26 April 2021|Latest Posts, Marketing, PR, Promotion
With the cost per click on Google Adwords seemingly always on the increase, it’s essential to target organic traffic by ranking highly for relevant searches. Although SEO can be a laborious process and therefore can be expensive, a lot can be done by business owners themselves. There are plenty of online resources, but here are a few suggestions to get you started.
What Google Looks For
Google frequently states that website developers and business owners should build sites with the user in mind rather than Google as sites with the best user experience will naturally appear at the top of searches. So for the novice, it’s important to remember this rather than getting bogged down and confused by technical elements of SEO. In practise this means making sure your content is easy to read, so shorter paragraphs and sentences with no spelling and grammar mistakes. The site itself must load quickly, work perfectly on all devices and browsers with a minimal amount of broken links. Content should link to other pages on your site which are relevant and ideally the text written to fulfil a particular query or search term. In essence Google rewards trustworthy sites with a great user experience.
There are a number of easy to use SEO software providers such as Moz and Ahrefs, with prices of around £100 a month. They will analyse your website, helping you to fix issues like broken links, missing metadata and poor load speeds amongst others. You can also analyse your competitor’s sites including all the sites which link to them. There are lots of different seo software tools – not just Moz and Ahrefs – but they are absolutely essential to your SEO. Work through all their suggestions and in time you’ll rank highly, getting targeted traffic to your site without having to be an SEO genius.
Google’s free Keyword Planner tool helps business owners to identify keyword opportunities to exploit. Try lots of different combinations of suitable keywords including some with geographic search terms. Ideally you’ll find a selection of keywords with a decent amount of traffic but which have a low difficulty rating. These are the ones to target!
Reverse Engineer Your Competitors
One of the best ways to teach yourself about SEO is to reverse engineer your competitors websites by trying to figure out all the techniques they’ve employed to get to the top of searches. By right clicking on their site and selecting “view source” you’ll be able to see the metadata – this will show which keywords they are targeting. Look at their site architecture and how keywords form part of each page’s URLs. There are over 200 ranking factors which Google takes into consideration when ranking a site / page – some are more important than others. But by looking at various different searches and trying to figure out why certain sites appear above others will really help you to implement SEO techniques to improve your ranking.
Most have heard the expression “content is king” but it’s not just about having relevant content which your target customers will be looking for. Google favours bigger sites and landing pages with more text than shorter ones as it deems these sites to be more likely to answer a search query. So for your key landing pages, look at who’s ranking above you and put their sites through a word counter. Make sure your pages are longer with easy to read content and your site has lots of relevant articles for your keywords.
By using SEO software like Moz and Ahrefs you’ll be able to see all the sites which link to your competitors. You can download these into spreadsheets making it easy to get organised, working through the list methodically. Start by targeting the sites which have a high domain authority as links from these sites will be more beneficial for your SEO. Some will be directory sites which are easy to simply register your site to get a link and others will take more work. There are plenty of sites which you can write articles about your speciality and include a link. In some cases it’s best to pay to get fast listings on these sites – the costs aren’t typically that much $30 to $50 for example (nearly always in dollars!). Try to stick to sites which are applicable to your industry as these will be judged to be more relevant.
Guy Holmes, MD of the Birmingham Marketing Agency www.birminghammarketingagency.co.uk