Understanding SEO is crucial to hiring an SEO agency for your needs.
Your team is eager to serve and is unparalleled in its attention to detail. You have the highest-quality products or sell the most effective services. Your website is well designed, visually engaging, and user-friendly.
You almost feel that the results you’re after are just around the corner with a good approach and the right focus. Not if you have yet to prioritise search engine optimisation (SEO).
Here’s an overview of what optimisation is, and why hiring an SEO agency can make a world of difference.
What Is SEO?
SEO 101 refers to how easy it is for your website to be found online and how well your content and website speaks to your potential clients. The most important metric is whether your website shows up on the first page of Google, or so far down that most people never get to it. Improving your search ranking requires a targeted strategy that is constantly and methodically updated.
Unfortunately, many New Zealand start-ups and small businesses underestimate the power of the internet to establish and grow their business.
They focus all of their time and budget on their product or service and take an “if I build it, they will come” approach to both their website and their social media. Some with an entrepreneurial mindset, attempt to do their SEO themselves. Unfortunately, 74% of SEO strategies fail. This is often because the strategy developed is dated or there isn’t a full or long term strategy in place.
What Is An SEO Strategy?
An SEO strategy usually combines multiple SEO services that rapidly improve your search engine rankings, shortly called SEO campaign.
It most likely will include on page, off-page, and technical SEO. The strategy must be aligned with the most current search engine algorithms, latest keyword research and targeted to your demographic. If any of these elements are missing, the strategy will fail. Hiring an SEO agency can help you lift the fog and get a clear picture of the strategy
Search engines and particularly Google Search Console update their algorithms hundreds of times per year. While they don’t share the exact formula for success, they readily share best practices. This includes ensuring websites:
- Are mobile responsive
- Deliver a positive user experience
- Are secure and trustworthy
- On-Page content is engaging and provides value
This might mean that before you can implement a solid SEO strategy, you must update your website design first. A website update or a refresh must be considered every 2 years. If your site design is optimised, it’s time for on page, off-page, and technical optimisation.
Let’s take a quick look at what these 3 types of optimisation entail:
On-Page SEO Includes:
- Original and relevant text
- Long-tail and short-tail keywords
- Local and/or international keywords
- Internal linking strategies
- Image and media optimisation
- Meta description, meta tags and heading tags
- Blog posts
- Duplicate content
Off-Page SEO includes:
- External link building
- Social media marketing
- Consumer reviews
- Local citations
- PPC ads
- Cross-channel marketing
- External article marketing
Technical SEO includes:
- Website speed
- Structured data
Once each of these strategies are in place, they must be tracked, measured, and revised as needed.
What Are Keywords?
Many small business owners hire an SEO agency to take care of their initial optimisation as outlined above. Once complete, they transition optimisation in-house. However, search engines work 24/7 and 365 days a year. They never stop crawling web pages in search of higher quality content.
So, you may rank high today, but staying there requires ongoing strategic adjustments.
The bullet points above are required to create a custom-tailored digital strategy. Each strategy is unique, but all require keywords. As simple as they sound, keywords are one of the most misunderstood elements of optimisation.
- The most obvious keywords are difficult to rank for as there’s too much competition.
- Many keywords are too industry-focused but aren’t consumer or solution-oriented. A good example of an obvious keyword is, “Italian restaurant” vs. “best handmade Italian noodles in Queenstown”.
- Keyword stuffing is still a common practice. This refers to placing the primary keyword too many times per page. This will damage optimisation, not improve it.
- Reusing the same keyword on every page or blog post doesn’t deliver enough keyword variety. It also leaves you competing with yourself.
- Consider what search terms people are typing in to find a business like yours. If you only serve a local audience, this will include “near me” searches.
- Keywords should also be a mix of short-tail (2 words) and long-tail (3 or more words).
- Put in place a local and/or international keyword strategy on your primary pages or your landing pages.
- Algorithms are increasingly receptive to similar keywords and keyword phrases, which helps you to write more organically.
Can A Blog Post Help Me Rank Higher?
One post certainly would put your website at the top of SERP. Consistent search engine marketing and regular posts would be the better approach. One thing that hasn’t changed in the last several years, is that high-quality content is essential. This includes onsite blog posts, offsite article marketing, video marketing, social media marketing, and more.
When it comes to blog posts, search engines essentially “reward” sites that consistently add new content. As with all other elements of optimisation, you must take a strategic approach.
- The keywords for your blog posts must be unique from the keywords on your website pages. The keyword search volume doesn’t always need to be in the hundreds or thousands, but the keyword should be easy to rank for.
- The topics must be solution-oriented and add value, not just product-filled. For example, “5 Ways to Increase Productivity When Working From Home”. One of the 5 ways may include your CRM software, but the other 4 should make no mention of it.
- Mix in trending topics as they arise, but create a larger content strategy, mapping out the keywords for at least the next few months.
- Your content marketing strategy must also include internal link building, linking to website pages, landing pages, products, services, and other blog posts.
- Allow current and potential customers to share your blog via email or social media. Also, consider enabling approval-only comments.
- Blog posts must be unique, engaging, have heading tags, and never less than 300 words to index in search engines in order to optimise your website. However, 1,000+ words drive the most organic traffic over time.
With a strategic approach, blogging can be a powerful way to increase organic rankings and show up in targeted online search queries. However, blogging must be part of a larger strategy.
Do I Need To Be On All Social Media Channels?
Social media plays a vital role in digital optimisation, so the more the merrier, right? Nope!
If your target audience doesn’t use TikTok, there’s no reason to create a profile. Not to mention, the more social media channels you have, the more work it creates.
Instead of focusing on quantity, focus on quality. Perform market research to identify what social media channels your audience uses. Then, create meaningful posts that engage your audience.
Where many small business owners go wrong, is in only posting their products, pricing, or sales. Yes, these can and should be part of the mix, but a targeted strategy focuses on engagement.
For example, if you have a CrossFit Box you could post:
- At-home workout videos
- Delicious and nutritious recipes
- Motivational quotes
- Client success stories
- At-home equipment recommendations
Yes, mix in your sales and promotions, but post to add value, solve problems, connect, and engage.
There are a variety of action-oriented ads you can place on different social media channels. The options can be overwhelming, and generating maximum results is best achieved with a digital marketing agency providing SEO services by experts.