What is SEO?
There are a ton of marketing terms you’ll have heard of whether you work within the marketing universe or not. In fact, even some marketers will admit there are acronyms they’ve never seen before or ones they struggle to explain. In this ‘What Is’ series we’ll be debunking popular marketing terms and giving you our tips on how to use them to stay on top of your game.
We’re starting with the big SEO. Now, SEO is an acronym you might have seen before and as a novice, chosen to skim past because it sounds a little scary. But it’s used a lot in the marketing world and for good reason. So, what does it mean and how do you do it?
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation and despite the long name, it’s meaning is pretty simple. In short, it’s a marketing strategy used to drive traffic to your business and increase your brands visibility. SEO does that by using keywords to rank your website higher in organic search results via search engines like Google, Bing or Yahoo.
Search Engine Optimisation is one of the most effective ways to increase the number of visitors to your website and is the best way to create a long-lasting impression with your audience. If your copy is always bang on with SEO and people are getting the answers, products, and services they are looking for through your business each time they search, they’ll keep coming back. And long-term strategies in marketing are essential. This explains why there has been a surge in organic marketing and why more businesses are focused on getting their SEO strategy right. So how do you start?
How to approach Search Engine Optimisation
There’s lots of information out there on SEO, so much so that it can be a little intimidating. Arguably, one of the most important factors to good SEO is keyword research. Keywords are the very things that allow you to be found online and when used correctly, can significantly increase your website traffic. So, when building your SEO strategy, it’s vital you keep keywords in mind when preparing your content.
To find those all-important keywords you need to do some digging and discover what it is your audience is typing or are likely to type, into their search bar.
You’ll need to make a list of keywords relevant to your brand which you can do by comparing competitor websites as well as a good keyword research tool like the free ‘keywords everywhere’ or ‘uber suggest’. You can then work these keywords into your website content to ensure that your online presence is full of relevant information that will draw your prospective customers to your site.
Key Website Fields for SEO
Likewise, you should look at your title tags (the title of a page users see in the search results or on the tab at the top of your browser) and see if they can be more specific. A small tweak can make a big difference. If your keyword terms are too general, your page content may not be relevant to the user that lands on your site and they are likely to make a quick exit. This can have a knock on effect on your website ‘bounce rate’ causing it to increase (the measure of how quickly users leave your site after they have landed on it). It is important to make sure your keywords are relevant to your business or sector. You can also add in terms such as geographic locations to ensure that the right people can find you easily.
Other areas of a web page to consider placing your keywords include the page or ‘meta’ description (which shows up in the search results under the page title) and also the headings throughout your page content, with your main heading being prioritised as H1 and subheadings as H2 and so on. These are the first areas that a search engine will ‘crawl’ to find relevant websites to match the user’s search. You need to ensure that the words flow naturally and that you are not just cramming in key terms, as search engines can recognise this and it could provide a negative result. You also need to consider how your meta data appears in the search by keeping your page titles and descriptions succinct. The optimal number of characters for a page description is 160.
Other SEO Tips to Consider
By making your website content relevant, you’re already half way there, but there are a few other things you can try to convince a search engine that your website is a reliable source of information. This can include:
- Producing back links to your website, which means that there are hyperlinks from other sites that refer people to your site.
- Update your website regularly by adding blogs or other new and relevant website content for your business.
- Utilise Google My Business to ensure that your business information is listed in full and that your prospective customers can find you easily.
- Ensure your website loading speed is low so that users do not become impatient waiting for your site pages to load. You can do this by optimising the size of visual content and ensuring your site is built correctly. A good free tool to measure this is GTMetrix.
- Include links between pages to help people navigate your site more efficiently, whilst ensuring that these are placed over relevant keywords and are not placed randomly.
There is no secret to Search Engine Optimisation. It takes time and can be expensive, but it is worth the investment for the long term gains. It is more than possible to do it yourself when you know the keywords you need to target. There are lots of free tools out there to help you, however you may also choose to seek advice and assistance from a professional marketer to help with planning, monitoring and implementing your plan. Everything you need to boost your site’s organic ratings is at your fingertips.
If your organisation is looking for professional advice around digital marketing strategy, get in touch with our team or contact our Business Development Manager Aimee at email@example.com.