Are you passionate about making your business a success online? Are you looking to gain more enquiries/sales?
Then here's why engaging the services of an SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) agency might be the best decision you make. However, if you're keen to learn more about it and have a go yourself, here is our rundown on the 3 main areas you should look at (as well as our favourite FREE SEO tools
). Before we get to the good bits, here's are some great SEO stats:
- 46% of searches are from people looking for local businesses
- 93% of sales start with a search on Google
- 81% of people perform an online search before contacting a company
- Around 70% cheaper than employing someone in-house
This might surprise you to read - there's no magic trick behind what we do
. So why do business owners use agencies such as ours to manage their SEO? In most cases, the simple reason is time. As a business owner your time is precious - time which can be best used elsewhere. As the owner of Jigsaw Digital I've worked in digital marketing for nearly 10 years - or to put it another way, I've spent over 85,000 hours learning and understanding SEO and digital marketing inside out - this is time which most business owners could never dedicate to their SEO. SO WHAT IS SEO?
You'll probably have come across SEO in the form of a company spamming your inbox about their services. But what really is SEO? Is it hard to understand? Can anyone do it? We're here to dispel any myths around it and make it open for everyone to understand.
In it's simplest form SEO is about making changes to your website that will help you rank higher in the search engines - these include finding and using the right keywords, putting them in the right areas, working on your content, and making sure your website is structurally sound. 1) KEYWORDS
Targeting the right keywords might sound easy, but you'd be wrong. One of our earliest clients wanted to rank for 'red cars' which, in his defence, seemed logical as he was car dealership that sold some red cars. However, the likelihood of him ever ranking for this was impossible. So if you're not using an agency like ours that can explain what terms are useful and which aren't, you'll need to get yourself some SEO tools that can show you what people are ACTUALLY searching for - SEMRush, aHrefs, Sistrix are just some of the tools we use. The downside with using these tools if you're a novice is trying to decipher what keywords are good and which ones aren't. The other thing that puts most business owners off are the costs involved to maintain the tools each month. To use the tools mentioned, you're looking around a minimum of £400 a month (that's just for the basic plans). As an agency we use the full business suites. 2) CONTENT
Okay, so you've spent your money and signed up to all the tools. You've spent countless hours trawling YouTube and Google for tutorials on how to use them, and you've finally found the keywords you want to use (after looking through thousands). Now you'll want to get the keywords on your website. In order to do this you're going to need content (and really good content at that, as this is something Google looks at). First of all you want to match keywords up to relevant pages.
This next tip, which is going to sound counter-intuitive - when you're writing content for your website, don't write it with SEO in mind. If you're writing about a service, write the content as if you were explaining to a customer what it is, why the need it, and what you can do to help them. Your content is your voice online, so make sure it tells visitors all your key information. Never rely on the fact you have a contact number or contact form, because the chances are if people don't get the information they need straight away they're going to leave the site.
Another big no, no for SEO and content is what we call "keyword stuffing". Or to put it another way, adding the same keyword around 50 times in one paragraph because you think it will help your rankings. I promise you it won't make you rank higher and it's probably going to put people off when they visit your site.
Lastly, when you're targeting keywords make sure to target them on the correct page. For example, let's say you're an accountant with pages for 'Bookkeeping', 'Tax Advice' and 'Auditing', what you don't want to do is put 'bookkeping' related terms on your 'tax advice' page as they're not relevant to the content on that page. Plus, if someone types in 'bookkeeping manchester' and lands on your tax advice page, the chances are they'll leave (which you don't want). So really take the time to understand your keywords, your website and the pages you want to target them on.3) SITE STRUCTURE
This is one of the most important elements and also ties in with our second recommendation above. When looking at your website you want to make sure you have a page for each of your services. If you have a single page website - just one page with nothing else, you're seriously hampering your chances of ranking for additional keywords. Let's take the accountants again as an example. If they had one page, but offered six different accounting services, they would have to choose which 1 or 2 keywords to target on their one page site. But what about the other 4-5 services, does that mean they're not important? As a business, I'm pretty sure ALL of your services are important, therefore make sure you have a page for each.
So now you've done your keyword research, you've targeted the keywords on the right pages, invested time (and possibly money) into copywriting and now (with a bit of luck) you're starting to get some rankings. But what if your rankings are not bringing in enquiries - what do you do now? Now you need to look at how your website displays on a mobile!
Believe it or not, one of the areas most businesses overlook is how their website looks on a mobile. With a staggering 52% of all traffic coming from mobile devices
and visitors deciding within 2 seconds whether to stay or leave
, having a mobile friendly website has never been more important. If your website isn't mobile friendly, the chances are your hard earned visitors are leaving your site and going straight to your competitors. Check out Google's own mobile responsive checker (Type 'Google responsive checker' into Google and you'll see the link to their free tool where you can test your own website)FREE SEO Tools
We promised we would let you know our favourite FREE SEO tools, and here they are.
- Google Search Console - Google Search Console allows you to identify issues that might cause problems for Google. It also allows you to see some basic data, such as keywords you're appearing for. This is definitely a must have for any business.
- Google Analytics - Analytics is a fantastic tool that allows you to see how visitors behave on your website. If you're a large eCommerce website you'll be able to see where people drop off during the buying process - this allows you to then fix any issues at this point. If you're a normal service based business you can see how much traffic you get and where they come from. Again, this is highly recommended for any business!
- Google Business Page - Not a tool as such, but definitely essential, Google Business is a page which only shows in local searches. On the page you're able to fill out company information, upload images, add contact details, gather reviews, include opening and closing times, the list is endless. Your Google Business is something which can rank independently, which means if you get your SEO right AND you have a Google Business page, you have double the opportunity of getting more business
And there we have it, I know we said it would be a quick look at SEO, but as you can see it's anything but straighforward. Other aspects of SEO that we haven't covered include Schema markup, site coding, backlinks, broken link checker, breadcrumb navigation, URL structure, load speeds and many others.
So if you're passionate about making your business a success but don't have the time to manage your SEO or digital marketing, contact Jigsaw Digital to find out how we can help!