Wanting More Website Traffic?
Here’s how Search Engine Optimisation and Social Media can play it’s part
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and Social Media can play an integral part in getting more people from your customer base to visit your website. This in turn will help to meet the business objective of the site, such as generating more enquiries or raising public awareness of a cause or issue. SEO is about optimising your website in the eyes of search engines, particularly Google (which in the UK owns approx. 91% of the search engine market). This ensures your site appears higher up the listings in search engine results.
When you first have your website built, unless you have specified up front, it is not likely to be optimised for search engines. Optimising your website usually requires extra time and resource from your website developer and therefore extra cost. However, it is worth considering if you want your website to be found by Google. After all there are millions of websites, so you need to help Google choose to list yours when it searches for specific keywords.
Before you optimise your site, it is important to understand the keywords for your industry that your customers are likely to use. You should also consider the location you are targeting – whether it’s local, the whole of the UK or the international market – and what you are trying to achieve with each page. Each sub-page on your website can be optimised for search engines so that they deliver that particular page to specific keyword searches. This way you are narrowing the competition down to those pages related to that keyword search, increasing your chances over time of it appearing in Google search results (ideally on page one or two).
However, an optimised website still doesn’t guarantee your place at the top of search engine results. You need lots of hits on the site too (from your customer base so that they browse more than 1 page). Here’s where social media can help. You can grow your following to your customer base on social media platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook. Then drive hits on a regular basis from these platforms to your home page and sub-pages of your website. Use industry keywords in the message that relate to the page link being mentioned. Google can pick up on this, which will help to supercharge your page for related keyword searches.
We’ve benefited from this approach ourselves recently. Our website sub-page about our social media training course in Bournemouth is towards top of Google page one. This happened within about six months.
NB the first 2 listings above our results are paid-for adverts known as Google Ads. The results below these are known as organic search listings, which is what you are trying to achieve in the mid to long term with SEO.
As we run courses in specific locations, we target specific location based search results rather than competing across the whole of the UK. If you searched just “social media course” Q Social Media doesn’t appear at all within the first few pages of results. But as the above example shows, we show up much higher in the rankings in the places where we actually run courses.
If you offer services or products across the whole of the UK, you might need to allow one to two years before you are able to generate a good Google presence through organic search. It should be noted it cannot be guaranteed to get page one presence, however by applying the right SEO principles you’ll certainly increase your chances of moving towards page one.
Appearing more often in search engine results should generate more hits for your website. In turn, this should lead to meeting the business objective of the site more often, such as generating more enquiries or further raising public awareness of a cause or issue. It is also possible for people to undertake searches within social media platforms. More and more people are doing this prior to undertaking their search in Google. If you are using the same social media platforms that your customer base is using, your business profile might also appear as a result of one of these searches. Again, this can lead to more hits on the website.
The type of marketing that uses SEO and social media effectively is known as inbound marketing, which is promoting informative, useful to your customer base via these channels so that you draw them in to your business. This considering many of us now research online before we buy, this type of content will help aid the buying process of a sales cycle.
Chris Wood - digital marketing specialist