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Ongoing SEO Maintenance Checklist

Introduction

In SEO, the only constant is change itself. Where visibility is currency, securing a top spot on search engine results pages (SERPs) can mean the difference between thriving and surviving. Want to get to that number one position? Adapting to algorithm updates and best practices isn’t optional—it’s essential.

The Importance of Continuous SEO in the Digital Age

Unlike a one-off project with a clear beginning and end, ongoing SEO maintenance requires constant attention, adjustment, and commitment. As search engines like Google continue to refine their algorithms, what worked yesterday might not work tomorrow. Your website’s visibility and, by extension, its success, rely on adapting to these changes. 

Continuous SEO also ensures your website not only keeps up with the latest algorithm updates but aligns with evolving user behaviours and preferences. It’s about being proactive rather than reactive, ensuring your site remains relevant, engaging, and, most importantly, findable.

Understanding Ongoing vs. One-Off SEO Tasks

Understanding the difference between ongoing and one-off SEO tasks sets the foundation for effective digital marketing. 

One-off tasks, such as setting up a website or launching a specific campaign, lay the groundwork. However, SEO maintenance tasks — like keyword research, content optimisation, link building, and technical audits — are what keep the structure sound and functional over time. Think of it as the difference between building a house and making it a home; the latter requires continuous care and updates to maintain its value and comfort.

Whether you’re a seasoned SEO professional, a keen marketer, or a business owner eager to enhance your website’s performance, this checklist will provide actionable insights and introduce you to relevant SEO tools that can transform your approach to digital marketing. 

Part 1: Continuous Keyword Strategy

Monthly Keyword Performance Analysis

Use tools like Mangools SERPWatcher and SEMrush to track how your keywords perform in the vast sea of search. Our SEO specialists recommend that you:

  • Set up monthly performance reviews: Regularly check your keyword rankings to understand which terms are your best and worst performing. 
  • Stay ready to pivot: If certain keywords are losing ground, consider why. Is it because of changing search trends, or is your content in need of a refresh? Adjust accordingly.

Identifying Emerging Search Trends

Staying ahead means keeping your ear to the ground—or in this case, your eyes on Google Trends and Google Search Console. These tools are your SEO radar, helping you catch the winds of change:

  • Spot new opportunities: Regularly explore Google Trends to catch emerging search behaviours that could influence your keyword strategy.
  • Dig into your data: Use Google Search Console to unearth unexpected keywords that are already bringing traffic to your site. These gems could open new avenues for optimisation.

Updating Your Keyword Map

Your website is an ever-evolving ecosystem. As such, your keyword map should grow and change with it. Visual tools like GlooMaps can help you keep your site’s structure aligned with your SEO strategy, ensuring every page has a purpose and a direction. Here’s what to keep in mind:

  • Regular revisions are key: As you add new content or pivot your focus based on trend analysis, make sure your keyword map reflects these changes.
  • Ensure clarity and purpose: Every page should target a specific keyword or topic. A well-organised website is easier for users to navigate and for search engines to understand.

Tools for Ongoing Keyword Research

Reliable keyword research tools are the ultimate SEO companions. Whether you’re scouting for new terms with KWFinder or mapping the landscape with Google Keyword Planner, these tools offer the insights you need to guide your strategy:

  • Look for long-tail keywords: Low-competition, high-reward. Use tools like Mangools KWFinder to uncover these valuable keywords.
  • Stay informed with search volume data: Google Keyword Planner might be designed for advertisers, but it’s a treasure trove of information for SEOs too. Use it to gauge the popularity and competition of keywords.

By treating your keyword strategy as a continuous journey, you’re not just chasing after rankings—you’re building a resilient and adaptable SEO framework that can withstand the ebbs and flows of search trends. Remember, the world of search is always on the move, and so should your strategy. 

SEO Keyword Mapping
SEO Keyword Mapping with GlooMaps

Part 2: Content Optimisation and Refresh

In this section, we’ll delve into the strategies and tools you need to keep your content fresh, relevant, and optimised for both search engines and your audience.

Quarterly Content Audit for Relevance and Quality

Content audits are crucial for maintaining a high-quality, engaging website that meets the needs of both your audience and search engines. They help identify content that’s outdated, underperforming, or no longer relevant, ensuring your site stays up-to-date and aligned with your business goals.

  • Use Google Analytics and Google Search Console to track the performance of your content over time. Identify which pieces are driving traffic, engagement, and conversions.
  • Revisit and update your content regularly to ensure it remains accurate and relevant. Refresh outdated statistics, incorporate new insights, and align with current trends.
  • Evaluate the quality of your content by assessing its readability, structure, and value to the audience. Tools like Yoast SEO can provide insights into areas for improvement.

SEO Competitor Analysis

Keeping an eye on your competitors’ content strategies can provide valuable insights into what works well in your industry and where there might be gaps in your content. An effective competitor analysis can help refine your content strategy to outperform your rivals.

  • Employ tools like Mangools SERPChecker and Semrush’s Keyword Gap to analyse your competitors’ content strategies. Identify gaps in your content and opportunities to outperform them.
  • Monitor your competitors’ top-performing content and analyse their approach to keywords, topics, and formats. Adapt and innovate based on their successes and shortcomings.
  • Stay updated on industry trends by regularly reviewing competitor content. This will help you remain competitive and relevant in your niche.

Updating Outdated Content with New Insights

Outdated content can harm your SEO and user experience. By injecting new life into old posts, you can increase their value, improve their ranking potential, and better meet your audience’s needs.

  • Utilise AnswerThePublic to uncover fresh questions and topics that your audience is interested in. Update your content to address these queries and enhance its relevance.
  • Incorporate new data, research, and case studies to provide added value and credibility to your content. This can also improve its shareability and engagement.
  • Revise and expand your content to cover new developments or perspectives in your industry. This will keep it current and comprehensive for your readers.

Integrating New Keywords into Existing Content

As your industry evolves, so do the search queries of your audience. Integrating new, relevant keywords into your existing content can help capture this changing demand and drive more traffic to your site.

  • Leverage tools like Google Search Console to identify new keywords and phrases that are gaining traction in your niche. Incorporate these into your existing content to improve its visibility and relevance using tools like Yoast SEO.
  • Update your meta tags, headings, and body content to include new keywords. Ensure that the integration is natural and enhances the readability of your content.
  • Monitor the performance of your updated content to assess the impact of the new keywords on its search rankings and traffic. Adjust your strategy as needed based on the results.

Recommended Tools for Content Analysis

The right tools can make content analysis more efficient and effective, helping you identify opportunities for improvement and track the impact of your optimisations.

  • SEMrush Content Audit offers a comprehensive analysis of your content’s performance, highlighting areas for optimisation and improvement.
  • Ahrefs Content Gap helps you identify content opportunities by comparing your content with that of your competitors.

By regularly auditing your content, staying attuned to emerging trends, updating your content with fresh insights, and leveraging the right tools, you can ensure that your content remains a powerful asset in your SEO maintenance strategy.

SEMrush Keyword Gap SEO Report 1
SEMrush Keyword Gap SEO Report

Part 3: Technical SEO Maintenance

Regular maintenance ensures your site remains fast, accessible, and primed for ranking success. Here’s a practical guide to the ongoing tasks and tools essential for keeping your technical SEO in top shape:

Weekly Website Health Checks: Speed and Mobile Usability

Speed and mobile usability aren’t just nice-to-haves—they’re crucial for user satisfaction and SEO. A sluggish site or poor mobile experience can tank your rankings and alienate potential visitors.

  • Leverage Google Lighthouse to perform comprehensive performance, accessibility, and SEO audits. It’s a versatile tool that provides insights into how to enhance your site’s speed and mobile usability.
  • Utilise Bing’s Mobile Friendliness Test Tool for additional perspective on your site’s mobile performance. It offers actionable feedback to ensure your site delivers a stellar mobile experience.

Monthly Crawling and Indexing Reviews

Search engines need to crawl and index your site efficiently to understand and rank your content appropriately. Regular checks can uncover issues that hinder this process, ensuring search engines have a current map of your site.

  • Utilise Google Search Console to monitor your site’s indexing status, inspect URLs, and identify any crawl errors. Address these issues promptly to ensure optimal indexing.
  • Conduct a monthly crawl of your website using tools like SEMRush Site Audit. This will help you identify broken links, duplicate content, and other technical issues that may impact your site’s SEO.

Handling 404 Errors and Redirect Issues

Broken links and improper redirects not only hurt your SEO but also lead to poor user experiences. Keeping on top of these errors maintains your site’s integrity and navigability.

  • Use SEMRush Site Audit or similar tools to identify and fix broken links and 404 errors on your site. Regularly updating your internal links ensures a smooth navigation experience for users and search engines.
  • Implement 301 redirects for any permanently moved pages using the 301 Redirection Plugin or through your site’s .htaccess file. This helps preserve link equity and direct users and search engines to the correct pages.

Regular Core Web Vitals Monitoring

Core Web Vitals are Google’s way of measuring the health of your site’s user experience. They focus on loading performance, interactivity, and visual stability, directly impacting your search rankings.

  • WPRocket can significantly improve your site’s loading time, directly influencing your Core Web Vitals scores.
  • Focus on optimising the Largest Contentful Paint (LCP), First Input Delay (FID), and Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) to meet Google’s recommended thresholds and enhance user experience.
  • Google Lighthouse and Google PageSpeed Insights provide detailed reports on your site’s performance, offering specific suggestions for improving your Core Web Vitals.

The Importance of HTTPS for Security and SEO

Securing your website with HTTPS isn’t just about protecting user data; it’s also a crucial factor for SEO. Google has explicitly stated that HTTPS is a ranking signal, and browsers like Chrome mark non-HTTPS sites as ‘not secure,’ which can deter visitors. Here’s how to ensure your site is secure:

  • Obtain an SSL Certificate: Acquire an SSL certificate from a reputable provider and install it on your server. This encrypts data transmitted between your server and your visitors’ browsers, safeguarding sensitive information.
  • Redirect HTTP to HTTPS: Implement 301 redirects from your HTTP pages to their HTTPS counterparts. This ensures that search engines and users are directed to the secure version of your site.
  • Update Internal Links: Modify all internal links to use HTTPS. This prevents mixed content issues and ensures a secure browsing experience.

Essential Technical SEO Tools

A set of reliable technical SEO tools is indispensable for maintaining the health and performance of your website.

  • SEMRush Site Audit offers comprehensive insights into your site’s technical SEO, including crawlability, site performance, and security issues.
  • Google Lighthouse and Google Page Speed Insights are invaluable for analysing your site’s performance and providing recommendations for speed optimisation.
  • Google Search Console is essential for monitoring indexing status, crawl errors, and Core Web Vitals.
  • BrokenLinkChecker.co.uk helps you identify and fix broken links, ensuring a seamless navigation experience for users.
  • WPRocket is a caching plugin that can significantly improve your site’s loading speed and overall performance.

By integrating these practices and tools into your regular SEO routine, you can ensure your site remains in optimal health, both in the eyes of search engines and your users. Regular technical SEO maintenance isn’t just about fixing problems—it’s about proactively optimising for the future, ensuring that your site continues to serve your business goals and meet the needs of your audience effectively.

Google Lighthouse SEO Reporting
Google Lighthouse Report

Part 4: Building and Managing Your Link Profile

In this section, we’ll discuss how to build and manage a robust link profile that can enhance your website’s authority and search engine rankings.

Monthly Backlink Quality Check

Regularly monitoring the quality of your backlinks is crucial to ensure they’re contributing positively to your SEO.

  • Use SEMrush Backlink Analytics to analyse the quality of your backlinks. Look for backlinks from high-authority sites relevant to your niche.
  • Check for toxic links with Backlink Checker by Ahrefs. Toxic links from low-quality or spammy sites can harm your SEO, so it’s important to identify and address them promptly.

Strategies for Acquiring High-Quality Backlinks

High-quality backlinks are a signal to search engines that your site is a valuable resource. Here are some strategies to acquire them:

  1. Become a Source For Reporters and Bloggers (HARO): Use platforms like HARO to provide expert insights and get backlinks from reputable news sites and blogs.
  2. Publish “Skyscraper” Content: Create comprehensive and high-quality content that naturally attracts backlinks.
  3. Build Links From Outdated Resources: Identify outdated content in your niche and offer your updated content as a replacement to the site owners.
  4. Use Content Formats Proven To Generate Links: Infographics, data studies, and original research are content formats that tend to attract more backlinks.
  5. Publish Ultimate Guides: Comprehensive guides on specific topics are valuable resources that can earn backlinks from various sources.
  6. Use Branded Strategies and Techniques: Develop unique strategies or techniques in your field and name them. This can lead to natural backlinks when others reference your method.
  7. Authority Resource Pages: Reach out to websites that curate resource pages in your niche and suggest adding your content.
  8. Forge Partnerships with Influencers: Collaborate with influencers in your niche to co-create content or feature their expert opinions. Their endorsement can lead to valuable backlinks and enhanced visibility.
  9. Leverage Community Events: Host or sponsor local events and engage with community blogs and forums. This can earn you backlinks from local news outlets and community websites.

Cleaning Up Toxic Links

Toxic backlinks can drag down your SEO efforts. Regularly cleaning up these links is essential:

  • Use the Google Disavow Tool: If you’ve identified toxic backlinks that you can’t remove through outreach, use the Google Disavow Tool to tell Google to ignore them.
  • Monitor your link profile with SEMrush Backlink Analytics: Keep an eye on your backlink profile and take action when you spot harmful links.

Tools for Effective Link Profile Management

Effective link profile management requires the right tools. Here are some that can help:

  • Mangools Link Miner: A tool for finding and evaluating backlinks, helping you identify opportunities and track your link-building efforts.
  • SEMrush Link Building Tool: This tool helps you streamline your link-building process, from finding prospects to tracking your progress.
  • Ahrefs Backlink Checker: A comprehensive tool for analysing your backlink profile and identifying toxic links.
  • Google Disavow Tool: Essential for disavowing harmful links that can’t be removed manually.

By implementing these strategies and regularly monitoring your link profile, you can build a strong backlink portfolio that boosts your SEO and enhances your website’s authority and visibility in search engine results.

Google Disavow Toxic Link Tool
Google Disavow Toxic Link Tool

Part 5: User Experience and Engagement

First impressions are often your only chance to engage visitors. The intersection of SEO and user experience (UX) is where this first impression is crafted. Part 5 of our ongoing SEO maintenance checklist dives into the critical elements of User Experience and Engagement, ensuring your site attracts visitors and keeps them engaged.

