The ultimate goal of any SEO campaign is to drive your business forward; the best strategy looks beyond rankings and will improve sales, profits and your overall brand.
It is easy to think that SEO is all about driving more traffic to your website through improved rankings on the search engines. But, this is just a means to an end. Every business website is ultimately aiming to help the company make more money, and for that to be effective, your SEO strategy needs to have this big picture goal in constant view.
Key to this is the concept of conversions. Think of your website visitors as customers in a shop. There are always going to be those who wander in and take a look around without buying anything. And even they have their uses - they make the store look busy and popular, and potentially attract others who are prepared to part with their money.
While there is a place for customers to come in and look around, it is the conversions - the browsers who become buyers - that ultimately dictate whether your business will sink or swim. Improving conversion rates is one of the key aspects of SEO, as it means better sales. It also creates a self-perpetuating virtuous circle of improving SEO, thereby driving even more traffic to your site.
The great thing about the internet is that it turns some traditional marketing on its head. Inbound marketing is a case in point, as here the customer comes looking for you rather than vice versa.
If that sounds too good to be true, there is a catch. When someone types a query into a search engine, they are presented with a range of choices. To return to our shop metaphor for a moment, this is the equivalent of being presented with a line of shops, all in a row, and all offering very similar products and services.
How do you make sure they choose you?
Your selling point is your content, so it is imperative that yours is of the highest quality and answers your buyers' questions or solves their problems. Think about your customers - what are they likely to be looking for or asking, and how can you show that you have the answer?
Good SEO practices like keyword research will tell you what works and what doesn't. Remember, this is an ongoing process of constant refinement and optimisation.
A great user experience
If the content is right, it needs to be clearly visible and accessible to your potential customers. Again, think of the website as your shopfront in that long parade of shops. If yours is more attractive and easier to access and deal with than the one next door, then you will win more customers.
This means a well-constructed website that works across all platforms, including smartphones, with easy and intuitive calls to action and fast-loading pages.
Social media is hugely influential on a number of fronts. Shares and retweets mean more traffic, improved brand recognition and better rankings on the search pages.
Use Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to engage with your adoring public, and they will be quick to spread the word. You might want to consider uploading pictures and videos, as these tend to go viral faster than the written word.
In short, your website should be as much an ecommerce platform as an information hub for your customers to immerse themselves in. Make your website fully accessible and interesting, and it will start to deliver more sales.
Sponsored post. Copyright © 2017 Jon Wade is content manager at Freelance SEO Essex.