Last week I visited a business contact who runs a small local business and needs sales leads quickly. He therefore wanted his website to work and asked “can we SEO quickly?”
He had designed this site himself some years ago and even he admits that it wasn’t fit for purpose. Of course I explained that optimising correctly will take months, even years, to reach its full potential but this did leave me thinking whether there is a way to optimise quickly?
Now we all know that optimising your online presence to maximise the visits you receive – and therefore the opportunity to sell that results from this increase in visits, will take a methodical and time-consuming process, however if it is implemented correctly then of course there is a real opportunity to receive these visits earlier than you may think possible.
With this all in mind, what can we do to turn this around quickly? In fact, it is in this area that localised smaller businesses actually steal a mark on their larger nationwide competition. Google is trying hard to localise the results we receive from any search completed and therefore we should answer this requirement at the earliest opportunity:-
Is your company’s website set up in the correct way to attract search engines? Are the pages titled correctly with the correct page structure? Are you targeting the words and phrases that your potential customers are looking for? Is your hosting provider delivering the website in a timely manner? Are you compliant for mobile searchers? And of course, do you have analytics set correctly to track what’s truly going on?
These are all important areas that should be corrected as a priority as this will then provide the best opportunity for the search engines to find your site and understand what it provides.
Next, we must think about those visitors. Where is your traffic? Do you regularly blog and is there targeted content on the net aimed at you, your products and services? Your social profiles, these will not increase your SEO on their own but they will generate interest and visits. Every facet of your campaign must be pulling in the same direction.
Once this has all been implemented correctly it can then be expanded and the ongoing management can commence, let’s not forget the software industries mantra – create, test, launch, fix, improve! But do not be under any false illusions, without this initial work you will not gain the increase you need.
Can this be done quickly? Well it should be or else your agency is not delivering as it really needs to do in order to deliver true return on investment.
So, what can you really do? You find the biggest opportunities and/or the quickest fixes, and you tackle those first, this is referred to as ‘the low hanging fruit’. Anything that’s going to take a while or not give you immediate results then push it back. Not forever, but just until you start seeing some initial wins.
Most business owners already have this covered, but have you? The reality is that the vast majority have too many targets and, to make matters worse, their website and social profiles are not targeting these terms.
So, this is where we start. We break your keyword research into phrases that we believe your customers are searching for. There are many tools available to help here so it doesn’t need to be too difficult or too deep. Don’t forget, we can expand and manipulate as time goes by.
We start with the core topics/phrases and pick out the unique ways people search for what you offer, minus all of the qualifiers. For now, you want to keep it simple and find the unique phrases that will help you build out your site navigation.
The next big win is to take your core term/topic phrases etc. and work out which ones are worthy of your sites main navigation and then for these to have their own specific tailored landing page. You should have a list of mostly unique phrases, each deserving of its own landing page that can be highly targeted. Now is the time to plan that page!
You might find unique terminology that represents the same phrase. Don’t create separate pages for those lets simply target this page. By focusing on your navigation early, you are priming your site to have a solid set of landing pages perfectly designed to give searchers exactly what they are looking for.
The majority of SEO’s will not work on this area yet, however this is one of the single most important areas to get right as soon as possible. Most website architecture issues won’t be quick, but some are. Forget the ones that will take time till later in the campaign. First deliver those ‘quick wins that will ultimately help the ongoing campaign.
It does not matter if your site has ten pages or a thousand, aiming your top-level titles towards the main terms will ultimately drive understanding from both the search engines and from visitors as these are the first things people see in your search result. The idea here is to eventually ensure that each and every page has its own unique title tag. Let’s worry about the top-level pages first and the remainder can be done as we progress through the ongoing optimisation.
Meta Description Tags
We need to again optimise the description tags in a similar way to that that we have completed for the title tags. These will not improve your search visibility on their own, however they will promote your snippet in search listings and therefore increase your click through rate. Don’t forget, this is the snippet you see in search engine listings below the initial title so it must be descriptive and have a great call to action.
There are a number of elements that make up each of your webpages from a code perspective. One of these is the ‘heading’ elements that start at H1 and deliver through to H4 and H5 or more. By targeting the heading elements towards the earlier keyword research then again you are targeting this page and its contents exactly to what the search engine or the visitor is after. Do not miss out any level and ensure that each is unique and targeted towards the main content of this particular page. This will not only help search engines understand the page but will also help your visitors to make sure they are on the correct page for the search term they originally searched for.
Now that you have completed this initial work the search engines will understand what you are targeting and, importantly, your clients will also understand. In turn this should drive click throughs. We can now begin the slow and methodical approach to deeply optimising the site fully.
Of course, this will include further keyword research, it will include an increased level of code and website updates. It will include content both on page and off. It will of course include analysis to truly understand the results of all this work and more importantly, to ensure you understand what you are receiving and how we can expand this. This ongoing work although methodical must remain agile to enable your campaign to stay on track and move as search requirements need.
For more information on setting up your SEO campaign correctly then please do drop us a line. We can very easily analyse your current site to determine the best way forward. In fact we can also understand whether your current campaign is actually working as the vast majority will not…