want to find effective ways of appear at the top of the first search page in order to maximise visibility. What they often overlook, is why their website is not performing as it should. Website owners need to perform an analysis on why their site is not ranking high in search and not converting more visitors to leads and leads to customers. In others words, their site needs a check up. The successful approach to this, is to have a fully comprehensive website audit. This should be done before you embark on any site changes as much of the feedback will guide both the user interface (UI) and also content and SEO changes that may be needed to ensure the best rankings possible for these search terms.
There are four aspects of auditing a website which include content and SEO health, code security and page load speed are among the most important. An SEO audit will give you an idea of how your website functions for the crawlers and search engines, how it appears in the search results (SERPS) and how you’re focusing your SEO efforts. Are you concentrating on impressing search engines or your visitors? Are you executing some SEO strategies poorly? For instance, are you using the right keywords or are you using them correcting or incorrectly, such as stuffing them into places where they don’t make sense.
There are over 20 areas of concern when you perform a technical assessment on your website. While there is not enough space to go through all of them here, let’s list some of the more important ones.
· Error messages – Is your site error message free or do visitors get error notices, such as 404 notices. Do they contain any temporary or permanent redirects, such as 301 or 302 notices.
· URL issues – Are they too long or contain characters that do not belong. Keyword stuffing your URL will hurt, not help when it comes to SEO. A good rule of thumb is to ask the question “Can I tell what this page is about by reading the URL”. If the answer is yes, you’re in good shape. URL’s should not contain dynamic characters (#,<,>,&,%,$, etc.). if you do use them, keep in mind that each character has a specific use and you must be sure you are using them correctly. The symbol # is ignored by search engines.
· Links – Links are the most important facet of SEO and are an article by themselves. For now, external links should be relevant to your site and authoritative by nature.
· Meta tags (Title, Description and Keywords) – Meta titles are the blue line you click on a search results page (i.e. Google Search) to be redirected to a site. They should contain the keyword, be 50 to 70 characters in length and be unique to the page. Each page should have its own title. The Description is similar. Make them unique to the page, do not stuff keywords. They should contain contact information. A geo qualifier is important, i.e. Milford CT. Use more than 140 characters but less than 156. Meta keywords are ignored by most search engines so go ahead and ignore them as well. Be sure to limit them to 8 words and less than 100 characters if you decide to use them.
· Other places to look at in a technical SEO analysis include: h1, h2 tags, alt tags, images, anchor text, robots, file size, page depth level, internal links, site maps, bot crawling, and follow, no follow.
Ensuring the technical aspects of your site are correct and up to date is important, but site content must be examined too. The first question to ask is “Is the content on this page high quality?” Put yourself in your visitor’s shoes and ask “Did my questions get answered? Was it easy to find what I was looking for? Was the information valuable? Was the material well written?” Answering no to any of these questions should motivate you to make improvements.
From an SEO perspective, the keyword for each page should appear in the top headline (h1 tag). This alerts the search engines to what this page is about. Every page should have its own keyword. Put the keyword at the top of the first paragraph and then use it only when it makes sense to do so. If you have images, and you should, put the keyword in the alt tag as well as a word or two that describes the picture.
Once more visitors are seeing your site, are you maximised to get leads? For instance, how easy is it to navigate the site? Are your main value propositions appropriately displayed to get the most attention? Is your site free of distractions? For instance, you should never have a link that takes the visitor away from your site. If you do have outgoing links, make sure they open up in a new window. Are your Calls-To-Action clear and easy to follow?
Websites audits can be challenging, and we would not recommend that website owners attempt this themselves, we recommend employing a team that specialise in this service such as Audit My Website in Website Audit.