Following on the success of the LEARN series, we had the pleasure to host the second edition focusing on SEO and acquisition. LEARN started with a recap of what was discussed at the first event, with a brief introduction to the importance of using Google Analytics to improve website conversion. Having seen the value of analysing your site against your competitors, we moved into explaining the basics of SEO and acquisition.
WHAT IS SEO?
Chris Donnelly, Founder and Managing Director of Verb briefly summarised what the basics of SEO are and what the main differences between organic and paid media are. Through a few examples, we could see the different results you get on Google search when looking for a specific topic and then we were able to identify the different results.
However, it is important to know that SEO is not the only digital channel within organic media. We would also include organic social and email marketing in this category. Paid media would include PPC, paid social, display advertising, retargeting and affiliate advertising.
WHY IS SEO SO POWERFUL?
“According to retailers, most customers—82%—conduct research online”
According to the report ‘A Split Screen: Online information and human touch’ by Forbes Insight, the majority of consumers prefer to research online before purchasing a product (even if the final purchase is offline). When we analyse how we as consumers research online, Google is often our first source of information and reference.
Therefore, any brand, no matter what product or service you offer, should have a strong SEO strategy in place to rank higher than competitors in Google searches. Being in the top 5 organic results will definitely drive more sales to your brand than not being present at all.
COMMON REASONS TO START SEO
When we speak to our clients, these are some of the most common reasons why they decide to use a solid SEO strategy:
- “Not enough traffic through Google. Why?”
- “My competitor is ranking above me”
- “Traffic is dropping year on year but the business is growing”
- “Not rankings for many keywords and not ranking well for keywords”
- “Google penalties that are damaging rankings and traffic”
- “Want to increase traffic”
- “Want to increase sales”
- “Want to grow brand exposure”
- “Want to target new international markets”
HOW TO DO SEO?
At LEARN, we explained the basics of how to put an SEO strategy in place. We remarked the importance of analysing your competitors and current rankings to be able to define your new SEO strategy.
First, you need to understand and set your objectives as a brand.
Then, you need to invest in the appropriate tools to do so. At Verb we use a range of tools, some of them are free and some others are not, but these are the ones that we would like to recommend:
- Backlink research and monitoring: Moz, Majestic and AHREFS
- Keyword Research: Adwords, Moz, Linkdex
- Keyword Monitoring: Linkdex
- Technical Monitoring: Screaming Frog & IIS SEO Toolkit, Google Developer Tools, Google Page Insights
- Search Engine Performance Tracking: Google Search Console & Google Analytics
- User Experience and CRO Research & Monitoring: Hotjar and survey monkey
WHICH TECHNICAL ITEMS YOU SHOULD CONSIDER
When working on the technical issues, brands should focus on these top 6 technical matters in order to have the most complete SEO strategy possible.
- Site speed
- Optimised page titles and meta data
- Creation and management of XML sitemaps
- Prevention of keyword cannibalization
- Schema markup
- Configuring robots.txt file
WHAT ABOUT KEYWORDS?
Your SEO keywords are the words and phrases in your web content that make it possible for people to find your site via search engines. Your keyword strategy should be consistent and continuous in order to be able to see results in the midterm.
CONTENT IS KING
If you want to achieve good SEO results, you need to generate content relevant to your brand. It is important to think of what people are searching for when looking for products or services like yours. Keeping your enemies closer is another good way of doing so. Look at what SEO they are doing and what they rank for.
Adwords can be very useful here to find out what keywords have the highest search volume. You can then target them as your core keywords for each product or service.
We advise dividing your audience into subgroups using Google Analytics data, creating ‘personas’ for specific content. You can then write the content based on your personas for each page using those specific keywords.
DON’T FORGET BACKLINKS
It may sound obvious but getting other websites to refer to yours helps enormously when trying to increase your keyword rankings in search engines. Here are the key steps that we would recommend when backlink building:
- Work out what pages you need to promote
- Identify industry partners, bloggers and influential sites you want to gain backlinks from
- Write your outreach email and contact the webmasters and influencers to start the process of gaining those backlinks
- Go back eventually and check those backlinks are still there, as some webmasters may take content down if you are not looking.
- Run a check to see your whole backlink profile and highlight any spammy backlinks you don’t want to come to your site.
If you want to learn more about how to drive traffic to your website or what to plan for in the year ahead, please get in touch with us. We can also send you the event’s presentation on request. If you wish to get a copy, please email Clara at firstname.lastname@example.org
LEARN Social Media Strategy – June 2017
The third LEARN will discuss social media strategy. We will look at the future of the social media landscape, and how brands can harness this to see results. We will also show you how best to use the platforms inbuilt analytics, so you can analyse your own channels and build a social content plan based on your own successes and weaknesses.
If you are interested in attending, please RSVP your place here. We will be in touch prior to the event with detailed information and a supporting document to help you prepare this session.
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