Enhancing Site Navigation and User Journey

A seamless navigation experience is the backbone user engagement:

  • Simplify Your Menu: Keep your site’s navigation menu simple and intuitive. Use clear, descriptive labels that speak directly to the user’s intent.
  • Implement a Logical Structure: Your site should flow logically, with a hierarchy that naturally guides users deeper. Tools like GlooMaps can help visualise and plan your site structure.
  • Breadcrumbs: Not just for fairy tales, breadcrumbs are a navigational must. They help users trace their path back and understand their current location on your site.

Improving Page Load Times for Better Engagement

Speed is everything. A slow-loading page is a fast track to a high bounce rate:

  • Optimise Images: Tools like TinyPNG can drastically reduce image sizes without sacrificing quality, speeding up load times.
  • Minimise HTTP Requests: Consolidate files where possible. Fewer files mean fewer requests, equating to faster loading times.
  • Use a Content Delivery Network (CDN): Distribute your content across various geographical locations to decrease load times for users no matter where they are. Cloudflare offers free and paid CDN solutions suitable for businesses of all sizes.

Monitoring and Optimising for Bounce Rate

A high bounce rate can signal that your site’s content or user experience isn’t meeting user expectations. Lowering your bounce rate can significantly improve your site’s SEO performance and user satisfaction:

  • Content Relevance: Ensure your content accurately reflects the search queries leading users to your site. Google Analytics can help identify pages with high bounce rates, signalling a mismatch between content and user expectations.
  • Engaging Content: Use engaging headings and subheadings to break up text and keep users interested. Incorporate multimedia elements like images and videos to enhance the reading experience.
  • Call to Action (CTA): Every page should have a clear CTA, guiding users to the next step, whether it’s reading another article, signing up for a newsletter, or making a purchase.

Tools to Analyse User Experience

Several tools can help you analyse and improve the user experience on your website:

  • WPRocket can improve your site’s speed by optimising its performance.
  • HotJar and Crazy Egg offer heat mapping and user session recording to see how users interact with your site, providing invaluable insights into UX improvements.
  • Microsoft Clarity is a free tool that offers similar insights into user behaviour, allowing for A/B testing and more.
  • Google Analytics remains an indispensable tool for understanding user behaviour, traffic sources, and engagement metrics on your site.

Optimising for user experience is a continuous process that requires regular monitoring and adjustment. By focusing on these key areas, you can create a website that not only ranks well in search engines but also provides a memorable and positive experience for your visitors.

Hotjar Screen Recording Analysis
Hotjar Screen Recording Analysis

Part 6: Local SEO and Voice Search Optimisation

The ways people search for information are constantly evolving. In Part 6 of our ongoing SEO maintenance checklist, we look into the critical aspects of local SEO and voice search optimisation, ensuring you’re ready for the rising trend of voice-activated search:

Regular Updates to Your Google Business Profile Listing

Your Google Business Profile (formerly Google My Business) is often the first point of contact between your business and potential local customers. Keeping this listing updated is crucial for local SEO success.

  • Accuracy is Key: Ensure your business name, address, and phone number (NAP) are consistent across all online platforms.
  • Operating Hours: Regularly update your operating hours, especially during holidays or special events, to avoid disappointing potential customers.
  • Respond to Reviews: Engage with customers by responding to reviews. Positive interactions can boost your business’s reputation and visibility.

Optimising for Local Search Queries

Local search queries often include location-specific keywords. Tailoring your content to these queries can significantly improve your local search rankings.

  • Use Local Keywords: Incorporate location-specific keywords into your site’s content. Tools like SEMrush and Google Keyword Planner can help identify local search terms relevant to your business.
  • Local Landing Pages: For businesses with multiple locations, create dedicated landing pages for each location, complete with unique content and NAP details. Include local news, events, and testimonials to make the content as relevant as possible to the local audience.

Preparing Your Content for Voice Search

With the rise of smart speakers and voice assistants, optimising your content for voice search is becoming increasingly important.

  • Natural Language: Voice searches are often more conversational. Use natural language and long-tail keywords that mimic how people speak.
  • Question-Based Content: Many voice searches are question-based. Include FAQs or Q&A sections that directly answer common questions related to your business. Use Answer The Public to find common questions around your keywords and craft content that answers these queries.
  • Structured Data: Implement structured data (such as FAQ schema) to help search engines understand and categorise your content better, increasing the chances of it being used to answer voice queries.
  • Local Intent: Voice searches often have local intent. Optimise for phrases like “near me” or “in [City Name]” to capture this audience.

Tools for Local SEO and Voice Search Insights

Leveraging the right tools can significantly enhance your local SEO and voice search optimisation efforts:

  • MoZ Local and BrightLocal: Both platforms offer comprehensive solutions for managing local listings, monitoring reviews, and auditing your local SEO performance.
  • SEMrush Listing Management: Easily distribute your business information across the most authoritative directories and track your local rankings.
  • Answer The Public: Gain insights into the questions your audience is asking to better align your content with voice search queries.
  • Google Business Profile and Bing Places: Use these tools to manage your business listings directly on Google and Bing, ensuring they’re accurate and comprehensive.

Local SEO and voice search optimisation are about connecting with your community and being accessible through the technologies they use every day. 

AnswerThePublic FAQ Research
AnswerThePublic FAQ Research

Part 7: Social Signals and Off-Page SEO

It’s crucial to spotlight the interplay between social signals and off-page SEO. Social platforms and brand mentions carry a weight that, when leveraged correctly, can significantly bolster your SEO efforts. 

Engaging with Your Audience on Social Media

Social media isn’t just about broadcasting; it’s about sparking conversations and building relationships.

  • Consistent Engagement: Regularly post content that resonates with your audience and join the conversation. Reply to comments, participate in discussions, and be genuinely involved.
  • Live Sessions and Q&As: Host live sessions or Q&A segments to directly engage with your audience. These interactions foster community and increase engagement rates.

Encouraging Social Shares for SEO Benefit

Social shares act as indirect SEO signals, increasing your content’s reach and potential backlink opportunities.

  • Share-Worthy Content: Create content that provides value, evokes emotion, or satisfies curiosity. High-quality, engaging content is more likely to be shared.
  • Easy Sharing Options: Incorporate social sharing buttons on your content pages to make it effortless for visitors to share your content on their social networks.

Monitoring Brand Mentions Across the Web

Brand mentions, whether linked or unlinked, contribute to your brand’s visibility and authority.

  • Set Up Alerts: Tools like Google Alerts and Mention enable you to monitor mentions of your brand across the web in real-time.
  • Engage with Mentions: Respond to positive mentions to show appreciation and address negative mentions diplomatically to maintain your brand’s reputation.

Tools for Social Media and Brand Monitoring

Optimising your off-page SEO and managing social signals requires the right toolkit. Here are some indispensable tools:

  • Hootsuite and Buffer: Schedule and publish content across multiple social media platforms. Analyse engagement and adjust your strategy based on data-driven insights.
  • BussSumo: Discover content ideas, identify influencers, and track your brand mentions and content’s performance across social media.
  • Google Alerts and Mention: These tools offer comprehensive monitoring of your brand mentions across the internet, alerting you to potential engagement opportunities or reputation management needs.

The role of social signals and off-page SEO is undeniably significant. By engaging with your audience, encouraging social shares, and vigilantly monitoring your brand’s online mentions, you not only enhance your SEO but also foster a brand community. Leveraging our suggested tools empowers you to streamline these efforts, ensuring your brand remains resonant and robust.

Google Alerts Brand Monitoring
Google Alerts Brand Monitoring

Part 8: Staying Updated with SEO Trends and Algorithm Changes

This part of our ongoing SEO maintenance checklist is dedicated to ensuring you remain at the forefront of SEO updates, ready to adapt and thrive in SERPs.

Keeping Abreast of Search Engine Algorithm Updates

Search engines are continually refining their algorithms to provide users with the most relevant, high-quality results. Here’s how you can stay informed:

  • Subscribe to Official Blogs: Follow official blogs of search engines like Google’s Search Central Blog for firsthand updates on algorithm changes.
  • Use Algorithm Tracking Tools: Tools like Moz’s Google Algorithm Change History provide a comprehensive timeline of updates, helping you correlate changes in your website’s performance with specific algorithmic shifts.

Adapting to New SEO Best Practices

As algorithms evolve, so do the best practices for optimising your site. Embrace these changes to ensure your SEO strategy remains effective:

  • Continuous Learning: Dedicate time to learn about new techniques and strategies in SEO. Online courses, webinars, and industry conferences are great resources for staying updated.
  • Experimentation: Test new tactics and approaches on your website. Use A/B testing to gauge the impact of changes and refine your strategy accordingly.

SEO News Sources and Resources

In addition to official channels, there are numerous reputable sources where you can get the latest SEO news and insights:

  • Search Engine Journal: An authoritative source for SEO news, trends, and guides. Their articles and webinars are a treasure trove of knowledge for SEO professionals.
  • Search Engine Land: Renowned for its up-to-date coverage of SEO, PPC, and digital marketing news. Their in-depth analysis and expert columns provide valuable perspectives on the industry.
  • SEO Podcasts and Blogs: Subscribe to popular SEO podcasts like The Search Engine Journal Show or follow influential SEO blogs to get regular updates and actionable tips.

By actively engaging with the SEO community, leveraging reliable resources, and embracing continuous learning, you can ensure that your SEO strategy remains robust and responsive.

Visual Guide to Google Search Ranking Volatility by Dr Peter J Meyers
Visual Guide to Google Search Ranking Volatility by Dr Peter J Meyers

Part 9: Reporting and Analytics

This chapter focuses on the vital process of monitoring, reporting, and analysing your SEO efforts. It’s this continuous loop of feedback that allows for the refinement and adjustment necessary to sail the ever-changing seas of SEO. Here’s how to set up an effective reporting system, understand the key metrics that matter, and choose the right tools for the job:

Setting Up Monthly SEO Performance Reports

A well-structured SEO report helps you understand where you’re heading and adjust accordingly. Monthly reports should be comprehensive yet digestible, providing clear insights into what’s working and what isn’t. To achieve this:

  • Establish Clear Objectives: Before you start, know what you’re tracking and why. Your report should align with your SEO goals, whether it’s improving organic traffic, increasing conversion rates, or boosting keyword rankings.
  • Automate Where Possible: Use tools that allow for automatic data collection and report generation. This will save you time and ensure you’re consistently measuring performance at regular intervals.

Key Metrics to Monitor for SEO Success

To gauge the effectiveness of your SEO strategy, pay close attention to these key performance indicators (KPIs):

  • Organic Traffic: The lifeblood of SEO. An increase in visitors from search engines indicates your content is ranking well and attracting your target audience.
  • Keyword Rankings: Track how your pages rank for target keywords over time. Improvements in rankings can lead to increased visibility and traffic.
  • Conversions: Ultimately, SEO is about more than just driving traffic—it’s about driving the right traffic that converts. Monitor how well your organic traffic performs in terms of completing desired actions on your site.
  • Backlink Profile: The quantity and quality of backlinks to your site can significantly impact your domain authority and search rankings. Keep an eye on new backlinks and monitor for any toxic links that may harm your site.

Tools for SEO Reporting and Analytics

Leveraging the right tools can dramatically streamline your reporting process and provide deeper insights into your SEO performance. Consider incorporating these tools into your arsenal:

  • Google Analytics: The cornerstone of any digital marketing reporting toolkit. Use it to track organic traffic, user behaviour, and conversion metrics.
  • Google Search Console: Provides invaluable insights into how Google views your site, including search queries that bring users to your site, your site’s indexing status, and issues that need to be addressed.
  • SEMrush, SERPWatcher or Ahrefs: Both tools offer comprehensive SEO suites that include keyword tracking, site audits, backlink analysis, and competitor research. They also feature robust reporting capabilities that can be customised to your needs.
  • Looker Studio: Google’s Looker Studio can pull data from various sources, including Google Analytics and Search Console, to create customisable, visually appealing reports.

In SEO, what you measure can be just as important as how you measure it. By setting up efficient, insightful reporting and analytics, you’re not just looking back on past performance; you’re laying the groundwork for future success. Keep your finger on the pulse of your SEO efforts, and use the data you collect to continually refine and improve your strategy.

SERPWatcher Keyword Performance Analysis Monthly SEO
SERPWatcher Keyword Tracking

Part 10: Creating an SEO Maintenance Action Plan

As we reach the culmination of our comprehensive guide, it’s crucial to distil the insights and strategies into a coherent, actionable plan that keeps your website’s SEO journey on the path to continuous improvement. Creating an ongoing SEO maintenance action plan not only provides a roadmap for success but also ensures that SEO remains a central, dynamic part of your digital marketing strategy. Here’s how to bring it all together:

Monthly Task Checklist for SEO Maintenance

A successful SEO strategy thrives on consistency and adaptability. To maintain and improve your website’s search engine visibility, consider the online monthly task checklist explained in this blog post:

  • Continuous Keyword Strategy: Regularly analyse keyword performance, update your keyword map, and stay alert to emerging search trends.
  • Content Optimisation and Refresh: Conduct quarterly content audits, update outdated content, and integrate new keywords into existing content.
  • Technical SEO Maintenance: Perform weekly health checks on website speed and mobile usability, review crawling and indexing monthly, and monitor Core Web Vitals.
  • Building and Managing Your Link Profile: Execute monthly backlink quality checks, pursue strategies for acquiring high-quality backlinks, and clean up toxic links.
  • User Experience and Engagement: Enhance site navigation, improve page load times, and monitor bounce rates to foster better user engagement.
  • Local SEO and Voice Search Optimisation: Regularly update your Google Business Profile, and optimise for local and voice search queries.
  • Social Signals and Off-Page SEO: Engage with your audience on social media, encourage social shares, and monitor brand mentions across the web.
  • Staying Updated with SEO Trends and Algorithm Changes: Keep abreast of SEO news and adapt to new best practices.
  • SEO Reporting and Analytics: Set up monthly SEO performance reports to track key metrics and analyse your SEO efforts.

Setting Realistic SEO Goals and Expectations

Understanding the nature of SEO—its potential impact as well as its limitations—is fundamental to setting realistic goals and expectations. SEO is a long-term investment that requires patience, persistence, and a commitment to quality content and user experience. When crafting your SEO action plan:

  • Define Clear, Measurable Objectives: Whether it’s increasing organic traffic by a certain percentage, improving rankings for specific keywords, or boosting conversion rates, your goals should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART).
  • Understand SEO is a Marathon, Not a Sprint: SEO efforts often take months to show results. Setting realistic timeframes and managing stakeholders’ expectations accordingly is crucial for sustained efforts and support.

