Organic searches, rankings, outbound links, algorithms, keywords and paid ads - the landscape of SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) and its use as a power-tool can be very challenging to decipher and navigate. So to make it all more digestible, we’ve decided to shed some light on this potentially tiring issue.
There are a million articles out there that you can read to try to equip yourself as a business owner with a pubescent online presence and the desire to make a dent in the digital sphere.
"There will be trend predictors and forecasters who will claim to assist your website in becoming the most relevant and top searched-for company."
Forecasters will promise to keep you on the cusp of the trend wave and the tip of everyone’s tongues. However, what we’ve found is that there is no shortcut, magical formula, prediction or corner-cutting methods that will propel you into the SEO stratosphere. Once you realise the potential of SEO, you’ll realise that it all comes down to good old hard work.
Now that you (as a rational human) understand that there’s no quick fix to manipulating the system, let’s get down to some simple steps that can be followed to make sure you get the return on investment once you commit to the effort.
Imagine Google as the ocean hosting the Internet of Things - filled with an unimaginable ecosystem of traffic, links and leads. Now try to see SEO as the net that can pull all of these valuable elements toward you. Powerful, right? It is important to mention that Google accounts for 73% of Network Traffic (compared to Bing, Yahoo, Baidu).
"In other words, good old Google is where you should be focusing your attention."
If you wanted to know where and how users are getting to your website, there’s a tool for that! Check out our blog on Google Analytics to understand the force of the feedback.
Here are a few guidelines to ensure that you get the most out of your marketing strategy and really optimise on your Search Engine game. You’ll be more impactful, relevant and on top of the search grids (as your go-to-free-family-guru promised at last months braai).
1. Content is key
This one should speak for itself. No longer is irrelevant, sub-grade and uninteresting content allowed on or near your site. The better (more useful and beautiful) the content - the more engagement you’ll receive from your users. Better engagement means more sharing that in turn enables a higher ranking on Google.
"Always ask yourself before you publish, “Will my target market benefit from this content?”
2. Mobile and cross-device accessibility
The world is rapidly becoming more mobile-focused and, by not adapting to this trend, your users might find more responsive sites that cater to both desktop and mobile. In effect, it will be damaging to your brand if users can’t reach you and your site from their mobile devices.
"They may not want apps, but they do want attractive access!"
3. Maximise user retention per session
Variety in content adds to your brand as Google reads, analyses and increases your digital reach. The key here is to include interactive content like blogs, vlogs, gifs, live webinars and videos.
"Visiting your site should be a multifaceted experience for your users where they can get lost in valuable content."
4. Links and link building
If your content is of outstanding quality that showcases the effort you’ve put into curating the best images, articles, videos and fascinating visual elements, then other industry leaders will pick it up. Ideally this effort will start linking back to your site through the various social platforms you populate with your captivating content.
"Link building is crucial and boosts your ranking into the stratosphere by introducing this extra bit of traffic."
5. Keyword diversity
Do not fall into the trap of making your copy sound stuffy. Your SEO keywords have the primary function of being picked up by search engines, but do not underestimate the extent to which you are actually allowed to go into detail with your description of your business. We’ve found that long content in combination with specific details about your offering provides Google with more info.
"Considered copy ranks higher on Google’s first page results. Nudge nudge, unique wink."
Still unsure of what/where/how SEO will form an integral part of your marketing strategy and how it can be used as the base on which your Adwords or paid ad campaigns should be built on?Why not rather let us take care of it? It’ll be more affordable, less time consuming and you can focus on the work that brought your business into this world.
Kind Regards The JA-team