With digital marketing playing a key role in todays business environment, it has never been more important to ensure your business website and product range is easily accessible to your target audience.

This means that you often need to improve and build upon your current Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) to help gain a better position online.

For those that are new to the SEO process, below are six simple steps in getting you started, and developing an SEO strategy that should see you moving up those rankings steadily.

Define your key search terms

Without a clear understanding of who’s searching for your product or service, and how they search for it, it’s difficult to build a solid SEO strategy.

Aim to understand this whilst planning your SEO campaign and list out around ten key search terms, which you feel will be used by potential customers to find your business. A handy tool for this is Google’s keyword tool, which is available through Google Adwords. This will then help you develop a better, more targeted campaign that yields positive, and good quality results and potential business leads.

Content is King

With new changes in the way Google ranks websites, it has never been more important to ensure your website is bursting with high quality, relevant and usable content that is useful to your target audience and your core business offering.

Google crawls the web looking for good quality, up to date and relevant information, which means new, well written content on your site, which is optimised to your key search terms is much more likely to be indexed by Google.

For those using content management tools such as WordPress, or custom developed systems, it is likely that you have control over your meta title and description tags. Without going into too much detail, it is important that these are well written, and relevant to the subject matter, as they will not only help Google index your new content, but also help readers find it and understand it.

Keep it up to date

Achieving a strong position through major search engines is one job; the second is the ability to maintain and build on that position.

In order to keep a position on search engines, you need to keep content up to date and fresh on a regular basis, and make sure it’s relevant to your business and your target markets. A great way of achieving this is to use a blog, or a content managed website if you have one, which allows for you to post your own content directly to the site, ready for search engines to crawl. This could be in the form of news articles, case studies, industry news or new content for business pages on the site. So long as it’s relevant, and keyword rich, your chances of improving rankings will be increased significantly.

Get social

Social media is becoming increasingly popular, and used more and more by businesses all over the world. It is becoming a key channel for communicating to a wide target audience, and content should therefore be filtered through those channels too.

With the development of blogging and content management technology, it is easier than ever to tie your website and its content into your social media account so that new content created is automatically shared with your target audience via the various social networks, such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and many more.

YouTube videos are also becoming a key component to good SEO, as the power of video increases. Given the right equipment and a decent script, you can create a series of short videos about your company, which help to attract a new audience, and ultimately quality links to your site.

The more views you attract, and the longer someone spends watching your video, the better this will help support your SEO strategy and overall performance on the web.

Track & Analyse

With any website, your first port of call should be to set up some form of analysis tool. The most commonly used application is Google Analytics, which is free to use, and provides in depth insight into your website’s performance, your users, and how they interact with the site too.

This allows you to understand what content is working well for you, and what content isn’t. This information can then be used to help shape future work carried out on your site, and optimization to help generate additional traffic and sales enquiries.

Make your website accessible

There are plenty of sites out there with great content, but the way they are structured and built isn’t always up to the standards major search engines expect and demand.

For this reason, it is key to ensure your website is well designed and structured to ensure visitors are able to navigate around the site easily, and access your content quickly and efficiently. This can involve the use of well-built links, optimised descriptions for your images (alt tags), the correct placement of headings, known as h1, h2, and h3 tags, and the correct titling of pages.

Another consideration is making sure your site can be used in conjunction with learning aids such as screen readers, which ensures you are in line with the disability discrimination act.

A quick way to see if your website meets current web standards is to visit W3C (www.w3.org), the web standards authority, who have a facility for checking your website for compliancy.

Conclusion

The above methods of SEO are some initial guidelines to get your site moving up the rankings quickly and effectively. There are many more options available with SEO which aren’t covered in this article, so for any additional support and advice, feel free to contact us at our Oldham office, as we’d be happy to advise the best strategy for you.

Cornerstone DM