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SEO (Search Engine Optimisation)
Getting found in the search engines can generate a lot of highly qualified leads for your business. This is easy to understand when you realise that, according to Google, 60-90% or more of offline business starts with an online search.
In the ‘old days’ people would use the Yellow Pages to find a local business. Now they use a search engine. This is true for accommodation, flights, electricians, plumbers, lawyers, car tyres, food outlets and yes, even marketing agencies.
Trying to get ranked for a specific keyword or keyphrase can be very difficult globally (as there it is high competition and only a few top slots). Thankfully, getting ranked locally is much easier for most businesses.
This is especially true when you realise how few of your competition are making a real effort with their SEO.
And this is where we can help you…
A good SEO strategy can be loosely broken down into three cornerstones; good content, backlinks (the number of other websites linking to yours) and technical structure (including the way the site is designed and the way it has been coded and configured).
Be warned of fixed SEO Packages...
It is tempting to take an off the shelf SEO package but this will not do your SEO efforts (or your site) any justice. Every site is different and every business in every location has a different level of competition. Therefore every site requires a unique SEO action plan.Even we need several different people to set things up well as there are so many different skills needed.
SEO is not for everyone. You have to go above and beyond what most are prepared to do.
We don’t lock people into contracts like most agencies…why? Because we have the skills to deliver the results you require.
5 top tips to getting your site ranking well in the search engines
1) Use SSL. In English, that means to ensure your site URL starts with https:// (rather than just http://) and displays the green padlock in the browser bar.
SSL is a security protocol and used to only be a requirement for anyone taking online payments (such as eCommerce stores), or transferring sensitive data. However Google now sees it as a basic requirement for ALL sites and it has become an important part of their SEO algorithm.
2) Make sure your site is mobile responsive. This is particularly important for local businesses as the majority of local searches are done on a mobile device. If your site has not been updated in a few years, then it is almost certainly out of date.
Even many modern sites though are not properly optimised for mobile and therefore will not rank as well in the search engines. There are different ‘levels’ of mobile optimisation. Make sure your site has a ‘designed for mobile’ specific set of CSS to ensure the best looking result and optimal usability on a mobile device.
3) Have plenty of good content. Search engines recognise and reward good quality content that is relevant to the search term that someone is searching for. This means good content is a must to any good SEO strategy.
Many small businesses think of their website as an online brochure and use as few words as possible to convey the information needed. Many designers make this mistake too, trying to go for a clean, minimal design.
For competitive search terms, a typical first position search result will have over 2,000 words on the page. This is usually far more than required for a small local business but does give you some idea of the importance in not being too brief!
4) Use good page structure. Use keywords or phrases in your H1 and H2 tags as well as your image alt tags and give the images keyword rich file names. Also, design your page so that it is easy to read.
If you don’t know what H tags or alt tags are, don’t panic. A quick search on YouTube will explain all. They are not complicated to use but they do make a big difference to the search engines and therefore, to your SEO results.
Readability too is critical for multiple reasons. One important factor for SEO is how long people spend on your page when they do visit. If your content is difficult to read (long paragraphs, small text, difficult to read fonts etc.), then people will give up and leave your site quickly.
If you can engage visitors, then the search engines see this as a positive sign and will boost your position in the search results.
5) Define your meta titles and descriptions for each page. For the non-techies this may sound complicated but for most websites it’s not. But, because it does take a bit of work, many of your competitors will not be doing it well.
The meta title and description are both important for two reasons. The first is that they help search engines identify what your page is about and so help determine your position in the search engine results.
The second is what happens when you do get found…
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SEO rates vary considerably… most agencies in New Zealand charge $800 + a month. There are cheaper monthly, but be warned these rarely get you the results you want.
There some aspects of SEO that you can do yourself such as content writing. However if all you are going to do is write a few hundred words every now and then I would recommend bringing a professional into the mix. Because SEO is such a complex industry it often requires multiple people with different skills.
Local SEO helps business promote their services and products to local prospects. Search engines require local citations, social media profiles, local content…etc to help rank you on a local scale.
National SEO is a online marketing strategy that focuses on promoting your business’s website to rank for broad highly-searched keyword terms nationwide. The ideal result is your site ranks at the top of the search results when someone types one of these keywords into a search engine.
Ecommerce SEO is the process of making your online store more visible in the search engine results pages (SERPs). When people search for products that you sell, you want to rank as highly as possible so you get more traffic. You can get traffic from paid search, but SEO costs much less.
Page speed: If your page doesn’t load in three seconds or less, you can bet that some users will navigate away from your page to find another resource that loads more quickly. Page speed is an important SEO factor because it not only helps users to have a good experience, but Google appreciates it. (if your pages load quickly)
To ensure that users on smartphones and tablets get the same experience as users on a desktop, it’s important to ensure that your website is responsive. This means that your pictures look great on a mobile device and that forms are large enough to fill out — even on a small screen. This is a huge plus for site visitors and sends great signals to Google about your website.
Keyword research is the process of investigating the search volume, competition, and cost per click of keywords that mean a lot to your business and your industry. As you conduct keyword research, you’ll be able to gain valuable insights into which terms you should use in your title tags, content, and more.
Earned media is “media acquired via word of mouth.” Going a bit deeper, earned media has three defining attributes: It comes from a third party. It appears on third-party channels and you don’t pay for it.
If your marketing budget allows, SEO is an investment that should start sooner rather than later… To answer the question, yes, SEO is a valuable investment and is worth the investment. You’re building an asset for your company by investing in SEO.