The arrival of the Digital Age saw a rapid shift in the way people across the globe search for information. In the 21st century, we have almost instant access to the internet – via smartphones, tablets, laptops or a desktop – and are able to get answers to questions in a matter of seconds. With so much information out there, it’s easy to get lost in the noise – which could see your web traffic plummet!
Guest blogger, Paul Howells at Punch Creative, discusses SEO in-depth, exploring how an effective strategy can increase the visitors to your site!
What is Search Engine Optimisation?
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is a marketing strategy used to improve the online presence of a website. The main aim of this is to drive traffic to a company site, which can be achieved through a number of steps, to improve how the digital platform is ranked by search engines such as Google. By getting this right, you can dramatically improve your online ratings, which in turn could lead to more revenue and sales for your business.
How do I optimise my website for SEO?
Optimising your site for SEO can be a complicated process, and even a detailed strategy can take between 4-6 months before an improvement is visible.
Some companies over promise, by claiming a noticeable change will be witnessed within a matter of weeks. This often isn’t the case, so it’s important to find a professional who clearly outlines their strategy beforehand.
Two of the main components search engines look for on a website are page titles and heading tags. When writing these it’s easy to fall into the trap of trying to cram in every single keyword, in an attempt to win clicks. Though this may seem like the best method, think to yourself, which article would you read – the one filled with tonnes of repetition, or one that explains exactly what you are looking for?
Another important thing to consider is meta descriptions, as they’re an extra chance to promote what you have to offer. These should include an overview of the page or article, as well as click ‘attractive-terms’, such as ‘free delivery’ and ‘award winning’, where possible. Again, don’t add lots of keywords in – you’re aiming to attract clicks and so this method is unlikely to be successful.
Making these simple improvements will not only help to boost your rankings, but they will also help make your site more user-friendly.
Engaging content is key
If you speak to any marketing agency, you will often hear ‘content is king’. While this is very true, we also want to make it engaging for consumers. Which page are you most likely to stay interested in – one jam-packed full of text, or one broken up with informative images and/or videos? Most will say the latter.
It’s important to remember that accompanying graphics aren’t there to just look pretty – they need to be on topic and relevant for the article, and any animations should be educational or offer some form of benefit to the user.
Why should I focus on SEO rather than PPC advertising?
This is often a question asked in the SEO world. PPC advertising offers very quick wins for your business, but in return it comes at a cost that can easily skyrocket.
Over 60% of search engine clicks are directed to the first organic – non-paid – result found on the page. If you adopt a high-quality strategy, it will push your focus keywords to the top page of Google.
This is a desirable outcome among businesses, as the cost of being on the first page of Google is free. This will also result in 24/7 free promotion and a higher return on investment than that of a paid advertising campaign.
With SEO optimised organic results, you are more likely to attract the traffic you want and more conversions than that of a paid result.
SEO techniques to avoid
When looking for a company to deliver SEO, it’s vital to check if they are planning to use any ‘black hat’ techniques. These are methods which can result in ranking penalties, and in serious cases see your website being removed from searches altogether!
Keyword stuffing – inserting as many keywords as possible into page titles, content and meta data.
Content cloaking – showing different content to ‘crawlers’ to what regular users see.
Link farms – a group of spam websites that are usually created to increase the number of back-links to your website. These can either be paid for or free if hosted by the company themselves.
Article spinning – posting content on your platform that is simply copied from other websites.
If you avoid these techniques, you will see huge lasting benefits in your SEO strategy going forward.
We hope that these tips will help you to boost your sites presence – good luck!