Allocating Resources for Continuous SEO Efforts

SEO demands ongoing attention and resources. To ensure your SEO action plan is sustainable and effective:

  • Dedicate Time: Allocate regular time for SEO tasks, whether it’s daily monitoring or monthly audits. Consistent effort pays off in the long run.
  • Invest in Tools: Leverage SEO tools that streamline your workflow, provide actionable insights, and help you stay competitive.
  • Educate Your Team: SEO is multifaceted and touches many aspects of your digital presence. Ensure your team understands the basics of SEO and how they can contribute.
  • Seek Expertise When Needed: Don’t hesitate to consult with an SEO agency such as GLO for specialised tasks or when facing challenging obstacles.

Conclusion

The Never-Ending Cycle of SEO 

Search engines never rest, constantly refining their algorithms to deliver the most relevant and high-quality results to users. In response, your SEO strategy must be dynamic, evolving with search engines and user behaviours.

Embracing the cycle of continuous SEO optimisation means regularly revisiting your keyword strategies, refining your content, staying vigilant about technical health, nurturing your link profile, enhancing user experience, and more. Each element of your SEO campaign demands regular attention and adjustment. By doing so, you not only maintain your search engine rankings but also seize opportunities to ascend higher, capture more traffic, and ultimately, drive conversions and achieve your business objectives.

How to Rank Images in Google

Ageing like a fine wine, the Google algorithm becomes more and more sophisticated as time goes on. In today’s digital age, where visuals take the crown, understanding how to optimise your images for this algorithm isn’t just an advantage, but a necessity. Whether you’re a budding entrepreneur, a creative marketer, or a curious content creator, we’re here to get you up to speed on how to rank images in Google.

In this article, our savvy SEO team will uncover the secrets of image optimisation, from choosing the right file format to mastering the art of responsive design.

What is Image SEO?

Image SEO is your secret weapon when it comes to visibility. Put simply, it’s all about making small edits to your images’ metadata, appearance, and placement – all in the name of helping the right people see them at the right time. With this skill in your arsenal, you can get your images crawled, indexed, and displayed on top.  

But just how powerful can it be? Let’s say you’re on the hunt for a DIY set. Your Google image search results might produce something like this:

DIY Set Google Image Search

Notice how retailers like Etsy and Amazon soar through the ranks and dominate the top spots? That’s no accident. Their savvy marketing teams make sure to optimise their images, meaning that they’re boosting their chances of being favoured by Google’s algorithm, and, ultimately, their sales. 

But, before you start asking yourself how you can get these powerful techniques under your belt, let’s take a look at why we do it, and how it leads the search engine race.

Why is Image SEO Important?

In a world where visuals speak louder than words, the importance of image SEO has risen through the ranks.

In 2022 alone, the United Nations of Photography reported a breathtaking 1.72 trillion photos snapped. This visual tsunami isn’t slowing down – making it more important than ever to make sure your images stand out. 

But, it’s not just about being seen, it’s about being found and chosen. When you excel in image SEO, you’re propelling your images to the forefront of Google searches, and a higher ranking means more website traffic. This visibility is the backbone for your digital growth, fueling brand recognition, lead generation, and ultimately, sales.

How to Rank Images in Google

From selecting the perfect file formats to understanding ALT text and responsive design, our team are here to help you elevate your images from pixels to powerful SEO assets.

Contextualising Images

Have you ever stumbled upon an image in search results and clicked on it, only to land on a completely unrelated website? Frustrating, isn’t it? Google is constantly refining their algorithm to save you from these mismatches. In doing so, they aim to ensure that when you search for something, the images you stumble upon aren’t just visually appealing but contextually spot-on.

But how does Google figure out context? How can you make sure it understands the images you’re uploading? We suggest guiding it through image placement. Take a second to think about where your image sits on your webpage. The images you choose to accompany the most relevant and engaging parts of your page are more likely to climb the ranks for relevant search terms. 

By strategically positioning your images, you’re not just decorating your page, but creating the visual story of your brand – telling both users and Google exactly what you’re all about. 

Content Freshness

Imagine you’re searching for the latest trends in technology, and you come across an article from two years ago. Doesn’t quite hit the mark, does it? This is why the ‘freshness’ of your content comes into SEO. Google has a soft spot for new and regularly updated content. Why? Because it wants to give its users the most current and relevant information. 

However, the preferred frequency of updates isn’t a one-size-fits-all. In fact, it largely depends on your topic’s pace. For fast-moving topics like technology or fashion, you should think about giving your content a freshen-up at least once every quarter. Your consumers are more likely to click on a recent article than one collecting digital dust from six months ago. 

On the flip side, for those topics that don’t evolve as quickly, like historical facts or classic literature, a yearly update should do the trick. 

By keeping your finger on the pulse of your subject matter, you can make informed decisions about when it’s time to refresh your content. 

Keyword Research

Accurate descriptions help both people and algorithms understand what things are, and how they work. No surprises here! 

From product descriptions to blog posts and beyond, written text related to your product and service should explain exactly what’s on offer. The best way to do this? Uncover keywords! 

Keywords and phrases are, as their name suggests, words and phrases that sum up, in the most accurate and concise way possible, the item, product, service, or page on offer. They’re normally used in long, written digital assets – but did you know that Google also uses them to help understand and rank your images?

But how do you find these golden keywords? Think about it like this. Let’s say you’re an automotive engineer, and word is on the street that there’s a latest ‘hybrid engine’ that’s taken the industry by storm. 

Now, this trend isn’t just a topic of conversation, but an opportunity to target your ideal customers’ interests. Why not create content around ‘hybrid engine upgrades’ or ‘hybrid technology in car modification’ to align with what your audience is actively searching for?

Remember what we said about context? By including relevant imagery on fresh content targeting trending keywords, you’ll be poised to take visual content rankings by storm. 

Online tools such as SEMRush and Mangools can help in this search if you’ve gotten stuck! 

Naming Images

As smart as search engines are, sometimes they need a little help from us when it comes to images. They can read and understand text content like pros, but images? That’s where they’re still learning. Your job? To give them a nudge in the right direction by naming your images appropriately. 

Let’s say you’re selling some outrageously colourful shirts designed for stag or hen parties and music festivals. You pick a picture to showcase this on your site, but the file name is just ‘IMG183.png’. To a web crawler, that’s like trying to understand the plot of a book just from seeing the title: <img src=2img183.PNG2/>. Not very helpful, right?

Guitarist wearing a bad shirt

Now, let’s rename this image to something a bit more descriptive like: <img src=”Guitarist-wearing-a-bad-shirt.png”/>. In doing so, it’s as if you’ve given our web crawler a pair of glasses, making the image’s purpose and content crystal clear. 

This isn’t just good practice to achieve clarity for your images, but it’s a golden opportunity to sneak in a keyword or two (like ‘bad shirt’ in our example) – helping align your content with what people are actually searching for online. 

Image Captions

Think of your image caption as the title of your image’s story. It’s not just a bunch of words sitting under your picture, but a critical player in your SEO game. 

Let’s go back to that vibrant ‘bad shirt’ you’re selling. Imagine this shirt starring in two different stories. In one, it’s a symbol of ‘fun ways to boost your confidence’, in another, it’s the centrepiece of ‘stag do ideas’. For the stag article, a fitting caption would be, ‘Funny bad shirt to boost your group’s confidence and stand out from the crowd’. It doesn’t just describe the image, a daring bad shirt, but also weaves in the crucial “bad shirt” keyword, all while tying in with your article’s theme.

Just like a headline of a newspaper, your caption is guaranteed to capture more attention than the main content. This makes them a prime spot to not just engage your readers with a relevant and appealing caption but to give Google a nudge to send your page through the roof. 

Image ALT Text

Imagine every image on your site has an invisible tag; that’s the ALT attribute. ALT text is a guiding light for those with visual impairments, helping them to understand the visual content of a webpage. But, its role extends beyond just accessibility. Think about those times when your images take their sweet time to load or you hit a roadblock on your browser, that’s where ALT text comes to the rescue. In these cases, the ALT text is what gets displayed, making sure you’re always getting that crucial information, no matter the format. 

But, that’s not all. Search engines, like Google, lean heavily on ALT text to help determine the relevance of your image. Let’s use our “bad shirt” example. For this image, an ideal ALT text for a man sporting a turquoise leopard bad shirt in a bar would be “Man wearing turquoise leopard print bad shirt in a bar”. This not only paints a clear picture for those who can’t see the image but also includes your keyword “bad shirt”. 

In this, you can see that a well-crafted ALT text does more than just describe the image –  it sneaks in those all-important keywords. While it may seem like a small step, updating your image ALT text can make a huge impact on making your images more accessible while enhancing their SEO value.

Resizing Images

Picture that you’re a potential customer clicking on your website, excited to explore what’s on offer. But instead of a warm welcome, you’re stuck watching the loading icon spin. The culprit? Oversized images. They’re like digital speed bumps that slow down your site’s loading time. And in the fast-paced world of the internet, speed is everything. Google knows this all too well, which is why slower-loading pages are often bumped further down the search rankings. 

But, don’t beat yourself up if you’re a newbie to the industry. In fact, it’s a common oversight that even the most skilled website developers come across when creating those visually stunning sites. While you might not be an SEO specialist or savvy website owner, by prioritising image file size, you can put yourself a step ahead. It’s a simple fix with a powerful impact; faster loading times lead to happier visitors and potentially higher Google rankings.

The good news? You’re spoilt for choice when it comes to resizing tools. Sure, you’ve heard of the big names like Photoshop and Adobe, but these come with a hefty price tag. Luckily for you, the digital world offers hidden treasures of free tools ready to tackle this very issue. Tools like Optimizilla, Kraken.io, TinyPNG, JPEGmini, jpeg.io, ImageOptim and Bulkresizephotos, are just a click away. With their user-friendly and effective interface, they’re perfect for ensuring that your images are sized for rapid loading without compromising on quality. 

Image File Format

Selecting the right image format is like picking the perfect outfit for your digital content –  it needs to look good and fit just right. Not all image formats are created equally, and to make the SEO game a little harder, Google Images has its preferences. This means that your choice can significantly impact your image’s file size, quality, and how well it plays with Google’s search algorithms. 

The three big players in this image format game are JPEG, PNG, and WebP. JPEG is the crowd favourite, known for its ability to slim down file sizes through compression, making it a speed-friendly choice for your website. However, it’s not the best at handling images with transparencies. Luckily, with PNG, you’ll be able to eliminate that issue in product images and clear screenshots with text.

But, it’s also important to consider lossy versus lossless compression. Think of lossy compression, like that in JPEGs, as a trade-off; so while you’re getting that smaller file size, each save is costing you that little bit more image quality. On the other hand, PNG is lossless, meaning it keeps your images crisp and clear, but at the cost of a larger file size. 

However, the most versatile of them all, WebP, can switch between lossy and lossless, meaning you can find that sweet spot between image quality and file size.

Don’t forget that there are also other players in the game like MPB, GIF, and SVG, each of which has its own strengths and could potentially be your answer to your image’s needs. 

The golden rule? Always pick a format that Google loves, and luckily for you, we’ve already done that! By thoughtfully choosing your image format based on the specific requirements of your image, you’re doing more than ensuring visual appeal, you’re aiming for better Google Images rankings.

Understanding How to Rank Images in Google With GLO

From the nuances of selecting the right file formats to the subtleties of ALT text, you’re well equipped with the tricks of the trade to ensure your images not only catch the eye but also climb the ranks in Google’s search results. However, this doesn’t mean there isn’t anything left for you to learn. In the world of SEO, nothing stops moving. But, by staying ahead of the latest trends, adapting to new technologies, and continuously refining your approach, you’re on your way to maintaining that competitive edge. 

This is where GLO steps in as your trusted guide. Whether you’re polishing your existing skills or just starting to explore the world of image SEO, GLO offers the expertise and resources you need to stay ahead of the game. With our digital marketing expertise to back you up, you’ll watch as your images transform from hidden gems to shining beacons of the internet.

So, why not take your website’s SEO to the next level? Contact us at GLO for tailored advice, cutting-edge strategies, and comprehensive support. 

SEO Basics: Rank Higher On Google For FREE!

With each passing day, the Google algorithm is improving. It’s constantly becoming better at selecting relevant websites to be displayed on that higher exclusive first page of Google (known to SEOs as the ‘SERP’, short for the Search Engine Results Page). The trouble is, the internet has A LOT of websites for the algorithm to choose from! A simple search term such as ‘Plumber in Norfolk’ brings up over 19 million results – meaning that it is by no means easy to rank highly on Google!

With this in mind, how can you give yourself the best chance of scoring a top-ranking position? Wouldn’t it be handy if there was a specific group of digital marketers whose speciality it was to understand this algorithm and optimise websites in accordance with it?

You’re in good hands, that’s my job! While working in a growing digital marketing agency, I’ve completed countless hours of SEO research with the aim of developing a checklist perfect for both me and our clients. Over time, I’ve noticed a few tasks that I immediately jump to if I have a new client, or one with fewer SEO hours available. I call these my ‘quick wins’ – the best of which I’ve compiled into a simple, whistle-stop guide designed to help you rank higher on Google.

1. Keyword Mapping

What Is Keyword Mapping?

I almost always start my SEO client work by producing a keyword map – a very simple task that involves conducting keyword research for each page on a website, and noting down the results in a sitemap format. This is one of the best possible ways to identify those all-important high-performing keywords (the foundation of SEO) before making tune-ups.

How Does Keyword Mapping Help Me Rank Higher on Google?

Although producing a keyword map won’t directly help you rank higher on Google, it will inform your SEO strategy, and is a great tool to reflect on when looking at keyword trends and patterns.

As you’ll see throughout this SEO guide, keyword mapping is a core foundation for several SEO tasks, meaning that completing one early on can save you a lot of time and repetitive research in the long run.

Additionally, compiling all of your keywords into one, neat document can reduce the risk of keyword cannibalisation, which occurs when two or more pages have duplicate target keywords, creating needless internal competition and reducing your ranking chances. It’s important to ensure that each page has its own unique keyword set – both in order to combat the above, and to help to find opportunities to combine content.

Your map will also make a great point of reference for content updates – helping you select the most relevant, up-to-date keywords to target throughout your writing. After all, achieving a higher ranking can be as simple as putting forward the right set of informative, keyword-driven content to Google.

What Tools Are Required for Keyword Mapping?

