SEO - 10/12 - Digital Marketing Agency

Free Digital Marketing Advice for Small Business – Lesson 3 – Onsite SEO

By | Digital Marketing, SEO | No Comments

The thing with SEO is, it takes a lot of time. There is no use waiting to be able to afford an agency if you can’t see it happening in the next month or so. You need to start getting value to your website as soon as possible, because SEO is  a long, slow process.

Google, and other search engines, value age in a website. So the earlier you get your website up on the net, indexed by search engines, and in a search engine friendly format, the better.

In lesson 1, I said that one of the first things you needed to do was to decide on keywords for your website. If you sell bicycles online, then your terms might be things like:

Sydney bikes

Sydney bicycles

Cheap bicycles

Bikes online

There are a few places on site you need to use these terms. One is in your meta data, and below is a great example of  a Google entry with good meta data:Meta data example

The type in blue is called the meta title, and the type in black is called the meta description. Both should contain some keywords where possible, but not too many. What is written here could mean the difference between someone clicking through to your site or not, so you have to make it look enticing.

Every content management system (what your website is set up on) is different, but if you search the help or FAQ section for information on ‘meta titles’ and ‘meta descriptions’, you can find out how to input this information.

Other places to use your key terms in your website are:

  • In your text content
  • As part of headings
  • As part of menu items
  • As anchors for images
  • As part of your URLs for appropriate pages
  • As the anchor text for links when linking between pages. e.g. You might also like to read more about bicycles

There are many other ways, but for DIY SEO, this is plenty to start with.

With any of these techniques, you need to use moderation! Don’t stuff your keywords all over the page, just make sure that the words that you did research on and which you found would be useful for getting traffic (relevant, specific and high volume), are used throughout your site in appropriate pages. Any more than that, and you look spammy and if you have too much, you could even get penalised by search engines.

Why Content Is King

By | Content Writing, SEO | No Comments

If you work in online marketing, you will have heard it said a million times before – Content is King.

This is one of the most basic rules of SEO, but one that cannot be emphasised enough. The benefits of creating and growing quality content on your site are numerous. Below I list them, just so if you, your boss, your team, or anyone else needs reasons for "Why do we need MORE content?"…

  1. It grows the size of your site, improving your reputation and trust with Google
  2. Good content creates incentives for people to visit your site, increasing traffic.
  3. High quality can mean natural growth in links, as people discover and link to your valuable content or tools.
  4. An ongoing content strategy means new and/or changing content on your site, which means your site remains fresh, which is beneficial for Google.
  5. Lots of content on a subject helps your company to appear as ‘expert’ and trustworthy.
  6. More content, means more opportunity for embedded keywords, which  are used in SEO

So, for the sake of your brand, rankings and customer experience, make sure you stick to an ongoing content creation schedule – one of the best ways to keep your website healthy.

Google Local Results – Now Searching Postcodes

By | Search Engine Marketing, SEO | No Comments

I noticed this new postcode search box while on Google today…

google-map-postcode-box

Over the last month or so, we know that Google has been attempting to refine their local search, to try and make it so that if you search for something generic, like hairdressers or restaurant, they will return related local sites or ads. This meant that towards the top of the page you would usually get a Google map with the local vendors like below. (The pushpins are looking unusually 3d to me today, do you think?)

3d-google-map

This new method means that you get more generic results, and if you WANT local results, then you can have them by entering your city or postcode.

I think this is an excellent improvement (though obviously not permanent, as I can’t find it again), because:

1. It lets you tell Google if you are wanting local rather than generic results – rather than Google just guessing.

2. It lets you tell Google the location, rather than them guessing from your IP address – which is particularly useful if you are searching for something for a friend, somewhere you want to go, etc.

3. It gets rid of that annoying big map picture, which you might not be interested in.

I have seen the new post code search on .com and .co.uk but not yet on .com.au, which was still showing the local business results.

If Google rolls this out as a normal service, businesses can expect to be able to increase their visibility to searchers who are actually looking in their area, but not necessarily for generic searches.

