So, it’s a new year and you are looking to enter the scary and rather complicated world of SEO. Well, it’s not that daunting once you know where to start. The SEO consultants at FSE will be here to hold your hand as you set up your new SEO campaign this January – ‘tis the season of giving, after all!
Check Out Your Competition
To be one step ahead of your competition, you need to catch up first. There are plenty of free tools out there which will help you scope out your rivals and take a deeper look into what is helping them rank so well.
SEMrush and Majestic are some of the most highly rated SEO tools out there, these are free but you will only have access to limited information. In order to delve a little deeper into the competition’s link profiles, traffic information and keywords, you will need to purchase a premium account. This may seem a little pricey to begin with, but you will find rich information that will allow you to better optimise your own website, creating more traffic and potentially more enquiries.
Create a Google Analytics Account
Google Analytics is a great tool used to monitor your own website, and even better, it’s free! Google Analytics essentially paints a clear picture about your traffic, you can access all kinds of information, including the following:
Where your visitors are coming from – Whether your traffic is coming from a referral (such as a blog or directory), direct (typed your URL in directly), paid (Pay Per Click ads) or organic search (they found you through your organic listing).
Where your visitors are located – Where in the world your visitors are coming from.
User interaction – How your visitors are interacting with your website.
These are the three main information avenues that Google Analytics delivers, but there’s a shed load more data available. Set up an account and see for yourself!
Keywords, Keywords, Keywords
Deciding which keywords you want to rank for is one of the most important aspects of your SEO campaign. It is important to be realistic and to choose keywords that are relatively highly searched, but not so in-demand that it becomes almost impossible to rank for them.
You are the owner of a second-hand car dealership in Essex, and you need to think about what keywords you would like your website to rank for. Think about what you are selling or what your company is offering and go from there. Good suggestions would be keywords like:
Used Cars Essex
Second-hand Cars Essex
Used Car Dealership Essex
Using ‘localised’ keywords normally ensures that the search volumes are likely to be lower than those for, say, ‘used cars’, but these kinds of search terms are much more obtainable for small businesses.
A Little Bit of Link Building
Link building in SEO is crucial if you are looking to rank well in the search engines. By link building, we mean getting external websites to link to your website. Search engines such as Google will see each link as a ‘vote’ for your website.
It is important to try and source links from high-authority websites that have a good PageRank and have a high amount of traffic coming to their site. Understandably, your link profile won’t only consist of quality websites, but it is vital to get as many as possible. It is better to have 10 links from high authority websites than it is to have 500 links from an array of low quality sites.
Creating Fresh and Engaging Content
Optimising your onsite content with your keywords is extremely important, but it is also vital to make this content engaging for the reader. All of your page content needs to be written with the search engines in mind and scattered with variations of your targeted keywords, but it also MUST read well and be interesting for your audience.
Don’t be tempted to ‘stuff’ your content full of keywords to try and manipulate the search engines. This tactic may have worked back in the SEO Dark Ages, but you run a high risk of getting your website penalised for spammy-looking copy. Here’s an example of content that’s been over-optimised:
“We are a car dealership in Essex and have used cars in Essex throughout Essex. If you need an Essex used car, then come to our car dealership in Essex.”
Writing in this way looks unprofessional, and it will be hard for customers to take you seriously if you’re determined to write in such poor English on your site.