The Ultimate Guide to SEO | Establishing Your Digital Presence Webinar Summary
Earlier this year, Prosper2 had the absolute pleasure of hosting Steve and Emma Grant from Figment Agency, who shared their expert knowledge about everything SEO and how critical it is to incorporate search engine optimisation into your digital marketing campaign planning and execution. Just in case you missed the webinar, we’ve summarised the crucial points into this quick article for you. You can also still watch the full webinar on our YouTube channel here.
So, what is SEO and why is it important?
SEO refers to the process of driving organic traffic to your website from search engines. The mechanics are simple: users search a topic or keyword which generates organic traffic towards relevant links and webpages. Google owns 92% of the market share in terms of SEO and state that their mission is:
“Our mission is to organise the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.”
Align yourself with Google and their mission by doing your best to make your website appear useful, organised, and accessible. A typical Google search results page will always list the non-organic (paid advertisements) links at the top and structure organic webpages below those commercial links. 64% of all B2B traffic, including paid advertisements, social media, and direct referrals, will be driven towards your website from search engine results. The majority of Google users click on the top three organic listings on a Google results page, so being positioned in that top three on Google is the difference between winning work and losing work to competitors who do have that slot. People are very conscious that ads at the top of the results page may not be relevant and that someone has paid to be placed there, so nearly 80% of people ignore those ads entirely.
Studies show that conversion rates for print advertisements are less than 2% but from SEO, conversion rates are much higher, around 14%, so there is a strong business case for being seen online and being right at the top of Google results pages. SEO can be simplified down to two big elements; what answers are people looking for on search engines and are we the relevant answers to their question? The good news is that you can become the relevant answer. Writing content or optimising your site are key ways to control the effectiveness of your SEO. Creating content and hosting certain activities that define what your business does and how you can help people, helps Google understand your website and rank your site accordingly. Technical SEO aligns your website and your SEO strategy which directs the right people to you and help Google store your site in its database process, which is what we call indexing.
So, what can you do on your site to improve your Google ranking?
Your site content has a big influence on whether you are relevant in the eyes of Google. From a strategy point of view, one of the first things you want to consider is what keywords will relate best to your business and are your web pages connecting to those critical keywords. You can map keywords on to your web pages through written and visual content and the page you want to ensure has your keywords integrated into it is your landing page; your landing page is the page you want potential customers to click on as their first introduction to your business. For most business websites, this would be either your home page or your blog page. One of the easiest ways to ensure you are hitting those essential keywords is including them in the meta titles of your content and site pages: the keywords in your meta title will help your site rank on the related results pages and your meta description, although it does not contribute to your ranking, should contain enough information about the content behind the link to encourage people to click through.
Content marketing is a good way of attracting clicks and links to your website. Improving your brand awareness broadcasting is an effective way of capitalising off published online content by positioning yourself as an expert and gaining additional links back to your site from other platforms. Your content can help improve your EAT status; these are the factors Google uses to judge and rank your website, standing for expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness. Showcasing your knowledge of your field through credentials, qualifications, and endorsements from other businesses or noteworthy individuals. Building your reputation through backlinks, authored articles on other sites, reviews, references, customer testimonials, and press releases will feed into your domain authority as Google views you as a legitimate source of information.
What are the best ways to improve your authority through additional links?
Manual Outreach: Contacting online publication directly to highlight how their content is relevant to what you do and how linking to your site could provide their readers with further information. Noting when a relevant site has a broken link to a similar source or competitor and contacting them to propose replacing that broken link with a backlink to your site instead. This is time consuming, and you need to ensure that you are contacting the right type of online platforms.
Internal Links: Let’s say you have a page on your website that performs better than others in terms of direct and organic traffic. Including links to other relevant content on that page that leads customers through your website increases the time they spend on your site and boost potentially under-performing content by connecting it to the well-performing page. It improves the user experience by creating a streamlined pathway to other content on your site.
If you are looking to start somewhere simpler and where you can effect immediate change is the actual performance of your website. Google considers minute details, such as spelling mistakes, so you need to ensure your site is accurate.
How often do you update your content? Do you credit your sources? Is your website loading quickly enough to retain traffic? Is it visually attractive and easy to navigate?
What KPIs should you be tracking and measuring?
Your traffic over a 90-day period to properly analyse an effective amount of data that will showcase what might have improved and what is lacking.
Where did you rank for the keywords you targeted?
How many clicks during that period indicates how many people visited your site?
What is your score on the domain authority system? This is measured by sites like most.com.
Tracking visits to your sites can generate leads that feed into your sales pipeline, especially when you are selling online. If your end goal is to generate potential sales leads, keeping track of your website data is critical.
7 Practical Steps Forward
- Install Google Analytics and track your data. This is going to give you more information on how your website is found.
- Research keywords that are relevant to your business, brainstorm them, and track them. You need to know where you stand currently in terms of SEO to improve and be able to further your reach.
- Create a content plan based on keywords and the intention behind searches. This could be as simple as listing keywords and possible intentions in a spreadsheet and creating content that meets those search requirements. Plan in advance so you are constantly producing new content to hit those keywords.
- Map keywords to your page, either through meta titles or via FAQ sections on Google that provide brief answers to commonly search questions on the search engine.
- Request your clients leave reviews on your Google My Business profile, TripAdvisor, Facebook, etc. and link these pages back to your website.
- Link your pages together to create a more streamlined user experience and increase time spent on your site.
- Get a tech expert to improve your Core Web Vitals to secure your website’s quality and loading speeds.
If you want to find out more about SEO, watch the full seminar here: