Getting your website’s Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) right is an essential step for any brand investing in a long term digital strategy. Whilst Pay Per Click (PPC) can give you an immediate and perhaps more measurable return a clever well designed SEO strategy can be a much cheaper and more effective longer term strategy. If your new to SEO here are a few tips to get you started.
Understand who you are trying to reach
Who is the target market and what are they searching for? Are you trying to sell them a product now or create brand awareness? These are questions you need to answer before you can decide on what keywords to target your SEO towards. For example if you run a website www.footblister.com.au and want to sell shoes to runners today you will want to target the direct keywords that are sale related for example “Trail Running Shoes sale” or “Trail Running Shoes cheap” if you are trying to create a brand awareness then you will want to target keywords around and provide content for keywords that are interesting to Trail runners such as “5 Great Trail runs”.
Design for SEO 1st
Once you’ve decided on a target set of keywords then you need to design your website in a structured way to target them. Get out your site map and allocate your keywords to individual pages. Yes that’s right one big long scrolling page is not going to cut it. From an SEO perspective a tree structure where pages become more detailed as you go down the tree will help. For example if our website www.footblister.com.au was targeting trail running they might go for a structure like the following
www.footblister.com.au/running/ – Which discusses running in general
www.footblister.com.au/running/trail-running/ – Which discusses trail running in detail
www.footblister.com.au/running/trail-running/5-great-trail-runs/ Which discusses local trail runs
All of these pages would link to each other and have a breadcrumb to organise them which will make it easy for both Search Engines and Humans alike to navigate the site. It’s not necessarily the words in the URL that matter it’s the clear structure with increasing level of detail.
SEO is Not Just The Keywords
Getting your keyword ranking as high as possible and getting “free” clicks is great. However, if your traffic isn’t converting then it doesn’t matter how high your ranked. Spending time early on reducing your bounce rates and increasing the conversion rates of your targeted landing pages will magnify the returns. Most importantly you need to be tracking the metrics of bounce rates and conversion rates over time and constantly making improvements in your pages and measuring your progress. There are some great online tools such as Hotjar and FullStory which you should take a look at.
Build Those Backlinks … Naturally!
Link building is a crucial step in the SEO process. However, you need a proper strategy to grow your backlinks in a natural organic way. Listing your site in a dumping ground of directory sites alone won’t cut it and buying links is against google’s guidelines. If you get it really wrong Google may view your link-building tactics as spam and penalise your website.
The most important factor in creating good backlinks is creating original, engaging content that connects with its intended audience. The next is promoting that content so that possible referrers see it and share it. Post links to your quality content on social media and Boost them, get people engaging. Let’s face it if nobody sees the content in the first place nobody is going to share it.
Another great place to get good quality backlinks is review sites and icons of your industry. If you’ve got a great product and good quality content get in touch with the reviewers and industry leaders and ask them to share what your doing.
Don’t forget friends and industry partners. Ask the people you know to link to you. Relevance matters so links from industry partners are a great source of relevant backlinks.
If your having trouble identifying opportunities for SEO backlinks try using a backlink checker such as SEMRush to see where your competitors are currently linked.
Monitor the Trends
Don’t fall into the trap of a set-it-and-forget it approach to SEO. You need to be monitoring your ranking (SERP) for your target keywords on a weekly basis and reviewing movements critically. If your dropping down the SEO rankings you need to identify why. Check out whos gone above you and figure out what they have done.
Further to this you need to not only monitor where you sit for your keywords but which keywords people are searching for to find your products. These trends change over time and you need to know which keywords are becoming more or less popular and target appropriately. Targeting less frequently searched keywords with less competition can be a great opportunity.
As with all aspects of digital marketing there are plenty of good online tools to help you both monitor your positions and also identifying keywords to target. Take a look at Google Trends and Google Adwords to help identify Keywords to target and look at commercial tools such as SerpYou and SEMRush to monitor how your going.
There’s a lot you need to know about getting your SEO strategy right. Hopefully these tips will help.
If you’ve got some ideas or suggestion or want to give us a backlink 😉 Let us know in the comments below.
If your looking for other marketing ideas please see our 5 Digital Marketing Tactics article.