How to SEO a Website

My Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) adventure began more than four years ago. It has been a constant learning curve, and still is!

I follow industry blogs to keep up with changes within the SEO world. Examples of blogs I follow include Moz, Search Engine Land and SEO Powersuite.

SEO is a long-term strategy that requires constant monitoring due to algorithm changes by Google.

In this post, I will be sharing the strategies, results and software tools used for a recent SEO project.

Let’s begin …

Client Website Profile

  • The website is an e-commerce shop that sells seasonal products in UK.
  • My task was to optimise the site against the start of the season.
  • SEO is the only way to drive traffic to this niche industry. However, Google Adwords, Bing Ad and Facebook do not allow promotion of the products on their platform.
  • Project span was six months.

Here are the Results

Google Analytics – Six-Month Audience Overview 

totalaoverview

 Google Analytics – One Month Audience Overview
audoverview02

 

 

channels-report

Screen Shot – Real Time Traffic

realtime-traffic

Ranking Data – Local SEO

localseoposition

Ranking Data – Across UK

naional-seo

How I Achieved the Above Result

To begin the process of optimising the client’s website, I conducted a comprehensive audit of the website using SEO Powersuite software (Website Auditor, SEO Spy Glass, Rank Tracker and Link Assistant).
Conducting a comprehensive website audit helped me to identify and understand the tasks that needed completion in order to improve the visibility of the client’s website in search engines.

Website Auditor helped identify any issues affecting visibility of the client’s website. Below, are some of the issues that were identified and resolved:

  • Indexing and crawling issues: e.g. robot text files were set to “Disallow” for the entire
    website, the 404 error page was not set up.
  • Redirection issues: e.g. 302 and 301 redirect, HTTP and HTTPS issues, two versions of
    the websites were showing up in search results.
  • Broken links, canonical URLs.
  • On-page SEO issues: duplicate titles, long meta descriptions.
  • Page speed and page usability.
  • Google Analytics was not installed on the site.

On completion of the audit and resolving the issues identified above, I checked the current ranking for the website using Rank Tracker.
Rank Tracker crawled the client’s site and revealed all the current keywords, as well as their positions within my chosen search engines.

Checking the website’s current ranking positions before implementing an SEO plan helped identify keywords that were on the website. New keywords were chosen based on relevancy, competitiveness and search volume.

One of the many benefits of using Rank Tracker, apart from checking website rankings, is that it will help you identify your competitor’s keywords, how difficult it is to rank the keywords, and the fluctuations that occur during the life cycle of the SEO project.

On completion of the above task, I conducted backlink analysis using SEO Spy Glass. SEO Spy Glass helped identified back-linking opportunities by analysing the competitor’s backlinks.

Please note, when building backlinks you need to use a various combination of your chosen keywords (e.g. exact match keywords, phrase match keywords, naked URLs).

My Strategy

On completion of the website audit process, I was able to come up with the following strategies:

  • Comprehensive keyword research for local & national SEO.
  • Target keywords with buyers’ intent (e.g. “Buy Leather Wallet UK” rather than “Leather Wallet.”
  • Explored store locators and got listed on their directories.
  • Recycled old website content and improved internal links.
  • Optimised product categories and used quality images for products.
  • Created SEO friendly URLs.
  • Updated Google listings.
  • Targeted mobile devices.
  • Built quality links from authority websites.
  • Got quality social signals for client’s website.
  • Generated quality product descriptions to increase customer engagement.
  • Monitored ranking daily and made changes as required.

How I implemented the Strategy

I conducted keyword research using Rank Tracker and Google Keywords Planner.
I was able to identify high volume and low competitive keywords for the project.
I applied the keywords to individual webpages (page title, meta description, and the content of the website).
An example of a good keyword phrase that I found, which is great for targeting mobile devices, was “your services near me.” If you are local business, it is worth optimising your website for this keyword phrase!

How?
If you are restaurant selling Indian food, optimise your contact page or customer service page for “Indian restaurant near me” or “Plumbing services near me,” the type of keyword phrase that drove lots of the traffic for the project.
You will have to add information that will help convert your traffic (e.g. customer reviews, telephone number, opening hours, links to your services).

nearme02

Furthermore, as part of my keyword research data, I found that my above client had more opportunities to rank for some keywords on Bing and Yahoo, but not on Google. As a result, I chose to optimise their pages specifically for Bing and Yahoo.

otherse

While analysing a competitor’s backlinks, I discovered a store locator website that contributed to our competitor’s traffic. So I listed my client’s website there too.
As part of the results generated by auditing my client’s website, I was able to identify the need to increase social signals.
Social signals contribute to website ranking. In this project, our competitor’s social signals were from Google Plus and Facebook. I decided to increase my client’s social signals focusing on these two platforms by generating user-focused content and sharing online. Buzz Bundle by SEO Powersuite helped make this happen.

As the project continued, I noticed various fluctuations for each of the keywords on a daily basis. This is to be expected, as ranking positions don’t always stay the same.

flutuation-graph

The process of SEO implementation will vary for various product and services niches, but the principles still remain the same.

Did the SEO Strategy Work?
Yes it worked. My client confirmed that all of the customers for this year’s seasons were “new customers.” My client was able to confirm this by checking the customers’ details against last year customer database.

Also, when you look at the Google Analytics data shared at the beginning of this post, you will notice that the bounce rate for the site is very low (31%). This indicates that users are engaged with content of the site and not just jumping off from the pages.

The client report indicated visits from across the UK:

region

Common Questions:

Is this white hat SEO?
Yes –it is. It took considerable length of time to get things going.

Is the backlinks spam links?
No –I conducted link risk analysis for every link built for this project to mitigate against Google penalties.

Does ranking your website mean getting lots of sales?
It is important to understand that having good ranking position alone doesn’t equate to lots of sales. It is important to have great product offers and competitive pricing.

How much did the SEO service cost?
Each project is unique, please contact us for a quote.

Will this ranking position be permanent
No – Ranking position fluctuates every day, my objective is to increase client website visibility on search engines for various keywords (websites showing on first page for a desired search engine, local or national, and for various keywords).

Do you provide reports?
Yes – I provide a SEO diagnostic report, ranking reports, link building reports etc.

Can I do it myself?
Yes but be warned, if you are impatient and have no time to learn the principles and tools used for SEO, you will give up even before you start.

Summary
There are lots of thoughts processed and creative thinking to help deliver the result of this project, each client is unique and SEO strategies have to be developed for varying client needs. If your website needs a leg-up on search results, drop me an email – helpmerank@seoatbest.com

 

Filed Under: SEO