SEO, or search engine optimisation, is the process of increasing the visibility of your website in the search engine results. But what does that really mean?
If you’re already clued up on SEO and know what you’re looking for, check out the services I offer below. If you want to know more about what an SEO campaign involves, keep on scrolling.
All you need to know about SEO
Overview: Why SEO?
For those who aren’t familiar with what an SEO campaign entails, it can seem like a bit of a dark art. To keep it simple, getting to the top of Google is all about providing the most value and relevance for a given search query. This is not about manipulation or black magic. It comes down to offering the best possible user experience.
Remember, search engines are businesses. They make money from advertising. The more people using their search engine, the more money they can make. It’s in their interest to provide the best possible results. So, with this in mind, what does an SEO campaign actually involve?
Step 1: Keyword Research
We’ll take a look at what your competitors are targeting and how we can go after any missed opportunities or target shared keywords better than them.
Step 2: Onsite Optimisation
This is where it gets a bit nerdy. You could have the best content and product in the world, but if your website provides a terrible user experience and isn’t search engine friendly, then it’ll all be for nothing.
The first aspect of any SEO audit is the technical onsite. This looks at all the complicated bits, like canonical URLs and structured data markup, to ensure that your website is as welcoming to those Google bots as possible.
As part of the SEO onsite audit, I’ll also provide recommendations for optimising each individual page on the website that could offer potential opportunity from a search perspective. This usually includes all of your key landing pages – I’ll write the metadata, look at the page structure and refresh the copy.
When all of this is implemented, you’ll have a perfectly search engine optimised website.
Step 3: Content Creation
The keyword research and onsite optimisation are the foundations of any SEO campaign. Without these you may as well be building a house on sand. Steps 1 and 2 will gain you some impressive results, but it’s not over yet. Now the real fun starts.
SEO is essentially all about proving your value and building your authority. The best way of doing this is to push out regular high quality content in the form of blog articles. This ongoing content creation will help you establish your position as an industry leader and trusted voice of authority. And Google will love that.
This part of the campaign involves the creation of a comprehensive content strategy and plan, which can either be implemented by your in-house team, or by me. As a general rule of thumb, I recommend one blog post per week as a good amount, but more competitive industries require a higher volume.
Step 4: Link-Building
The notoriously tricky part of any SEO campaign. Links to your site from other websites act as a vote of confidence in the eyes of the search engine. If a website links to yours then it acts as a kind of endorsement. The more relevant, high quality links you gain, the higher your website is likely to rank.
Think of link-building as a kind of digital PR. It involves extensive outreach with the aim of securing high quality coverage that includes a link back to your website. A link-building strategy will define the different ways of approaching this and a comprehensive list of potential targets. We’ll also clean up your current backlink profile, getting rid of any potentially spammy or toxic links.
Step 5: Reporting
It’s all very well putting the hard work in but it’s a bit pointless without generating some fantastic results.
Throughout any campaign, keywords will be tracked on a daily basis. Although it’s very satisfying and a bit of an ego boost to see your website ranking in the top spot for a given target keyword, these are really just the ‘vanity’ metrics.
What we really want to see is conversions. Reports will consider keyword rankings, organic traffic statistics, Google Search Console data and conversions. With any SEO campaign, you are spending money to make money. It’s my job to prove the return on investment.
This all sounds a bit much, aren't there any shortcuts?
There are two types of SEOs: white hat and black hat. I’m a white-hat SEO – hi! That means that I don’t try to cheat the system. I run my SEO campaigns in light of the best practices and with total transparency – no spam, no shady techniques and not a hint of manipulation. That also means no penalties and no risk of being removed from the face of the planet (translation: removed from Google’s index, but you may as well be removed from the face of the planet if this happens).
Black-hat SEOs will deploy spammy techniques to get results fast and cheap. You may see a nice, convincing spike in the short-term, but penalties will inevitably await you in the long-term. It’s extremely difficult to recover from a penalty issued by the search engines and it just isn’t worth the risk.
Is a full-scale campaign the only option?
No, not at all. I appreciate that not everybody has the budget or capacity for a full-scale ongoing SEO campaign. Check out my list of services and packages for the different options available: