If you ask most companies about their marketing plans, you will often see the four main digital marketing activities right at the top of each strategy: Website, PPC, SEO, and Social Media. If you ask the same company which activity they are most unsure of- in terms of exactly how to get it right- they will probably say SEO.
What exactly is SEO?
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is the process of improving and optimising your website in order for it to rank in a high position in the search engine results.
How does it work?
Understanding how Google works is the first step. We all know the complicated, secret code of Google algorithms is the key to hitting top spots in both paid and organic rankings. SEO is a way to work with these codes to ensure your website appears as high up as possible for your chosen search terms in the organic results.
Google wants to show the most trusted and useful sites in the top spaces so searchers gets a better user experience and continue to search with them. The more traffic coming to your website indicates you are a trustworthy company, and the longer people stay on your site indicates your website is valuable so it will show your website more times and higher in the ranks.
There is one caveat…Google has got clever. Google will penalise websites that have been over optimised with bad links and way too many keywords. So bare this in mind, quality over quantity is key!
How do we do SEO?
Now we understand what optimisation is for, let us have a look at what we need to do. SEO can be split into two categories, the on-site and the off-site SEO.
On-site SEO involves deep analysis of a whole website to look for optimisation opportunities. This includes a whole range of technical factors including title tags, H1 tags, meta descriptions and more to ensure that a website will provide a good user experience and tick the search engine boxes. Focus keywords need to be established so you can optimise your pages for the terms you want to be ranking for.
You may have heard the phrase ‘content, content, content’ chucked around, but it really is key to a successful SEO strategy. Blogs, videos, eBooks, How-To guides keep visitors on your site for longer, plus show search engines that you regularly update your website with fresh and relevant information. Also it’s worth remembering that the better content you write, the more you’ll have blogs and articles shared on social media! It’s a win win.
Off-site SEO is all about building brand awareness and social connections to boost your online profile. Link building is one of the main factors of off-site S
EO, although it has been quite a controversial topic and something many companies still have a hard time understanding. Here is some simple advice:
Whitehat links – are friendly and appear natural
Blackhat links – are naughty, spammy and should be avoided
The best way to think about link building is to find trusted companies to work with. You could ask to guest blog for them and link it back to your website. Ask relevant publications to link to you, perhaps you can form a budding partnership? There are many ways to build links but keep partners of a high quality or you won’t achieve what you need.
SEO is a long term commitment
The keen marketers who have staying power and can wait for amazing results will really embrace the depths of SEO and why they should use it in their marketing plan. Despite its complexities, once you have the key basics and begin to create quality content (and keep doing it), SEO will become a key metric in your Marketing success report. We strongly believe it is an essential part of every successful business marketing plan.