by Neil Lakeland, Kent branch chairman of Chartered Institute of Marketing
A website is one of life's essentials.
However, with 3billion searches on Google every day, it is vital that your website stands out from the crowd.
Search-engine optimisation (SEO) can get all your digital assets – website, blog, social media, YouTube videos and any whitepapers you’ve authored – working together to give you the best chance of being found.
Firstly, decide keyphrases. Identify how people found you by checking website analytics, competitors and the Google Keyword tool.
You need keyphrases that are under-exploited by competitors but relevant. I use the term “keyphrase” rather than “keyword” because only 20% of searches are done on single words.
By looking for phrases – made up of two, three or four words – you can target your efforts on “long-tail” searches.
These keyphrases will become your Holy Grail. They can be used in your on-page copy. Be careful not to “stuff” the page with the same keyphrase.
Go for a density of 1-2% and around 200 words per page – up to four instances on a typical page. Densities of more than 10% may incur a Google penalty. Keyphrases can also be used in social media posts, blogs, or anchor text when linked to a third-party site.
List your business in Google Places, especially if you have bricks-and-mortar presence, using social media accounts to generate back links to your website and targeting any videos with relevant keyphrases, including titles and description options. Recognise that SEO is a long-term solution.
If you need to rank quickly or run a campaign on a certain keyword (or keywords), the best option is pay-per-click (PPC) using tools such as Google AdWords.
With click-through-rates (CTRs) dropping on average by 60% for each position below the No.1 slot in the listings, it is vital that you are as high as possible.