Many business owners can relate to this scenario; you’ve hired a professional to do Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) on your website, you’ve paid them and they’ve been working at it for months, but you haven’t seen any significant results.

So what’s gone wrong?

More often than not, the issue lies in a disconnect between the search intent of a potential customer, the keywords they’re using and the content on your website landing pages.

What’s the purpose of SEO?

The goal of SEO is simple - you’re trying to get more people to your website.

The basic idea is that the more visitors that come to your website, the more enquiries or sales you’ll get. It sounds pretty straight forward in theory, but in reality that’s not always the case.

From an SEO professional’s perspective the main task is to drive as much traffic to your website as possible. As a business owner you want as much relevant and targeted traffic as possible.

What is relevant website traffic?

It all comes down to the searcher’s intent. There are three basic reasons people search online:

  • Navigational – they are attempting to find a place or website.
  • Informational – searching for information on a topic.
  • Transactional – Search performed for the purpose of buying something.

The secret is to match the searcher’s intent with the content on your landing page.

How to create your SEO strategy

Now we’ve covered the basics, here’s a quick step-by-step guide on how to research, plan and implement an SEO strategy for your business:

  1. Determine your goals. Are you trying to increase sales? Get people to sign up to your newsletter?
  2. Perform keyword research to identify potential keywords. Use the Google Keyword Planner tool (available when you sign up for a Google AdWords account) to conduct research on the keywords specific to your products or services. Watch our practical 'how to videos' for a step-by-step guide on how to conduct keyword research.
  3. Research your chosen keywords to identify user intent. To do this, conduct a Google search for each keyword you’ve identified and analyse the search engine results.
  4. Plan and develop landing pages on your website. Each keyword you’ve identified (and plan to use as part of your SEO strategy) should have a corresponding landing page on your website. For each keyword and landing page, identify your most wanted action and ensure it’s highly visible to your website visitors. For example, if you want the user to sign up for your email mailing list, make sure the landing page displays this in a prime position.
  5. Set up and run a Google AdWords campaign using your keywords. When creating your ads, make sure you also set up conversion tracking. If you haven’t used AdWords before, read our tips on how to use Google Ads to get started.
  6. Analyse the results from your conversion tracking and make refinements to ads that aren’t generating conversions. This could include pausing low converting ads and reallocating your budget to the keywords and ads that have been successful in helping you achieve your goals.
  7. Decide if you’ll do your own SEO or hire a professional. Regardless of whether you do it yourself or go it alone, the Google Search Engine Optimisation starter guide will help you run your own SEO strategy or ensure that the company you hire are on the right track.

Tips for hiring an SEO specialist

If you decide to outsource your SEO, here are some tips to help you find and select the right provider:

  • Ask them for five examples of businesses they have achieved a top three page ranking for in Google search results.
  • To help guide your SEO specialist, provide them with the keywords you know will result in conversions to help guide them.
  • Monitor your SEO campaign for goals and conversions.

Keen to learn more about SEO for your business?

Explore our range of practical small business workshops, including sessions on digital skills and sales and marketing, if you would like to learn more about Google Ads, Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and social media marketing.

28 June 2018