Making SEO Work for You

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Search engines.

They’re essentially the map that’s going to point potential customers towards you. So, are you signposting yourself well enough?

When it comes to making the most of tools like Google, Bing etc., it takes a lot more work than you might think. Even if someone types in your company’s name in the search bar, if you aren’t putting time and effort into SEO, then it isn’t guaranteed that you’ll be the top hit, or even on the first page.

There’s a reason SEO experts exist. When it comes to getting your website ranked highly, you need a solid number of keywords to use as well as making sure that the copy on your pages is continually being updated to accommodate them. While paid adverts can put you at the top of a page of results, you should never underestimate the power of well-researched, properly edited organic search copy.

Still not sure how SEO could work for you? Keep reading to find out.

What is SEO?

SEO or ‘search engine optimisation,’ covers a whole host of different techniques.

It basically boils down to anything you do organically to help you rank your website higher. In layman’s term, you’re optimising yourself for search engines. Simple right?

Just remember that this doesn’t include ranking for the paid ads you will nearly always see at the top of your search results. Those operate on an entirely different system that involves bidding for a spot and paying per click. While also useful for getting yourself noticed, today we’re going to focus on the natural techniques you can use to push yourself up to page one.

All search engines have an algorithm that they use to rank results. Much like a Big Mac’s secret sauce, no one outside of the very highest employees of those companies knows exactly how it works, but that doesn’t mean you can’t take advantage.

Google updates it’s algorithm a lot, so don’t be surprised if you find yourself jumping up and down the rankings from time to time. The key is making sure that you’re staying on top of relevant news and services in your industry and optimising the content you create around them. The best way to do that? Keywords.

Keywords

These are crucial to staying highly ranked.

SEO keywords are the terms and phrases that you’ll use to drive people to your landing pages. You’ll need to be aware of which words and phrases people may be searching if looking for a service like yours and then try and incorporate them into the copy on your website. As these are essentially the foundation of all your SEO practices, it’s worth your time to do your research correctly and invest in some tools to help you.

First things first, you need to settle on the right keywords. While shorter keywords might be more popular, this does mean that higher volumes of businesses will already be targeting those terms. This could make it harder for you to rank. Having a mix of both long and shorter keywords is usually the best way to go.

If you’re struggling to think of keywords to target, you can:

  • Highlight the key topics in your business
  • Think about longer phrases people might search. While these may have lower numbers of peoples reaching for them, it means you’re more likely to direct the right customers your way.
  • Think about which parts of your business you’d like to highlight this month
  • Hire an SEO expert from an online marketing agency
  • Use an online SEO tool and keep track of keyword search results.

Writing Strong Copy

Search engines are clever. They’ll know if you’ve put effort into your copy or if you’ve just stuffed it with keywords to try and rank yourself.  

Years ago, many marketers thought they could ‘cheat’ the search engine bots by just stuffing their web pages with relevant keywords then colouring them to match the background so no one could see. While this worked for a short time, people soon noticed that lower quality web pages were ranking highly and found the reason why. Thus, the search algorithms were adjusted with those kinds of tricks now pushing pages lower rather than boosting them up.

Like anything in business, there’s very rarely an easy way out, with the best way to rank highly just putting careful thought and effort into what you’re writing. Lists or strange combinations of keywords are going to trigger all sorts of red flags with the bots crawl your page, so try and make your prose sound as natural as you can.

Luckily, tools like Cognitive SEO can help see if what you’ve written will rank highly and other tools available online that can check for plagiarism as well as checking your grammar and sentence structure. Regardless of where your work is posted, you want to make sure it is a good as it can be as it’s going to reflect on the quality of your business, especially if you’re in a creative or digital profession.

Guest Posts

Never underestimate the power of a good guest post. A guest post is an article you write and post to a third-party website or blog. Why do this? Well, there many reasons.

Besides the fact that bloggers can be very influential, especially if posts get shared on social media, guest posting can do great things for your SEO efforts. As long as the host blogger includes a link back to your website or blog, then you can boost yourself up the search rankings with some solid bank links. Perfect if you want your content to be easier to find.

At the end of the day, SEO isn’t something you can ignore. With Google alone processing 40,000 searches per second, you can’t afford to let your website or blog slip down the rankings into obscurity. Luckily, if you take the time to do some keyword research, write some engaging copy and maybe enlist the help of some SEO experts, then you’ll be pushing yourself up to page one in no time.