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  • Writer's pictureDiarmuid O'Loughlin

Demystifying Search Engine Optimisation. Bricks 2 Clicks Marketing.

So you’ve just launched your brand new website or you’ve upgraded your existing platform. Although many business owners think that it’s enough to just launch their websites to get in front of the right customers, they’re sadly disappointed and can’t understand when later, their website sales or business lead enquiries are not reaching their expectations.

This can be extremely frustrating, especially when some small business owners have spent a small fortune on the development and design of their business website.

The design process of any website should always have the influence of a search engine marketer. Most designers and developers don’t consider the finer detail and lack the knowledge of how search engines work and crawl websites. To be honest it’s not their job too anyway but, if you are missing that marketing skill set at the initial drafting stage of your website you can be guaranteed it’s going to come back and haunt you when it comes to search engine optimisation.

There’re many factors that negatively impact on search visibility, the main two processes in reducing how these factors impact on your business website are SEO website optimisation and search engine marketing.

What is SEO?

SEO or search engine optimisation is the process of generating “organic” non paid traffic to a website through the development of webpage content that provides relevancy and quality to search engine users.

The process involves using content and keywords that are closely related and relevant to your businesses products and services. Common, related search terms that trigger competitor websites in search engine result positions (or SERP’s) are one way to start analysing where you could be going wrong. There are other methods like using keyword analysis software such as Google Keyword Planner to crawl your existing website and generate new keyword ideas along with very useful search volume data.

As website search engine optimisation itself has a number of moving parts that need to be coordinated in order for a comprehensive strategy to be executed, it’s best to start with a website audit. These highlight weaknesses in the performance of your business website. Audits will normally look at three main categories of SEO; On-Page SEO, Technical SEO, Off-Page SEO and Local SEO.

!!Remember!! – Website Search Optimisation is like a set or rules to help your website gain the best visibility and traffic.

So abide by the rules and reap the rewards!

On-Page SEO will look at the content you have on each of your web pages, when going about this part of the audit it’s best to ask these questions…

Are the keywords you use within your content descriptive, informative and relevant to your users?

Have you used the metadata (it summarises information about certain data elements like web pages) within the page correctly and leveraged descriptive keywords to allow search engines crawl your web pages with ease?

At this point it’s also important to review what keywords and content your competitors push out on their websites, pick the top three and analyse them. You can use competitor analysis tools to find and review keyword gaps between you and them, it’s really useful, especially if you both operate in different geographical areas.

If you’re running an eCommerce store a website audit will undoubtedly be essential in terms of your homepage strategy. Using behavioural analytics such as Hotjar you get important insights into what way users interact with the homepage of your store. The software uses heatmap technology to track engagement in terms of user clicks and scrolls identifying high traffic spots and also where there are drop offs in activity.

Technical SEO involves collating information from the website audit that looks at the technical aspects and issues around your website’s performance. As with other SEO processes, if search engines find difficulty in crawling a website they take longer to display. So broken web page links, unidentifiable image collateral, large amounts of CSS and Javascript scripting languages being used, web pages with low content-to-html ratio, trust me the list goes on! are all common examples of technical SEO errors and issues that will impact negatively on your website.

These technical errors and issues are more important as they’re normally what the user can’t see and they have more impact on the website’s search engine visibility and download speed.

There are useful pieces of software that allow you collate and categorise these so you can develop a comprehensive action plan to tackle them.

Off-page SEO reviews external factors that could affect your business websites search visibility. Another useful part of a website audit will identify all inbound links to your website (links that point to your websites domain name). Some of these you might not be aware of but could be potentially toxic (have harmful effects on your websites search rankings). As part of an action plan and the most output, would be to create links to highly authoritative websites within your industry, through blog & social media content. Build trust in your brand by leveraging the power of social media, distributing your content across your channels.

SSL certs are another important aspect of developing a strong off-page SEO process. These links notify search engines that the relationship between the website and its users is safe. SSL certs ensure that all user data passing across the web server and a users web browser is secure. In the case of eCommerce sites this would be a must for credit card details. Most payment gateways won’t support and link with a site without one and most eCommerce platforms don’t allow sites operate unless they have this link encrypted. The screen grab below will show you how to check that your website is SSL certified by clicking on the lock icon to confirm your websites security status.

Local SEO looks at how you can leverage Google’s free business listing tool called Google My Business (GMB). By optimising your GMB account you can rank higher in localised Google searches. Once you claim your business account with Google there are many options available to highlight the products or services of your business.

local seo business listing

The more you optimise this option the higher your business listing will appear in related business searches via Google Search and Google Maps. Well optimised GMB accounts will show consistent prominence and win more visibility.

No matter what you fear could be wrong with your website, a comprehensive website audit will reveal exactly what is impacting on its performance. It’s the first step to address errors that might be present even if they aren’t visible to you or your users. If this seems like too much of a daunting task then it’s best to hire an expert to help get the best results from an SEO optimisation strategy.

At Bricks 2 Clicks Marketing we run extensive result driven website SEO and platform behavioural audits that will identify any issues and errors that exist on your business website. Once we have all the data collected together we can develop an action plan within our SEO recovery roadmap, defining clear objectives and milestones to get your website ranking higher, getting you in front of your competitors in SERP’s.

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