Digital Technology Labs would like to share with you our SEO Strategy guide, which is the basis for the work we do with our clients, and we would love to hear your feedback.
The two main goals for a new business website are to;
1) get higher in the search rankings
2) drive traffic to your website.
A good working assumption here is that if your site is higher in the search rankings, it will lead to you gaining more traffic to it. In order to decide on the right strategy for you we need to know what your goals for your marketing are. What is your goal in sending extra traffic to your website? Are you looking to increase the number of enquiries? To increase the number of times people read the “about me” section? Increase the number of times people phone you? Increase the number of times people click through to your social media profile? Increase the number of times people view your products? Increase the number of completed on-line purchases?
You also need to consider whether you will be doing PPC (pay per click advertising), other forms of paid digital advertisement, or whether you want to do this organically through other means. Neither method is mutually exclusive and should work hand in hand.
We would usually start with authoring a sitemap.xml, registering with webmaster tools, and submitting your site to the search engine Google. Then we would use SERP (search engine results page analysis) to determine how you are performing in the search engines. Wed always advise our clients to start off small, focusing on something that is easily attainable, and then expand from there. If we were going to focus on a locale, then we should have some content introducing you and your local focus.
For a brand new site we would be looking for stats in the region of a thousand page views in a month, and an average of over 50 seconds spent on your site. Probably most of the traffic will be to your home page (around 75%), and ideally you don’t want a bounce rate higher than 65%, to ensure that at least one viewer in three is looking at other parts of your site, more specifically, the products offered.
Initially at least half of your traffic will be direct traffic, where you have given the URL to someone to go direct. You should be aiming for about 25% as referrals (links from other websites), then about 13% of the remaining traffic is from social media sites and 13% will be through organic searches.
The social referrals and the organic search referrals are the numbers we will be really pushing to increase. We will also push for direct traffic and links from other websites and adverts if we do paid advertising.
When the site goes live and we start getting organic traffic, we will be able to see what the most popular content is, and what people are mostly searching for. This will allow us to optimise the content and perhaps make tweaks to the site or products being offered.
Non advertisement referrals are important, and there is much work to be done to get your site linked to by local directories, and perhaps other complementary sites for your business category or other eCommerce sites, if you are doing eCommerce.
Depending on the amount of content published on your site and how much gets shared on social media sites such as Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Facebook, all of this will help build your on-line reputation and drive traffic to your site.
How to climb up the search rankings
So your success in the search rankings or SERP, is essentially a function of the following:
- How much traffic your site receives / popularity
- How often your site is found and accessed via search
- How good the information / content is on your site, according to the google algorithm
- How many ‘backlinks’ you have – how many sites link to yours
By doing a small amount of competitor analysis, we could see that your competitors probably have between 2 and 10 other websites linking to them, and between 2 and 21 different links from those sites pointing to them. One thing you may wish to pursue is getting sites to link to yours. Please note that social media sites and directory listing sites don’t usually count here, as the links are often listed as ‘don’t follow’ – so the search engines don’t factor them into you backlink count. But there is still value here in driving extra traffic through visitors of those sites if they click on those links.
Your site popularity will naturally increase as you make improvements. However two good ways of driving traffic are 1) consistent social media presence 2) company directory registration. For the latter, we recommend registering with reputable company directories for your industry – if you haven’t done so already.
For social media, there are a lot of tools that can provide stats on usage, impressions, interactions and number of followers, it is good to view this regularly and plan some targets and goals to attain.
Initially you will find this a slow process; we suggest that 400 followers or “likes” is a good figure to attain for a first goal. However you may wish to increase this to two or three thousand to get the results you are looking for. Note that you should consider who your target demographic / audience is or will be, and what the main interests of your audience are likely to be. We can work together on this.
Many of my clients get good results through Twitter, and it has a great analytics tool. This is very useful information, it shows if the number of Tweets this month is down from last month, also lists Tweet “impressions”, profile visits, and mentions. The more tweets you post, the more profile visits, and hopefully, the more people will click through to your website.
This also shows you who your top follower is (who you should probably follow back). You can also see your top Tweet and top mention. It also shows you stats for how your individual Tweets performed. The more impressions, the more likely it is that people will engage with you, view your content, and view your site.
However to draw people to your site you need to be sharing content from your site, and it’s not sufficient to share the same content all the time. This is why people will often have a blog, but there is nothing worse than having no blog, than having a blog that is rarely or never updated. So my advice is that blogs are a great idea, but they require a certain level of commitment. However you could do something in between, and that would be to publish bespoke ‘articles’. These could be published less frequently, but could be well-written articles that sit on your site, that you could share on social media, and other websites and people could link to.
There are some other ways of keeping your site fresh, and they include announcing events, e.g. if there are conferences, pop-up stores, industry shows, or meet-and-greet events you plan to attend – this is something you could author on your site.
In combination, these blog posts or articles and content updates could be provided as as service by Digital Technology Labs. We would be able to create articles or blogs and author them and post to social media on your behalf at a fixed fee per article or blog. This could be provided on a monthly package basis, and we would throw in some smaller content updates in the package. If you wanted more content authored than this, then we could provide a custom quote based on your requirements.
You may wish to also attend (if you do not do so already) networking sessions for people in your industry; this will help build up a network of people who you can follow on social media, compare websites, and potentially link to, in order to build backlinks.
There are some other really useful things you can do such as registering your business locally with Google – and verifying the business – we can do this for you for a fee. The advantage of this is that when someone searches Google, your site will be shown as a pin on the map – and this is actually a great way of “jumping the queue” in a search, if you register in the correct location. You can also get people to add reviews of your business on Google. This is a great idea – many of our customers, who have a lot of reviews, say that they get a lot of work directly from their portfolio of good reviews.
Digital Marketing Campaigns
We would be able to run digital marketing campaigns for you. Typically we run these on Google, Bing, Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn, and associated content networks. We would do this based on a consultation rate plus your advertising budget, and set-up rate per campaign. In an hour we would typically be able to plan and structure a digital marketing campaign on one of these platforms. It depends how much information you can provide to us, against the research we need to do to setup the campaign.
The types of ads and platforms will be optimised to your goals, whether you are raising awareness, looking to drive traffic, trying to convert sales or even promote a sales event.