Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is a digital marketing channel for websites to build and grow successful online business. It is a process to tailor your website to the algorithms and make visible to the search engines which in return rank high in search engine results pages so customers can find your website.
Why you should use SEO channel? Recent research shows that 81% customers search online before making actual purchase and Google alone have more than 100 billion queries per month. If you are still not convinced, then I can tell you that as soon as you have a website you are using the SEO channel whether you like it or not.
In this article, I discuss main components of a successful SEO strategy and a short introduction of each component. In short, components of a successful SEO strategy are persona development, good content, website design and structure, right keywords and phrases, off-page optimisation and responsive website. Good SEO should always focus on for the user not the search engines. If you adapt good SEO rules, then your SEO strategy would work for most of the search engines and ultimately this would bring rewards for your business.
First of all, you should decide goals and objectives of your SEO strategy. Your SEO strategy must be fully aligned with your main marketing plan and business goals. To do this, you must understand your target market, their demographics, age, location, income and what they like and dislike? In this way, you can predict their online shopping behaviours and have a better understanding what they search online. Then SEO strategy evolve by choosing relevant keywords according to their search behaviours.
Next step is to start to build your focus keyword list. There are numerous online databases who provide lists of keywords and what people are searching online. You can get more information about what competition looks like by using Google AdWords keywords. Competition is varying in different markets and locations. If you notice that keywords are too competitive in your market, then go with long keywords (phrases, 3 to 5 words), as the longer the keywords, the less competition you have and this is a good SEO rule for small businesses and startUps to rank high in search engines.
Meta Tags and Meta Description
The two most important ‘tags’ play vital role in SEO are title tags and meta description. The title tag is a brief description of page content and sits within the HTML code and visible in search results. Title tags should be unique, ideally less than 75 characters and relevant to keywords. The meta description is a longer description of the page content and ideally no more than 160 characters. They should be unique and also should be included some of your focus keywords.
Website navigation flow and pages hierarchy should be sensible and logical. All pages must be sit logically so search engine ‘robots’ can crawl website without any problem. URL should be logical and all words should be separated with hyphen and forward slash. There should be two site maps; one for users and one for search engines. Robots cannot interpret images so Alt text for images must be provided so search engine can interpret visual content and always avoid duplicate content.
With the rise of social media and content marketing, content have become king in the SEO strategy. As search engine ‘robots’ try to interpret website so informative content really helps to create good user experience for the visitor and to rank high in search results. It is vital content must be good quality, engaging, focus on keywords and brand. It is also important to produce and upload fresh content on regular basis so search engines keep crawling your website and ultimately this would help to build an authority.
One recent data shows that 71% adults in Great Britain access internet ‘on the go’ and this is very important to make sure that your website renders on all devices like laptops, desktops, tablets and mobile phones. It means your site must be responsive. If your site is not responsive, would be missed out when a mobile device is being used.
About Azam Badar
Azam Badar is a digital marketing consultant of iClick Digital (http://iclickdigital.co.uk/) which is providing Digital, SEO and Content Marketing services to small businesses and startUps in Croydon, London. You can contact him at email@example.com and +44(0)203 745 7115.