Search Engine Marketing put simply is the use of offsite (away from website) and onsite (on your website) optimisation and promotion techniques, technologies and tools, including advertising to get your website noticed by people using search engines. Primarily these are Search Engine Advertising or Pay Per Click Advertising and Search Engine Optimisation. In this article let’s focus on the latter.
Search Engine Optimisation
In the world of digital marketing, SEO is somewhat of the grandfather and some would even suggest that it is no longer as important as it once was with the onset and power of social networks and so on.
Well as an SEO guy I may be biased but I believe it is still the backbone of any digital marketing strategy. After all, 70% of the traffic that clicks through Google goes through the top unpaid rankings on the first page.
So regardless of the traffic you get through social media marketing, pay per click or other sources Google is still your top source of the traffic to your website, or at least it should if your website is optimized properly for search engines.
SEO has always been part art part science and part playing the game. With Google's's ever-changing playing field it has been all about staying one step in front of the changes. The problem has been that so many unethical black hat SEO engineers have tried to game the system too much and effectively spamming the search engine results and Google to improve user experience has had to react by updating and changing the algorithms.
With panda, penguin and hummingbird there has always been some shifting sands within the world of an SEO engineer. It has been a headache and time of stress when dealing with a client’s website but it has been relatively fine for those of us who have been focused on serving the customer of the customer and not just getting search engine rankings for the sake of it.
Focusing on relevant content for the relevant keyword searches that serve the customer/visitor to get a page with the information they were looking for.
Top tips/lessons still relevant to SEO.
- Research Keyword focus and customer targeting to find out what sort of content they are looking for and what keywords they will be using
- Competitor keyword and ranking research, reverse engineer their site to understand what they are doing to rank well so that you can emulate but not directly copy as this would serve no purpose.
- Planning your website structure and content around the keyword strategy, including page title and internal linking (yes its still relevant to tell Google that these pages are related to these other pages).
- Meta tagging correctly focuses, title tag around 60 characters to tell Google what that page is about and meta description tag well written around 100 characters.
- The description tag is no longer used by Google for ranking purposes but it is used to inform users of Google what the page is about. If you don’t use it then it will pull the info off the page content but if you want to add things like calls to action in this area then you should write this content.
- It is still used by some other search engines.
- Content needs to be easily found so that customers/users can find it easily. This means that the pages that are relevant to the keywords that the users is searching for are discovered by Google search engines.
- Content needs to be convertible then into the result you need. So if you are selling consumer goods and you have created an info-rich content page to draw web searches in this is fine but you need to then make it easy for the user to be able to go from that page to buy the product or service.
- Is your content shareable? Do you make it easy for users to share your content on Facebook Twitter, Linkedin, and any of the other 1000+ social networks out there?
Want more? More articles on digital marketing, SEO, and search engine marketing are below. Maybe some SEO hacking advice coming soon