GlooMaps is an excellent tool for clearly formatting your keyword research. It’s free and very easy to use… be warned, though, that you will need to periodically hit save and copy your URL so that you can reaccess your keyword map, as no account is created to save it to. Once you open up GlooMaps, add each page of your website to create the sitemap. From here, you can fill the notes section for each page with your keyword findings to refer back to.

Example SEO Keyword Map

To discover keywords that your site already ranks for, look at its Google Search Console (GSC) performance data. You can include the ‘exact page URL’ by adding a page filter. Once you’ve sorted your data, export it to a Google sheet so that you can read through the list of keywords, highlighting relevant terms that have the correct search intent for your page.

Once you’ve whittled down your keyword list in Google Sheets, you can copy these keywords into your keyword map.

PAID TOOL: I also use the Mangools Keyword (KW) Finder to search for keywords to add to my map. This is a great tool to identify new keywords directly related to those you input, helping you find new opportunities in your industry. I enter my best Google Search Console keyword from each page into the KW Finder tool, and copy over high-performing, associated keywords into my GlooMaps document. This is a paid tool, so is not a required step, but you can sign up for a 10-day free trial to gain access to the numerous Mangools SEO tools, which I would strongly recommend (we like free things here!).

Although this may be quite a long process if you have a big website, make sure to map every page (excluding ‘thank you’ pages after form submissions, and other pages you don’t want to index and rank for), as this will help you with your other SEO tasks. If you are limited in time, focus on key landing pages, such as the homepage and any service pages.

2. Metadata Optimisation

What Is Metadata?

Metadata is the little snippet of text that you see on Google when you search. The heading of the snippet is called the ‘meta title’, and the description is very aptly named the ‘meta description’. Together, these two components make up ‘metadata’.

How Does Metadata Optimisation Help Me Rank Higher on Google?

Metadata is often the first impression a user will get of your website and the information on it, so it needs to be engaging, descriptive, and informative in order to boost click-through rates. As such, many businesses choose to include a call to action (CTA) here if the character limit allows, such as a phone number.

You’ve probably noticed websites that have unoptimised metadata scattered throughout SERPs. In these cases, the meta title and description are pulled from the site content automatically. The meta description is often long, and trails off the end of the screen before it even tells you what the website is about. This isn’t the best first impression, and won’t encourage users to click on your website, which is why it’s important to manually optimise your metadata yourself, rather than leaving it to Google.

Metadata optimisation involves creating relevant and engaging titles, descriptions, and URLs within Google’s character limits. Most importantly, you need to include relevant keywords in your metadata. This is where your keyword map comes in handy. Not only does this show Google that what is on that page is relevant, but it also tells the user that you have exactly what they are looking for.

Additionally, compiling all of your keywords into one, neat document can reduce the risk of keyword cannibalisation, which occurs when two or more pages have duplicate target keywords, creating needless internal competition and reducing your ranking chances.

What Tools Are Required for Metadata Optimisation?

It’s worth noting that I have experience in performing SEO tasks on WordPress, and therefore the advice I offer regarding metadata optimisation is based on WordPress websites.

The Yoast SEO WordPress plugin is by far my favourite SEO tool. It’s very easy to install from the WordPress plugin menu, and the free version covers a lot of bases for quick SEO wins. Integrated into the Yoast SEO plugin menu is a metadata optimisation feature. Here, you can easily write and preview your meta title. To find the YoastSEO feature once installed, go to the backend of WordPress on your website and click on the ‘Pages’ tab, select the page you want to optimise metadata for, and scroll down to the YoastSEO page section.

PAID TOOL: Another tool that I find beneficial is Mangools SERP Simulator. It gives you tips on how long to make your metadata, and previews it alongside where you are writing. While I do find that SERP Simulator is a great place to draft and perfect your meta title and description before you copy it into WordPress, I wouldn’t purchase Mangools specifically for the use of this tool – as it is not much different from the metadata features of the YoastSEO WordPress Plugin.

3. Image Optimisation

What Is Image Optimisation?

Image optimisation involves both compressing the quality of the images on your website to enhance the load speed, and improving your UX. There are two easy and quick ways to do this: optimising your image sizes and manually inputting image alt text.

Image Size Optimisation

One aspect of image optimisation is image size optimisation. This is a great way to quickly increase your website speed. Having huge image files dotted throughout the site will drastically slow it down, and image optimisation is the process of making sure that images used on the site (such as photos or downloaded images) aren’t too large. It’s a very quick win!

Image Alt Text Optimisation

Another aspect of image SEO is optimising alt text. Adding alternative text to images on your site is a principle of web accessibility, as it ensures that all users and bots can understand your website content. Alt text also appears in place of an image if the image fails to load.

This tool works to boost rankings as the text added describes the contents of images to Google bots, helping them index and rank them properly in image search. In order to benefit from these rankings, it’s very important to optimise your alt text, ensuring that Google understands your images’ place in search.

Where possible, make sure to include keywords in your alt text. However, don’t do so at the expense of the alt text making sense or being accurate.

How Does Image Optimisation Help Me Rank Higher on Google?

A recent survey undertaken earlier this year (2022) by digital.com revealed that 1 in 2 visitors will abandon a website that takes longer than 6 seconds to load. The desired load time is supposedly even shorter for e-commerce sites, as approximately 50% of users expect an online shop to load in less than 3 seconds! So, in order to prevent potential customers from leaving your site before they’ve even seen your brilliant, keyword-filled content, it’s important that your pages load as quickly as possible. Reducing your image size is one of the easiest and most effective ways to do this.

Post image size optimisation, Google should pick up on lowered bounce rates (fewer people clicking off of your site immediately) and improved loading times – both of which give the algorithm all the more reason to move your site up the rankings.

To further this, optimising your image alt text will help Google to see that your images (and in turn, your landing pages) are relevant to the searched term (keyword), whilst helping all users understand what the image, even if it fails to load – improving UX and accessibility.

What Tools Are Required for Image Optimisation?

Bulk Resize Photos is an excellent free online tool that allows you to customise the size, dimensions, and export quality of your images. It’s very simple to use and gives you complete control over quality! Just drag and drop your image into the box when prompted, optimise it to be below 200kB and at least 95% of the original quality, and save the end result as a JPEG. From here, you can replace your old, slow-loading images with shiny new ones at a fraction of the size and speed. TOP TIP – Ensure the new filename is descriptive, include applicable keywords, and use hyphens instead of spaces to separate words.

In terms of alternatives, there are several WordPress plugins that can optimise your images – automatically compressing them and using the smaller sized version on your website. This can save you a lot of time, but gives you less control over final image quality. The most popular image compression WordPress plugins include; ShortPixelImagify and Smush.

Your final image- related step, alt text optimisation, is straightforward to complete. The only required tool is WordPress itself! To get started, navigate to the media gallery in the WordPress left-hand menu. From here, you can see all of the images that are used on your site. Clicking on an image will allow you to edit the alt text. Select alt text that is descriptive, while also including a keyword where possible.

Include FAQs

What Are FAQS?

FAQs are great additions to any website. They’re used to answer the most commonly asked questions from users – but can also drive huge amounts of relevant traffic. It may surprise you to learn that including frequently asked questions on your website is one of the simplest ways to improve its SEO.

How Do FAQs Help Me Rank Higher on Google?

Adding FAQs to your key landing pages (such as your homepage and service pages) gives you the opportunity to answer common questions asked by your target audience – drawing them into your site and service. In providing high-quality answers to relevant questions, you can establish your website as a trusted industry source in the eyes of both users and Google, boosting your SEO and sales.

FAQs are also an easy way to include keywords on your website in a natural format. Think about it – focal questions around a certain topic are going to be relevant to the webpage itself, and provide ample opportunities to slip in some high-performing keywords.

If this wasn’t enough to get you frantically researching some of your frequently asked questions, note that writing a short and snappy response to your FAQs (approximately 100-200 words) could also get you featured as an answer to a question on Google’s equivalent of the FAQ section – people also ask! For example, when you search ‘How To Do My Own SEO’ on Google, this appears:

SEO Question Snippets In Google Search

If you can write an informative response to a commonly asked question, there’s a chance that Google may even use your answer as a featured snippet, which will result in a lot more traffic being driven to your website! As shown in the image below, rich results also take up more space in the search results and include eye-catching features such as an image or FAQ list. This will draw attention to your listing, and increase the number of visitors to your landing page.

What Tools Are Required for FAQ Writing?

Sourcing FAQs is much like keyword research. In order to find the most relevant, hard data is required.

One effective free tool you can use to discover the most searched FAQs is Answer The Public. Using your keyword map, input your top keyword pick into the search bar. From here, an array of FAQs related to your keyword will appear. You can export the questions to an Excel spreadsheet by clicking on the export icon on the right, which will bring up a lot more results. Make sure that you choose your keywords wisely though, as you only have 1 search per day!

Another free tool I find beneficial is Google Search Console. This will allow you to find FAQs that are relevant to your website, not just your business sector. To find FAQs on Google Search Console, click the ‘Performance’ tab, ensure that the data range is set to the longest possible time frame to get the most data, and add a new query. Input a key question word (‘who’, ‘what’, ‘when’, ‘where’, ‘why’ or ‘how’) and search.

The simplest way to upload the FAQs to your WordPress site is to use a plugin. I use ‘FAQ Schema For Pages And Posts’, which can be found in the WordPress plugin menu. Simply download the plugin, and input each of your FAQs into the applicable boxes. The joy of this option is that it automatically formats the FAQs on page for you.

Add Listings to Local Business Directories

What Are Local Business Directories?

Local business directories are effectively the online version of the yellow pages. Many people turn to online directories to find local businesses. Some well-known business directories include Yelp, TrustATrader, Bing Places and many more.

How Do Local Business Directories Help Me Rank Higher on Google?

Uploading your business to directories has a number of benefits. Particularly for small, local businesses, having company listings on numerous local directories will help to improve rankings in Google’s local search results.

In adding a variety of business details to directory listings, you’ll inform both customers and the Google algorithm of your contact information, products, and services, improving your likelihood of appearing in search results for relevant locations and purposes.

When you list your business on local directories, you also have the opportunity to add your website address to your listing. This will count as a backlink to your website. Google views backlinks from high domain authority websites as a sign of quality content and trustworthiness – meaning the more high-quality backlinks you can get through domain listings, the better your chances of moving up through the SERP ranks.

What Tools Are Required for Business Directory Optimisation?

Truthfully, you don’t need a fancy, paid tool to list your business directories online. If you have a system or tool with this functionality (such as the SEMrush Listing Management Tool), then certainly use it, however, the only thing you really need to list your business on local directories is Google itself! Plan out your business description, prepare your featured images and write down all of your business’ contact details beforehand in a document. When it comes to finding where to list your business online, get stuck into all of the reputable articles, blog posts and websites you can find, there are hundreds telling you all of the best free online directories.

Many business directory websites also offer free listings, so you can gain lots of visibility without paying a penny!

What Have You Learned?

To summarise, If you take just one thing away from this article, remember that you don’t have to be an expert with a vast knowledge of the Google algorithm to get some quick SEO wins on your website, and therefore rank higher on Google. Small and simple tasks often produce the biggest results, particularly at the start – when your website hasn’t been consciously optimised.

However, I’m hoping you take more than one thing away today! So, to recap…

Keywords are key! Google is a bot, not a real person. The algorithm uses keywords to identify good content. Use them whenever you can, but don’t cram them into every sentence, you still need to sound natural!

Optimise your metadata yourself, don’t leave it up to Google. You know your business best, which puts you in the best position to write this important descriptor.

Make sure your images are a reasonable size. You don’t want users clicking away from your website before it has even loaded!

Inform your customers. Conduct research to get to know the questions your target customers are asking, and show them that you know your stuff!

Get your brand name out there! List your business on reputable directories to generate high-authority backlinks.

Most importantly, it’s OK to ask for help! If you have actioned these basic changes and want to take your SEO to the next level, or need some extra help and advice regarding your Search Engine Optimisation strategy, contact a knowledgeable SEO specialist for support (such as me!).

How to Generate Leads through SEO

Can You Generate Leads Through SEO?

That’s a question that many business owners think about when weighing up whether search engine optimisation is worth their investment, or whether they should choose a different digital marketing approach.

Whichever method you opt-in for, you will most likely aim to get a consistent stream of qualified leads, at the lowest cost possible. Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is often hailed for its super-power to generate business leads with a series of on-going and seemingly intricate techniques. And having seen our SEO experts at Generate Leads Online take many businesses up to the top of page #1 on Google results pages, by following a carefully put together SEO strategy, we can definitely attest to this!

Compared to some of the other online lead generation methods, it is a slow-burning process but the results are worth the wait. So, if you’re thinking of investing in SEO marketing services to generate leads for your business, it’s important you understand what goes into the process of making your website rank well on Google. In this guide, we are going to go through the steps involved in implementing a full SEO strategy and explain how to use SEO to generate leads online.

What Is Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)?

SEO can be described as a process of improving your website and online presence to improve its rankings in search engines, such as Google, and drive more traffic to your website. By editing and adjusting different aspects of your website, and using the right keywords, SEO ensures your website shows up in search engines and matches the ‘user intent’ of your dream leads.

How SEO Helps Your Business Generate Leads?

The higher your website ranks in search engines, the more clicks it’s going to get from users. The more visitors on your website, the higher the chance of some of them becoming interested in your products or services. Eventually, that interest turns into desire and the website visitor becomes a lead, or maybe even a conversion.

Without an SEO strategy in place, it’s very unlikely that your target audience will ever find your website amongst the competitors who are investing in search engine optimisation. Out of the 40k searches that Google receives per second, only a third of those people bother clicking through to the second results page! You really have a small chance of being found via organic search if your website appears somewhere on page 2, or beyond.

For those businesses focusing on a local clientele, SEO lead generation works particularly well thanks to the Google 2014 Pigeon update, which gave those businesses the power to compete in search engines on a local level. Reports show that 72% of consumers who perform a local search visit a store within 5 miles of their current location. Therefore, if you run a business that serves the local area, SEO can be a powerful tool for you. An important aspect of your local search engine optimisation is building out your Google My Business profile. Read our 10 Local SEO Tips to learn how to do it successfully.

Every few years, Google releases another updated version of their search engine algorithm allowing businesses to leverage SEO techniques for marketing purposes. The 2013 Hummingbird update focused on the semantics of the terms users enter into the search engine. What this means is that Google now understands the real meaning behind the words users type in, and what exactly it is that they’re after, which meant that SEO experts had to learn to consider “user intent” in their processes. Since then there has been more emphasis on websites satisfying Google’s search intent requirement in order to rank higher, which comes down to short and long-tail keywords used on your website. Learning about and leveraging the different types of keyword intent allows you to improve the ranking of individual pages on your website and as a result, generate qualified leads for those products or services.

The higher your website ranks in search engines, the more clicks it’s going to get from users. The more visitors on your website, the higher the chance of some of them becoming interested in your products or services. Eventually, that interest turns into desire and the website visitor becomes a lead, or maybe even a conversion.

Without an SEO strategy in place, it’s very unlikely that your target audience will ever find your website amongst the competitors who are investing in search engine optimisation. Out of the 40k searches that Google receives per second, only a third of those people bother clicking through to the second results page! You really have a small chance of being found via organic search if your website appears somewhere on page 2, or beyond.

For those businesses focusing on a local clientele, SEO lead generation works particularly well thanks to the Google 2014 Pigeon update, which gave those businesses the power to compete in search engines on a local level. Reports show that 72% of consumers who perform a local search visit a store within 5 miles of their current location. Therefore, if you run a business that serves the local area, SEO can be a powerful tool for you. An important aspect of your local search engine optimisation is building out your Google My Business profile. Read our 10 Local SEO Tips to learn how to do it successfully.

Every few years, Google releases another updated version of their search engine algorithm allowing businesses to leverage SEO techniques for marketing purposes. The 2013 Hummingbird update focused on the semantics of the terms users enter into the search engine. What this means is that Google now understands the real meaning behind the words users type in, and what exactly it is that they’re after, which meant that SEO experts had to learn to consider “user intent” in their processes. Since then there has been more emphasis on websites satisfying Google’s search intent requirement in order to rank higher, which comes down to short and long-tail keywords used on your website. Learning about and leveraging the different types of keyword intent allows you to improve the ranking of individual pages on your website and as a result, generate qualified leads for those products or services.

What’s more, contradictory to what many people assume, SEO can result in more conversions than Pay-Per-Click ads, which appear above organic search results. Statistics show 70%-80% of people ignore the sponsored results in favour of organic listings. Although, unlike paid advertising, SEO does not offer the ability to retarget the web users who once visited your website but didn’t convert, ranking well in organic searches may soon win you more leads and conversions than those using PPC retargeting. With more concern over user’s privacy, companies such as Apple and Google have announced big changes that involve blocking third-party cookies. This will make it harder for marketers to set systems in place that track and follow web users when they leave without converting.

70%-80% of people ignore the sponsored results in favour of organic listings

More and more businesses recognise the huge potential of investing in SEO as a lead generation method. So if you don’t want to fall behind, adding SEO to your digital marketing efforts is no brainer. Now, before we discuss how to generate leads with search engine optimisation, let’s look at the different types of SEO practices.

Types of SEO Practices

SEO Can Be Broken Down Into Three Types:

  1. You can think of technical SEO as all the things you need to do in order to ‘pay’ for your fast-track entrance onto the search engine results pages. It is all the processes that enable search engines, such as Google to crawl your website and add them to its database.
  2. Once you get onto the search engine you’ll perform the on-page SEO to improve your ranking by satisfying Google’s criteria. This is where most of the lead generation potential lies. However, without technical SEO, your on-page SEO will not bring the best results.
  3. Off-page SEO is the promotion of your business website on other platforms and backlinking it to other respectable sites. This supports your website and helps to bring it up higher in search.

For an SEO strategy to work your search engine expert will ensure that he or she covers all three types of search engine optimisation, and keeps up with the demands of the strategy on-going. Without a sustained effort, even websites at the top of page results will see a drop to lower positions as competition catches up.

12 Steps to Generate Leads Online With SEO

A good search engine optimisation strategy will cover all three types of SEO in order to drive organic traffic and generate you leads online. Our 12-step guide will show you what goes into each type of SEO and how it assists the process of getting leads from organic searches.

  • Steps 1-6 focus on technical SEO.
  • Steps 7-11 refer to on-page SEO practices.
  • Step 12 talks about off-page SEO techniques.

Table of Contents

Step 1 – Index your website
Step 2 – Take time to consider the site architecture & crawl budget
Step 3 – Optimise your site’s load speed
Step 4 – Set up any necessary redirects
Step 5 – Check your website offers good user experience (UX) & is accessible
Step 6 – Add structured markup to the schema of your website where relevant
Step 7 – Perform continuous keyword research & optimise for intent match and search entities
Step 8 – Keep on creating high-quality content to assert your authority & build trust
Step 9 – Capture your leads
Step 10 – Assign title tags, meta descriptions & perform image optimisation
Step 11 – Track, analyse & improve your content and rankings on a regular basis
Step 12 – Secure as many high-value inbound links as you can & promote your content

Generate Leads With Technical SEO

It’s important to start with the foundations which are included in technical SEO. The thing about technical SEO is that it’s directly connected with your website design. Here at our web design and SEO agency – Generate Leads Online, when a new SEO client comes to us, the first thing we look at is their website. Very often we end up redesigning their websites before even starting on SEO as this helps us to establish a foundation for a strong search engine optimisation strategy. Similarly, when building websites we suggest designs that take SEO into consideration, even if the client isn’t planning to invest in search engine marketing services with us. We practice holistic web design and this is just one way it’s expressed in our work.

So, let’s look at what technical steps should be taken and how do they help you to get SEO leads?

Step 1 – Index Your Website

This is like applying for that fast-track ticket to get onto the search engine results pages, which we mentioned above. You’re applying to be added to the database of Google so that they can show your website in searches. You’ll need to create a sitemap of your website and submit it to Google Search Console. Although we’ve put this as the first step, you shouldn’t really index your website until your on-page SEO is done. In this way, you’re giving your website the best chance to rank well from day one. We’ve put this as Step 1 as it is one of the most fundamental things you need to do to connect your website to the search engine. Note that there is a propagation period and it can take a few days or even weeks for it to start showing up on Google.

Step 2 – Take Time to Consider the Site Architecture & Crawl Budget

Websites have a duty to provide accurate information to the user and wow them with the design. But besides what the user can see or read, the design of your website needs to make it as easy as possible for the search engine to detect the context of the website and show it in organic searches to those who are looking for it. For this to happen web spiders crawl your website whenever new content is added. These Google crawl spiders land on your page and tries to index the information they can get to, in order to make sense of it and match it to intent keywords and entities.

It’s important to create a robots.txt file to tell the crawler where to go and where not to go. There is a limited number of times the crawler will attempt to scan your website and if the way you have interlinked the different pages on your website isn’t allowing him to scan the pages you actually want him to scan, he will simply give up and leave those pages unindexed, resulting in them not showing up on Google. Therefore, the architecture of your website and your interlinking strategy should be done in a way that doesn’t waste your crawl budget. Apart from the robots.txt file, adding links from your homepage to all those pages you want to be indexed is another way to optimise your crawl budget.

Step 3 – Optimise Your Site’s Load Speed

In the era of instant gratification and short attention spans having a website that loads instantly is very imperative for your on-page lead generation strategy. In fact, bounce rates increase by 50% if your website takes more than 2 seconds to load. The higher your bounce rate the more likely Google will deem it as an irrelevant source of information for users with specific search intent. Over time, despite having a good keyword strategy, your website might rank lower if users are ‘bouncing off’ your page quickly due to load speed issues.

There are a few different things you can do to improve the speed of your website. The simplest ones to try first include, installing a WordPress Caching plugin (or find an equivalent for your CMS), optimise images by compressing file sizes, ensure all plugins are up to date and avoid uploading video or audio files straight onto the website. Every time you apply a speed optimisation technique, run a test on GTMatrix to see if it helped. If you’re still facing issues, an experienced web developer will be able to help you with more advanced methods, which we won’t discuss in this article.

Step 4 – Set up Any Necessary Redirects

If your website is being redesigned or you’re moving some pages to a new URL, those old pages need to be redirected. There are several different types of redirects that your SEO expert can set up depending on the circumstances. Without those redirects, the site crawlers can come across a 404 page, also known as an ‘error page’, which can hurt your rankings. Same can happen to a web visitor who will then, most likely, head back to the search results and go for one of your competitors instead. This not only hurts you but may even help to boost your competitors SEO!

When considering redirects in terms of SEO, one of the most useful redirects to apply is a 301 redirect. It indicates that the content has been moved permanently from one URL to another. The benefit of using this type of redirect is that it passes 90%-99% of link equity to the redirected page. We will discuss the relevance and importance of link equity as part of your SEO strategy later on in our guide.

Step 5 – Check Your Website Offers Good User Experience (UX) & Is Accessible

Pages that offer a pleasant user experience rank higher in SERPs (search engine results pages). Google’s aim is to offer users the best experience in terms of speed of finding what they need, the relevancy of the information and the process of finding it. This again points to the idea of holistic web design, which we practice here at Generate Leads Online, whereby pages are designed considering the experience of the user. This determines the layout of the content and what content we provide where. It has an impact on the placement of the buttons and the interlinking we do between pages.

User experience can also be improved by paying attention to small details such as having at least 14px font size, adding subheadings to break down long pieces of text and limiting pop-ups.

With 87% of smartphone users using a search engine at least once a day it’s crucial to ensure your website works well on mobile devices as well. In March 2020, Google announced that they will be switching to mobile-first indexing which means that sites that don’t work well on mobile will receive lower rankings in search engines. Having a website that uses a mobile-first web design approach will help you to satisfy Google’s requirements and may trigger an uptick in the number of inbound leads.

Ensuring that your site’s content is available, and its functionality can be operated by everyone allows you to meet the accessibility requirement and helps your rankings. This can be achieved with clear navigation, site structure, meaningful use of subheadings and image alt text that actually allows a user, who may be visually impaired and relies on assistive technologies that read out the alt text to them, to understand the context of the page.

Step 6 – Add Structured Markup to the Schema of Your Website Where Relevant

There are ways to add additional data to the schema of your web pages that offers Google extra information on the content provided. This gives your content a chance to make its way into, what is called, rich results. Those are specifically designed to highlight key information that the user is looking for and appear at the top of search results, often as an image or carousel. In the below example, the structured markup code these three websites used gave Google data on the different elements of these results, such as the images, the names of the organisations providing the recipes, the reviews and the baking and preparation time.

Structured data markup and SEO

Someone searching for chocolate cake recipes will find these results very useful and is more likely to use one of the three top recipes rather than scroll through the many results that show up below the rich results area.

Using structured data markup does not guarantee you will make it to the rich results but it puts you ahead of the competition who aren’t practising this SEO technique. The structured data markup codes can be generated almost for any piece of content on your website which doesn’t mean that’s what you should be doing. Use it on the information that actually adds extra value to users looking for that information. This is closely related to user intent, which we will discuss further in the next section. If your website is built on WordPress, adding structured data becomes easier with the use of plugins.

One way to take up more space in SERPs and boost your rankings by utilising structured data markup is to add it for FAQs. By targeting the question queries your target audience is searching for, your content may appear in the ‘People Also Ask’ section.
In the video below, Beth, our content specialist explains how adding keyword-rich FAQs additionally improves your position on Google results pages.

It’s important to note that websites that make it to rich results may see a dip in their click-through-rate for some queries since users can get a quick answer to their query without having to go into your website. Knowing this should help you decide where adding structured data markup may result in a boost in your organic search rankings without it negatively affecting your business objectives.

The following three steps focus on the actions you can take directly on each page of your website to generate leads with SEO.

Generate Leads With On-Page SEO

A huge chunk of on-page optimisation comes down to your content and how well it’s optimised with the right keywords that match the search intent. A well-thought-out keyword strategy can result in rising numbers of organic search web visitors your business is receiving. Once your content is optimised there are a few technical things you can do in the backend of your website to make it more Google algorithm friendly.

Step 7 – Perform Continuous Keyword Research & Optimise for Intent Match and Search Entities

To find the best keywords for each page of your website you need to define who your dream leads are. Who is your product or service designed for? What sort of problems does it solve?

Get clear on your target audience segments and speak to that audience within your service pages, demonstrating how you can provide the solution to their problem.

The key is to use the language your audience would use to search for these services so that Google shows them your website when they do use these queries. But how do you know what those are exactly?

The great thing about SEO is that it is based on data. So to nail down what those search terms are you’ll need to perform thorough keyword research. This can be done using various tools.

It’s always good to start with a simple Google search. Type in the search phrase you think your audience would use to find your services and see what comes up. What phrases are competitor websites using? What else comes up in the suggested dropdown?

You can then use other free tools such as UbersuggestAlso Asked or Google Trends to find other related keywords or ones that your competition is ranking for. Finally, use Google Keyword Planner to see what the volumes of searches and competition levels are for some of the keywords you are considering using. If you choose high volume and high competition keywords, the likelihood of you outranking some of the more established domains is quite low. Rather, focus on high volume, low competition combinations or refine your keyword to go more niche.

It’s best to collect as much data as you can on the potential keywords to use and then narrow down on the ones you are going to focus on – the optimal ones for your chosen objectives. We find gathering your keywords in a spreadsheet and using the filter option works best when narrowing down on your strategy. Your goal is to define groups of keywords for each page of your website, which you believe, based on your research, will optimise the rankings of that particular page in search engine results and drive relevant traffic to those pages.

Before you make your final decision on the keywords to focus on, check whether the user intent behind them matches what your business is offering. When performing competitor audits on Ubersuggest to check what type of keywords your competition ranks for, you might come across some high search volume terms that may seem like an obvious keyword to go for. Just because they’re searched a lot and have relatively low competition doesn’t mean they carry the right search intent for your business. So for example, searching for “apple” will bring up several results of the tech giant Apple, and not many on the fruit apple. It’s important to research the real meaning behind your chosen keywords before you try to rank for them. Your target audience might be using completely different search terms to find what you offer.

99% of all search terms fall under 4 different intent categories: informational, navigational, commercial and transactional. To generate leads with SEO, the content on your product or service pages needs to match the search intent of those looking for such a product or service. In this way, Google will bring up your page in SERPs and expose it to those who are looking for what you offer. If your content doesn’t match the search intent very well i.e. it doesn’t answer their query, users will leave your site after a few seconds, having realised it’s not what they were looking for. This increases your bounce rate and when it happens frequently it tells Google to lower rankings, resulting in less traffic to your website and ultimately fewer potential leads.

Your keyword strategy should include short-tail and long-tail keywords so that you can target different variations of the relevant queries. Long-tail keywords are also useful when trying to capture those who might be browsing the web using voice search devices, such as Alexa. Statistics show that 50% of consumers use voice search daily when searching for businesses around them and those queries tend to be long-tail.

The content on your website can be further optimised for search engines by considering the search entities. Those refer to anything that Google knows about. And the more it knows about, the more it connects the different entities together. For example, if you type in a query ‘current prime minister UK’ it will bring up a knowledge panel for Boris Johnson, the current prime minister in the UK. At the same time if you typed in ‘Boris Johnson’ you’d learn about the role Mr Johnson currently has i.e. UK’s prime minister.

Google’s algorithm constantly analyses the queries people put in and the content websites provide and learns what keywords relate to one another. Viewing the image Google results demonstrates it best. Sticking to our example of Boris Johnson query, when we switch to the images tab, at the top we see several related keyword suggestions, including brexit, eton, london, mayor and nigel farage. These are the keywords Google connects Boris Johnson to. Now, if you were to write a blog post on our prime minister, you could optimise it using these search entities. You could craft your article around these entities to make sure you include them without keyword stuffing. By mentioning them you’ll get Google to trust your content as it’ll see the related keywords being mentioned all together.

Last but not least, all of this keyword research we just explained should be revisited on a regular basis. Keyword trends change and evolve and so should your SEO strategy.

Step 8 – Keep On Creating High-Quality Content to Assert Your Authority & Build Trust

Content marketing should be at the heart of any SEO strategy. Updating your website with fresh content on a regular basis shows Google you’re active. What’s more is that, when you add valuable content to your website that your audience is interested in, visitor sessions will become longer and bounce rate will decrease. This indicates to Google that your content is useful for your web visitors. The more value your web visitors get from the content you share, the more likely they are to share it themselves. Sharable content indicates to Google that your website is a popular and trusted source that deserves a higher ranking in SERPs. To build up authority, publish blog posts with more than 2000 words so that search engines see that you really know your stuff. It also gives you more opportunity to use relevant keywords within the body of the text. To keep the reader engaged, you can also get creative and break up the text with images, graphics and videos.

So speaking of keeping users engaged with the use of videos, here’s Beth again – this time explaining the benefits of updating your blog regularly.

Publishing blog articles on your website can become a lead generation method in itself. It is a great way to attract potential customers who are somewhere in the middle of your sales funnel. You can use your blog to answer any of their objections or shape their opinion by providing them with the information they’re looking for.

Monitoring your Google Search Console data gives you an insight into the sorts of questions people have about your products or services. Filter through the various question words, such as how, what, where, why to find the sort of questions you could answer in a blog format. Once you’ve got the topic suggestions, follow the keyword research steps again to make a list of short and long-tail keywords worth adding within your main body text, or as subheadings. Just remember what Beth said in her video – try to use those keywords naturally!

Step 9 – Capture Your Leads

Creating great content that drives quality traffic to your website is one thing. But what is the use of web visitors if you’re not converting them into leads? To keep your marketing funnel going you need those web visitors to take the next step. And the action they take needs to offer you the opportunity to stay connected with them and follow up. Depending on the school of thought, and the industry you’re in, it is believed some consumers will need up to 12 touchpoints before they decide to buy from you. This shows how important it is to capture those visitors.

One way to capture leads within the content you post on your website is to offer a lead magnet. Giving freebies away in exchange for their email address is one of the best ways to capture those consuming your content. This can include free eBooks, downloadable checklists, video tutorials, or in our case, a free SEO audit for which you can apply by filling out the form at the bottom of this article.

This ‘transaction’ process of capturing a lead and providing them with a free resource that expands on the topic your post is about can be automated with the email marketing tool you use. One of the biggest mistakes we see business owners make is capturing the email addresses but never doing anything with them! If you’re going to be capturing leads, make sure you have a process in place that will then nurture that lead over time.

Optimising the conversion rate of your website can be done on other pages too, not just where you post your regular long-format content, such as your blog page. Adding contact forms where it’s likely for users to convert is a good way to increase your conversion rate. By adding a thank you page you can track the number of conversions you get and where they come from.

Our conversion rate optimisation (CRO) guide can help you to understand what else can be done on your website to generate more conversions.

Step 10 – Assign Title Tags, Meta Descriptions & Perform Image Optimisation

To ensure you’re making the most of your content on each landing page and optimising the click-through rate from results pages, there are a few technical features in the backend of your website that you can utilise. Start by assigning an H1 header tag to the targeted keywords that relate to the title of the page and the content of that page. You can then assign the H2 tag to any subheadings that contain similar keywords. These tags help search engines to understand the content on your landing pages.

Next, filling in your meta description boxes with great copy that explains to your audience what they’ll find on your landing page helps to increase the click-through rate from SERPs. Use SERP Snippet Optimisation Tool to get the right amount of characters in your descriptions.

Lastly, when uploading images to your website it is good practice to optimise their file size beforehand. This keeps the load speed down. Additionally, you can name your image files using the keywords you’re looking to rank for, which will elevate your SEO game when the website gets indexed.

If you have a WordPress website, installing the Yoast SEO plugin is highly advisable. It audits your SEO efforts and provides you with suggestions on what else can be done to improve the ranking of your pages or blog posts.

Step 11 – Track, Analyse & Improve Your Content and Rankings on a Regular Basis

Once your technical and on-page SEO is up and running, the aim is to continually improve it by analysing the data. Keyword research and matching the user intent should be something you do regularly – SEO, in general, isn’t a ‘set it and forget it’ technique. It’s like a muscle that needs to be trained to stay strong.

Every now and then it’s good to run a quick SEO audit using SEO Site Checkup tool to scan your website for any errors and see which of the recommendations are worth implementing. You can also monitor the page load speed with GTMatrix to keep the bounce rate low and improve user experience.

Similarly, using Google Search Console, you can measure how well your website and the content you post is performing. This is where you’ll see data on your search impressions, or in other words how often you appear in search results, for what sort of queries and which of these result in a click.

Analysing this data helps you to make decisions with regards to your next piece of content, or any changes that you need to implement in your keyword strategy or a piece of content you posted in the past that perhaps isn’t ranking so well.

For example, let’s say your blog post is showing up on the first page of Google results for a specific keyword yet the bounce rate from that particular page is high. With more and more people indicating to Google that they didn’t find your information useful, over time your rankings will dip. Rewriting that piece of content to match it to the search intent of those inputting that query is not a bad idea to improve the click-through rate and potentially generate leads. Compare the article against those at the top of the fist page – what do their blog posts have that yours doesn’t? Once you notice what gaps you need to fill, you can rewrite the article and monitor its performance.

You should also monitor the conversions on your website, which can be done using Google Analytics. This will give you insight into where most conversions happen and might suggest little design adjustments on your landing pages to improve the conversion rate.

Generate Leads With Off-Page SEO

Finally, in this last step, we get to off-page SEO, which as the name suggests refers to all the search engine optimisation processes done outside of your website. Working on this aspect of your SEO strategy helps to improve the perceived relevance, reputation, trustworthiness, popularity and authority of your website to the search engine crawlers and users themselves. Below we’ll explore how this is done.

Step 12 – Secure as Many High-Value Inbound Links as You Can & Promote Your Content

Your website’s search engine ranking improves when other platforms or people whose websites are deemed as high-authority ‘vouch’ for the quality of the content on your website. This can be done by creating backlinks from their sites to your site. There are three main types of links:

  1. Natural links are earnt without you having to take any actions. For example, if a blogger with a large following decides to mention your product or store in one of their articles and links your name to your website URL, you’ve earnt a natural link.
  2. Manually-built links can be generated by asking your clients to link back to your website or asking influencers to share your content.
  3. Self-created links are those that you or your SEO expert can create by listing your business on relevant directories. Paying for a press release or guest blogging would also be considered as a self-created link. Some self-created link practices are seen as black-hat SEO and are condemned by search engines so be sure to choose a white-hat SEO agency to help you with backlinking.

Regardless of how you get your inbound links, the ones that matter the most are those with high link equity. Search engines rank pages based on how well they can pass on authority and value onto another website. This will depend on several factors, including how popular that website is, how related the two pages that are being linked are, the authority of linking page’s domain and how many other links the linking page has. All of this increases the link value of the linking page.

As we discussed, as part of your on-page optimisation you can frequently add high-quality content to your website. It’s great to write value-packed blog posts but you’ll only really reap the benefits when you promote that content and drive traffic to it. Social media is one way to get there. Every time you or someone else within your industry posts on Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn and adds a link to your website, a backlink is created and helps to boost your SEO.

By adding high-authority links to your site, specific to your industry, you improve your reputation and drive traffic to your website. With an optimised, user-friendly website (technical SEO) and valuable, easy-to-read content (on-page SEO) the users who come to your website through those backlinks (off-page SEO) find what they need easily and stay on your website, indicating to search engines that you provide the user with value. Search engines, such as Google, will then reward you by ranking your page higher when relevant queries are being searched. The more people see your website in search, the more people are likely to view it and convert, which means your SEO efforts are generating you leads.

Lead Generation and SEO

You can see how ALL of the elements of search engine optimisation come together to drive traffic to your website from organic search. The more web visitors, the higher the chance of getting leads.

Marketing your business by following a search engine optimisation strategy that covers all those elements can be a sustainable way to get inbound leads without spending too much per lead. Every investment you make into the optimisation of your website for search engines is going to push it forward incrementally.

Finding an experienced SEO specialist to do it for you will ensure that the strategy is aligned with your business goals, tracked and optimised at all times. Another benefit of paying someone to do your SEO is that it avoids any ‘beginner’ mistakes that can hurt your rankings.

Although the strategies we discussed in the on-page SEO section have the most power to directly affect your ability to generate leads with your SEO strategy, specifically the continuous keyword research and high-quality content that strategically answers the questions of your target audience, these will not yield great results unless backed up with the technical SEO and promoted with some of the off-page SEO techniques mentioned above.

With some of the technology giants behind the famous browsers such as Safari, Firefox and, in a couple of years, Chrome blocking third-party cookies, retargeting to people who have visited your website in the past will no longer be as easily available. Therefore investing in search engine optimisation services ahead of these big changes to ensure your website shows up at the top of results pages in organic searches will put you ahead of the game.

If you’re looking to generate more leads with SEO, apply for our free SEO audit below and let our experienced team where your search engine marketing strategy could be optimised!

Top 10 Local SEO Tips & Optimising GMB 2021

In this blog post, the GLO team discuss helpful tips to optimise Google My Business listings and illustrate local SEO tips that help you show in the top of Google Maps and help your business rank higher in search engines. Simply put, we’ll help you understand how to maximise your GMB SEO.

As we move into another week of lockdown many small business owners find themselves planning ahead to make sure they stay afloat during this period and come out stronger on the other side of the pandemic crisis. With more time on your hands, this is the perfect time to work smart to retain existing customers and prioritize the tasks that will see you thrive despite the downturn that the economists are expecting.

So what exactly could you be doing right now to help your business during, and beyond lockdown?

The obvious answer is (well to us anyway) – make sure you can be found online. 

Local GMB SEO

We’ve prepared 10 tips to improve your local SEO and optimise your Google My Business (GMB) listing. This will make your digital marketing more effective and help your business come back stronger after the coronavirus lockdown.

Google Maps is taking up more of the Google SERP (search engine results pages), especially for local searches. Being the most prominent free feature in search, it has never been more important to optimise your Google My Business location.

Google My Business is the universal marketing platform for Google Maps. Being universal, everyone has the same weapons in their arsenal in order to dominate local searches but not every business is reading our local SEO tips.

A lot of people assume that once you add information and photos to your listing then you are done, which is the opposite of the truth. Google has an algorithm that they use to determine which businesses stay on top of search results, and they always favour the business listings that are constantly updating their GMB.

Sign Up and Claim Your Gmb Listing!

The vital first step for maximising your GMB SEO. You may think you’ve got a Google Map listing but until you’ve completed verification, you won’t be able to edit the business information that appears on Google Maps and therefore, you won’t be able to optimise your listing.

In order to claim your Google My Business, you’ll need a Google Account, you can set one up here. Once you have set up your GMB listing, you’ll need to verify it. Google will send a postcard to your business address with a verification code, once you enter this, your listing will be verified and you can start optimising your GMB listing.

Adding Correct Business Hours and Special Hours

Make sure customers know when you’re open for business and avoid negative experiences, such as a customer travelling to your business just to find out it is closed. Many bricks and mortar stores had to close their doors in order to help flatten the curve. Google My Business automatically updated the information for many businesses and marked them as temporarily closed, informing the admins about the change with a simple email. If your business is still able to operate, make sure you didn’t miss that email and that your opening times are up to date on your Google My Business page.

Choosing the Right Category for Your Business

A local gas engineer approached us asking why his business wasn’t showing up in Google Maps. We advised him to make sure he added all the relevant categories to his business (you can choose up to 10, with 1 of them being the primary category). He was amazed that such a quick edit would mean that he could start appearing in the local ‘Map Pack’ (normally 3 listings in the maps section in SERP). He was so impressed with the results that he is now one of our clients.

Keep Your Content Fresh by Adding Photographs

This helps give a good first impression to new customers finding you through search, sending a clear and positive message. It’s also a good idea to add an exterior photo so that people can recognise your business if they visit. Google reported that businesses with photos receive 42% more requests for driving directions and 35% more click-throughs to their websites.

This turns into more customers for you, which turns into more profit for you. Yep, just from adding photos. In order to keep your competitive edge, once you add your base photos, you should be adding new photos every 7 days (latest products, service projects, employees or events).

Ask for Reviews

Gaining Google Reviews is hands down one of the main ranking factors to consider when using GMB, period! Our director of marketing says, “My father’s plumbing business has consistently shown up in the map pack for the last 10 years for a competitive search term, ‘plumber Ipswich’, mainly because he has more positive reviews than his competition”. You might feel awkward asking but asking for Google reviews from your customers is the most effective way to compete in Google Maps. Not only does this increase your rankings but it will also increase your conversion rate, as customers are more likely to choose your business above your competitors.

Another quick tip, ask your customers to use keywords in their review that you’re looking to be found for, for example, “I’d recommend GLO’s digital marketing services, especially SEO & Web Design”. Google will find this information within the 0.40 seconds it takes to show Google Map listings.

Respond to Your Reviews ASAP

One of the best ways to recover from a negative review is a well thought out, constructive response, showing customers, your business not only thinks their opinions are important, but you’re always interested in improving customer experience.

People are also a lot more likely to remove their negative review if you respond to it, even if you can’t correct the problem. Responding to positive reviews is important too!

As we mentioned, Google favours businesses that are constantly updating their GMB, so try and be as responsive as possible. We set ourselves a rule to respond to a google review within the hour.

