If you use digital marketing for your business, then SEO is crucial for your brand… and bottom line.
Here, Brilliant Digital’s Head of Content, Lani Fouché, shares her tips for SEO.
Search engine optimisation (SEO), in short, is anything you do – any form of improvement or optimisation – to increase the quality and quantity of traffic to your website.
Generally, SEO is about using unpaid strategies to generate organic traffic, meaning it doesn’t rely on paid advertising to get users to your website.
“To my mind, it means that search engines work WITH your audience as a team to decide how well your website is doing, and whether other people should see it, too,” Lani says.
“Search engines such as Google rely on an audience’s experience of your content. If Google realises people are enjoying your content and finding it useful, it will continue to lead more people to your website, and in the end – you’ll rank in search results.”
Which is what you want – to grow your brand, share your message and get found online.
It all sounds great, right? But don’t you need to be an SEO expert to really see results?
As Lani explains, there are actually some really simple things anyone can do to boost their business’s digital presence.
“While there are so many technicalities behind the art of SEO, there are also some very basic, yet very important things businesses can do,” Lani says.
“Firstly, write for humans first and search engines second.”
Search engine algorithms change constantly, which is why you shouldn’t chase them.
Getting cleverer by the day, search engines are continuously relying on human experience to guide them in deciding which platforms are worth your time, and which are not useful.
“At the end of the day, your goal should always be to give your audience what they are looking for, and that comes through producing kick-ass content,” Lani says.
With that being said, it’s also a great idea to use targeted keywords in all the right spots on your website. If the term keywords sounds a bit hazy to you – just know that there’s a whole skillset behind looking for, and finding, keywords… with the help of tools like Google ads.
“Most people use experts in keyword research, and it really does pay off,” Lani says.
“The foundation of your whole SEO strategy is keywords, which is why it should be at the core of everything you do online.”
Research on organic search, by Brightedge Research, has shown that SEO drives a thousand percent more traffic to the desired pages than social media does… if this isn’t strong enough evidence to stick with a strong keyword plan, we don’t know what is.
If your users have a brilliant experience on your website, then they are far more likely to come back.
“Getting the technical SEO stuff right is crucial to improve user experience, and this further strengthens your SEO efforts,” Lani says.
“But if users struggle to find what they’re looking for or they find it hard to navigate through your site, they’ll drop off within a few seconds.”
Search engines pay close attention to how long users stay on your website, so if people are engaged with your website and staying around for longer, your SEO will get a boost.
“Removing anything that slows down your website is important,” Lani says.
“Whether your website is educational or eCommerce, it should definitely be quick, accessible and extremely easy to use.”
Many people assume that you can ‘finish’ an SEO strategy. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case.
Because the digital world is filled with noise, particularly if you’re in a highly competitive industry, there will always be a company offering your users a better experience than you.
“Your SEO strategy has no real end date, so you need to work continuously to improve your existing content and add missing elements,” Lani explains.
Make sure you are going back and checking for things like broken links, readability and outdated pages.
Ensuring your website is dynamic by adding new content, subtopics and understandable structures will also give a significant boost.”