For many, SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is still a dark art that is grossly misunderstood. This article will address the key fundamentals and how to get the most from your SEO strategy.
To begin with, you’ll hear us talk about keywords a lot in this article, but they really are the foundation of any successful search engine optimisation strategy.
Why do you need keyword research?
We’ll try and keep this as simple as possible but to give you an example, suppose your business makes pens and you wanted to sell more online. What might people search for when looking to buy a pen? It could simply be a pen, or it could be a biro, ball point pen, marker pen, highlighter pen or ink pen.
Unless you know what people are searching for, you really will be behind the curve when it comes to implementing your SEO strategy. You need to know the terms people use most often when searching for YOUR products. Ideally, you’ll match your website content to what people are actually looking for. If you don’t, there could be a disconnect as visitors to your website could be looking for one thing, while you are talking about another. This means disappointed visitors, poor quality enquiries and inflated visitor numbers as the traffic you are getting is not coming from your ideal customers.
There are three things you should consider when choosing the keywords for your SEO strategy.
Frequency – In an ideal world you want to include the phrases that people search for most often in relation to your products on your website. Please bear in mind though that it may be difficult to differentiate your business on search phrases where there is high volume.
Competition – If you have an established website that has a high trust ranking, you may find it easier to appear higher on the search rankings for higher volume keywords, than newer or websites with poor content which will have a lower ranking. This isn’t to say that new websites shouldn’t implement an SEO strategy, they should instead consider targeting keywords that have a bit less competition and build their way up.
Keywords that have low search volume are what we call “long tail” keywords. To again give an example, while the keyword “pen” will undoubtedly have a lot of competition, a term like “Mont Blanc black ball point pen” would be an example of a long tail keyword, that might give you better and more accurate SEO results. It typically takes a website lots of time and focused efforts to appear in the results on searches for popular generic keywords. However, smaller websites may get good rankings for long tail keywords with less effort.
Relevance – Perhaps the most important consideration when it comes to implementing an SEO strategy. The keywords you want to rank for should closely match what your business actually sells. If someone comes to your website looking for pens but you only sell pencils, they’re just going to leave. This will only serve to decrease your trust ranking, thus diminishing your opportunities to rank organically and lose a potential enquiry.
So, how do you select the right keywords initially?
It’s important to make sure you are getting the right advice from a reputable specialist who has access to and can research and interpret analytics to present the best recommendations for your business.
There is no magic wand to fast-track organic search results. Ensuring your website ranks for keywords takes time. It will usually take between 3 and 6 months, sometimes even a year before you will start to see results. Any “specialist” that promises to deliver your keywords on page 1 on the rankings in the first month, is quite frankly someone not to be trusted. If you want quick results the only way is to use pay per click (PPC) such as Google Adwords – but this can be very costly and budget can be wasted, very quickly as quality content is still very important to the price per click you will pay.
At Simple Marketing Consultancy, we introduce our clients to SEO specialists who have access to the right software like SEMrush, which helps us determine which keywords are best suited for each campaign.
Our role is to then manage this relationship and develop the content strategy around the keywords identified. This usually involves rewriting existing website pages to include the keywords or creating entirely new pages such as news and advice article which will help the website rank for specific products or services.
We work with our clients to ensure that their website is structured in a way that makes it easy for search engines like Google to efficiently crawl their site and select it to appear in search results. Obviously, you are still paying for the services of these experts, but this strategy will help you longer term by enhancing the trust rating of your website and, eventually, it will also help you reduce reliance or negate entirely the need to use PPC.
If you are about to embark on a new website project and would like expert advice on how to get the most from your SEO strategy, please feel free to get in touch.