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Areas to focus your SEO efforts

02/04/2014

Search Engine Optimisation. It’s a broad area which can lead to confusion. So when it comes to SEO, we prefer to focus our efforts into four main areas, working to answer these questions –

Are you targeting the right keywords for your business?

Let’s say you’re a company selling blinds. You might want to rank on the 1st page of Google for the keyword ‘blinds’, but the fact is you will struggle to achieve that without considerable expense. So rather than investing substantial amounts of money without any assurance of ranking, you’ll benefit more by ranking on the 1st page for a long-tail keyword than ranking on the 50th page for a more generic keyword.

What are long-tail keywords?

Well put simply, they’re longer, more concise keywords which are searched for less often compared to shorter, less specific keywords. Whilst they may be searched for less often, this is by no means a negative as there will be less websites competing for the same keywords, so your website will have a greater chance of ranking on the 1st page.

An example of each:

  • 1-word phrase: blinds (too much competition, very poor conversion)
  • 2-3 word phrase: vertical blinds
  • 4+ word phrase (long-tail): red vertical blinds in lincoln (low competition, high conversion)

Ideally, you should be looking to target the latter type of keywords. Whilst there will be lower competition, you should expect a higher conversion rate.

Long tail power law graph

We use various tools to help understand which keywords will generate the most traffic and be most relevant to your website.

Does your content accurately target these search terms?

When writing high-quality content, SEO should be considered just as much as the actual content.

  1. URL’s – ensure the URL ‘slugs’ feature the target keyword(s). For example, by default, WordPress uses the structure http://www.example.com/?p=123, however this is poor for SEO. Instead, the structure http://www.example.com/sample-post/ should be used.
  2. H1, H2, H3 – Feature your target keyword in header tags through your pages.
  3. Meta Description – Offer a short, concise and interesting description of the page content
  4. Content – Mention your target keyword in content (3% is optimal)
  5. Image ‘alt’ tags – By adding a short description of the image, you’ll help Google understand what the image contains.

You should also try to have a page on your website targeting each search term. These pages don’t have to be in the menu of your site, but will appear in your sitemap (sitemap.xml), so can be searchable by search engines such as Google.

Are you making necessary noise to get people talking about you within their websites?

You might have the best product in the world, but unless you tell people about it and get the message out, no one will ever know.

Have you recently sold to a high-profile individual or company, or do you perhaps have an interesting story of something which happened recently within your company? Write about it!

Potential means of communication include:

  • Social (Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn)
  • Blogging (both on site and guest blogging on other blogs)

No matter how un-interesting you think your company is, you’ll always be able to find something of interest to blog about.

Are you taking full advantage of the traffic that currently comes in, before bringing in more?

As more and more websites launch on the web, it’s gradually getting harder and harder to generate traffic. So when you do get that golden traffic, it’s important to make the most of it.

High bounce rates can be an indicator of a poor website.

But what exactly does bounce rate indicate?

Let’s say you have a company blog – http://example.com/blog. As part of an effort to rank high in search engines you’re writing interesting blog posts answering commonly-asked questions by your customers. However, one of the end outcomes of writing these posts is to try to generate more organic leads from users searching various questions in Google.

So when they’ve finished reading your blog post, do you really want them to leave and continue their day? Or would you rather they continue browsing through your website and end up getting in touch as a potential client.

You could help improve (reduce) bounce rates by adding a “Relevant Pages” section, or a ‘Call to Action’ at the bottom of the blog post which then leads on to a page which could have more details on the types of services you offer for example.

Interested in learning more about how we can help you? Get in touch!