Use the Posts Feature

The posts feature lets you create a single post to add to your Google My Business listing, with an image, an attachment and a button to interact with. This feature is a great way to not only increase your ranking within Google Maps but also increase the amount of search you take up. Posts typically last one week so make sure to update regularly.

Posting at least every 7 days is a good idea. Google is obviously focusing on expanding the capabilities of GMB, as they are constantly adding new features, more recently, different types of posts, such as; Add Offer, Add Update, Add Event and Add Product. Google has even added a section in posts for COVID-19, “Let customers know about any changes to your business due to COVID-19”.

Ensuring Your Citations Are Consistent

Ensuring consistency within local citations is very important when trying to rank in the Google Maps section. The term NAP might mean something completely different to you, but to us it means; Name, Address and Phone Number. Ensuring all the business information you post online is consistent with your GMB is essential to building authority within Google Maps. Don’t confuse Google.

If you’ve got a Yell account or Facebook profile with 100 reviews from your clients, ensure these profiles have the same NAP as your GMB listing, as well as all other information. This lets Google build confidence that they are presenting the correct information in search and from trusted businesses. Find the most popular directories to use as local citations at the end of this blog post.

Add Services & Products

This is a GMB feature which allows you to list the services you provide and include keywords that can help your business get found for the services you offer. GMB only allows you to supply 750 characters in your general business description. This feature allows you to add multiple services per category and you can input up to 300 characters per service!

The second feature is products which allow us to upload a picture, price, title and description. Adding your main products helps you to put more links in the Google ecosystem, improve your GMB SEO, and allows more potential customers to find your products.

Combined with the aforementioned updates to Products and Services, GMB really is turning into an online shop window for your business. Searchers have an immense amount of information at their fingertips on GMB, significantly reducing the need to visit your website. I expect to see a crossover with Google Shopping very soon.

Use the Q & A Feature

Google My Business provides an option of asking questions about any business. The problem here is that anyone can answer those questions. Many times their answers won’t give the full picture to your customers. To overcome this, you can add some questions and answers from both sides.

These should be the questions that you think your customers will be most interested in knowing. You can even chuck in a few of those targeted keywords you’re looking to rank for, for example, “digital marketing agency“.

Whether you like it or not, GMB features are becoming more prominent in search. It’s what you do to maximise your GMB SEO that will separate you from your competition.

Setting up things in place that offset the negative effects of unexpected situations, such as the pandemic we are dealing with now, makes businesses stronger and more ready to remain profitable no matter what. As the pandemic has shown us, tending to your online presence and visibility is important to all businesses. As discussed, Google Maps and GMB features are taking up more and more of SERP and it’s never been more important to optimise your Google My Business and implement GLO’s local search tips. Use the time wisely and apply our 10 Local SEO tips to generate more leads online now and beyond the lockdown period.

SEO Tips For Your Startup Business

As a company just beginning to start out in business, you need to target your potential clients online, as over 97% of consumers go online to find a business. One of the most efficient ways to do this is by using search engines, such as Google and Bing. Unless the potential customer has already heard of you or been recommended, they wouldn’t be searching your brand name. This is why Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) has to be at the forefront of your marketing strategy and an important consideration when planning your business. A startup that implements a strong SEO strategy during developing a business plan is more likely to achieve success through setting the foundations of the business with necessary SEO components.

So how can a startup achieve SEO success from the start? This blog will address how to consider SEO while developing your business plan, and share with you our top SEO tips for your startup.

Startup SEO Tips For Business

The Most Fundamental SEO Tips for Startups

Starting a business is not an easy process and it becomes even harder when rapid expansion in on the cards. If you’re just starting up, you need to be there in as many of your potential customer’s touchpoints and digital platforms to advertise your products or the services you are offering, especially social media platforms and search engines.  For any startup or small business, a solid SEO strategy is essential to driving growth and brand awareness, therefore these startup SEO tips will help to take your small business to the next level:

  1. Know your target audience
  2. Fix technical issues and optimise your page
  3. Register and optimise with Google My Business
  4. Manage the local business listings and citations
  5. Add schema markup
  6. Register with Google and Bing webmaster tools
  7. Register with Google Analytics

Know Your Audience to Master Your SEO Efforts

The very first step to developing search engine optimized web content for your business is to know your target audience.

Keywords. Conversion. User experience. Search engine optimization.

What do all of these words and phrases have in common?

They all relate to how you will attract, engage, and convert your target audience.

The crux of any good digital marketing campaign is to identify the specific characteristics of your ideal customers, including geographic, demographic, and psychographic variables. This is very important because you will know who you are selling to and your target market. When you know who your target audience is or will be, it becomes easy to market your products or services, create content and search for the keywords to use among other things. Therefore,  you need to research your target audience to make the right choices. The more you know about your audience, the more powerful your digital marketing efforts will become.

Fix Technical Issues and Optimise Your Page

One of the most common issues that come up when a business fails to incorporate SEO into its startup plan is the emergence of technical SEO issues later on down the road. If you do not know much about SEO or you have very limited knowledge about the subject of SEO, it would be advisable to hire an expert SEO agency, such as Generate Leads Online to do a professional job.

Your website should not have any technical issues like duplicate content, broken links and slow page speed. If these issues are not fixed, they will affect your rankings and traffic to your page, making it hard to benefit from SEO strategies. While Google and other search engines have made big strides in their ability to evaluate sites, technical SEO issues can still create problems that make it more difficult for your site to be properly indexed and to rank well within search results.

In order to combat this issue, it’s important to have the technical aspects of SEO addressed as you begin developing your site and other web properties, in order to avoid costly complications that could be difficult to fix down the road.

Nevertheless, here is a list of several common technical issues that often arise and become more difficult to address the longer they are avoided:

  • No automated or cohesive process for removing or updating pages without creating links to missing pages, losing authority from external sites that linked to those pages, or redirecting users to irrelevant pages unrelated to the original.
  • The inclusion of URL query strings for campaign tracking, user filters and sorting operations, customization, and so on, that generate pages with largely identical content but located at different URLs. These should be avoided or addressed using the canonical tag.
  • Duplicate title tags.
  • Insufficient original content or excessive duplicate supplementary content on pages.
  • Links to “infinite spaces” where a virtually infinite number of pages are dynamically created that would be irrelevant in search results.
  • Poorly implemented or missing .htaccess, robots.txt, and XML sitemap.
  • Poorly set up analytics that fails to track user actions or loses information about their referral source.
  • Make sure that your startup game plan addresses the necessity of clean technical SEO during the development process as well as a part of regular site maintenance.

Once the technical issues are fixed, you need to optimize the page by creating quality content by conducting thorough research. Some of the things you need to optimize when creating content are:

  • Titles.
  • Meta descriptions.
  • Alt text and images.
  • Body content.

Register With and Optimise Google My Business

Google Local SEO is a tactic that you need to consider when developing a marketing strategy for your business. It boosts the local search traffic and protects you from online fraud as well.

Google is used when you need to know anything from the best barbecue joint to best salon services in the area. With the help of Google Places all the relevant information like addresses, contact number, website link, reviews and available to the targeted audience in an instant.

It is essential for businesses to get the attention of the customers in the area it operates. With Google Local only the local searches are focused. Searches are limited to the business in a certain locality that makes it a great possibility to been seen by potential consumers.

Small businesses can take great advantage of Google Local SEO without spending any money on print ads or television. With the help of Google Places, you can market and promote your products and services in the target locality in a cost-effective manner.

Manage the Local Business Listings and Citations (Nap)

When optimizing your business, you need to understand that consistency and accuracy is very important to avoid confusing people. As a result, your business’s name, address and phone number (NAP) should be accurate to improve your local presence. If you don’t know your accurate NAP, you can look for a service that will distribute your NAP information so that you can update the info on your page.

NAP is critical for businesses wishing to rank well in the local organic search results because search engines like Google take the data into account when determining which companies to show for geo-targeted searches.

For starters, make sure that your NAP is correct – both on your website as well as on other sites throughout the web. Local SEO experts believe that Google and the other search engines cross-reference your NAP information across a variety of websites as a validation that you are a legitimate business. The more “local citations” you can build up with consistent NAP information, the better. In terms of local citations, it’s probably worth listing your business on any reputable directory – especially local directories and/or industry-specific directories.

Add Schema Markup

Schema markup is one of the most under-utilised SEO techniques out there. This is surprising because it is one of the most valuable and powerful tools available to search engine marketers in 2021.

Schema markup is code you put onto your website to add context to its content for non-human readers (i.e. Google). It gives Google information in a consistent way that is easier for it to process, which in turn allows Google to serve this content to its users in search results.

Schema markup usually sends search engine signals about the components of a page, including:

  • Phone number.
  • Address.
  • Business number.
  • Ratings.
  • Business hours.

Register With Google and Bing Webmaster Tools

Google’s Webmaster Tools are essential for any strong SEO effort. To understand their full potential, it’s helpful to think about what Google Webmaster Tools’ role is for webmasters: it helps you see your website as Google sees it. The toolset gives you insights into what pages have been indexed on your site, what links are pointing to it, your most popular keywords, and much more.

If you have a website already, you need to register with search engines such as Google and Bing and submit your sitemap. This is very important because you will find out what the search engines understand and know about your search engine content.

Register With Google Analytics

Even though the webmaster tools can offer you a wide range of information from about search engines, Google Analytics offers a lot of information about users’ views. Knowing your users’ views is important because you will know their experience on your website and understand how you can offer them a better experience by improving your content or services. Google analytics should help you find out the following:

  • The most popular landing pages
  • The most popular exit pages
  • The pages that are commonly visited
  • Major traffic sources on your page

Why SEO is Important for Business

You may have heard of the term Search Engine Optimization (SEO), but what is SEO? Do you know why SEO is important for your business, and what effective SEO can bring to your business?

Search engine optimization is an incredibly worthwhile tool to harness the power of and invest your time in. Without it you won’t have the capacity to make your website a profitable platform. Therefore, it is of the utmost importance that we have a deep understanding of SEO and utilize its rewards to develop your business quickly.

What Is SEO?

Search Engine Optimization is the strategies used to build your website rankings on different Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs), for example, Google, Bing, Yahoo, and so on.

Make sure your website is easily understandable by a search engine web crawler by properly utilizing rules, tactics and strategies. Accordingly, you will get higher website rank position in search. Also, SEO is an excellent method to make your site easy to use, quicker, and simple to navigate. Keywords and Content are fundamental components of Search Engine Optimization.

Keywords are the specific words, phrases or expressions that are utilised to make the content more discoverable. While utilizing keywords that centre around short-tail (marketing agency) and long-tail (digital marketing agency in the Suffolk) keywords. Likewise use keywords to improve every one of your URLs, titles and other on-page SEO components. You should take time to choose and research your keywords for SEO and fit in with your content.

What is SEO scaled

Content is one of the indispensable components that attract and engage with your potential target audience. The content on your website ought to be instructive, shareable, instructive, applicable, engaging and intriguing to your intended interest group. There are several mediums and ways to create content for your website including white papers, web journals, videos, podcasts, infographics, website page content, social networking posts, e-books, and so on.

Before you enhance your website to make it Search Engine-accommodating, how about we comprehend the different types of SEO that exist. There are three different ways to break down search engine optimization:

  • Technical SEO
  • On-Page SEO
  • Off-Page SEO

Technical Search Engine Optimisation

As the name infers, Technical SEO has nothing to do with your website’s promotional strategies or its content. In reality, it is server enhancements that assist search engines such as Google to crawl the web and index your website more effectively and successfully. Typically, technical SEO does not require performing more than once if it is optimised effectively.

On-Page Search Engine Optimisation

On-page SEO alludes to the settings you can apply to your website, for example, optimising Meta titles, Meta keywords, and Meta descriptions. Also, appropriate URL structure, quicker loading speeds, user-friendly 404 pages, picture optimisation, and so on fall under this umbrella.

Off-Page Search Engine Optimisation

As well as the adjustments you can make to your website, the other method to enhance your website’s search engine ranking position is by utilizing Off-page SEO procedures. Social Media Marketing, Link Building and Social Bookmarking are examples of strategies this encompasses.

Why SEO Is Important for Your Website

SEO in digitally advanced organisations is critical in light of the fact that it demonstrates the validity of your website among the potential clients. Search engine optimization can develop your business by meeting business goals efficiently. At the end of the day, potential clients trust search engines more than any other source. Therefore, if you were to have a higher ranking position on various search engines, especially Google, your website consequently constructs trust among the potential clients. Consider these as essential motivations to have SEO for your business.

Enhances the Visibility of Your Website

Your business may claim to have extraordinary products and services, yet imagine a scenario in which your clients would not have the capacity to discover you online. Search Engine Optimisation is mandatory for making your businesses products and services accessible on the web. A solid online presence can guarantee that your business always remains at the top of search. In this way, your clients can discover you effortlessly and purchase your products/services. A solid optimisation strategy enables you to get higher ranking positioning on search engines.

Increase Your Website Traffic

The enhanced visibility enables you to get more traffic on your website. Performing on-page SEO can assist you with getting more guests to your websites. Concentrate on well thought out keywords with a close link with your industry and more importantly centred around long-tail keywords to focus on your clients. Additionally, top-notch content encourages traffic to come and engage with your website.

Dominate the Market

These days, almost all businesses are exploiting digital innovation. Therefore, your website ought to be sufficiently able to compete over time. SEO is amongst the most significant assets to emerge in the market. The optimisation enables you to feature your business products and services with high search engine rankings. Indeed, higher positioning also enhances client trust in your offering.

SEO Will Build ROI for Your Business

SEO causes you to unmistakably put your website before the client’s eyes with the goal that they can effectively investigate your items and services. SEO is an integral asset that normally drives the most traffic to your site. Inevitably, this website traffic will convert into your potential customers. It implies your business can begin creating more income. SEO is a generally safe, low risk, dependable and effective apparatus to get higher ROI in contrast with different assets.

Subsequently, don’t wait any longer to optimise your site. In the event that you possess a smaller organisation, startup, online service provider or some other sort of online business, you simply need to make your site search engine friendly to profit from its advantages. For Search Engine Optimization to work effectively, keywords and content are essential. Perform technical SEO, on-page SEO, and off-page SEO to make your site noticeable to the different search engines. Besides, Search Engine Optimization is vital to make your site findable, continue to be competitive, increase your ROI and develop your business.

At, GOL (Generate Leads Online) – we offer Search Engine Optimization Services to make your website accessible and effective for the search engines so it can get the higher rank positioning easily. In this manner, your website not only exhibits your business online but also turns into a worthwhile/profitable platform for your business. Get in touch with us today to get more insights concerning SEO procedures and assistance to help grow your business.

