When it comes to Google rankings there are so many variables to consider for SEO success. Businesses can no longer target one area of SEO, such as aggressive link building, and think their SEO strategy is going to work.
Search engine algorithms have evolved forcing SEO companies to look at the bigger picture. For a business to succeed on-line it will require a comprehensive digital marketing strategy that includes, but is not limited to, search engine optimisation, social media participation and creating helpful content customers will want to read and share.
Effectively a business needs to create a community around itself, by engaging customers with helpful interesting content, and customer service which is out of this world.
The search engines are stopping the spamming behaviour some SEO companies employed. To get to the top of the search engines is now a hard slog; like training and running a marathon.
SEO has changed considerably over the past few years, SEO should no longer be a stand-a-lone marketing tool, but part of a businesses comprehensive business plan.
To influence the search engines, a business has to provide customers with the best experience possible.
Factors commonly used by the search engine algorithms:-
Owners of businesses who have to do all their own digital marketing, as well as run their shop or office, may find it helpful to split their time between the following factors commonly used by the search engine algorithms.
Accessibility and Content
Ideally about 40% of allocated time for digital marketing should be spent on website accessibility and content creation.
Accessibility helps customers find what they want quickly. Ideally every page on a website should be at least 2 to 3 clicks from the top pages.
New content gives customers a reason to come back to a website, and also gives customers new things to share with their friends and family.
Keyword Research and Targeting
About 30% of the time available should be allocated to keyword research and targeting.
Look at what terminology the competition, customers, manufacturers and even educational sites use which are relevant. Collect those keywords and do some research in Google analytics to find those that have low competition but high traffic.
About 20% of the available time should go towards building links to the website. Links need to be from quality sources that are similar to the site receiving the link.
At present only 10% of the available time should go to social media.
Before jumping into social media a business should have a plan in place to create quality content current customers will want to read and share. Loyal customers will be more than happy to share great content. Customers may choose to advocate content either by retweeting posts in Tweeter, Liking and sharing in Facebook or +1-ing in Google.
A company needs to find where customers prefer to hang out, create profiles in those social networks and start having conversations. To make it easy for customers to find a social profile or to share content, the social networks follow and share buttons will need to be placed in prominent positions on the businesses website.
Content is considered to be information about services, products, helpful articles and promotions, competitions, offers, discounts and of course sharing other people's content which is felt to be beneficial to the customer.
Creating great content benefits a businesses on-line presence by increasing reach, it also helps to build links and citations.
Local Business Listings
Local business listing such as Trip Advisor can be really good for on-line businesses when receiving positive customer reviews, but too many negative reviews could really hurt.
Any company choosing to connect to customers by using a local business listing website will need a strategy in place to deal with negative reviews.
Having a comprehensive business strategy
A business has to be where its customers are to survive. If customers are using search engines to find products or services, using review sites to find out what others are saying, and forums and social networks to make their final purchasing decision, a business will have to be in those places as well.
The greatest benefit this kind of digital marketing can offer a business is, the potential customer is already looking for you. A business does not have to jump in the way and interrupt the customers, but simply has to be where the customer is and be actively participating.
As always with digital marketing, test what works for your company and reallocate your time accordingly, if something does not work, ditch it and move on. Testing is the only way you will find the best return on investment.
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