Copywriters often say content is king. If content is king, then SEO is queen.
Without SEO (search engine optimisation), your content — no matter how regal — risks being sad and lonely, rarely visited or commented on.
A lot of SEO may sound complicated but, I promise you, it’s not. And I also promise I won’t start using technical words or jargon.
I don’t have a definition of SEO. Why? Because it’s such a fast-moving sector that any definition given today could be out of date by next week.
I prefer to base my SEO services around 4 key elements:
- Ensuring your website is functioning correctly from an SEO perspective
Can Google/search engines find you, and are you giving them reasons to rank you highly?
- Building your online visibility
Where are your target market? What tactics are your competitors using? Are they on Facebook, YouTube? How can you appear in front of their customers’ eyeballs?
- Getting you noticed in your sector
Is anyone blogging about your market? If so, who are the bloggers with the most influence? Can we get them to blog about you? Do we need to review your website’s copy and its content strategy?
- Analysing and measuring website traffic
Who’s visiting your website? How are they finding it? What do they do when they arrive? Which pages do they like to read, and which ones make them leave?
There’s only one of me, so if it’s daily blogs, reviews and social media posts you need, I don’t offer that service. Although I can recommend some trusted, UK-based agencies and bloggers who do.
Some of my recommendations will need to be carried out by your web designer or web developer. I know html but I’m primarily a copywriter and marketer — anything design- or coding-related is beyond my services. But I can recommend some trusted people, who I’ve worked with previously.
Below is not a complete list, but it’s the kind of things I include in my initial review:
- Where are your keywords on the page and are they in the right place?
- Are your images optimised?
- Are you making good use of tags and html code, essential for telling Google and other search engines what you offer?
- Have you set up Webmaster Tools and Google Analytics?
- How does your website look on smartphones and tablets?
- How fast do the pages load?
For every issue I find, I’ll recommend a fix, written in plain English.
I’ll use SEO tools to look at your top-ranking competitors, run some reports on them and the sector you operate in, generate some Excel spreadsheets and pinpoint areas and opportunities you can take advantage of. The kind of things I’ll be looking for are:
- Why do they appear so high in the search engines results?
- Which websites are linking to them?
- Which bloggers or journalists are talking about them?
- How are they using social media/Facebook/Twitter?
I use a mixture of Ahrefs, Moz and Followerwonk to create reports, such as the one below. I’ve trimmed the report simply because I want it to fit on the page, rather than for any confidentiality reasons!
I’m looking for influential bloggers in interior design, so I’ve run a report looking for Twitter users with the words “interior design” in their bio. I’ve added filters, to make sure they’re active (last tweet), that they’re relevant to a specific market (location), that they’re influential (how many followers and friends they have)
I’ll then use this to look at each user in more detail, to see if there are opportunities for my client to feature in their blog/website/tweets.
What about keyword research?
This is still important, and it is a service I offer, but these days it’s not the only indicator. Think about how Google works now. When you type in a keyword, it returns lots of variations. It also returns different results based on your location and what you’ve typed in previously. So keywords are important, but it’s overall visibility we need. And that’s where the planning comes in…
I’ll supply you with two reports.
- An SEO review incorporating everything in the Foundation stage and more
This will be in the format of stating the subject, issue, and recommendation.
Subject: Optimising images
Having your images optimised is essential. By optimised I mean compressed, so its file size, (not necessarily its dimensions), is as small as possible. This ensures fast loading of pages, good for mobile users and one of the ways Google evaluates your website. By optimised I also mean it needs to be tagged correctly, ie a useful filename and has descriptive alt text, so that visually-impaired visitors to your website can still use it.
Your images are not compressed, meaning you risk losing traffic from impatient visitors who won’t wait for a picture to load. And Google will think “this is too slow for our searchers.”
Compress images. If you have lots of images, send them to me in a Zip file and I can compress them all in Photoshop.
Add alt text. This needs to describe the image. For example, (and sorry for the gratuitous plug) for my logo:
The alt text could be: image of breadknife spreading butter on a slice of bread with the butter showing the words “let’s spread the word”.
That’s the structure and language I use. Definitely no jargon.
- A content marketing plan
- Social media recommendations
Which channels to use and why
- Keywords and keyphrases
Which ones to use, and where to place them
- Influential bloggers and relevant online publications
Which of these can we approach to see if they will feature you or review your product
- Business directory listings
I’ll supply a list of online directories relevant to you (ie not just the obvious ones such as comor 192.com)
How many people are visiting your website? What do they do when they arrive? Where do they go? Which pages do they spend time reading, and which ones make them leave? On which day is your website busiest? Google Analytics tells you this, and a lot more. If you like delving into stats, we’ll discuss how deep you want your analysis to go. If you just want the basic details, we’ll discuss the best way to deliver this, whether it’s me running regular reports for you, or me showing you how to run them.
You might think hiring an SEO is expensive. But it doesn’t have to be.
My SEO services are designed for people on a budget.
Do you want to learn how to use Google Analytics and Google Webmaster Tools to monitor and review how well your website is performing?
Do you want to track your competitors, see what keywords they’re using, whether they are even using SEO?
Or do you want me to provide these services for you?
If you want to learn more about SEO, check out this excellent infographic from Search Engine Land, a superb SEO resource.