Image SEO – Website Image Optimisation

Images should be essential, whether you’re an amateur blogger or your write for the leading marketing magazine. An image can tell a thousand words and can make your article easier to read and understand. The reason that you are reading this article, however, is because images also contribute to your websites SEO and we’ll give you an in-depth explanation how to optimise all your images to improve your search engine ranking and how to use images for the best user experience. Let’s dive into Image SEO.

Why Images Are Essential in Posts

When used correctly, images help readers process and understand an article, can be used by illustrating data in a chart or just make an article/post more exciting. It’s recommended that every post should include pictures as visual search is getting increasingly more important, for more information about this, check out Google’s vision for the visual of search. Therefore using images not only make an article more appealing but also could provide you with an increase in traffic. If you have visual content, image SEO should be high on your agenda.
Google’s most recent interface for Image Search was released at the start of August 2019, with features such as filters, metadata and attribution, which shows that Google has increased knowledge about what is in an image and how it fits into the bigger picture.

Selecting the Best Photo to Use

Rather than stock photos, it’s always better to original photos rather than stock photos, for example, your team pictures should be your actual team, rather than everyone in your company looking like models. I’m not saying they don’t already.

The image that you choose should be relevant to the subject of the article and the area of the article it’s positioned. For example, I have used the photo that I took when I was travelling the east coast of Australia to demonstrate the importance of not using stock images and the fact you are reading about it now puts the image into context and is therefore relevant to the article. If you just choose any random photo to complete your SEO plugin’s content analysis, then you need to re-evaluate your SEO strategy. If you have a main image or an image you’d like to rank, then locate it at the top of the page.

Avoid Stock Photos

Even if you don’t have any original photos of your own, you can still avoid using stock photos, there are other ways to find appropriate photos online. As long as you attribute the original photographer, you can source good-quality images from Flickr.com.  It’s important that you understand what Creative Commons license is attached to the image you are using – there are eight different license categories and not all images on Flickr can be used the same way.

Choosing photos that look genuine is important unless you took them yourself, which is always the best route, and steering clear of obvious stock photos is a must!

GIF’s are getting more and more popular but don’t go overboard, it can make your post harder to read as the movement of the image can distract the reader’s attention and slow down your pages load speed.

How to Optimise Images for SEO

Once you’ve found the optimum photo for your article or blog post, whether it be an illustration, chart or image – the next step is to optimise it for SEO for your website. Here is an Image SEO checklist:

  • File name optimisation
  • The correct format
  • Image display size
  • Responsive images
  • Compressed images

File Name Optimisation

The first thing to think about when it comes to image SEO is the file name. Your need Google and other search engines to know what is in the image with even looking at it. For example, the image is of a sunset in Thailand, then the file name should be “Thailand-beach-sunset.jpg, not the original file name such as “IMAG8482”. The main key phrase or keyword should come first at the beginning of the file name, as its the main subject of the image, for instance, Thailand.

GLO Thai Beach Sunset SEO Image Optimisation Example

The Correct Format

The correct format depends on the image and its application and therefore, there isn’t a best image format to always use. For instance, image formats are used for the following reasons:

  • JPEG – for larger photos or illustrations (it will give you good results in terms of colours and clarity with relatively small file size)
  • PNG – to preserve background transparency
  • WebP –  to produce high-quality results with smaller file sizes (you can use tools like Squoosh to convert your image into WebP)
  • SVG – for logos and icons (with help of CSS or JavaScript you can manage SVG images such as resizing them without loss of quality

CanIuse.com can check whether the format you intend to use is supported by the browsers or devices that the largest part of your target audience use. Now it’s time to resize and optimise your image.

Image Display Size

Images that you use have a major impact on your web pages loading times, especially when there isn’t any need for your image to be that large, for example, if your image is displayed at 250×150 pixels and you’re using an image with 2500×1500 pixels, your whole image still needs to be loaded. The image load time is very important when it comes to user experience and search engine optimisation.

It is important to resize the image to the size you want it to be displayed. WordPress actually helps by providing several different sizes of the image after upload that show depending on the display, however, this doesn’t mean to the file size is optimised as well, therefore you should have the file size as low as possible without being pixelated.

Responsive Images

Having responsive images is an essential factor for image SEO, however, WordPress has made this easy since it was updated to version 4.4, where the platform makes images responsive for you. If you’re not building you website with WordPress, then your images should have srcset attribute, which enables a different image to be should depending on the screen width, which is especially handy for mobile displays.

Compressed Images

It is important for the image file size is compressed to be as small as possible, for web page load speed, user experience and therefore SEO. The easiest way to reduce the size of the image whilst keeping it high quality is by using web tools such as JPEGmini, which can dramatically reduce image size and remove to EXIF (Exchangeable Image Format) data to reduce the file size even further. This is increasingly important in a world of retina screens.

We also recommend using other tools to compress images; ImageOptim,  jpeg.io or Kraken.io.

You can test your site with tools like Google PageSpeed InsightsLighthouseWebPageTest.org or Pingdom.

Adding Images for Optimum SEO

It is very important to add your optimised image to content that is related to it. While Google and other search engines are getting increasingly skilled at recognising what is in an image, you should still provide as much context as possible and therefore fill in all the relevant information.

Image SEO – Captions

Image captions are important in an article as people usually tend to pick them up when skimming through a web page, as well as headings and images. The image caption is the text the accompanies an image stating what’s in the image. Image captions are good for SEO but you should avoid over optimising your webpages and only add a caption when it makes sense to the user’s journey to have one. Not every image needs a caption as they are often the image itself is self-explanatory.

Alt Text & Title Text for SEO

If for any reason the image can’t be displayed, the ‘Alt Text’ or ‘Alt Tag’, which is the descriptive text will be shown in its place. The reasons in which the image can’t be displayed is sometimes because the user has turned off images in their browser, such as Google Chrome or they are using a screen reader due to visual impairment, this ensures that no information is lost.

For search engine optimisation, be sure to add alt text to every image, so that both search engines and people can make sense what’s in the image. The Alt Text should include an SEO keyphrase for that page where appropriate.

Add Image Structured Data for SEO

Once you understand the method of schema markup, you can optimise your website in the search engine result pages (SERPs). Adding such structured data to your pages can help search engines display your images as rich results. Google can also add a badge to the images on your webpage, for example, if you have recipes on your site and add structured data to your images, Goggle can add a badge showing the images belongs to a recipe.

Image attribute is mandatory for SEO so that your images can be crawled and indexed.

XML Image Sitemaps for SEO

Google’s advice and is to include a number of images on the page or post sitemaps:

“You can use Google image extensions for sitemaps to give Google more information about the images available on your pages. Image sitemap information helps Google discover images that we might not otherwise find (such as images your site reaches with JavaScript code), and allows you to indicate images on your site that you want Google to crawl and index.”

Image SEO Summary

As you have seen from this article, image SEO is made up of several attributes. It is just as important to ensure that the image and its elements help towards a good user experience which in turn plays an important role in conversion, as it is for SEO. With Google getting smarter and smarter at recognising element in images, it wouldn’t be a good idea to try and hack the algorithm.

Here is a quick summary and checklist of what you’ve learnt from this post:

  • Use an appropriate image that compliments your content
  • Carefully choose a file name with keywords or phrases
  • Ensure image size matches displayed image
  • Use srcset attributes if possible
  • Reduce file size for faster loading
  • Add a caption only if it compliments user experience
  • Use image alt text. No need for a title text
  • Add structured data to your images
  • Count for images in your XML sitemaps
  • Provide all the context you can!

The WordPress plugin Yoast can help with SEO!

How to Generate Leads Online for Free

In order for any business to grow, and be successful, you need a solid stream of potential new business. But how do we get that? Leads. These are the lifeblood of any business. But where do they come from? You need a strategy! Every business has a target market, so your lead generation strategy has to reflect that. I’ve drawn up a list below, detailing the different methods you might consider implementing for your own unique strategy, and the beauty is, they will all help you generate leads online for free.

Generate Leads With Google My Business

It is completely free, and its purpose is to help you reach & engage with your local target market, using google search and maps, giving you greater visibility.

When people search via google, or on Maps for your business specifically, or businesses similar to yours, your business profile will appear.

With a free app on your phone, Google My Business is easy to create and manage your business profile.

Google My Business also has a huge impact on local SEO, as the business information will be accurate and consistent. Like all tools, this requires some time to be invested to really gain the benefits. But the key things are:

  • Insights. Google offers analytical data about how a business was found, where it was shown, and what information the end-user is seeing.
  • Google Post. it has the option to show “featured content” to users that already found the business. This includes:
  • Events like live music at a bar or restaurant
  • Product Updates like new merchandise
  • Special Offers
  • General Announcements like opening hours
  • Reviews. The public can leave reviews, positive or negative, and Google My Business allows you to manage and monitor these with an intuitive dashboard.
  • Visibility. Keeping things consistent throughout Google will improve all marketing efforts as many local listings use Google’s data to feed their listings.

Google is going to keep optimizing and finding ways to monetize Google My Business. By taking advantage of Google’s latest features early, you stand to gain more local business and outshine your competitors.

Improve Your Local SEO

To build a good online presence you need to make sure that you have accurate details added to all relevant business directories. This has a direct impact on your ranking, reputation, and consequently, revenue. Typically, the following will be required:

  • Company name
  • Phone number
  • Address
  • Website
  • Photos

Be Accurate & Consistent

To help search engines, such as Google or Bing to verify that your website exists, you must make sure that your listings and citations are accurate, this will help validate your business. Be consistent. Add exactly the same business information to every listing – including your own website! If you add different information to every listing, this will impact your local search rankings, and frankly, it’s unprofessional.

Where Should I Add My Business Listings?

Always choose sites that have a higher domain authority – meaning that they are more trusted by search engines. Places like Google my Business and Bing Places are where you should spend your time.

What Information Do I Need to List?

Start with the basics.

  • Name – who are you?
  • Address – Where can you be found?
  • Phone Number – How can we contact you?
  • Opening Hours – When are you operational?
  • Services – Give a good consistent description of what it is you do!
  • Images – Add your website logo for consistent branding. Use images to stand out.
  • Claim Your Listing – Some citation websites require you to claim and verify your business listing. This can usually be done via email, phone or post verification.

Where Are the Best Citation Sources?

A bit of Google research will help you come up with a list, but the obvious choices to get you started are as follows:

Ones you may be less familiar with, but are still relevant:

Free Moz Tools

Try the best free tools for link building and analysis, keyword research, webpage performance, local listing audits, and more! https://moz.com/free-seo-tools

By increasing your presence along with a range of free to register sites and listings, you create more opportunities to generate leads online for free because a greater audience is likely to see you.

Blogging

You can use blogging to help your business develop a strong web presence. This is becoming increasingly important to help businesses engage and communicate with their customers, and build brand awareness.

According to a recent inbound marketing report, nearly 80% of companies that use blogging as a part of their marketing strategy reported acquiring customers through their blogging efforts. Additionally, 82% of businesses admit that blogging is critical to their business.

The Benefits of blogging are:

  • Driving traffic to your website.  Typically, you would post a summary paragraph and a link to your blog through your social media.  This allows your target audience to see that you have written something relevant, without bombarding them with words.  They are then encouraged to click the link, which takes them directly to your website.
  • Boost your SEO on the cheap. Blogging is straightforward and inexpensive, and the major search engines love the relevant content.  Make sure you are inserting keywords that your prospective customers will use to search for your products and services.
  • Make a connection.  Everyone can relate to a story.  Blogging helps you connect with your audience on another level and builds trust and rapport, by creating credible and authentic content.  This establishes your business as an expert or industry leader in that field, which will lead to more enquiries and higher conversion rates.
  • Get Personal. Blogging is the voice of your business, and this creates Brand Awareness in a more personal way.
  • Share the love. If the content is good, relevant and interesting, people will share it. This creates the potential of viral traffic, with so many different sharing platforms available – this is free marketing at its best!

Check out our latest digital marketing blog posts here

Social Media

Social networks help create awareness and connect you with potential customers. You need to start by identifying which platforms are right for your business. If your business is Gardening and Landscaping, platforms like Instagram and Pinterest are perfect for showcasing your work, for example. If you share content in the form of a link, you will then drive traffic to your website and ultimately generate leads.

Read Our Article on How to Generate Leads Online With Social Media

Online Referrals

This is the most valuable and important form of advertising you can get. Prospective customers love a recommendation, and existing customers love a bit of service and care.

You should be reaching out to your existing customers at least every three months to touch base with them, make sure they’re happy with the service, and see if there is anything else you can do for them. This, in the first instance, can easily generate you more business.

In the second instance, if they’re happy, tell them that you’d love to work with more businesses like theirs. Ask them if they will help you do that.

The simplest ways they can do that for you are:

It works well if you offer to do the same for them in return. If a client was particularly happy with something specific that you did for them, you could even ask them if you could use that as a case study for your website.

Email Marketing

With the introduction of websites such as MailChimp, email marketing is now open to everyone, and it is one of the best methods of direct marketing available. MailChimp is free for businesses with less than 2,000 contacts and is simple to use!

Email Marketing can help you:]

  • Build relationships. This is a simple, cost-effective way to keep in touch with your customers and let them know that they are not forgotten. Send out newsletters, product launches, latest offers or links to your blog!
  • Brand Awareness. Develop your brand by creating awareness. Email marketing gives you a presence and a voice, direct to your subscribers.
  • Be known as an expert. Not only can you use email marketing to drive traffic to your website, but you can also use it to deliver unique content that your audience will enjoy reading. With credible and authentic content, you will build a reputation as being an expert in your field, and build a solid reputation for your business.
  • Time and Budget. These are constraints for all businesses.  Email marketing campaigns are quick to put together and are cost-effective.  You can connect with a large number of inboxes, all at the push of a button!

E-Mail Signature

We all have these, so why not use it to your advantage?

This will give your offers, promotions and content advertising space. Every time someone within your business sends out an email, that is a direct engagement, with minimal effort – best of all, its free!

You could…

  • Put your business social media profiles on there, “Like Us on Facebook/Twitter/LinkedIn”
  • Always put a call to action on any advertising – “Call us now for a free quotation”
  • Put your special offers, “For today only, 10% off when you quote EMAILOFFER”

Whatever you decide to add, make sure you notify everyone within the business, so your entire team can add it to their signature.

Whatever your business, there is a cost-effective lead generation strategy for everyone! Contact us if you need any further support.