How Good SEO Can See You Through Challenging Times

Good SEO is essential to see your business through challenging times?

The outbreak of coronavirus has affected individuals, businesses and entire industries across the world.

With the global economy uncertain, it’s important that business owners shift marketing strategies to work smarter while preparing for uncharted territory.

With many key features of the UK economy having to pause or stop business altogether, it is likely that many businesses will see short-term losses over the next few months. It is, however, essential that you plan strategically for the future.

Not doing anything, or stopping your marketing investments whilst the pandemic is ongoing, won’t mitigate the damage already caused and is likely to set you up for a long-term uphill struggle to recover.

History has generally shown that those who invest in marketing during challenging times tend to come out above their competitors.

For example, Kellogg’s, who doubled down on their investments during the Great Depression grew their profits by 30%. It is therefore vital that you prioritise your marketing efforts by investing into building organic growth and creating content that will be ranked highly on search engine results pages.

The what, how, where and why of ​search engine optimisation​ (SEO)

Even as the government’s lockdown begins to ease, consumers are still expected to be shopping and browsing online for many months. Whilst social activity remains low and with more people spending time at home, there has been a surge in online activity.

This surge means that your target audience are more likely to see your online marketing efforts. By appearing higher in search results through good search engine optimisation processes, your business can be a recipient of a windfall.

Search engine optimisation, or SEO, is the process of using techniques and strategies to obtain a high-ranking placement in the search results page of search engines (SERP). Your position is ranked through a number of factors including the relevance and authority of your website and your online presence.

'Relevant website + strong online presence = higher ranking and more visibility

Lydia Campbell, EDGE Creative

The process of SEO is constantly evolving as search engines adjust their algorithms and expectations. Alongside this, there are a range of factors to consider which include client reviews, ​user experience​, your ​social media platforms​ and your ​search engine marketing (pay per click)​.

Working alongside and as part of your SEO strategy, these intricate factors will help you to increase leads, sales and your bottom line.

How can I boost SEO?

Ranking highly on a search engine’s results page is not an overnight process. However, with many businesses experiencing downtime, now is the optimum time to make a start on your online presence.

Firstly, learn how to assess your SEO presence. Tools such as AHREFS and Moz can help you understand how and where your business is appearing. Alongside this, the experience of a dedicated search engine optimisation agency can help you identify areas of opportunity specific to your business in order to boost your rankings.

Next, assess your competition. Who are your main competitors? What are they doing that you’re not or what can you capitalise on that they aren’t? Through detailed competitor research, you can analyse how you rank in relation to everyone else and begin a plan for how to outrank them for relevant keyword terms.

During challenging times, and specifically during the coronavirus outbreak, you should consider how your content strategies should be adjusted to ensure your business remains visible. Consider creating a dedicated page about coronavirus, or updating your frequently asked questions page, as your consumer’s questions appear to change.

You may also want to consider:

●  Auditing your content assets

●  Recording videos and making use of video SEO

●  Working on your online reviews strategy

●  Working through any unnatural links on your website

●  An outreach strategy

It’s also important that you continue to monitor your data – the data gathered allows you to evaluate your target audience’s behaviour and pivot your marketing efforts based on reliable, relevant and more focused data. In doing so, you can ensure your business reacts fittingly for economic stability during these difficult times.

Creating a plan to get started

Although we are currently experiencing a very difficult situation, we will eventually come out of it. You need to remain flexible to new things, make the most out of this downtime and make adjustments to your SEO strategy if it is not working. By doing so, you not only maintain financial stability, but you can also prepare for long-term business success.

EDGE Creative​ will continue to support our clients to the best of our ability during these uncertain times. We are also welcoming new partners who are looking to take an active step in improving their marketing efforts to prepare for a future post-lockdown.

We are currently offering a free 30-minute consultation with an Account Manager or Creative Director in order to support businesses during the coronavirus pandemic.

For more on how we can support you and your business, contact ​info@edge-creative.com​.

About the Author

Guest Post

At element26.tv, we love sharing the voices of the businesses we know, love, respect and admire. Some of the contributors we are partnered with, others are not. This guest blog was carefully chosen as we feel the author brings incredible value and we hope you agree with this assessment too.

