IntroductionSearch engines have become our prime resource for individuals searching for a business,product, service, person or information. Over the years, people have changed theirpurchasing habits both in their personal and business lives. For many the internet hasbecome like a third arm and as our dependence on it continues to grow, so does itspower.What does this mean for businesses? It means accessibility is key, as the internetreliance consumes us, the importance of being found for businesses increases. Everybusiness needs to adapt and embrace the client searching landscape, particularly B2Bcompanies who lag behind their B2C counterparts.Businesses no longer need to spend thousands of pounds on advertising , invest in largesales teams, or conduct a mirage of meetings. Every business with a website has thepotential to get found by more clients online through search engine optimisation (SEO)and inbound marketing.This best practise guide offers an insight into search engine optimisation, commonlyreferred to as SEO.
IntroductionSEOOn-page Off-pageOn-page SEO are all the factors takeninto consideration within yourwebsite which attribute to yoursearch engine results page (SERP).Off-page SEO are all the factors takeninto consideration outside of yourwebsite which attribute to your SERP.
Search Engine Result PagesLast year, marketers focused on strategisingwhich keywords to place across their webpresence in order to increase their SERP. Wewitnessed a multitude of companies proclaimingto propel businesses onto the first page of Googleby using a multitude of techniques.But the landscape of SEO has evolved, withrelentless changes by Google, its search algorithmhas taken us into a different direction. And whilstkeywords, links, meta descriptions remainimportant they now contribute a smallerproportion to the key ingredients of SERP.25%75%On-pageOff-pagePrevious focus on keyword, content and website structure, known as on-page SEO onlyaccounts for 25% of what actually impacts your position in SERP.The other 75% is made up of compelling content, news updates, blogs, co-marketing,social media, link building and PR, more details of which can be found in our guideUnderstanding Off-Page SEO.
What is on-page SEO?Search engines used to measure the relevancy of a website based on how manytimes a keyword was used within a website. And of course we witnessed aneruption of webmasters stuffing content with keywords, creating uninteresting,unfriendly and poor scripted content. These keywords littered the website andcould be found in various prominent places.KeywordsURLPage TitleMeta TagDescriptionPageHeadingPageContent
What is on-page SEO?Now search engines function differently. Keywords are still vitally important.However the quality of the content is equally as important, so forget the continualrepetition of the same word, regardless of the quality of the ‘read’.Search engines are crawling websites for quality written content which is appropriateand which has connections (links) to other relevant sites. Websites are now beingrewarded for the authenticity of their sites. For B2B companies it’s an opportunity toshowcase expertise, to produce authoritative articles which advise and educate thereader whilst still incorporating keywords.It’s also important to update websites regularly with relevant content. Mostestablished businesses now operate with a content managed section to their website,which allows for easy instant updates. To cease control of the ability to update yourwebsite is an absolute must in today’s internet world, as search engines check thefrequency of your website, rewarding those who update frequently, pushing themfurther up the search page rankings.
Key Elements of On-Page SEOKeywordsContentMetaTagsMetaDescriptionsWeb MapLinksUpdatesCore company informationRegular quality updatesKey Elements to On-Page SEO
KeywordsKeywordsSearch engines scan and rank your website content based on two keydrivers, relevancy of your website content and authority built throughyour website content. So the first step is to identify what keywords aresearched for in relation to what you are selling to ensure the search isrelevant.There are normally several keywords and phrases being used, you can check thisthrough the Google Keyword Tool to view the volume of searches. Your descriptionsof products and services should naturally include your keywords. But as thecompetitive landscape for most businesses is fierce you’ll need to think laterallyabout your keywords. We recommend 2 sets of keywords your core keyword whichare the bedrock of your product/service and lateral keywords which maybe seasonal,or as a result of external drivers, such as the environment. Let’s take an example of adouble glazing company.CoreKeywordsLateralKeywordsDouble glazingDouble glazing offersDouble glazing repairsInsulation tipsRetaining house heatWinter heat tips
ContentContentOn-page content is an acute component of on-page SEO. Content iswhat the search engine crawlers need to associate your page with aset of keywords and/or key phrases and thus rate your relevancy.Effective websites which focus on keywords but which retain their target audienceexperience as their prime emphasis, will organically build keywords into theircontent. Remember your first objective is to generate traffic to your website, thesecond objective is to convert those visitors into consumers or clients, you don’t wantyour content to dis-engage visitors, there is no point generating thousands of hits aday if no one is buying from you.Knowledge about your product or service, insight into your target audience andcreative thinking, should generate a multitude of content ideas upon which you canbuild your content strategy, simply writing your content describing yourproduct/service will not suffice.ContentEngagingUsefulCurrentConciseRelevant
Meta TagsMetaTagsMeta tags are the official data tags for each web page that are found inbetween the open and closing head tags in the HTML code. The mostpopular Meta tags are the title tag, meta description, and keyword tag.These tags alert search engines with relevant information describing the content ofthe page, which helps the search engines decide if your website is an appropriatelisting in response to a particular search query.If your product or service is seasonal, create a page strategy to introduce newrelevant pages. Your website does not need to remain structurally static, change it,utilise it, prioritise it – own firstname.lastname@example.org 45 AM 20/03/2013Effective websitesCreating effective websites with an expert team
Meta Descriptions & Title PagesMetaDescriptionsTitle TagsTitle tags and Meta descriptions are two of the most important tagswhen it comes to SEO and enticing potential visitors to click through toyour website. A title tag is an HTML tag which contains a sentence oftext describing the contents of its associated webpage.Meta descriptions are what appear on SERP describing the content of the page beinglinked to. While these descriptions are not used by the search engines to determinerelevance, they are used by your visitors to determine said relevancy and entice themto click – think about when you search!You almost always read the description of each link before deciding to click, right? Orat least skim. Make sure you include your keywords and the main call-to-action rightin this description.
