Search Engine Optimisation is such an important topic we could go on about it for hours but since time is such a precious commodity, in this blog we’re sticking to the 4 key steps that everyone should follow to ensure you get great ranking results. These are market analysis, keyword research, on and off page optimisation and ongoing monitoring. Follow these steps and you’ll increase the organic traffic that hits your website!
The first step in SEO starts with your competitors. It’s always a good idea to check out their keywords, where they are ranking and how much traffic they are generating. And by keeping a close watch on your competitors, you might just get a little inspiration or some new ideas about how to connect with your customers.
Keep in mind here that your competitors might not always be obvious, and you should consider your competition to be anyone who is ranking above you for your most important keywords.
A great place to start with this is SpyFu. Just enter your competitor’s URL and you’ll instantly get a heap of useful information:
Through SpyFu you’ll get a monthly domain overview, a snapshot of the competition, the top organic and paid keywords, Adwords history, organic ranking history and where your competitor’s backlinks are coming from. There’s basic – but very useful – information for free, or you can pay a monthly subscription to unlock the lot.
A keyword is a specific word or phrase that someone types into a search engine in order to find information. As we said in our recent blog about the importance of accurate keyword research, single-word keywords are very broad so it pays to really refine your keywords into specific search terms that resonate with what your audience are looking for.
You should never target keywords with high search volumes on the assumption that this will lead to high traffic, because you’ll be very sadly mistaken – you’ll be a tiny voice in a crowded hall, and odds are you’ll be completely overlooked because you won’t rank well. Remember also that its not just about getting visitors to your site; it’s about getting the right visitors to your site.
That’s why long-tail keywords are such an important aspect of any effective SEO strategy, and as shown in the diagram below from Experian and SEOMoz, they account for around 70% of all keywords.
Figuring out which keywords are the best ones to use isn’t too difficult – you can use the services of an SEO expert such as Broadcast SEO, or you can take the DIY approach and use tools such as the Google Adwords Keyword Planner. Other useful options include:
Keyword Tool – Just enter your keyword, and the Keyword Tool provides hundreds of long-tail keyword ideas and common questions asked.
Google Trends – enter your search terms and Google will give you a historical view over the last 12 months (or up to 5 years) showing how many monthly searches have been conducted for each term.
SEMRush is also a great site that will give you loads of information, including displaying your top organic keywords and who your top competitors are.
On and off Page Optimisation
Here’s the thing with optimisation – search engine algorithms take pretty much everything into account when they decide how relevant you are to a search. When they evaluate your site against the myriad of other sites out there who do similar things to you, there are two main pools of information that contribute to the result:
- On-page SEO looks at what your site is all about – this determines what you rank for.
- Off-page SEO looks at how authoritative and popular your site is – this determines how high you rank.
On-page optimisation is the stuff that you have control of such as you title tags and headings, both of which should always include your important keywords. Search engines tend to give headings a little more weight than your general page copy, so use them wisely. Likewise you should have keywords in your URL’s and alt text for images. Other important factors include page content (of course!), page load speed and internal links.
Off-page optimisation is all about increasing the authority of your domain through quality external links from other sites. The best ways to build these links is to:
- Create awesomely valuable content that people want to link to
- Share you content through social media
- Reach out to industry influencers who may link back to your site
- Do some guest blogging on relevant sites (guest posts will always have links back to your site)
SEO is a journey not a destination, and it demands continuous attention if you want it to remain an effective tool for your business. Your competitor’s SEO tactics will be constantly changing, and search engine algorithms seem to be in constant motion – analysts believe that Google changes its search algorithm up to 600 times each year. So if you’re not keeping your finger on the pulse, you’ll soon find yourself falling away in page rankings.
SEO is a time-consuming, continuous process that can easily erode the time you have to get on with managing your business – but it’s absolutely vital if you want your intended audience to find you. Here at Broadcast SEO we’re experts in SEO and digital marketing and we work with businesses all over Australia. If you need a hand, we’re here to help – just check out some of our work here or contact us for a chat.