Having a well designed, functional and responsive website gives you an ‘open all hours’ platform to promote your business – but in order for it to work, you’ve got to make sure that people can find it! The problem is that unless you’re operating in a very niche industry, you’re likely to be up against some pretty hefty competition, with hundreds or even thousands of other websites clambering for attention at the top of the search results. So how do you increase your online visibility and climb above your competitors?
Top Tips for Sensationally Successful SEO
Firstly, you need to make sure that your website is optimised for search. This means researching the best keywords and phrases for your products or services – then ensuring that they feature in the appropriate places on your site and in the source code. This enables the search crawlers to easily identify which search queries your site is relevant to. Then you need to satisfy your human visitors by having good quality and helpful content, preferably around 400 words or more, on your main pages – but this is really just the first step.
High rankings are not easily earned – you need to make an ongoing effort and commitment to sending out the right signals to the search engines. By boosting your onsite SEO with an ongoing offsite strategy, you’ll increase your rankings in the search engine results pages (SERPs) – which in turn should generate more qualified leads, and ultimately, sales. Here are our top SEO strategy tips…
While blogging is technically an onsite element of SEO, it’s eminently useful as part of a wider-reaching content marketing campaign. Update your website regularly with great quality content, whether it’s in the form of articles, news stories, white papers, videos or infographics. Optimise every post with relevant keywords and then encourage visits by promoting the content via your social media accounts.
Think about ‘shareable content’ – posts that people will want to promote on your behalf. Top tips, ‘how to’ guides and even cleverly designed memes can be great ways of making people take notice.
Engaging with your target market is essential if you want to develop relationships, build brand visibility and drive traffic to your website, so assign this job to a member of staff or an external provider and keep it rolling. There are various platforms and channels to use:
- LinkedIn – great for B2B and professional networking
- Twitter – valuable for B2B and can also work for B2C relationships
- Google+ – predominately B2C
- Facebook – predominately B2C
Use these channels to promote the great content your creating, get involved in networking events and industry-specific groups, share your knowledge, be approachable and remember that social media is a two-way street. If you only ever use it to shout about yourself, people will soon disengage – be genuine, be helpful and promote posts from your connections to encourage reciprocation.
Exactly what it sounds like: reach out to other businesses and websites that have some connection to your own activities and strike up a mutually beneficial relationship. This is a great way of sharing your content too – offer them a brilliant post for their blog in exchange for a link back to your website. This has 2 benefits:
- Google loves to see other sites referencing back to yours – it’s called ‘backlinking’ and helps to show the search engines that other sites value yours as a good source of information
- It increases your market reach, putting your business in front of a new and already captive audience
The search engines have fallen in and out of love with this SEO technique over the years, but as long as it’s done properly, it can definitely offer some value. The trick is to list your website and business services on directories with high page ranks (you can install a tool on your computer to check website page ranks or search for a comprehensive directory list including their page rank details online) and ensure that the directories are relevant to your sector where possible.
A good place to start is adding your site details to directories such as:
Make sure your business description is unique for each listing and think about using your keywords too – or permutations of your main target phrases.
What NOT to do…
As a few final words of caution, it’s important not to let your efforts end up flagged as ‘spam’ – so here are a few rules to abide by during your strategy work:
- Don’t keep targeting the same keyword/phrase over and over again – use variations and synonyms, and also think about ‘long tail’ versions (phrases over 3 or 4 words) that cater for a more specific type of search query
- Don’t send out a blanket email to lots of potential outreach partners – tailor your communications to make them personal and show that you’ve actually taken a real interest in their site
- Don’t use link farms – you’ll be penalised in the SERPs if you do
- Don’t exchange links with other sites unless they are contextually appropriate and they are applied some length of time apart
- Don’t copy content – duplicate content is easily detected and will result in a penalty. All content you create should be completely unique and written in your own words
This is just a basic guide to developing an SEO strategy, but we’re always here to help if you require further information or support – we can even take care of it all for you, so do give us a call if you’d like to learn more about our SEO services.