3 SEO Strategies to Help Create High-Performing Websites
“Do you also do SEO?” – is a common thing I hear coming from potential clients that are looking to build a new website, or completely redesign their online presence. SEO (Search Engine Optimisation, for those that don’t know) has become ubiquitous with digital marketing and the constant struggle to top search rankings.
But building a website and making sure it is heavily optimised for search engines doesn’t mean you will instantly rank well on Google – there is a certain level of disconnect between potential client expectations and actual industry techniques & results. This mainly boils down to the differentiation between building a highly search-optimised website and actually creating and implementing a creative content and search strategy.
The Definitive Difference
Many potential clients that talk to us normally have concerns about their search performance. Sometimes, we need to correctly migrate a high performing website to a new design and other times we need to build from scratch with optimisation in mind. There are also times when we have to conduct a technical SEO audit and look for the challenges on an existing website – making sure to action the low-hanging fruits.
This is always the first step in SEO and is normally a standard part of our service as web experts. However, making sure your website is technically optimised for search is just a tiny part of the overall SEO journey. There is much more to tick off the to-do list and as with a lot of things with business, it all starts with strategy.
1 – Strategic thinking first
Who is your audience? Who are their influencers? Where do they consume content? What are they interested in?
These are all very important questions to ask before even starting to think about keyword strategy, landing pages and content creation. Understanding exactly what your customers’ problems and pain points are enables you to start optimising for keywords that they will actually use. You may very well be ranking highly for ‘Plumbers in London’, but your target audience may also be searching heavily for ‘How to fix a broken radiator’.
Customer interviews, surveys and general research could give you some interesting insight into what your potential customers are actually looking for online. Once you’ve delved into search terms and keywords, you can then look into who your target audience listens to.
2 – Making use of industry figureheads
A lot of businesses spend thousands and thousands of pounds trying to gain an audience through digital means. Twitter followers, YouTube subscribers, email lists and website registrations – Marketers pour time, effort and money into gaining a large distribution network for their brand.
There is another way. Other industry experts & publications have already put that time and effort into growing their following, and if you can offer value back to them, you may be able to leverage their engaged audience. Find out where your audience is consuming content (whether it’s a specific publication, or a social media figurehead) and reach out. If you are already writing relevant, highly-optimised and engaging content, you are primed to start building links in the places that matter for your target audience.
3 – Test, Measure, Learn, Improve
The advent of Digital Marketing has given Marketers the amazing ability to truly understand what is actually happening with their content. Putting in place analytics and understanding what success should look like enables you to learn from your content activities and continually improve.
Google Analytics is the industry standard, but it can be overwhelming to beginners. Making sure you have clear goals to benchmark against will give you the best opportunity to evolve. Do you want people to simply share your content? Or are you looking for more tangible business metrics like purchases or enquiries? Analysing what works against these metrics will enable you to test your content methods and optimise for conversion.
The SEO world is extremely complex, and that’s even before you add in the constantly evolving rulebook that Google are continually updating. The above three insights are certainly no short term solution, but following them will provide you with a good strategic foundation to work from.
Unfortunately, just making sure your website has been technically optimised for search is not enough to take the top-spot on Google. Make sure you are creating content that you have a passion for, provides unique value and resonates with your target audience – and then look to optimise on top of this. Long-gone are the days of sheer black-hat search techniques; Google has evolved, and so should your SEO strategies.
By Joe Davine