Making Sense of SEO
We know that for a lot of you SEO is something that you may not have the time or the inclination to get to grips with. Perhaps you don’t even know what – exactly – it is. And you know what? That’s okay. We understand that SEO doesn’t float everyone’s boat: it might be too techie for you or too time consuming to even start thinking about.
But what we do want you to understand is exactly how critical it is for anyone who has a website selling a product or service. Which is also you, presumably, if you’re reading this blog. Read on to find out:
- What SEO actually is and what it means for you and your business
- Why SEO is more than just keywords
- The basics of SEO
- How to know what SEO to fix and when
In case you are still wondering, SEO – or Search Engine Optimisation – is optimising certain aspects of your website so that you are more visible online in the search engine results. This means that any person looking via a search engine (eg Google) for a service or product that you offer is able to find YOU rather than your competitors (who might have, dare we say it, better SEO). The search engine uses a digital algorithm to decide how high up your website is ranked in the results (the SERPs) that come up when a real life human being types in what they are looking for (otherwise known as keywords/keyphrases).
It’s this algorithm that can seem daunting and overwhelming. Even the most knowledgable pros in SEO don’t know the full extent of how Google sets its algorithm. Google likes to keep that close to its chest, but what we do know is by following some basic rules you can start to make a dent in your position in the SERPs.
To further complicate matter it’s not just Google that you need to think about. Yes, as as search engine it dominates, , but don’t forget Bing, Youtube, etc and even the voice searches on the Alexa when you are making your dinner in the kitchen!
So if you can have good, effective SEO, there’s a good chance your website will come up as a link high on the listings and is more likely to be seen and clicked on by that human being – aka potential client. Less effective or poor SEO might leave your website link languishing on page 96 (or just as bad — on page 2!) of results never to see the light of day again. And no-one wants that.
What Does that Mean For You and Your Business?
So that’s what SEO is but, really, what does that mean for you and, more specifically, your business? And how do you go about improving your SEO so you come up higher in the search engine rankings than your competition?
SEO is more than just keywords
We’ve already mentioned keywords. But there’s more to the use of keywords than just stuffing your content full of what you think your keywords. Using this as a strategy doesn’t work in terms of SEO as you might get flagged by Google as using “black hat” tactics — even worse than bad SEO. How do you know which keywords to use anyway? Which keywords are you actually already ranking for? And which do your competitors rank for?
And yes, while the basis of good SEO is keywords, there is also so much more to SEO than just keywords. Do you know the SEO score on each of your pages? Is your website mobile-friendly? How fast is it? Are you content planning? Are you regularly updating your website with that relevant, fresh content (that’s what blogs are for!)? Do you have a strategy for gaining backlinks?
We’ve written about the cornerstones of good SEO before, and it’s something that’s always been an integral part of Individualise’s service and work.
Even if you do get more eyes on your site you need to make sure that website works. Are you capturing leads? Are your services and products clearly visible? Can customers make a purchase? Does your content make sense to humans (not just the search engines)?
If you’ve created your new shiny website but it doesn’t actually help your business you are missing a trick.
So how do you know what to do? If you’re running a business you probably haven’t got the time to learn SEO from scratch, but you also don’t have a huge budget to spend on SEO either. It’s important to remember it’s a long game. SEO is not something you can do once, you’ll need to keep on top of it regularly and wait to see some results.
But where to start? For us it falls into three basic phases:
Get Your House in Order
This seems pretty obvious but do you actually know where the problems are? Checking your site with a simple SEO audit is a good place to start. You’ll identify some quick changes you can make to the basics of the site and see if you have any performance issues. Then move on to what’s working, whether you ranking already for any keywords/phrases and, if so can these be improved on?
What’s Your Plan?
What’s your overall marketing focus, could you run a campaign? Can you refine the content you have to match that strategy now? Can you identify which pages you have on your site that can target your keywords? Take a look at the competition and see if that helps your research into keywords and how to devise your strategy.
Monitor Your Hard Work and Keep Refining
Once you have your existing content working well you can now implement your strategy and plan for going forward. How will you make sure you keep checking on those SEO errors? How will you monitor the success of your hard work? Are rankings improving for the keywords you are targeting, and what do you do if they’re not?
SEO is a complex issue and we’re just scratching the surface here. Wouldn’t it be great though if you had someone telling you exactly what to do initially and then what you should do every month? And only tell you things that you could manage?
With our new SEO platform you can do just that.
New SEO Platform for Small Businesses
Recently we’ve upped our game when it comes to what we can offer our small business clients in terms of SEO. Whether it’s supporting you in maintaining your own website SEO or letting us do the strategy and problem-solving we now have a range of tools available to us that allow you access to the very best in SEO.
Our new SEO platform enables you to do the bits you want to do, and allows you to notify us if there’s something you’re stuck on. Meaning if you are not ready to commit to a pricey SEO retainer, you can still get your business in the SEO game. We’ll also give you a helping hand along the way with tips and videos to help you to do-it-yourself.
At Individualise, we’ve always said that one of our roles is to demystify the digital world and make it accessible to everyone. And that includes making SEO – often seen as too impenetrable, or too expensive a service – available to small, owner-run businesses. It’s an affordable level of investment that can have a seriously beneficial impact on your business.
It makes perfect sense. Improve your SEO, the visibility of your website improves. Improve your website’s visibility, you’ll see in increase in traffic. Increase your traffic, you’ll have more eyes on the site and if you’ve made your website work you can then capture more leads and, hopefully, sales. It’s great having a website, but what we want you to have is a great website that benefits your business and works hard in creating opportunities for growth.
If you want to find out more about our SEO services, why not see for yourself what improvements you need to make to your website by running one of our free SEO audits? Or if you are ready to get started book a free strategy call and we can chat about how we can help.