Search engine marketing, commonly known as SEO (search engine optimisation) plays a vital role in the digital success of an organisation. Yet many of us are still struggling to pin down the right balance and mix of components to maximise our SEO efforts. So what makes an effective search marketing strategy?
Understanding of the Target Audience
SEO is about driving traffic to your website, but what you have to consider is that the traffic you drive is useless unless they are your target customers. Knowing all about your target audience and understanding the patterns in their online behaviour will help you to set more focused and achievable goals for your search engine marketing.
Detailed Keyword Research
Keyword research will come from the knowledge you have about your target audience and their search activity. Understanding the language they use online and offline will help you to better understand the words and phrases they use in searches for your products and services.
Dividing keywords into categories based on the different market segments and customer profiles or even the sections of your website can be a way to more effectively use the keyword knowledge that you have found from research. Google’s Keyword Planner (found in AdWords) is a great tool for expanding on keyword research, and you should continue to monitor and revisit research on a regular basis to ensure you keep on top of the changing marketplace and trends.
Thought Out On-Page SEO
On-Page SEO is how search engines define what your website is offering to searchers. Google’s ‘bots’ need to be able to crawl your site easily; to enable them to do this you should check that you have no broken links and all internal links are good, you have simples site navigation in place, the page loading times are appropriate and most importantly, your content is unique.
Take into account the keyword research you have done by building web pages and content around specific keyword themes. Try not to clutter a page with too many keyword themes; give the search engines a clear understanding of what each separate page is about by focusing all content around one topic or another.
It is also important to write natural content. Try writing your website content as you normally would, and then check back after to ensure keywords appear in the right places. It’s important not to force them in where they don’t seem natural, or over use them. Less keywords in the right areas of the page will do far more good than a page full of them.
Quality Links and Connections
Links are the most important factor on the search engine’s ranking checklist. Having links and back-links to/from high quality, high ranking websites will have a positive impact on your own website’s ranking.
The best approach to link building is to make connections within your industry. Seek out other organisations who could mutually benefit from sharing a connection with your company, for example a company who shares your target audience but isn’t a direct competitor.
Always ensure that any websites that you have back-links on or are sharing links to on your website are quality and have authority in your industry.
Constant Monitoring and Analysis
Regularly reviewing your SEO efforts and understanding what is working, what is not working, and why is extremely important to the effectiveness of your campaigns.
You can use free tools such as Google Analytics to monitor the organic search traffic and keep note of any correlations between changes made to the site and increased/decreased traffic to the altered pages. You can also use search tracking systems to monitor your ranking over time, and devise ways to improve this.
Search engine marketing should be a top priority for every organisation when it comes to marketing. The search engine has become a part of our daily lives and is the first place we turn to with any questions we need to answer or needs we require fulfilling. The ranking your website achieves not only determines the organic traffic to your website but it can also have a positive impact on the brand’s reputation and sales.
If you would like to learn more about search engine marketing and other digital marketing techniques, you may be interested in our digital marketing courses. We offer a range of marketing qualifications accredited by CIM, CAM and UCI and focusing on the digital aspects of the modern marketing mix. For more information about the courses we offer and study options available, call our friendly support team on (0)1865 515 255 or email firstname.lastname@example.org