Understanding the Purpose of SEO:
When 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.
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.
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.
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.