SEO is the umbrella term for a number of activities designed to make your website appear in the top 10 natural search results when qualified prospects go looking for services you provide.
Here in Australia, Google accounts for 87% of searches (source: hitwise.com.au), so SEO tactics are for the most part targeted at making the most of the Google algorithm.
The algorithm changes every few months as Google attempts to get better and better at delivering relevant search results and these changes can have unintended consequences for companies that previously ranked well.
Hence most SEO activity is an ongoing effort.
It can be worth millions to appear in the first few links of a Google search results page. And our techniques have done exactly that for numerous clients.
Your SEO plan will contain a mix of these activities:
Keyword research is not just aimed at finding the most popular keywords, but those that are judged to be the best combination of:
If a keyword is searched-for frequently, but the top 10 natural search results are returned more by accident than intention, there is an opportunity at hand and it will be easier to get a page on your website to the top of the results than the alternate strategy of targeting the industry’s leading keywords, which are already highly competed for.
For Existing sites: To help evaluate success of our activity we’ll measure where your site is currently listed in the search results for a number of keywords uncovered in the previous step.
We’ll also want to look at your website’s stats (if available) to see which keywords are bringing in the most visitors already. These may be words to push even harder for better results.
Insert keywords in the body content of your website
The right keywords, discovered in the initial step of your plan, need to be in the right place, with the right level of prominence and repeated at the right frequency to work well with the search engines. At the same time, we will ensure that your copy doesn’t become full of meaningless repetition. It will remain interesting and compelling for human users and motivate them to enquire or buy.
Keywords in the Page Title of your website
The page title tag is one of the most important and underutilized SEO assets that your website has. We will place the right keywords into the page titles of all your website’s pages.
Keywords in the Headlines of your website
Page headlines are treated as more important than the rest of the text in the visible area of the page. Consequently, it’s important to ensure that the keywords you most want to be associated with are featured in your headlines.
Keywords in the Alt tags of your images
Search Engines cannot interpret images, so they need to be accompanied by appropriately descriptive text containing keywords that you wish to be found for. Little things like this step can have big results on the website’s likelihood of being shown.
Programming with search engine friendly URLs
If possible, we’ll take advantage of your current site’s programming to create search engine friendly URLs that contain the keywords for which you wish to be discovered. If not, we may recommend extra programming.
Robots.txt set up
This little file helps search engine spider programmes (robots) to know what to index on your website. Google notes when a robots.txt file is absent on your website as it does not help the spider maximize its efficiency.
Similar to robots.txt, the Sitemap is a functional aspect of your website that aids a spider in navigating the site. Google notices its absence.
Regular Link checking
Regularly check outbound and intrasite links and make sure none of them is out of date and incorrect as Google hates to see broken links on a website and will penalize your site. Many seemingly small sites can have in excess of 300 internal links, so the software that we use is the only way to be sure that each of them has been inspected and either passed or flagged as broken.
Regular publication of new content on your website
Google likes to see that your website is being looked after and fed new relevant information as often as possible. The age of content on the site is a real indicator of the liveliness of your site and is a ranking signal in Google.
Regular analysis of your Google WebMasters information plus recommendations for action
Google WebMasters is a free application that we will use to show how Google sees your website and where you are currently showing in search results in relation to certain keywords being used. Regular analysis of this information can help when we want to target new keywords – we can check to see if Google is paying attention to the changes we will make to your site to chase those keywords.
Regular Analysis of your Analytics information plus recommendations for action
Google Analytics is a free stats-tracking programme that can show us lots of information about how people who come to your site actually use it. The SEO benefit lies in Analytics’ ability to help make positive changes to the user experience and get people staying longer and visiting your Contact Us page.
The longer people spend on your website and the deeper they travel, the better from Google’s perspective.
Note on AdWords: If we run an AdWords campaign for you it gives you an advantage as we can tell which keywords are not only being searched for frequently, but also which are actually generating enquiries. We will take the results of your Google AdWords campaign in terms of the highest performing keywords and rewrite some of the content on your website to match.
(this is the work usually meant by other SEO companies)
Backward Links Checks of Competitor websites
This is a bit like reverse engineering. We look at the websites that are currently supplying links to your competitors, with a view to emulating the strategy and gaining the same benefits.
This helps make the indexing process go just a bit more smoothly because we’re not waiting for Google to come out and discover the new page, we are actively asking it to visit the new URL.
Seeking links in from other sites
Gaining a link from another website to yours is seen by Google to be a ‘vote’ in popularity for your website. The more popular that the linking site is in turn, and the more closely related the content between that website and yours, the greater the weight of the link in Google’s eyes.
Links can (and should) come from the great multitude of sources available online. Business directories, local directories, industry group websites, forums and article-publishing websites with comments enabled, just to name a few.
Creation of your own inbound links
This is a strategy where a series of mini websites are created that contain relevant content and provide one-way links in to the main website. When Google finds and indexes these sites, it also finds and follows the link to your website and sees your site no longer as a beacon unto itself but as a website in the middle of a sea of related sites. This helps it calculate that your main site is an authoritative site, and therefore worthy of being shown closer to the top of the pile when a related search is conducted. Care needs to be taken to ensure that the content on your sub-sites is not duplicated as this will have the reverse effect.
We have previously successfully raised the search result for a client by ensuring that their website linked out to authoritative sites in the .gov.au domain. Again, when Google indexed their website it didn’t see it just as a standalone site but as a site associated with a network of authoritative sites, and boosted our client from number 5 to number 1.
PR and Article Publishing
There are two forms of article publishing available online. Self-publishing and Content-Reviewed publishing. The first is easy and there are more than 40 article publishing websites that will take your stories and provide you a link in return. The second is more powerful and is the approach we would like to take with you.
Actively participating in discussion forums that are related to your area of expertise allows you both a marketing opportunity on that forum and the ability to get a link back from a site that Google may regard as quite authoritative.
Google is capable of producing an email every time it indexes content that meets certain alert criteria that you set. This is a great way of keeping in touch with the speed of Google’s indexing and also the impact of any article publishing. It’s also a tactic we use to keep tabs on your competitors.
Reporting on search results
This simply refers to reporting the results of activity insofar as your website’s search engine results page listing over time.
Your SEO programme will include a mix of these activities. The precise mix depends on the current state of play and the different results you want to chase.
Contact us today to make a start.