Confused by Search Engine Optimisation? We can help!
So how do you improve your Search Engine Optimisation on your website?
Search engine optimisation (or SEO) an incredibly complex and time-consuming process, but done properly it can get you more customers and sales.
Let’s be totally honest about SEO:
You’re not going to see many results if you simply don’t have the budget to pay someone to do it or the time (and experience) to do it yourself.
So what do you do?
Effective SEO takes time to plan and implement, and it’s about a lot more than just stuffing some keywords into your site’s posts and pages.
Short on time? Download a PDF of this page here.
1. You need to audit your website
Without an objective view of where your site is now, you won’t be able to pinpoint how any search engine optimisation work has improved things.
A technical audit will show you how well your site is built and any errors that need to be fixed.
An SEO audit will show you where you currently rank (we can do this for your competitors too)
We offer a free website audit – just complete the form here and we’ll send you the results.
2. Your site’s structure needs to be correct
Websites grow over time and it’s really easy to lose track of what’s where and what content links to other content.
We’ve all been there:
‘I’ve been posting new content all the time on my website and I’m not seeing any changes in the search results’
Any website needs to have a clearly defined structure of top-level content, child pages, landing pages (cornerstones, pillar pages or whatever you want to call them) and blog posts that link to and support the internal page rank of your important pages.
A structure and link map for your site, with defined focus keywords for each page, is crucial if you are serious about ranking.
Did your web developers or SEO agency talk to you about this or did they just simple start ‘doing your SEO’?
If the answer is YES, then you really need to get this stage of your Search engine optimisation sorted or you could be wasting time and money.
3. The site needs to be FAST
No one dwells long on a site that doesn’t load quickly.
Google does not reward fast sites, it simply penalises slow ones.
If your site is taking more than one second to load, it’s time to take a look at some technical optimisation and your hosting environment.
4. You need a sensible list of keywords to SEO your site for
Do not be tempted to choose 100s of keywords for your site. The more you are trying to optimise for, the harder it will be to do.
There are several things you need to consider about each and every keyword you are planning on targeting.
- What is the monthly search volume
- Keyword Difficulty
- Search intent
- Conversion probability
- Current ranking position
- Content requirements
- Backlink opportunities
- Social media mentions
Let’s look at these in more detail:
This is literally what it says – the approximate number of monthly searches for this keyword.
The more searches, the higher potential for visits (and bounces).
Lower search volumes are likely to be more niche, so fewer visits, but potentially higher chances of conversion and lower bounce rates.
Google’s Keyword Trends can be a good place to look for keywords that are on the up.
How hard is it going to be to rank for this keyword?
It’s going to be VERY difficult to rank for ‘Hotel‘ as there are millions of other sites trying to rank for that. (788,000,000 results)
It’s going to be easier to rank for ‘Vegan Hotels in Brighton‘ as this is more niche and targeted. (2,000,000 results)
So what does this mean for you?
Do you want to be one in 788 million or one in 2 million?
When you’re starting out, or looking to improve your search engine optimisation, you start with the easy wins first.
Obviously, this is a very basic example, but you get the point.
This one is a little more tricky.
Simply ask yourself:
What is this person REALLY looking for when they are using this keyword?
Let’s look at some of the subtle differences in possible search intent.
Here are some typical searches in our industry and their possible intent:
Web design agency – so this search is from someone looking for a web design agency. They want a company rather than a freelancer and they are looking for ‘the one’.
Web design – this search is more about looking for information on web design in general, not necessarily a web design company – this person may not be looking to have work done.
Web designers – this keyword could be looking for companies or freelancers, they are not sure which and are looking for a list.
WordPress agency – this keyword is looking for a company with WordPress experience, they want a team with specific experience.
So four very similar keywords, all with quite different intent.
This goes hand-in-hand with Search intent.
Are you just looking at a vanity keyword rather than one that will actually convert for you?
Take another look at the four keyword examples above:
It might be great to rank #1 for web design, but is that really going to deliver me some high-quality traffic or just reduce my on-page time and bounce rates?
This can be a tricky stage, but it’s important and you should give it some consideration when trying to choose effective keywords for search engine optimisation.
Bit of a no-brainer, but if you’ve lots of high-quality, converting Keywords just outside the first page of results, start with them first.
As you are already ranking reasonable well for these keywords, they can be easy wins.
What’s more, if you get these on page one, they can result in new business and ROI – this is often a clear signal to everyone that it’s well worth investing in search engine optimisation.
So you want to go after keyword ‘X’, but do you have the content for it?
Here’s the truth:
If you don’t have content on your site that is specifically produced to rank for keyword ‘X’, it’s going to mean more work for you.
Your content needs to be unique and should be targeted. Otherwise, you might start cannibalising your keywords (trying to rank against yourself).
So what do you do?
Choose keywords to start with that you already have great content for or ones which you can easily produce content for.
So you have your keyword and your content, but is anyone going to link to it?
Backlinks remain one of Googles top ranking factors, so it’s important to consider if this keyword and content are likely to attract backlinks.
Attaining backlinks is a whole other side or search engine optimisation. (We’ll save that for another post).
Can you wrap stuff around this content that will encourage shares and mentions on your social media networks?
This kind of goes for backlinks too, but does this keyword and content warrant some form of infographic, video or whitepaper that people are going to be eager to share on social media?
A good backlink requires a good article on another website with a good domain rank whereas social media shares tend to be more impulsive and easy.
If backlinks are going to be hard to come by, consider making your content more shareable first – a good backlink might come as a result.
SEO done well will get results
Search engine optimisation is a complex task and it can often be difficult to know where to start.
Are you thinking that it’s all too much on top of the day job?
We feel your pain, but SEO is THE way to get your site ranking higher and winning you more business.
When you manage to get a page ranking for a quality, converting keyword, you’ll make more money. Simple.
If you’d like Toast to take a look at your current site and SEO, send us a message or call us on 01295 266644.
We can run a site audit and share the results with you.
Our approach to SEO isn’t the same as everyone else’s, and we’ll guide you through the process.
Our primary focus from SEO is a return on your investment, as quickly as possible. We’re 100% transparent and won’t try to make things complicated to justify fees.
Want to get started right away?