Search Engine Optimisation – three words that are enough to strike fear into the heart of any marketer or business owner.
One of the biggest misconceptions about SEO is that it is some kind of ‘mystery’ – that there are secret algorithms designed to trick you. And that the moment you get the hang of it, everything changes just to confuse you.
But search marketing doesn’t need to be painful. In fact, there are some fundamental principles proven to deliver website traffic, sales and profits.
You simply need to know what to do to compete.
1. Bring your website up to scratch
If your website is slow and awkward, your SEO campaign is doomed before it’s even started. But how do you know if your website is hurting your business?
Start by paying attention to your website structure – is it easy to navigate? If the answer is ‘no’, not only will Google penalise your rankings, you can be sure that users will get frustrated too.Google recommends some simple best practice tips, such as creating unique titles for each page so Google knows how the page is distinct to others on your site.
2. Speed it up
Next, look at your site speed. How fast do pages load? Reducing your load time by seconds can have a massive impact on your site’s popularity, both with Google and users. Research shows 40% of consumers will leave a page that takes longer than 3 seconds to load – so aim for fast 2-second load times.
3. Make it mobile friendly
If you haven’t made your website mobile-friendly, you should. Mobile search has now surpassed desktop search, which means the majority of users coming to your site are likely to be using a mobile device. If that’s not enough to convince you, try these statistics: 92% of people who search on mobile generally end up making a related purchase, and over 40% of people say they prefer to complete their entire shopping journey on mobile. If you’re not sure, Google has created a handy Mobile-Friendly Test to help you test how easily a visitor can use your page on a mobile device. There’s really no excuse!
4. Focus your content
You can create the most outstanding content the web has ever seen, but it doesn’t mean anything if Google can’t find it. Because if Google can’t find it, your customers can’t find it.
Create content with a target keyword or phrase in mind. If you’re not sure where to start, perform basic keyword research to make sure you are creating content around topics that people will read. Then, always optimise your content before going live.
5. Never stop
Search marketing is not one of those things you can set and forget. You need to continually test and refine it to get the best return on investment. This means performing regular monthly SEO audits to identify anything holding back your website and check for new opportunities to improve results.
This is where many business owners fall down – after all, you already have enough to manage without worrying about your SEO! The solution is simple: work with the experts. Beyond the basics, advanced SEO cannot be learned in a day. Listen to your SEO consultant – not only do they live and breathe it, it’s their job to ensure your website is performing at the level you need.
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