SEO – How To Analyse Your Long Tail

By | SEO | No Comments

The Long Tail is often discussed in SEO (and PPC), but is still largely misunderstood or unactioned. It is not a term unique to Search Engine Marketing, but is also used in many other industries to describe the situation where a small number of customers/products individually create large amounts of profit, but the larger pool of small profit customers/products bring in the vast majority of overall profit.

Lets have a quick look at the long tail, noting that you should easily be able to see this phenomenon reflected in your own traffic statistics.

One of my sites, has over 10,000 visits from search per month. This (natural) search traffic comes from over 6,500 different search terms!

Around 10% of this traffic (being generous), comes from a few key search terms. The remaining 90% comes from a vast array of search terms, which each bring less than 0.1% of traffic.

SEO - The Long Tail

This is the long tail. The huge array of search terms which alone aren’t bringing significant traffic, but without them, your overall search traffic would be decimated. Within this gigantic list of terms are opportunities you can capitalise on.

How do you do this?

Step 1 – Understanding Your Long Tail

You can make a graph of your own site’s ‘long tail’, like the one above, by exporting your search term traffic data from your analytics package, and making a graph of it in Excel – Traffic on the Y axis, Terms on the X axis.
There are different long tail graphs you should make:
a) The overall long tail graph – all your search traffic – shows you which terms are driving traffic overall. Branded terms should figure high in the ‘head’ section.
b) The branded and non-branded long tail graphs – branded and non-branded terms behave very differently, so you need to analyse them both separately AND together
c) SEO and PPC long tail graphs – you need to know where the traffic is coming from to be able to optimise for it, so you better separate your organic and paid traffic.

Once you have made these different graphs and tables, it is time for

Step 2 – Analysing Your Long Tail

Look for patterns in your long tail. Some questions you might want to ask include:

a) Are your main terms often part of the smaller terms? This shows an effective SEO strategy whereby your main SEO is benefitting long tail terms. Can this be replicated to produce other ‘free’ longtail campaigns? ( SEO can help in the long tail and the head. The purpose of a good SEO strategy is to increase ranking for specific (usually competitive) terms, which if done correctly should also mean that similar but less popular terms also gain visibility.)

b) Are there common themes which are surprising – if you are getting  a lot of long tail traffic for a common theme, perhaps there is a related ‘head’ term which should be incorporated into your SEO or PPC strategy?

c) Are there few main themes? If so, then perhaps you should try and develop your SEO campaign to develop some ‘free’ long tail campaigns. Or alternatively, how can you group these terms for a more comprehensive PPC longtail campaign? The key is try and organise your long tail so that you can better manage it.

d) Is your PPC head largely Branded terms – this is a common phenomenon, and you need to ask yourself – can this be easily shifted to natural traffic to save money?

e) Is your non-branded SEO traffic largely in tail terms? This insinuates an ineffective SEO campaign for specific terms. Maybe you aren’t targetting high traffic terms? It is important to try and get head terms from SEO as well, just so you aren’t dependent on the fluctuations in the PPC bidding market.

Your own long tail will raise its own questions and patterns, so obviously this list of questions is non-exhaustive.

Step 3 – Expanding on Your Long Tail

How to do keyword research for the long tail? Well of course you can use your normal keyword tools,  where you suggest terms and they give you more. Or you can use Googles Search-based Keyword Tool, where you type in your URL and it suggests terms for your particular site (AND links each term to an appropriate landing page – v. useful).

Another way is to look in your natural search term traffic report. You will see tonnes of tail terms which people will come to your site on.  You might wonder, if you are already getting traffic from them via natural search, why spend money bidding on them in PPC? Good point, but the reason is that those terms should be cheap, so you can just test and see if you can improve on your natural search performance. If not, switch it off!

Then, you can also use those natural tail terms to try and generate more tail terms using your normal keyword tools.

Some PPC marketers might think that they can use broad match instead of doing longtail keyword research. You could – but don’t think it will bring optimal results. Also, remember it is largely only going to bring traffic for terms that have your nominated search terms as stems. It doesn’t hurt to make a long tail keyword list in your PPC campaign – if no one is searching for those terms, you won’t pay!

The key with long tail PPC campaigning is to make sure that you group your long tail terms appropriately so that you can target your ads effectively and therefore minimise wasted clicks.

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