Between 70 – 80% of all consumers check out a business online before deciding on whether to visit or make a purchase, which makes your website an invaluable tool when it’s working, but all too often, the best SEO techniques are overlooked and under-used, and it could be costing you money.
Even today, it’s easy for website developers (this includes such companies as Yell.com) to baffle business owners with statistics and numbers, and quite possibly, a little horse shit; “You need to have a website in this day & age, it’s how businesses work, your revenue will increase … most consumers use the web to find a business …”
What they’re saying isn’t actually incorrect, nor dishonest (depending on the company), but they omit to say that having a website is really only the first step.
Understanding the Best SEO Techniques
You see, having a company website doesn’t instantly transform your business dealings – you won’t have a queue of people beating a path to your door because you’ve suddenly found technology; think of it as a virtual shop window – you can display your wares, information and style, but only to those that happen to come across it.
SEO, or Search Engine Optimisation is basically all about helping more people to come across your business – think of it as one of those marketers that stands on a street corner, twirling a sign about to grab your attention, that’s pretty much what the best SEO technique is, just for the virtual world.
Of course there’s a comparison between paying for a guy to stand there getting all showy with some laminated card, and paying Google to head up their results – they’re both going to cost you money, and they both deliver results, but there is a difference; more people would likely remember that ‘funny guy with the sign’, which of course means they’ll remember your business.
With a paid for campaign, invariably, once your money dries up, so does your new found traffic.
A Print Ad for a Digital World
This is how advertising works – create a ‘hook’, something memorable, and even if it’s super cheesy, people remember the brand.
In days gone-by, businesses spent hundreds or thousands of pounds on placing adverts in our lives – magazines, newspapers, billboards, and if they were monied enough, radio and TV. Paying for some quality writing that’s been optimised to give best results for the search engines is similar, and yet many business owners don’t see it.
It’s all a bit of a dark art, possibly not helped with phrases like ‘black hat seo’, which specialises in the darker side of search engine optimisation, the sneaky tricks that are frowned upon. With that said, Google (and while there are other search engines, it’s really all about Google) are constantly updating their search algorithms, and no one outside of Google knows 100% as to what Google looks for.
Your website can be a terrific advert for your business, providing you can get eyes on it.
SEO Metrics & Measurements
There are hundreds of different tools out there to help you optimise your site for search engines, many of them free, and while that’s a great resource for any business owner, unless you know what you’re looking at, it may as well be written in Sanskrit.
The other thing to be aware of is that nothing happens overnight; you can put in as much work and money as you want, but building that reputation, increasing your domain authority, becoming a trusted brand takes time.
It’s important to remember that poorly executed SEO practice can do you more harm than good; Google can actually penalise you if they don’t think you’re playing by their rules, so even if you have a rudimentary understanding of what’s involved when it comes to best SEO techniques, it’s a risky game you’re playing if you get it wrong.
Writing Content for SEO
The simplest starting point when it comes to search engine optimisation is to make sure that what you’re putting on the page works – if that’s wrong, then everything else you do will be constantly battling it, and while you may see some increase in traffic (or whichever method you use to quantify results), it won’t be optimal.
It’s for this reason that I always take the time to discuss the requirements with any client, to understand what they’re trying to achieve, what are their preferred search terms, what are they actually offering, and who their competitors are (using a competitors website for keyword rankings can be a great source of information).
I originally trained under one of the best SEO agencies in the business, an American based company that got to grips with SEO very early on, and learned how to make copy & content work for Google, as well as the client.
Sure, things have changed since my time with them, but I make time every week to understand the latest requirements and updates from Google, to understand best techniques for SEO on a regular basis, so my knowledge is never really out-of-date. Besides that, I still do the occasional bit of work for a number of reputable SEO agencies, so I’m never really out of practice.
If you’d like to find out more about how using optimised content can increase your on-page SEO, or the benefits that it can bring, feel free to get in touch for a chat.
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