If you are thinking about a career in digital marketing, then you might have considered learning more about the sub-discipline known as SEO (search engine optimisation). However, there are some things you should know about the industry before you go wading in headfirst.
SEO is a highly competitive industry and there are lots of people competing for the same jobs. It is important for you to know what the industry looks like so you can position yourself for success.
Let’s learn a little more about SEO so you can determine if it’s ideal for you.
What is SEO exactly?
It is a process by which you will help your clients get their website as high as possible in search results of major search engines (but Google is the main target). The obvious utility of this is that your client will have greater visibility when people search for the products and/or service they deliver.
It is your job to take the client’s website, audit it, and then suggest solutions for them to implement, or implement them yourself at a higher price. Many agencies have in-house web development and content writing staff so they can produce the necessary content the strategists have suggested is needed.
One aspect of SEO you need to get right is account management, as your relationship with clients is going to be key to maintaining their business. Many clients won’t hesitate to switch to another provider if they think they can get better results with them, so you need to constantly reassure them of the success of their campaign and explain any let downs honestly.
You are going to encounter unreasonable clients who won’t understand what you try to explain to them and seem to want to find faults with everything you do. You need to make sure you either hire an account manager or get trained in how to handle the worst types of clients so that you don’t lose their business when doing SEO for them.
One major tool you will need to use is Google AdWords. This is part of providing PPC (pay per click) advertising for your clients, which is ostensibly the main vehicle of search engine optimisation.
It involves using the client’s keywords and creating a strategy for how much money you will bid on each keyword to serve ads on searches by the target market. Sometimes you will need to be creative with how you do targeting when the client hasn’t got much money to spend on bids.
One aspect of working in SEO that is becoming more important is content writing. This involves creating blog articles, landing pages, advertorials, and other content designed to add value to the internet in return for a boost in your client’s relevancy.
Since Google has cracked down on spammy websites in recent years, as an SEO you need to help your client provide sincere value to their customers so Google rewards them with a boost in relevancy. Increasing the authority of your client via the production of infographics and how-to articles is one of the best ways to give them a boost in mindshare.
It is also useful to know how to combine web development and SEO so that you can help clients build the best possible site for their business that will retain customers and convince them to buy.
How to use SEO to improve your business
SEO (search engine optimisation) is a sub-discipline of SEM (search engine marketing) and Digital Marketing that is used to make your website more discoverable in search engine results, hence the term ‘optimisation’. The obvious utility of this for your commercial website is that, the more discoverable you are in search engines like Google, more people will flock to your domain and be exposed to your offers, potentially making a purchase decision and becoming your customer.
Let’s tale a look at some of the ways you can use SEO to improve a business.
1. Hire an SEO agency
This is the first step if you don’t have time to do SEO or you prefer if professional SEO agencies will do SEO for you. While you can do a rudimentary level of in-house SEO with what we’ve discussed here, the industry is highly competitive, and you’ll want to have experienced experts guiding you all the way. Hiring a professional SEO consultancy firm will give you the edge you need to climb the market ladder and enjoy a whole new level of prosperity for your business.
2. Insert keywords into website copy
The primary way in which SEO is used to optimise a business website is to begin incorporating keywords into the copy on the site. This means that if you run a pet shop then you would use “dog good” or “cat toys” more often in relevant sections of your website, such as in the product categories area.
These keywords need to be inserted in a natural way that does not look as if you are blatantly targeting search engines over the usability of your website. A website that seems ‘keyword stuffed’ appears insincere to both search engines and users – avoid doing this!
In-fact, keyword stuffing can get you in trouble with search engines if you are caught doing it – even if you paid another company to do it for you (the responsibility is yours to check what they do on your behalf). Penalties can range from a few months ban from their servers to a total ban forever.
3. Start writing blogs on your website
Blogs are a great way to use SEO to help your website as they benefit both you and your customers when they are well-researched and well-written. Search engines like Google like to reward business websites that give a little more back and attempt to educate the public or engage with the industry in some way. This could be as simple as some tips for maintaining and using one of your products over a long period of time.
These blogs also help to show search engines that your website is active and isn’t just statically showing the same products with no change. Even if your core business doesn’t change for a year, you should still be updating blogs and social media to show that you are switched on and now asleep at the wheel.
4. Optimise the performance of your website
Another important use of SEO is on-page optimisation which refers to activities that make what users can see on the page more discoverable in search engines. This includes doing things like inserting keywords into the alt text of images you are using as well as headings and subheadings.
This also includes doing mobile-friendly SEO which means optimising the site so that it converts onto mobile formats. Since mobile is the #1 way in which people nowadays access websites, it makes sense to adopt a mobile-first mindset.