Ah, the question everybody wants to know the answer to. You’ve got a fully designed website, lots of great imagery and informative content… and yet no one is finding it.
Google is the number one search engine across the world - 3.5 billion Google searches are made everyday - and drives the majority of search traffic to websites. In recent years, the first page of Google captured as many as 92% of search traffic clicks. Having a strong Google SEO strategy is crucial for decent ROI.
Everyday, Google creates new algorithms that last week meant one thing, and now mean something different. It’s difficult to keep up with everything, so where do you begin?
Search Engine Optimisation
It’s all to do with search engine optimisation and google algorithms. Unfortunately, Google publish an enormity of updates and changes to their algorithms; in 2018 alone, a whopping 3,200 changes were made. So instead of trying to keep up with the impossible, you’ll be more productive by focusing on making your website compatible with Google’s core goal, looking at content, presentation and design, knowledge and expertise and analytics. Follow our steps below for your Google SEO strategy and you should be on the right track for some of the crucial elements!
What do you want to achieve?
It’s easy to say you want to be on the first page for Google. But for what? What is it that’s most important for your brand? If you’re after more traffic and conversions, that great - but rather than trying to appear for everything your business covers, narrow it down and focus on a couple of specific topics.
Identify your personas
At Angelfish, the first thing we ask our clients to figure out is their buyer personas. But what does that mean? Basically, we look at your ideal customers or visitors, and look at their pain points, struggles and objections. We create a story about this person, why they may want to look at your website and what they need next. This really narrows down your target audience and allows you to consider fresh ideas that you may not have thought about upon content creation.
These personas are vital for all future work, whether that be keyword research, creating blog posts, advertising or website copy. They form the basis of your marketing strategy.
Now that you’ve figured out your personas, the next thing to do is identify keywords. These are the search terms people use in order to find your website. Trying to rank for everything will be too broad; pick out your top area. For instance, if you’re a recruiter based in Birmingham that specifies in the engineering sector, focus on “engineering recruiter Birmingham” rather than just “recruiter Birmingham” or “engineering recruiter”.
The more detailed the keyword, the less competition there’ll be, and therefore the better chance it stands of performing well in search results. Identify keywords per web page - this will reduce the risk of duplication and allow you to form great, relevant content.
When writing your page copy, include the keywords somewhere in amongst the text. Google will then be able to pick these up and begin to rank you higher within its pages. However, this can also go too far the other way. Too many keywords, or too many repetitions/duplications of keywords can raise Google’s alarm bells - essentially because you’ve tried a bit too hard and have ended up over-optimising your page. They key thing to remember here is that less is more. You need to strike a balance between low competition, high volume and its relevance to your site.
Your keywords also form the basis of your meta description, too. While the meta descriptions don’t improve your ranking, they do drastically improve your click-through-rate, which in turn will improve your ranking. Keep the length of these under 55 characters to ensure Google doesn’t cut off any text.
Who links to your site?
Search engines use links as a means to analyse websites and their authority. These are otherwise known as inbound links, or backlinks. So even if you’ve got the content and the keywords, you still might struggle to appear on that first page. To outrank your competitors, you need to establish authority here. by having other authoritative websites feature links on their site to your page, for example, through blog content or a testimonial.
For example, having backlinks from topically relevant sources that use relevant and natural text will bring qualified traffic to your website. If you’ve got partnerships or strong relationships with loyal customers or suppliers, this is a great start to build backlinks. Likewise adding testimonials or writing testimonials for other websites is an easy, but effective, link. Google views backlinks as one of its most important ranking factors, so it’s a pretty vital best practice!
Like everything though, these have to be trustworthy sites. If you’re getting traffic from spam websites, Google will push you down the page. If you get it right though, this can prove to be an invaluable way to up your domain authority.
Pillars and Topic Clusters
Often overlooked, but crucial, are pillar and cluster pages. Stick with us here - it’s not as complicated as it seems!
To begin with, pick your five or six main focus areas and create a static landing page for each one that acts as a broad overview, with plenty of content. These are your pillar pages. Next, you’ve got your topic cluster pages that cover specific, individual subtopics relating back to a pillar page subject. Each topic cluster page focuses on providing more detail related to the main topic.
What does this do for your website? Well, quite simply, Google will love you. Multiple cluster pages that are related to the pillar page can link to each other, signalling to search engines that the pillar page is an authority on the subject, which, over time, could increase its position within the search results. This topic cluster model is a way to organise a website’s content pages using a cleaner and thorough site structure.
So, you’ve read our blog, you’ve been introduced to all of our recommendations and you’re braced and ready to be inundated with enquiries and views. But it’s been a week, and still nothing.
Unfortunately, none of these are quick fixes. SEO and Google take their time to rank you. The average time is usually about three to six months, which after you’ve put in all this effort can seem like an enormous amount of time.
Don't lose heart - keep the momentum going and keep adding great quality content to your website and link it to your pillar page. Consistency is key!
We promise it’ll be worth the wait, and you can rest assured that with a Google SEO strategy, your website will not only be fully optimised and ready to go, it should also perform better than your competitors and set you high above the rest.
If this seems like a mountain to climb and you’re unsure where to start, contact Angelfish Marketing for a free website health check. We also have tiered SEO packages to help you optimise the contact you’re adding.