Search Engine Optimization as part of a broader digital strategy
Everyone wants the best SEO for their company website, simply put, it is the cheapest form of qualified traffic if done well. At Digital Butter we like to take a step back, and consider where and when SEO is the best strategy to target. Particularly relevant when launching a new website, achieving organic page rank takes time. When getting started, it is important to research the trends within your industry, and put in the time to understand what your target customers are searching for, so that you can tailor your content to them.
The tools that search engines like Google provide don't allow you to see what organic search phrases lead to a conversion (a sale, enquiry, etc), only what the number of impressions, and click-throughs are for various keyword phrases. This means that while you can see where your traffic is coming from, you can't always reconcile keyword searches to business goals.
While a longer term business model may be centred around SEO, it can sometimes be wise to launch with a phase of pay-per-click search advertising, as this allows you to learn what keywords are leading to conversions, and to then adjust your SEO keyword focus. In effect, platforms like Google are making you pay to learn what works for your business, but in the longer term this can save time by providing insight.
What to consider when launching an effective SEO strategy?
Some factors to consider when search engine optimization is your core strategy:
- SEO is earned over time, and is determined by a wide range of factors that are constantly changing, and differ across search engines.
- Website page rank is not calculated in isolation. Competition with other websites for the same key word phrases will determine a website's page rank.
- It is generally unwise to target too many keyword phrases on a single web page. Instead group keywords in to tight themes, and create targeted SEO landing pages that provide the information the person is looking for.
- Research is essential. It is important to dive deep in to what your competitors are doing, and to carefully choose which keywords and phrases are to be targeted.
- SEO is technically free, in that you don't pay for adverts. That said, it can be very time intensive, and time is money.
- SEO should not be considered a 'one time thing'. The Internet is very competitive space. When an SEO campaign achieves high page rank, stopping there will allow competitors to gradually catch up and overtake. Even working with one of the best SEO companies in Hong Kong won't necessarily guarantee that you will stay in the first position for very long, unless you keep moving with the competition.
- Offsite optimization is important but many people ask where to focus effort. The short answer is that we recommend targeting high quality inbound links, rather than a large number of links.
- A page's Meta Title, Meta Description, and URL play a significant role in driving click-throughs from the search engine results page. It is important to customize accordingly.
- It is important to consider how customers use search engines, and whether or not location is a factor. At Digital Butter, we often specifically target Search Engine Optimization in Hong Kong for local businesses.
How do I start an SEO campaign?
If you already have a website, then you have been running an SEO campaign since the day you launched. If you have not been consciously tracking the performance with search engines, then it is likely that there are a lot of quick wins available to get you started with a well planned SEO strategy.
At Digital Butter, when we take on a new SEO project, one of the first things we do is audit your website from a technical point of view. The way that a web page is coded has a significant effect on how well it will be indexed and ranked by search engines. We look for broken links, speed issues, problems with your robots.txt file, unnecessary redirects, and any content that is not properly coded (headlines and images). As a team of highly technical designers and developers, we are positioned to take charge of a website whether we developed it initially or not.
Following a technical audit, analysing the content on your site is the next important step. It may seem obvious, but if you want to be ranked for a certain keyword or phrase, you need to make sure that it forms part of the content on your site. The days of 'tricking' google with hidden text, or expecting non-natural keyword stuffing to work are over. That means you need to consider your overall content strategy importantly, and where all of your target keywords can fit into that, in a natural way that also makes sense for a visitor on your website.
Every time you make a change to your website, search engines need to re-index your site in order to be aware of those changes. This can take days or even weeks. Algorithms used by search engines are not publicly known, meaning that SEO has an element of trial and error to it. It is important to understand which changes you have made have had a positive or negative effect on your ranking. At Digital Butter, we use software that tracks keyword ranking and generates reports - not just for your website, but for your competitors too. We are careful to reconcile changes we have made to a website against rank changes, so that we understand what is working, and what is not working. In highly competitive industries, you can bet that your competition is doing the same, and will react to your rise through the rankings by stepping up their own SEO campaigns. As such, you must consider SEO as an every present requirement if you rely on high page rank.
The decision to manage your Search Engine Optimization in house or work with a digital marketing agency who provide SEO services comes down to a matter of experience, availability of resources and cost. Since every website is different, and the competitive landscape differs across industries, we tailor our pricing based on how much time we need to dedicate to an SEO project to see valuable results.
If you'd like to discuss the SEO of your website, please get in touch!