Search Engine Optimisation Tips And Tricks

Thursday, December 3rd, 2020

Heard of SEO but not really sure what it is or how it can be of use to you and your business? Read on to find out more about Search Engine Optimisation, tips for boosting local and video SEO as well as some insight into what an SEO specialist can do for you!

What Is SEO And Why Is It Important?

personalised searchSearch Engines scour their way through masses and masses of data to try to provide the searcher with what they are looking for. How do they find your website? And what makes them choose to display your listing above those of your competitors? This is where the basics of Search Engine Opimisation (SEO) come in – SEO is a an ongoing process that seeks to increase unpaid (organic) traffic towards your website by helping search engines out so searchers can find your website.

Optimising your website is important as it will help to deliver better information to search engines, ensuring your content is properly indexed and displayed within relevant search results. SEO is an ongoing process that requires regular attention if you want to get it right and stay at the top of the game. As the internet evolves and grows the SEO landscape is a constantly moving set of goal posts with various components that include:

  • Clear, and engaging content
  • Good website architecture (structure and layout – should be easy to use/navigate around)
  • Quality inbound links (Links to your website from other good quality websites)
  • A good user experience
  • Reviews (customer reviews are positive ranking signals)
  • Page speed is important!
  • And of course mobile friendly design is a priority!

Tips For Boosting Local SEO

local seo One of the more recent developments in search results pages is the use of location specific information or ‘near me’ type searches. For businesses with a physical location or storefront, there are two important kinds of SEO – one is targeting general keywords, but the other is all about capturing people looking specifically in your local area for the products and services you’re offering.

Sites with local relevance are displayed higher on the search results page, especially on mobile devices where people are likely to be on the go and needing something nearby. Google automatically offers geographically relevant results, so by ranking highly for keywords you’ll go a decent way towards being the first name people see when looking you up from the region, but you can take this a step further.

If your business depends on a physical outlet, particular if it’s the only in one specific area, here are some simple things you can do to improve your standings amongst local results.

  1. Include The City And/Or Region. Location is key, ensuring you have mentioned the city and/or region in the Title, Main Heading (H1), throughout the content and in alt tags is a great start. Of course, you should only do this to the extent that it looks natural and fits with the keywords you’re targeting, but it’s a good way strengthen results for a local audience. Descriptions often display on the search results page, so they should reinforce your whereabouts.
  2. Embed A Google Map Into Your Site. For WordPress sites there are a number of plugins that make it easy to embed a Google Map that can be scrolled and panned to help users get their bearings and understand your location. However, for additional SEO gains make sure this is pointing to your Google My Business listing.
  3. Get A Google My Business Listing. If you don’t have one of these already, you’re missing out – Google provides a free listing for every business that lets them list location, open hours, contact details and more. This information is used to provide map pins on the search results as well as helping sort which listings are likely to be most useful to a local searcher. Find out more hear about setting up your Google My Business listing.
  4. Collect Reviews. Once you have a GMB listing with Google, the next step is to create a page on your site that directs customers to it and provides simple instructions for those who are less computer-savvy on how to leave a review (and possibly make a new Google account).
  5. Drive Local Media Coverage. Not only is this good for generating publicity and promoting your business; getting your name out there in the local online media such as blogs and news sites will also help saturate the front of the search results page with links related to your site.
  6. Build Links/Citations Pointing To Your Site. If you’ve done much SEO in the past, then you’ll be aware that backlinks are crucial for getting your site to rank higher in Google searches. Citations are a bit like backlinks, but are especially important for local SEO. A citation is a mention of your business name, address, and phone number on another webpage – even if there is no direct link to your website. You can build citations on local or topic-focused websites and blogs, as well as Yellow Pages-type directories. Citations are especially important in competitive local business niches (think plumbers, electricians, dentists etc.)

SEO isn’t just about competing for general keywords, you should aim to stand out amongst your local competitors as well. Sending signals and getting your business set up fully with Google will drive some of the most valuable customers to your site – those nearby and actively searching for your service or product.

Seo For Video – 4 Top Tips

As well as being a great way to engage your website visitors and reach millions of users by distributing your video on sites such as YouTube, with more search engines listing videos in their search results, video is fast becoming a key SEO tool, enabling you to extend your visibility across key search engines and boosting your rankings for relevant keyword phrases.

With the onset of Google’s Universal Search (where other media are also displayed on result pages), a video is said to be 53 times more likely to appear on a first page of results than a traditionally optimised page. This creates a unique opportunity to attract potential customers with a visually engaging video. We’ve gathered together some of the top techniques for optimising your online videos to ensure they get picked up by search engines.

1. Keyword Research

Firstly, identify the best commonly searched keyword phrases relevant to your video content. Try to choose longer phrases as these tend to perform better than one or two keyword phrases, which are often highly competitive and are less targeted. There are a number of keyword tools available to help you with this – we like Google’s free keyword tool.

2. Landing Pages

Before you distribute your video online, decide where you want to direct visitors that see your video, as your homepage might not necessarily be the most relevant place. The best option is often to create a specific landing page, which contains the video plus more information and calls to action to enable visitors to find out more or make a purchase. Make sure this landing page contains the same keywords you will be using to optimise your video by adding them to the page titlemeta descriptioncontent and headings etc. Surrounding your video with key search terms that reflect the content will help search engines to find and index your video. Add the URL of this page to the video so when you distribute it on other sites, viewers can visit this page.

3. Video Optimisation

Make the most of the opportunity to reach thousands or even millions of users by distributing your videos online. You can upload your video to a number of video sites such as YouTubeMetaCafe or Vimeo and instantly have access to a completely new audience. When you upload your video you’ll usually have the option to add your keyword phrases into the video title and description and most sites also allow you to add tags to categorize your video and further aid searches.

  • Title. This should be a catchy headline to encourage users to view the video. Titles are usually between 75 and 120 characters and should contain your key search terms. Don’t be tempted to pack it with lots of keywords as this may be seen as spam. If you do want to include your company/brand name, it should go at the end.
  • Description. This should be an interesting and relevant summary of your content. Descriptions can be around 200 characters – though some sites and search engines allow fewer characters so ensure your key content is within the first 160 characters. Include your key phrases and the URL of your landing page (including the http:// part) as this can act as a link back to your website.
  • Tags and Categories. Where sites allow you to enter tags, include your top keywords and keyword phrases, plus your product/brand, location etc. If categories are available, add your video to the most relevant categories.
  • Comments. Get the ball rolling by adding a comment inviting people to provide feedback and include the URL of your landing page to help them find out more. Make sure you respond promptly to any comments. Not everyone will be positive so try not to get involved in an argument, simply thank them for their opinion and move on.

4. Tracking and Analysis

Add tracking to your video landing page to monitor the number of visitors to the page, where they arrived from and whether they converted to an enquiry or sale. This is important data as it can help you measure the success of a campaign and as you distribute more videos online you can decide if certain sites and strategies are giving you better results than others and adjust your strategy accordingly. If you don’t already use analytics/tracking on your website, Google Analytics is an excellent free resource.

If you would like any assistance with optimising and distributing your videos online, get in touch with the experienced team of SEO professionals at Avatar today.

7 Typical Tasks Of An SEO Consultant

daily seoWhat does an SEO specialist actually do all day? Do you need to hire one and how can they help your website improve its rankings? SEO tasks can sound confusing if you’re not familiar with the terms and lingo. Each SEO consultant has their own way of doing things but here are some example tasks you would typically expect to see them engage in on your behalf.

1. Website Auditing
Auditing a client’s website, social media and ad campaigns is a large part of an SEO’s work. SEO isn’t about simply checking off some boxes – it needs to be reactive and adaptable, playing up to strengths and keeping an eye on any areas where things could be improved. Auditing involves reviewing Google Analytics stats such as traffic, sources, devices and conversions, improving site speed, checking on social media likes and shares, checking on competitors and checking the Google Ads campaign to ensure that the advertising dollars are being spent on clicks that actually convert into profits.

2. Keyword Research
Targeting useful keywords is one of the keys to strong SEO, and need to account for not only the website’s content but also the kind of things people are searching for. A good starting point is a discussion with the client, and then taking these ideas to more powerful keyword research tools such as Google Keyword Planner. A large part of keyword research is also checking the current positioning of keywords, especially for any major drops or rises. Then also identifying additional related keywords and doing latent semantic analysis.

3. Building Website Authority
Good quality links to your website are an indication to Google that other people endorse your website. They give your site more authority, which makes it appear higher in the rankings. Link building can be done in several ways including outreach, which involves contacting other marketers or industry professionals and often offering links or resources in exchange.

4. Creating Optimised Content
Developing quality, optimised content is hugely important for SEO. Good content that engages the viewer and encourages them to share it is great for visibility and getting higher rankings in the SERPs. Consultants will also often create content specifically to address a keyword area or to build a resource that they can try to get linked to from other websites.

5. Engaging In Social Media
Generally links from social media aren’t super-powerful authority-wise, but the audience they reach can be very important for some industries. Building an audience and nurturing a community builds loyalty, brand awareness and encourages sharing. Having an effective Google+ presence is a must for all businesses and organisations that are serious about SEO.

6. Reporting Back
It’s important for an SEO consultant to communicate what work they’ve done and what results the website is getting. Reports should include the information and data that’s relevant and explain it in a way that makes it easy to understand. Reports are also a good way for the consultant themselves to analyse the data, and to make decisions for the best course of action going forward.

7. Setting Digital Marketing Goals
The point of SEO is to work in unison with the client’s needs, and with the client’s other marketing campaigns. Talking to the client allows the consultant to understand how SEO can be applied to best serve their needs, such as bringing traffic to a particular page to begin the buying process, or targeting audiences who are more likely to be interested in purchasing the client’s product.

SEO consultants perform a wide range of tasks, from analysis through to strategising. The work is constantly changing to suit the client’s needs, to match recent industry developments, and to play to the strengths of the campaign. If you are interested in discovering what SEO can do for you give the team at Avatar a call and find out now!

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Mark is the managing director of Avatar, a Christchurch-based web design and marketing company, that has served a wide range of clients in different industries.

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