With lockdown extended, companies and business owners are looking for ways to spend this time productively. That is why we have released a 4-part series to help you audit and improve your digital marketing from home. Over the past week we looked at websites and social media, and today we look at a few simple steps to auditing your search engine optimization or “SEO”.
In short, SEO is the art of optimising your website’s content to ensure a higher ranking. This is a critical part of digital marketing and can result in higher volumes of good quality leads for your business. Unlike paid Google advertising, the “organic” top position of page one on Google cannot be bought. Yes, it is true that paid advertising can appear above organic listings, but being ranked on page one organically gives your brand much higher credibility and will be perceived as a good quality listing by search users. The goal of SEO is to strengthen your organic ranking. Good SEO increases the visibility of your website and ensure that you are the first company to be contacted.
But how do you know where you are raking on Google? And how do you improve your ranking? Follow the steps below to find out.
1.Know your rank
Type keywords you would expect to use to find yourself on Google. Use phrases that describe your products and services. You can do this and ask your friends to do the same. Then when the results come back, count how many listings are ahead of you on Google. Do this with multiple phrases that you would be sure your target audience would use and record the results. Are you on page one?
2.Audit your existing key words/phrases
But how do you know what keywords your existing website is raking for? You will want to know this so that you can make sure that the phases you used above are included, and if they aren’t you will want to make sure they are in future. An easy way to find out is to use the following link – go to https://neilpatel.com/ubersuggest/ and insert your URL, change the country to South Africa and click search. This tool will show you all the keywords your websites ranks for and the average ranking position on Google. Do the words and phrases match what you used in step 1? If not, then you will need to rethink the key words and phrases that you want your website to rank for.
3.Do a Key word/phrase exploration of your own
Once you have an idea of what your website is ranking for and their positions, it’s time to find keywords to add to the mix to better match your offerings. To do this, start a list of all the words and phrases that you think best match what you do. And include industry phrases and phrases that you know your target audience use.
4.What about word you may have missed?
Now that you have a good list, you may be worried that there are words you have missed or are not aware of. To do this go to https://neilpatel.com/ubersuggest/ and fill in a keyword that you feel most describes your business, if you don’t know what to search for, fill in one of your competitors URL’s and the tool will show you all the keywords they are ranking for. This will give you a good idea of the total good quality key words for a business like yours. Once you find the maximum of 10 keywords you would like your site to rank for, you are ready for the next step.
5.Implement your key word/phrase strategy
Now that you have a good idea of your key words and phrases, you need to include these in your website content. But there are good and bad ways to go this. Cramming all the keywords into the content will have a negative effect on SEO and will drop your ranking on Google. Your keywords need to flow with your content and be easy to read. In order to rank on Google a good formula to follow is to include your string keyword or phrase in your page title, headings, descriptions and in the content as well. So, make sure that you implement this rule without compromising the way the content reads.
6.Use the latest apps to help
If you’re website is built using WordPress (Check with your web designer), there are helpful applications that you can add to help you improve your SEO. “Yoast” and “Rank Math” are useful applications. Ask your web designer about how you can use these plugins. They provide easy walk through wizards that will help you set up your SEO on each website page.
7.Analyse the results
Once you are done adding in your new keywords, allow for 24-48 hours for Google to reference your website for the new keywords.
Good SEO is never finished. As the world changes so does your given industry. Even Google changes the way it ranks websites on a regular basis. So, you will need to repeat this process on a regular basis to make sure you are up to date and ranking in a good position.
9.Get help if you don’t have the time or expertise
Implementing a string SEO strategy can be time consuming and rather technical at times. SEO if done well can result in more business and a higher turnover, so paying for good SEO will most likely end up paying for itself. Consider outsourcing this to a digital agency if you don’t have the time or expertise inhouse.
Organic SEO can take months before you start to see significant results, which is why for new websites we recommend pairing your newly done SEO which Google Ads. The more traffic driven to a website, the higher the website will start ranking on Google and the fastest way to this is to run Google ads. We will cover Google advertising in the next (part 4) of this series.
In case you missed it, click on the links below for previous articles in our Reviewing your digital marketing assets series: