Search engine marketing

Search engine marketing (SEM) or optimisation (SEO) is the bedrock of any robust digital strategy.

Based in Edinburgh, we are a brand design and SEO agency, experienced in creating search marketing strategies that convert.

‘Top of the pops’ in Google

Search engine optimisation (SEO) is about making sure the content of your website is correctly targeting the words used by your potential customers when searching on Google. These are the terms that people type into search boxes and are given a list of results back. To receive good levels of traffic your website must have pages occupying the top positions in search engines like Google. Ideally these are positions 1-5.

Your site must also be set up correctly, technically, to perform well in search results. This involves a whole range of factors including speed of delivery, design, responsiveness(being mobile friendly), conforming to best practice coding standards, accessibility, building an XML sitemap and many others.

Capture that customer intent

The strength of search marketing is based on capturing traffic that is already interested in your content and product.

Customers have a need and try to fulfil that need by searching online, using the most relevant phrases they know (not always the best terms). If a seller of a product or service, matching that need, can position themselves high up in Google, then it’s highly likely the customer will bite and click the link.

Actually turning this into converted business is more the job of your website user journey. You will need to be one step ahead of your competitors to be ranked above them and benefit from more search business. This requires a search marketing strategy and detailed research.

What are your customers searching for?

A brand must first research its market place and undertake competitor analysis to work out what people are searching for in the area of business. Elastic use a number of tools to work out what customers are actually searching for when they are interested in a product or service.

Google Adwords is a tool used for paid advertising or PPC but also gives a good idea of search volumes around keywords. With the most popular terms in mind a brand then decides which words it associates with its core values.

Marketing through search is currently the most valuable and powerful way to reach your audience.

Keyword led content

Content is then written based on these central keywords. For the best results and rankings in search engines, it is best to write natural prose, written with the end user in mind. Content shouldn’t be overloaded with keywords as this will harm performance in search. Text is best created to convince the buyer of a product or service and not search engines.

Of course, all the relevant keywords and their synonyms should be there but this should all flow naturally.  In addition to the main body of a page, other SEO page elements need to be crafted including page title, description, H1 header, URL and other meta data.

Content strategy underpins search strategy

Content and search marketing needs to be maintained if a brand is to reap consistently high returns on investment. A good content marketing strategy underpins an effective search strategy.  A business should plan weeks and months ahead to renew and refresh content based on their marketplace and competitor activity. This can involve new search trends within the market, new product launches and strategic changes based on competition. Having knowledge on how a site is performing, using Google Analytics, is important here.

It’s also worth having an eye on what’s happening topically in the wider sphere of the web in order to potentially capture extra traffic. Blogs are very good for this and provide lots of fresh content. Current keywords can be boosted whilst new terms targeted. Posts can be planned to coincide with events and other external trends.

Which tools do we use?

Elastic use Advanced Web Rankings, and SEMrush, which are both enterprise level search term tracking and reporting tools. They track hundreds of key terms and phrases across all search engines globally. Both show a brand exactly how visible they are in search versus all their competitors. Indispensable.

Google Adwords, Google Analytics, and Google Webmasters Tools are staple products for search analytics. They all work together to maximise search engine optimisation.

We use a number of browser based plug-ins for page by page analysis of the Google PageRank algorithm and quality, including SEOQuake and WooRank.

Searchmetrics is another service we use for project based work.

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