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Search Engine Optimisation: Where to Start?

June 3, 2012 · 8 comments

in SEO

Understanding the Purpose of SEO:

Search Engine OptimisationWhen it comes to investing in SEO, quite rightly many business owners are hesitant to part with a  percentage of their marketing budget when results can’t be 100% guaranteed. While I don’t want to overload you with statistics too early on, these are far too good to ignore:

– 92% of internet users say that they use search engines

–   59% of internet users say that they use search engines on a regular basis.

–   66% of search engine users, use Google

With so many people using search engines, particularly Google to discover products, services and new information, these figures show how important it is that you have some sort of presence on Google search results pages. If your organisation is not tapping in to the potential that can be harnessed online not only could you be missing out on important sales but you can bet that your competitors are gaining ground through your lack of digital presence.

Keywords are everything, almost…

When it comes to starting preparation for your SEO campaign deciding on the right keywords can make or break a campaign. If you put all your efforts and SEO budget in to ranking for something that doesn’t convert, or that is too competitive to rank for, you won’t reach your goals, whether they be to raise brand awareness or to ultimately increase sales.

Extensive keyword research from the start of the campaign is essential and the type of keywords you settle on through your keyword analysis depends largely on the type of business you are, and the size of your organisation.

Local Search

Keywords phrases that include locations are much easier to rank for and more likely to convert, this tactic taps in to the potential of the local web and should not only be used by small to medium sized businesses but national brands as well. To demonstrate this we will use the example ‘Web Design’ although this receives a high search volume this is more than likely an information search, meaning consumers are carrying out this type of search purely to gain information about this chosen industry which can potentially lead to sales but may also mean the consumer is merely trying to increase their understanding of a product category or their personal skills set.

To localise this search we could add a place to the end of web design to give searches a more defined result. ‘Web Design Hertfordshire’ delivers less number of searches however users searching for this term are looking for an actual service in a specific area and these users are much more likely to convert then those performing an information search for a broad category such as ‘web design’.

Not only do localised keywords deliver a greater chance of conversion but optimising for the term ‘Web Design’ would be extremely difficult as you’d be competing with a far greater number of sites “Web Design” i.e “Web Design London”, “Web Design Company”, “Web Design Agency” etc.

Foundations

The most fundamental part of SEO is having a good website that is built to SEO standards and has keyword rich content. Without this, you don’t have a starting point and it will be very difficult to rank as ongoing SEO work (link building, content creation) will not have anywhere near as much effect as it should have.

All SEO campaigns are unique and you can’t predict exactly what work will be done, nor can you predict or promise results (unless you’re Google).  That is why I tried not to turn this article in to another guide looking at link building and the other components of SEO, which are all vitally important but should not come before the basics.

Final Thoughts

SEO is not instant and it takes time to build up site authority & relevance. You should make clients aware that it’s a long term plan and for a truly effective online campaign SEO should work alongside other forms of online marketing such as PPC and social media not run completely on its own.

As with any type of marketing a strategy should be laid out before implementing any digital techniques including SEO or PPC, your strategy should outline what you ultimately what to achieve from SEO, whether it be to raise brand awareness through increased rankings on Google or to increase conversions.

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Rosemary O'Shaughnessy June 5, 2012 at 8:22 pm

Hi Charles,

You have made some excellent points in this article. Especially your point about including a location. Quality content is very important for the search engines and keep people’s attention. Take care Rosemary
Rosemary O’Shaughnessy recently posted..Local Business Dublin: A You Tube Marketing Tip To Promote Your Local BusinessMy Profile

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Jacob June 5, 2012 at 11:08 pm

SEO keyword research are the success secrets for seo when starting out. It can make or break a campaign. Along with right on page optimization and linkbuilding, but overall providing great content. Taking it slow and increasing slowly link velocity according to domain authority.
Jacob recently posted..MLM Success Secrets The Evil Goo-Roos Don’t Want You To KnowMy Profile

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Donna Merrill June 6, 2012 at 2:47 am

Hi Charles
I know how important SEO is. It is worth the time and effort for the correct search. What I didn’t know is your advice about location. Hmmm never put that into my equation before. How did I miss that?
Thanks for this valuable information,
Donna Merrill
Donna Merrill recently posted..Why Is Building Relationships Super Important?My Profile

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Adam Snyder June 7, 2012 at 2:09 am

For me keywords are the most important thing. Next, I would have to say that quality content surrounding those keywords are important and then, links. This is my take on SEO but everybody is different.

Adam
Adam Snyder recently posted..Tips for Improving the Effectiveness of your Email MarketingMy Profile

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Jack Woo June 7, 2012 at 11:15 am

I certainly agree that keyword research is the very foundation of a successful internet marketing business. You may do all the right things in between but if you start on a wrong footing, then the ending will most probably be a failure.
Jack Woo recently posted..How to Promote and Maintain Weight Loss After PregnancyMy Profile

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Martin Casper June 8, 2012 at 2:40 am

You are spot on with this post and the one thing that I really like is the point of SEO and rank is not something that happens overnight. Consistency and persistency are vital keys to long term success.
Martin Casper recently posted..Flaky is Only Good in Pie CrustMy Profile

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Charles Morley June 11, 2012 at 11:14 am

Thank you all for some great feedback and I’m glad you all pinpointed the main themes throughout the article. Keywords are obviously a vital component of any SEO strategy and their effectiveness and relevance rely heavily on how you segment and target your audience to ensure you are optimising for the correct keywords that will lead searchers to find your business and convert.

The ‘local’ factor covered is also important, not only for small organisations looking to target their specfic town or region but also national brands looking to connect & create loyal relationship with their customers. A recent infographic I found showed that 73% of online search activity is related to local content which shows that national brands as well as smaller organisations would be foolish to ignore local web. A bigger marketing budget would also mean more avenues available to explore for larger brands such as creating various location specific web pages which would immediately make each customer feel a greater connection with that particular brand.

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Patricia Gozlan June 16, 2012 at 5:28 pm

Hi Charles,
thank about for this interesting tip about putting location as an SEO tool in our site.
I had never thought of that and I know my competition would be quite low.
I will take this into account while writing copy or my next posts.

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