In this guide, we will share some of our top tips on how to make a real success of SEO. From our chosen process through to reporting success to senior management.
A great deal of activity throughout your business has a large effect on SEO. From the products you sell through to how your PR activity functions. Therefore, we'll be talking about how to utilise these throughout the guide.
The more you plan, the less time you waste in getting it wrong.
All teams in your marketing department affect SEO, so you need to ensure you brief them correctly and get them involved.
Learn how we report on lifetime value of new customers generated, rather than simply rankings and/ or traffic.
Before you start, you need to ensure that you've defined what success will look like in your business.
Generally, these should be things such as:
- New customer acquisition
- Number of orders per customer per year
- 20% revenue uplift YOY (year on year)
Your goal should also be easily measured. Therefore 'better rankings' or 'more sales' doesn't really cut it.
Keywords are at the core of SEO. This is a list of 'things people type into Google'. There are a number of things we can learn from this list:
- Your customers knowledge level
- If they're browsing or buying on that visit
- How big your potential audience is
- What customers call your products vs. what you call them
A tool to help add some data to your keywords:
It can take some experience to write an effective keyword list & strategy, so seek help if you need to!
Now you have your target and a definition of success, you need to plan out what you're going to change on the website. This can be a bit of guess work initially however, if measured correctly, you'll soon know if it's working.
Here are 3 examples of ways we've done this:
a) Assign every keyword to a page and ensure that's the best experience and information hub for anyone searching that topic
b) Ensure all keywords and products are named & optimised around the topics that are relevant. For example, 'designer handbags' should land on a category with a broad range of handbags. 'red vegan leather handbag with zip' should land on a niche category or individual product.
c) Make customer review prominent on products (provided we know this is an important factor in the buying decision for our customers)
SEO isn't just about your website being relevant or providing the right product. It's also important to ensure everything 'pointing at' or talking about your business is also positive.
To make this abundantly clear, Google doesn't want to send buy-ready customers to a business that has extensive complaints from customers and doesn't respond to customer service queries on Social.
A few things you can do to take control:
- Utilise Social to both showcase the strength of your brand and engage well with customers
- Ask happy customers to submit a review once they've received and started to enjoy their product
- Ensure any endorsements point to you, such as awards or membership of a customer reassuring organisation (such as investors in people).
Getting the relevant teams briefed to start deploying improvements
You're going to need to audit your website and brief your web agency / team on the technical amends that you plan to make (based on your keyword list).
A few things you'll need to look at:
a) Code that'll appear on Google when your website ranks for a search term
b) Page templates & the journey through website entry (generally home or category) to reaching products & purchasing
c) Additional content for customers, such as reviews or buying guides
d) Product presentation on all types of pages (home, categories & products)
e) Core site files that Google will access (sitemaps & other files)
f) Which ecommerce platform is best for you (Shopify, Magento, Hybris, SalesforceCloud...)
Your website needs to tick a few boxes to rank on Google (before even taking competitive elements into account).
These boxes include:
✓ Do you actually mention the keyword(s)?
✓ Do we provide the product they want?
✓ Is there sufficient info to make a positive buying decision?
✓ Are we answering all potential questions?
✓ Is our content simple to understand?
Writing the perfect content isn't easy, and it's even harder if your keyword list isn't thought out enough. So make sure you've got that covered, you fully understand the current gaps in customer requirements and our content and you'll do well here!
The best way to approach offsite SEO is to work on the way you brief current activities. Therefore, everything you do has an aim of attracting new customers and boosting SEO. We would never advise on any offsite work purely for SEO purpose. If customers don't love it, neither will Google.
Some areas to address:
✓ Local Directories (for stores)
✓ Awards / accreditations
✓ Other sites that talk about you
If you find that all of this is a bit confusing and you need some support, it may be beneficial to do some training within your internal teams. That'll gear everyone up for the new optimised way of working and help create some processes for making SEO a way of life in your business.
What success means for you and how to quantify it
We hope you found this guide useful.