Search engine optimisation (SEO) is thrown around a lot in the online market. Whilst there is a lot of advice out there about when and why you should use it, we think one of the best reasons is marketing. SEO is a great partner for your marketing strategy.
The aim of every business is sales, and given the competitiveness of search engines, you need to think strategically to be seen. SEO can increase traffic numbers, an improvement in the quality of traffic, and boost your search engine ranking.
Search engines and their algorithms are constantly evolving, so we’ve put together a current list of the best techniques that will grow your online business and improve your sales.
Why Your Business Needs SEO
Before we get into the best techniques to grow your business, we should talk about the basic SEO techniques your business should have.
On-page SEO is the basic building block of your site. If you do them well, your on-page SEO will help a user have an enjoyable experience on your site and make it one they wish to return to. Web-users remember poor experiences for a very long time.
Our top 4 on-page SEO techniques are:
- Site speed- Web users don’t hang around waiting for a slow site to load. If your site takes more than 3 seconds to load, chances are you are losing a lot of potential customers and therefore sales.
- Site architecture- This refers to the way your site organises its pages and the position in the hierarchy assigned to each. Your site architecture speaks to the search engine bots that gather information about your site.
- Links- Your internal links are important for the function of your site. Make sure all links on your page lead somewhere for optimum navigation and indexing. A broken link is a nuisance and a missed opportunity.
- Search engine talk- the information you feed to the search engine is crucial to the position of your site in the search engine results pages. Pay attention to the descriptive tag titles, your headlines, your URLs and meta descriptions. The better the search engine’s understanding of who you are and what you do, the more traffic will be driven to your site.
These techniques are the basic foundations of a healthy website.
Our Top 4 Techniques
If you have already implemented SEO techniques for your site then you have probably done keyword research. The problem is you can never be done with keyword research. The search engine, your competition and your customers are constantly changing and it’s important to keep on top of keyword trends in your industry.
Regular research and constant updates to things like URLs, headings, image descriptions, metadata and page titles mean you can stay ahead of your competition. Keyword research can also be a good indication of content that will be popular for users interested in your products.
Using tools like SEMRush and Ahrefs are a great way to conduct keyword research, but some other ways are:
- Engage with your customers- talk directly to your customers and find out what they’re looking for and what terminology they use to describe it.
- Research your competition- a good way to understand the trends of your industry is to look at what your competition are doing. Find out what they’re doing right, and whether their tools and techniques would work for your business too.
Keywords are crucial for your business because they are literally the pathway to your site. Nailing the terminology that your ideal customer will use in the search engine is a big win for your business and will certainly lead to an increase in sales.
The content you write is the best way to speak directly to your site users. Whether that’s incorporating keywords, informing them of who you are as a brand or promoting something you think will make their lives better, your content is powerful for your brand.
The better your content, the more users will read and recommend your stuff. This activity on your site catches the attention of the search engines and tells them your site is something their users need to see. The more tailored your content the more likely it is that your site will attract the right customers and convert those web visits into transactions.
The more trustworthy your content the more likely web users are to buy what you’re selling.
If your site isn’t really about the written word, here are some other content options you can wow your audience with:
- Video tutorials- How-to videos are very popular with web users and often make users more likely to feel confident purchasing that product.
- Product comparisons- Use your own products or popular products in the same category and demonstrate what is great about your product. Be honest, don’t just blatantly promote your product at the expense of valuable advice.
- Frequently asked questions– Create a video answering your most popular questions and start a direct dialogue with your customers.
- Infographics- Instead of writing a thousand words that your customers aren’t committed to reading, create an image that communicates what you think they need to know.
- Podcasts- create podcast episodes related to your brand and create an interactive relationship with your customers. Make sure your podcast isn’t all about the sale (because that’s boring) but instead give your listeners’ a behind the scenes look at who you are and what you value.
- Reviews- Interacting with your reviews (the good ones and the bad ones) gives your business an approachable element that customers respond to positively.
Content works to increase sales by giving you a sense of authority and trustworthiness that customers like and return to. When customers search for a product they come across a plethora of products promising amazing things. The personal touch content can offer customers may cut through the noise and draw them to you.
This content allows you to develop strong brand awareness, so customers know exactly what your values are and what your business does.
To create effective content make sure you are clear, effective, and honest. Don’t oversell your products or make promises you can’t keep.
This isn’t so much about your own site but about opening your site up to the industry it exists in.
If you have invested the time and energy into creating amazing content, then you want as many people as possible to see it. If your content is valuable, then there’s a chance some backlinks have started popping up on their own. If that hasn’t happened yet, start making it happen yourself.
Some options for building backlinks are:
- Testimonials– If you have a good relationship with another business or your supplier, offer to write a testimonial for them (with a link to their site) in exchange for one of you.
- Guest appearances– As mentioned in the above section, product reviews are a great way to communicate with your audience. Team up with someone else in your industry (make sure you like what they do) and create review or comparison videos that benefit both of you.
- Look at your competitors– Your competitors can offer insight into the types of links that work in your industry. There’s no point chasing links that will never lead anywhere. See what others are doing and focus on those.
Remember to focus on quality. Make sure the links you create a relevant to your customers, and that you are linking to sites that are respectable and worthwhile.
- Social media
Social media is a great partner to the content you have produced in part 2. As one of the fastest-growing sections of the web, it is a new and often underutilised SEO technique.
Maintaining a social media presence is a great way to promote new products, create brand awareness and brand vision. Social media is another way to interact directly with potential or current customers. Listen to what they say and view it as research. Choose the platform your ideal customer is most likely to use. Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and LinkedIn aren’t suitable for everyone, so don’t waste your time on a platform that won’t be effective for your business.
Social media is also a way to show customers the behind the scenes of your business and create a human side to your brand.
Why These Techniques Will Get You More Customers
The SEO techniques mentioned in this article will build on the basic techniques your site is probably already using. Making it easier for customers to find you through keyword research and link creation, building brand awareness through your content and social media platforms, and rising up the search engine results pages through activity all help more customers find you and therefore boost your sales.
SEO is the best friend of any online business. Given how much it has developed over the last few years, there isn’t a one size fits all approach. Learning which SEO techniques work best for your business will give you the best chance for success.