Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is the process of improving a website so it is seen by its target audience when they’re looking for something specific online. But SEO is a complex beast. There are a number of different elements to it. Each one requires attention, but by approaching the different aspects with the right tactics, you will stand a good chance of meeting your online marketing goals.
Here are four common SEO KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) that you’ll want to work towards:
- Driving more traffic to your website
- Generating more leads, sales, or downloads
- Digital brand building
- Brand reputation management
In this article we explain how important Google is to SEO, how search has conquered the world, how to generate strong leads, and three ways to optimise your website.
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Did you know that over 90% of all online searches are made using Google?
There are a number of search engines out there but you’re only going to hear about Google because it is responsible for over 90% of search engine market share worldwide.
There are two key targets – Google’s algorithm and your potential customer base
Think of SEO as a two-pronged attack; you need to impress both Google’s algorithms and your target audience if you want success. In this case, success is appearing on the first page of Google’s search returns. This is important because 75% of people never click beyond Google’s first results page.
#1: Google’s algorithms crawl websites looking for key indicators that a website is relevant to a user’s search query. Tick the right boxes, whether that’s relevant keywords, page structure, or quality inbound links from authoritative websites, and Google will make sure your website is at the front of the queue.
#2: Speak directly to your target audience and you’ll have more chance of making an impression. Once they’ve found your website on Google and have clicked onto your homepage or blog, the language you use must persuade them to complete the goals you set out at the start of your SEO journey.
Search is taking over the world
Want to learn more about SEO and everything else that goes with it? Start reading the websites below. The advice you get from Moz’s Rand Fishkin and digital marketing guru Neil Patel, among others, will help you grow your traffic, improve your website, and increase your conversions.
- Rand Fishkin’s Whiteboard Friday (Moz.com)
- Neil Patel’s blog (Neilpatel.com)
- Search Engine Land (Searchengineland.com)
- Search Engine Journal (Searchenginejournal.com)
Over 60% of searches are made on mobile devices, So not only has search taken over the world, it is now in the palm of our hands, with over 4 billion internet users worldwide and users spending an average of six hours a day on internet-powered devices.
Think about your own habits when you want to buy some new clothes or find a nearby coffee shop…you’d use Google, right? Get into your target audience’s shoes and make your website appear in the places you know they’ll be looking.
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The user journey: How SEO generates real leads
One element of SEO is making websites easy—and even enjoyable—to use. For you, that means turning those visitors into solid leads or repeat customers through persuasive content, calls to actions, and data capture opportunities.
There’s no use having an easy-to-use website if nobody is looking at it. Think about the user journey and how visitors will arrive at your website, which can be simplified into the following:
- User searches using keywords
- The website appears on SERPs (Search Engine Results Page)
- The user reads meta title and meta description
- User clicks onto your website
- Persuasive content encourages the user to complete the data capture form
Persuasive and well-written content that is part of a long-term content marketing plan will encourage users to navigate through stages one to five above. But your job isn’t finished when you generate a new customer.
Always aim for repeat customers
Repeat customers are the holy grail of digital marketing. If you can keep your customers loyal, either by staying in touch via personalised email marketing, offering excellent customer service, and offering incentives and loyalty benefits exclusive to them, you’ll have generated a solid base for your business’ digital growth.
3 easy ways to improve your website’s SEO
- Publish great content
Create in-depth content that answers your users’ questions and builds trust in your brand. This isn’t exclusive to written content; video, photographic, and audio-based content is also effective, especially if you’re spreading a tailored message by understanding your audience’s wants and needs.
- Do keyword research
Use Google Keyword Planner and Moz Keyword Explorer to see how many people are searching for keywords relevant to your brand and content topics. This will also help you generate content ideas. For the best results, include your keywords in the body copy of your content, as well as the title and in the headings, and tagging images with keywords is another simple way to bring in traffic.
- Link building
Google’s algorithm looks at the number of inbound links to a website to help it understand if the content is authoritative or not. If your content is being linked to by respected websites such as CNN, The Guardian, or BBC, you’re doing a good job. This isn’t easy, but by creating original content (even publishing your own research in white papers or infographics) you’ll hopefully see some pick up from journalists who’ll help give your website a boost by linking to it.
SEO is a long-term commitment
Don’t think of SEO as a short-term fix. Once you understand your goals, you should get to work creating quality content that ticks all the boxes for which Google’s algorithms are searching. Create a long-term SEO plan and start now.
Learn as much as you can about the different aspects of SEO—whether that’s keywords, content creation, or link building—and put effort into each one. Good luck and see you on Google’s page one!
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Last updated 10 June 2020.