Website MapWebsiteMapA website map, sometimes referred to as website structure ornavigation, determines how easy it is for your web visitors to findinformation, products or services.Segmentation of your content into bite size chunks allows your web visitor to digest,decide and move on or move off. It’s absolutely crucial you structure your websitemap with the prime focus of producing a user friendly website map. But alsoremember the importance of meta tags, page tags and of course the descriptions,when planning your website map.User friendlyNumber ofpagesPage titlesPagedescriptionsLogical
LinksLinksSearch engine algorithms rank web pages based on numerous factors.The basic premise is that a page will show up in search engine resultsbecause the website had mentioned the terms that were beingsearched for on the website page. Of course, many websites use thesame keywords on the same pageBut in order for search engines to determine how these pages should be ranked, theytake into consideration two major factors:Links increase the authority and trustworthiness of a page to search engines, whichincreases the overall authority of that website. Links help search engines connect therelevancy of a page with specific keywords - based on the keywords that are used in alink’s anchor text. Learn more about links in our guide The Truth About Link Building.Quantity of thelinks pointing toyour websiteQuality of thelinks pointing toyour websiteFactors
UpdatesUpdatesLong gone are the days when you wrote your website content andreviewed 12 months later. However it’s a typical error of manybusinesses who invest in the development of a website but fail tomaintain relevancy.Keeping your website updated with news, information or guidance has a multitude ofbenefits for your web visitors giving them a reason to return to your website. Butremember search engines check how often you update your website, the more youupdate, the more the check, the higher you will be placed in the SERP.A growing trend is to outsource website content maintenance, this ensures the site isupdated regularly, regardless of business priorities which can often be a barrier toconsistency of updates. Checking a news section on a website sits within the top 3 pageschecked by prospective clients (B2B) who perceive it as a reflection of a company’sefficiency and industry insight.UpdatesSearchenginesReturn visitsEfficient
SummaryThere are endless articles, guides and proclaimed experts professing to have all theanswers in positioning businesses on the first page of a search engine such as Google.There are plenty of SEO companies in UK that can effectively put a plan together foryour business. Obtaining some knowledge into the theory of SEO will place you in aposition of confidence when selecting a SEO or website development company.What ever road you take towards obtaining a prime search position, don’t let it be tothe detriment of your web visitor experience.Continually review your keywords by monitoring monthly search volumes andanalysing the source of your website traffic. Plan any seasonal words well inadvance, produce a content, link and distribution strategy. Explore a range of longtail keywords – think laterally, use some imagination to generate creativity.Constantly research your market and target audience the more you know, the greateryour insight, which will generate content ideas and mostly importantly engagementwith your web visitors.
SummaryOne tactic used to quickly thrust your business onto the first page is Pay Per Clickadvertising (PPC). But a PPC campaign is only as good as the last cash injectionyou pumped into advertising.Statistics show that nearly 80% of internet users completely ignore sponsoredlinks in any case, and nearly as many don’t ever go beyond the first page ofresults to find what they need on Google.This is a clear indicator that money will be much better spent on a long-lastingSEO campaign such as Off-Page activity.The average internet user in the UK spends almost 40 hours each monthbrowsing the internet, and these users spend nearly 25% of their disposableincome on internet purchases.For more guidance refer to our guide, Understanding Off-Page SEO.