If your business has a website but it’s not offering the results you want, learning how to improve SEO on your site can make a big difference. When done well, SEO – which is short for search engine optimisation – can boost brand awareness, support lead generation and increase online sales. So investing in your SEO strategy could offer great value for money for your business.
While recent events have pushed more businesses to take their brand online, SEO is the extra ingredient that can ensure customers find your website when they are looking for products and services like yours. For a reminder of the basics of search engine optimisation, have a read of our previous post that explores what is SEO.
With 68% of online experiences beginning with a search engine, and 80% of major purchases starting with online research, learning how to improve SEO could have a big impact on your business and your revenue. And when you factor in that 75% of people never scroll past the first page of Google, it’s even more apparent just how important SEO is.
Why SEO matters
What is SEO marketing? It’s more than just getting your website to rank higher in the search engine results. SEO can transform your website from a simple brochure of your products and services to a valuable marketing and sales tool that helps you achieve your business objectives. SEO can be used to enhance and improve the following;
- Brand awareness – Ensuring your website appears high in the search results when customers are searching for products and services like yours can boost brand awareness and make more people think of your business first.
- Trust – Websites that perform well in the search engine results are those which offer relevant, reliable content that matches a user’s search query. In turn, this helps build trust in your brand as an industry authority.
- Lead generation – By targeting customers who are specifically looking for the products and services your business provides, SEO can help you generate high quality leads and effectively guide customers through the sales funnel.
- Online sales – Online shopping gives the consumer a wealth of choice when buying a product or investing in a service. SEO can help your business stand out from the competition and secure more sales from your target customer base.
- Growing your audience – Unlike a physical shop, your website allows you to sell to customers regardless of location. Improving SEO can grow your audience on a national or international level and also allows you to target local customers if your business has a regional focus.
The three categories of SEO
Search engine optimisation consists of monitoring and adjusting many different elements of your website, some visible and some hidden in the back-end (or behind the scenes). Each of these elements falls into one of the following categories;
- Technical SEO: This covers the basic technicalities of your website, like site speed, structure and whether it’s mobile friendly, to ensure that the search engines can crawl and index your website. Crawling and indexing allows your website to appear in the search engine results pages, or SERPs.
- On-page SEO: This consists of optimising the content of each page of your website to help them rank higher in the SERPs. Unique, relevant content, keywords and internal linking are all part of on-page SEO.
- Off-page SEO: Factors like link building, user interaction and mobile and social optimisation fall under this category, which focuses on driving more traffic to your website.
What is your website for?
There are many reasons why you might have a website for your business. And before optimising your website, it’s important to consider the purpose of your website and how it needs to support your marketing objectives. In turn, this will inform the goals of your SEO strategy and help you take effective steps towards achieving these goals.
- Your website is a brochure to advertise your services. If your website is designed to provide information about your business, like a print brochure would have once done, building brand awareness should be your main objective.
- Your business is service-based. If so, lead generation might be the focus of your SEO campaign.
- Your business is an online shop. E-commerce SEO can be used to increase the revenue generated by online sales.
A breakdown of factors that can improve SEO
Although you don’t need a PhD to understand how to improve SEO, there are many factors to consider that all play a role in how your website performs in the SERPs, and how successful your business is online. Unity Online incorporates these into every SEO strategy we create and manage.
- Keyword research: Effective keyword research covers more than just broad, specific and industry-related search terms. It’s a deep dive into every angle of your products, services, competitors, and the questions users ask around your niche and related niches. This includes investigating organic click percentages for each keyword and the user intent behind each one.
- Keyword strategy: Like many things, failing to prepare is preparing to fail. To achieve the best results, a full keyword strategy should be in place for every page of your website – from core service and product landing pages through to individual product pages and blog content. As part of this, recommendations of new pages that could improve user experience and grow trust in your brand are made.
- On-page optimisation: Once a keyword strategy is in place, each page of your website will need content adding and adjusting to focus on the selected keywords. This ensures that when a search engine crawls and indexes your website they have a clear idea what each page is about. In turn, this enables search engines to show relevant results to users, and ensures that visitors to your website from organic search find what they are looking for – generating better-quality leads.
- Regular technical checks: Consistently monitoring and adjusting technical factors will ensure that your website offers the best user experience on all devices, including a fast page speed. It also enables SEO errors to be fixed quickly.
- Adding technical code: This will enhance a search engine’s understanding of a page’s content and aid indexing in mobile, desktop and local search results.
- Understanding different campaigns: Local, national and international SEO campaigns or e-commerce SEO campaigns require a tailored approach. Understanding how to target different markets and track each type of campaign is key.
- Conversion rate optimisation (CRO): It’s important to test and track how conversions are generated from website visitors to understand improvements that can be made to the customer journey and time on site, which will in turn improve your keyword rankings.
Why invest in an SEO strategy?
Remember that 75% of people never scroll past page one of the search results. That’s three-quarters of potential customers never finding your website, discovering your business or making a purchase – and it can be avoided by investing in an SEO strategy.
If your business is still relying on other marketing methods, it’s worth considering that leads from search engines have a 14.6% close rate. Outbound leads, like cold-calling and direct mail, only have a 1.7% close rate. So not only will SEO help you stand out from the crowd, but it will also improve both the number and quality of your leads.
And the best part is, you don’t have to be an expert on how to improve SEO. You just need a good understanding of your business objectives, and the support of an SEO team like Unity Online. For an idea of just how successful our SEO strategies have been for businesses like yours, take a look at our case studies.
Why hire an SEO agency
SEO requires a continued effort
It’s also important to remember that improving SEO is a marathon, not a sprint. A long-term SEO strategy will offer more benefit for your business than one-off adjustments to your website.
A website which is regularly updated with fresh content will be crawled and re-indexed more often, providing more opportunities to improve your search engine rankings. Effective SEO requires consistency and continued effort, which is why so many people choose to hire an SEO agency.
SEO is complex
SEO consists of much more than just keyword strategy and on-page optimisation. The search engine algorithm considers hundreds of factors when deciding where a website should appear in the SERPs – and our team works to cover every angle.
This includes technical SEO, off-page SEO, optimising your Google My Business and Bing Places profile, citation growth and monitoring competitors. We do this all while keeping your business and marketing objectives at the forefront of planning and implementation.
SEO is always changing
SEO is an ever-evolving industry with lots to learn and get to grips with. To do SEO well is more than a full-time job for one person, which is why hiring an SEO team can really pay off.
Our team has experience across the full digital marketing mix, including social media marketing, email marketing, PR, influencing and outreach, PPC, paid social advertising and content marketing. Working collaboratively on your account, we align our search marketing services to seasonal events and trends when planning and creating content to match your own marketing objectives.
We also have the support of our website development team when more technical adjustments are required to support your online presence, user experience and device compatibility.
For an informal discussion about your business and what you want to achieve with your website, get in touch with our team who will be happy to answer any questions you might have. If your website isn’t currently generating the leads you want, building brand awareness or developing trust in your business, SEO could provide the solution and results you are looking for.