Boosting the rankings of your website on terms associated with your products and services is a known technique to drive more visitors and therefore conversions into your business. However the methods of achieving this is changing and companies need to adapt their strategies to meet the new criteria.
The main key elements are included below along with the recent changes and how we work with our clients to ensure we deliver an up to date strategy:
Key Phrase Strategy
The first stage is to identify which keywords/phrases are used within the markets that are appropriate for the website. The different combinations of the keywords will be assessed and compiled into a master list. The most popular are not necessarily the ones that will deliver the best results.
We will review of the keywords and phrases used by the most successful websites in your industry sector to assist us in writing the most appropriate content for your website pages and marketing pages. We will look at mis-spellings and industry jargon and advise you on the most appropriate phrases for you business. This stage is still paramount in establishing a successful search engine optimisation.
Existing Content Optimisation and Content Velocity
Modern search engines spend time on making sure that search engine optimisation companies can’t ‘rig the results’. This is an ongoing battle between the ‘black hat’ search engine optimisation companies and the search engine companies. We try to ensure that our techniques don’t put your website in the crossfire
The key to making sure that your website appears high in the search rankings is to make your website has relevant content. Existing content would be optimised to ensure the density of the keywords and phrases are appropriate for the search engine spiders and robots before the pages are built in HTML and subsequently added to the website. Meta data, alternative image tags, page titles and other pertinent and relevant optimisation will be done to the existing website content.
More importantly, Google looks at content velocity on the website. This is an algorithm which looks at how frequently the content on the website changes and increases. A thriving and growing business should naturally have a website that is continually updated. New content would be supplied, along with the proposed internal linking strategy for the existing web company to implement. A blog is a great and easy way to create relevant content within the site (it would need to be deployed as part of the site to get maximum effect).
In order to rank well, a reasonably high number of good quality links need to point at the website. Gone are the days of just submitting the site to a load of directories. Link building should be an integral part of the campaign that happens naturally as part of a good social media and blogging campaign
There was an update in Google algorithms in mid October 2007, which lead to some sites dropping in their rankings. These sites had participated in reciprocal link building campaigns, so we’d strongly recommend this technique is not used.
Inbound links should be from legitimate activities rather than for a quick win. In October 2008 there was the ‘Halloween Update’ which devalued inbound links from directories. We would recommend focusing on regional directories and sites as a way of increasing the number of inbound links in the early stages of the campaign and then to focus on the social networking sites.
In 2010 further updates were launched with more back links from RSS, blogs, forums and other social media sites are more important than links from directory. Good quality links from directories are still worthwhile, but getting low quality inbound links from directories have lost their importance. Building the TrustRank online is becoming more important, so creating that buzz and chatter on the social world is becoming important means of driving links
Generating content on the site that is topical and relevant to the user will encourage people to link to the content through social media networking sites and blogs.
Google reviews the link velocity of the site. This is the number of new inbound links generated over a specific time period. Therefore focusing on growing the inbound links is essential to the overall success of the campaign.
HTML & Site Evaluation
A simple example of this is the amount of content that you can make available to Google. Google will typically only read a defined amount of a web page and will rank content that appears at the top of a web page higher than that at the bottom of a page.
Depending on how your web page is constructed, the ration of code (HTML etc) to content (your keywords/phrases) can vary from a typical 4:1 (code to content) to a well optimised page where it may be 1:10 (code to content).
This means that in the first case, 80% of the space that you could possibly have used for content is taken up by code. Alternatively, if you have an optimised page, you can get five times as much content indexed by Google.
Optimisation of content should also make use of header tags (anything in a header is considered important by Google), link tags (if a link is pointing at other pages on a site, typically the content of a link will contain words relating to the site’s subject matter), etc.
A site HTML review would be created with recommendations on how to improve the HTML for search engines. This would be included in the evaluation report which would also look at other technical aspects which would improve the website for the search engines.
Metrics and Reporting
Google has a number of web master tools available to build up reports on a website’s visibility in Google. The main tools give information about how Google is ranking the site, the top key phrases driving traffic and any content issues (such as duplicate meta tags or title tags).
Using Google Analytics we would evaluate the key phrases driving visitors and conversions on the site. We can then ensure we are delivering maximum ROI on the campaign.
Although we do supply our clients we monthly ranking reports, these are becoming more redundant over time. Google will deliver the search results based on your previous search history and geographic location. Therefore visitors through search engines is a key indicator that these terms are ranking well in the search engines.