If you have any questions or concerns about this post feel to get in touch with us via our contact form on elementwentysix.com/contact

How Search Engine Optimisation and User Experience Ensure Success

SEO or Search Engine Optimisation is the process of using intricate techniques and strategies to obtain a high-ranking placement in the search engine results page (SERP).

There is often the common misconception that SEO involves simply link building and including relevant keywords in content. While, undeniably, these are important SEO strategies, search engines consider a lot more than this when ranking websites.

Everything that we do in the sphere of web marketing has to have the visitor in mind. This especially includes your search engine optimisation processes. Think: Is your website fast, secure and mobile friendly? Is it easy to navigate? Do you have quality content that encourages visitors to stay on your website? These are all factors that affect user experience (UX) and are considered by Google when determining how to rank your website.

The evolving algorithms

Search engine algorithms are constantly evolving – what used to severely impact search engine results may not have the same effect now. Today, search engines are not just serving up content to answer questions, they’re also collecting data on how people are interacting with your website.

Over the past ten years, Google’s Panda update (2011), Hummingbird update (2013) and RankBrain update (2015) favoured a more user-centric approach. RankBrain itself is one of the most significant factors in determining the SEO value of your website. Driven by metrics such as pages per session, bounce rate and click-through rate, Google can gather this data to determine whether your site is a user-friendly resource, which will then impact your ranking.

Even the BERT update (2019) is about search and intent. Focused on the user’s query, the update aims to provide results which are specific to the intent of the search, ignoring spelling mistakes and slight modifications. Google has completed this update with the user experience in mind, wanting to provide users with the information they desire as soon as possible.  

Taking a more human-centred approach

As search engines continue to update their algorithms and become more user-centred, the boundaries of traditional SEO continue to blur.

Looking to provide searchers with information that answers their queries, both SEO and UX share the goal of helping users complete their task by providing them with relevant information as quick and efficiently as possible.

 How can I align my strategies?

One of the main objectives of your website is to generate leads and conversions, and both user experience and SEO practices are integral to this. By aligning and integrating your approaches, you can work successfully towards this unified goal.

Think: Does the user care about your content?

Usefulness, value and credibility are all important factors that relate to the content you are providing your audience. If your content isn’t answering their questions or showing your expertise, it will have no purpose to the reader. If your audience isn’t interested, they won’t engage with your content, continue to explore your website or return. Google will understand that visitors to your website are not engaging with your content and this will affect your ranking.

Think: Can the user easily accomplish their goal?

If your website isn’t easy to navigate, your audience is likely to return to the search engine and potentially click through to a competitor. Tracking visitors to your website and viewing the journey the user takes, which is known as user testing, is important. In doing so, you can make amends where appropriate and not only optimise your conversion rate, but also keep visitors coming back. Two factors which are very important to your SERP ranking.

Think: Can the user access all the information they need?

Having an accessible website that is optimised for a range of platforms and browsers is integral to the experience of people on your website. If not optimised properly, certain users may find that they are limited in what they can and can’t see on your website, which will make them leave quicker than they came. By creating a responsible design in your front end development, you can ensure your website works cross-browser, cross-platform and cross device.

EDGE Creative

Taking a human-centred approach creates meaningful interactions by focusing on what the user needs and expects from your business’s website. By simply understanding what your visitors want from your website, you can meet them at every touch point to ensure a positive interaction. With this affecting your SEO ranking, it’s important to get it right. After all, UX + SEO = Success.

In order to stay on top of the game and high in the search results rankings, it’s imperative that you continue to develop your marketing strategy. The online world of digital marketing is constantly developing, so continuous attention is vital. Fall behind and you’ll be back where you started.

With over 14 years’ worth of experience in delivering excellent search engine optimised campaigns, we can support you in aligning your SEO and UX strategies. At EDGE Creative, we continue to help you identify visitor pain points and can tweak and test your customer journeys in order to maximise user experience and keep you ranking highly in search engine results. Call us on 0121 355 8092 to see how we can help.

About the Author

Guest Post

At element26.tv, we love sharing the voices of the businesses we know, love, respect and admire. Some of the contributors we are partnered with, others are not. This guest blog was carefully chosen as we feel the author brings incredible value and we hope you agree with this assessment too.

If you have any questions or concerns about this post feel to get in touch with us via our contact form on elementwentysix.com/contact