Search Engine Optimisation or SEO is critical for every business wanting to have an online presence. Many think it’s about writing a few articles to achieve a ranking on search. Unfortunately it’s not as easy as that.

Below is a guide to some of the tactics Medium Marketing uses to achieve ranking on the first page of Google with some slides on how SME’s can compete with large enterprises when it comes to google ranking.

What is Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)? 

SEO is an approach used to achieving a high ranking on search engines with the objective of growing website traffic. There are a number of search engines that exist, however when starting out, there is only one that matters. Google has over 90% share of all search, meaning that’s where the traffic is. There are a number of steps that we need to take to optimise our website to rank at Google which we will talk through.

Keyword Research 

Keyword research is an essential part of SEO strategy to help understand how your site and content should be strucutred to drive a relevant audience to your site. Our approach at Medium Marketing is to understand your business and identify what we expect your potential clients to search for on Google when they are researching information that relates to your business. At the very least, you need to be ranking number 1 for your own brand name. If you don’t rank number 1 on page 1 today – it means your site has no domain authority, however we can guarantee a number 1 ranking in the first 3 months (as long as it’s not a generic name like “orange”). We have access to a number of tools like Ahrefs, SEM Rush and more which are the most established tools in the industry.

Why Creating Good Content is Essential for SEO

Once you have selected a list of keywords, identify the ones with strong traffic or part of a broader group of keywords then create excellent content that targets these keywords. What is “excellent content”. Simply go to Google and type in the keywords you want to rank for and see which sites / articles are ranking top.  Then have a look at this site and content and write yours so it’s better than the content. In addition, make sure that content is linking to lots of other really good content across your site and other authoriateive sites. Once people are on your page, if they stay there for a long time, that’s a good indicator for Google to suggest your content is good. For this reason, consider including video in there as well to make people stay for longer. 

On-Page SEO

Once you create the content, make sure the on-page SEO is optimised with the right meta tags and meta descriptions. This is the descriptions you provide Google for them to display as the title and description on the search results page.

If you are using WordPress, a plugin like Yoast is the best for meta titles, descriptions and making sure you optimise the post according to your designated keyword. Note that the number of times the keyword appears in an article is one of Google’s oldest measures and now they penalise articles repeat these keywords excessively for ranking purposes. Now they promote articles that have terms in the article that have a high lexical relevance to the focus keyword.

The Importance of Backlinks to SEO

Backlinks are absolutely critical for Google to rank your piece of content. This means finding and securing links from credible sites with high domain authority back to your site. The more credible sites that link back to yours, the higher Google will rank you as an authority in your space. This requires time and manual outreach to partners, and publications in the same industry or promoting your content on social media to get shares on other social accounts. You can’t guarantee that people will share or link to your content, however you have a much better chance if your content is unique and serves a purpose for the end reader.

Measuring the Impact of SEO

It is important to focus on SEO to grow your website traffic over time, however results don’t happen overnight. It is a long term strategy and it is important to measure the impacts of SEO over time. Key metrics to include when looking at improvements in SEO includes:

  • Google rankings for keywords – the goal is top 3 ranking
  • Website traffic from Google Search – you can monitor traffic and growth with Google Analytics
  • Number of keywords you rank for
  • Engagement – metrics like time on site / page, bounce rate and pages per sessions provides an understanding of the quality of your content and relevance to the keywords
  • Leads / Sales – finally understand how many leads you are receiving from organic search

If you follow this strategy, you will see improvements in Google rankings on a monthly basis, however this takes time and effort. If you can, outsource this job to a reputable team so that you can focus on other key parts of your business.