Why you need to pay attention to SEO
The number one reason clients come to us at RFS Marketing is because they are struggling to find and keep customers. Regularly it comes top of the list of challenges reported by SMEs (small-medium enterprises) and start-ups. SEO (search engine optimisation) may just feel like another jargony marketing buzzword, but it is going to be critical for your business and it deserves some attention.
Is SEO a nightmare to sort out?
No. In a word. There are lots of businesses who specialise in ONLY doing SEO and that is great for bigger businesses. But SMEs and startups need to get the basics right too without it costing the earth, and importantly you need to keep on top of those basics as well.
So what needs to be done?
Get your website page speed up to scratch
We’ve had three recent clients who needed new or revamped websites – one who was been actively punished by the Google ranking because of significant site problems. Get it reviewed by an expert, get a second (or third) opinion (they shouldn’t be charging for this – we don’t) and understand what needs to be tackled and what it will cost. If all is well – that’s great. Fix what isn’t. It’s important. Google has indicated site speed (and as a result, page speed) is one of the key factors used by its algorithm to rank your web pages. A slow page speed will negatively affect how your site is indexed. It’s an important element of SEO.
You can evaluate your page speed yourself by using Google’s PageSpeed Insights. If it isn’t coming out as ‘Good’, speak to your web developer about getting it sorted.
2. Sort your on-site SEO
Our friends at Tenfold give a list of sensible suggestions for improving on-site SEO. These include:
- Create a priority list of targeted search terms that pertain to the customer base and market segment (this means doing your research into your target customers – create pen portraits or personas of them, and know what their needs and ‘pain points’ are. If you don’t know how to do this get in touch and we’ll send you a template)
- If users frequently misspell a word, include that in the webpages as well
- When you need to introduce new keywords to your site – that’s what your blog / news page is for (you do have one, right?)
- Track the site’s rankings every 30 to 45 days to ensure the keywords remain effective
- Determine goals ahead of time and make sure they are measurable so that it’s possible to note the return on investment regularly
- Create page titles
- Develop new sitemaps for Google and Bing
- Place strategic words and phrases throughout the content on every page
- Continually test and measure the business’s success using objective tools to do so.
3. Use your keywords on social media
We’ve had a customer page going from ranking NOWHERE to ranking in the top 4 for a search term – and importantly ABOVE their main competitor – after doing this. Within 24 hours. Do it sensibly – you still need to make engaging, interesting content don’t just bang out spam messages of keywords, but be mindful that it needs to join up.
4. That’s it.
Just kidding – there is lots more you can do, but trust us this will work absolute wonders to start off with.
Just don’t underestimate the importance of the role of search in your overall digital marketing strategy. If you think of it’s place in the four key stages of digital marketing as described by the good folk at Smart Insights:
REACH —–> ACT —–> CONVERT —–> ENGAGE
Reach involves building awareness of your brand, products and services on other websites (and in offline media) to build traffic to different web presences like your main site, microsites or social media pages. SEO is a fundamental part of maximising ways of reaching you.
Is finding customers a challenge? Check your approach to SEO, pay it some attention, and get people finding you. The next stage of the journey is Act – getting potential customers to take the next Action on their journey on your site. We’ll pick that up next time.