Businesses are realising the potential of digital as more and more firms are investing in their brands online. However, simply investing in a new website and creating social media pages is not enough. To get a return on your investment in a website, it is important to consider search engine optimization (SEO) - after all no one will be able to visit your exciting, new website if they can't find it! In this blog post, we break down the basics of SEO for you and explain how it can help your firm to thrive in the digital space.
Why use SEO?
SEO helps your website visibility within search engines and generate traffic to your website. A website with good SEO will be easier to find in search engines and appear higher in a list of search results. For firms with little or no technical knowledge, it might seem like you don't know where to begin. However, SEO doesn't have to be complicated and with a little consideration, it can provide your website with a much needed boost online.
To help you understand SEO better we have broken it down into two parts: on-site SEO and off-site SEO. A good SEO strategy will always include an efficient mix of both on-site and off-site SEO.
On-site SEO refers to making your website appealing to both visitors and search engines when they visit your website.
For visitors, it will all be about the user experience (UX) and how easy your website is to view and navigate. You will also need to ensure that your website is responsive and loads correctly on web browsers on various devices such as desktops, notebooks, smart phones or tablets.
Whereas search engines evaluate your website from behind the scenes - looking at the HTML of your website, assessing if keywords appear in your website content, URL, HTML tags and Meta descriptions, and evaluating your XML sitemap. Much of on-site SEO therefore revolves around keywords - keywords are words or phrases that accurately describe the content of your website. It is important to spend time on keyword research and target relevant keywords to include in the right places on your website.
For example, if you are an accountancy firm based in Leicester, some of the keywords you can use are 'accountants in Leicester', 'accountant in Leicester', 'accountants near Leicester', 'accountancy firm Leicester', 'best accountants in Leicester', 'Leicester accounting company'. You'll also want to make sure you include these keywords in the page titles, Website URLs and Website content.
Off-site SEO deals with promoting your website online through link building, content marketing and paid advertising. Search engines more likely to rank your website higher if there are a number of credible websites linking to your website. For example linking your website to your social media pages, online directories and professional bodies such as ICAEW.
Another great way of generating links to your website is by creating fresh content on your website that you can share. Blogs and latest news pages are a great way to create content that you can share on your social media pages and link back to your website.
You can also consider investing in paid online advertising through Google AdWords or Bing Ads where you can pay for text ads to appear in search engine results and generate new traffic for your website.
Monitor your website traffic
Once you have taken care of on-site and off-site SEO, you will want to continually monitor and assess your website traffic. You can gain valuable insight into your clients' behaviour - what they are searching for when they come across your website, how much time they are spending on your website and what pages they look at when they visit your website.
Most search engines offer a number of free analytics tools such as Google Analytics and Bing Webmaster Tools. With these tools, you can view which pages on your website are popular and receiving the most traffic. You can use Google's Search Console to find out if your website is working correctly or to view diagnostic analysis of your website. You can also use Search Console to look at the keywords visitors are using to find your website.
How can Mercia help?
Mercia offer Digital Marketing services that can help you develop your brand online and get more traffic to your website with relevant content. We offer SEO service within our websites, tailored to your firm, optimising up to 5 key phrases. We also offer Social Media service to improve your brand presence online. To find out more, please visit our website www.yourfirmonline.co.uk, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 0116 258 1242.