local seo, marketing tips, seo
What is SEO and How Can You Make It Work For Your Business
There are over 200 factors which correlate to page rank.
SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is about making your website work for you so it achieves your business goals. Optimising a website and investing in a long-term SEO Strategy will help your business to gain competitive edge in the very crowded marketplace of Google Search.
Google is the largest search engine and it works using complex real-time algorithms which crawl millions, if not billions of web pages to retrieve pages which contain the information you requested. This is presented as a list of websites, in lightening-quick time, and provides you with the highest ranking, most relevant results to your initial web search.
Of course, there are many other search engines which work to provide users with relevant web pages to their search query, although it is strongly recommended that you focus on Google initially as it used by more than 85% of web users and will send the most traffic to your site. Other search engines that could be worthy of consideration for UK businesses include YouTube (owned by Google), Vimeo, Bing, AOL, Ask and Yahoo.
So how does it work? How can you make SEO work for your business?
You need to gain higher rank for your web pages to achieve greater prominence in Google Search Results Pages (SERPS), and to gain competitive edge. As mentioned earlier, there are over 200 factors which correlate to page rank, and some weigh more heavily than others.
If you are targeting a local audience then you will need to focus your efforts on Local SEO and this will include making your website mobile responsive so it adapts to the smaller screen size and provides a good mobile user experience.
The Local Search Ranking Factors survey undertaken by David Mihm has been compiled over the last 9 years. Since 2015 and into 2017, there has been an increase Link Signals, Review Signals, Behaviour Signals and Personalisation, whereas Social Signals are in decline, as are Citation Signals. This would indicate that Authority and Relevance are the most important ranking factors for local search. Distance from the user location to your bricks and mortar location will also impact your site’s positioning in the local listings.
The first step to achieving greater prominence and visibility in local search is to optimise your Google My Business listing. You may like to read a previous blog on how to get your business on the map http://whizzmarketing.co.uk/getting-your-business-on-the-map/. In July, Google added a new tool to the Google My Business platform for posting weekly news and events which would appear under your local listing and posting regularly will help to increase prominence and rank in local search.
Generating more positive reviews on Google will also help increase local search rank, as will adding links to your listing that takes users further into your website.
Understanding what makes Google Search work so effectively
As consumers, we have become more demanding. We generally know what we are looking for, and as such, our search queries have become more specific, and with information-overload being a part of modern life, it is no wonder that we have high expectations for this information to be available to us at the touch of a button, 24/7.
Google has responded to this more refined way of searching with the launch of Rank Brain, a machine-learning artificial intelligence programme that helps process search queries. Rank Brain forms part of Googles overall Hummingbird algorithm and helps to search billions of web pages to find relevance to the initial search query.
Search in 2017 is far more advanced than just 5 years ago. This new algorithm has not only improved the accuracy of voice search, but it will also better understand the ‘context’ of what you are asking for, making the web pages it returns in search pages even more concise and relevant to your request.
For example if you search for ‘local pasta restaurant’ – as long as you have given Google your location, it will understand the meaning of ‘local’ as being close by.
If you ask for a ‘shop that sells spanners’ it will understand that ‘shop’ is a bricks and mortar place, a physical location and will only draw results that combine this with the word ‘spanners’ – so bringing you more precise results.
Prior to Hummingbird being launched, Google just connected the search phrases with the ‘word’ not the ‘context’ of the word. It isn’t a case of ‘out with the old, and in with the new’ – Google has retained a lot of the algorithms that are still effective and this includes giving priority to a site that has been optimised by adding core SEO elements, however, it is important to embrace other off-site elements that make up the SEO Mix as well as it is this combined approach that will help ensure your website works in organic search and drives targeted traffic to your site.
Some of the Key Elements of an SEO Strategy
1. Apply On-Site SEO that complies with Google Best Practice
2. Build a strong link profile with quality, relevant backlinks and links to high ranking domains
3. Develop a strong trust and citation flow which will help increase overall domain trust and authority
4. Generate positive reviews on Google, social channels and across the web
5. Increase social interactions and brand mentions – create better connections with your audience and provide content that is relevant and interesting to increase engagement. This will help to increase your brand authority across the web.
6. Create fresh, relevant content and post onto a website blog. Updating your website content regularly will keep the crawl rates up on your site and this will increase impressions in organic search indexes.
If you haven’t yet considered optimising your website or investing in a long-term SEO Strategy then it is time you did! Your site won’t be able to compete with those who do! Google can help drive targeted traffic to your site, but you need to give Google strong signals that will demonstrate your authority and trust.
Whizz Marketing is an accredited Google Partner Agency and Louise is a Certified Google Adwords Advertising Specialist. For further information on SEO please contact Louise at Whizz Marketing on 01252 622129 www.whizzmarketing.co.uk