Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) gets more visitors to your website, therefore, you’re more likely to get someone to buy your product or read your article. In a nutshell, that’s what SEO does. SEO is crucial if you want your business to be seen on the internet.
Here at Morton Waters, clients who ask us for content sometimes expect SEO, whilst others have little idea about it. So, how does it actually work?
We have a morbid but truthful statement in digital marketing: Where is the best place to hide a dead body? The second page of Google.
Ninety-three percent of all visitors to a website get there through a search engine.
Ninety percent of those searches are from Google. In other words, if you don’t set up your content so that Google values it, you’ll be nowhere in the search results.
Indeed, 75% of search engine users don’t scroll beyond the second page of Google.
If you’re not ranking well on Google, no one sees your website, and you don’t get visitors who clearly have some immediate need, hence searching for a solution. No visitors equals no conversions.
Relevance is key
You must be confident your online content offers a meaningful and valuable online presence for your intended market. If your meta description says ‘Rolex watches half price’, and there isn’t such a deal on the site, Google will know about it quickly.
How? Google measures the length of time users spend on your website. If people are only on it for seconds, that tells Google there’s nothing that fulfils the search query. So down the list, you go.
Content must answer the query
The core of SEO rests on the value of text and the appeal it brings to your audience. If you don’t have written text, your odds of ranking on Google are nearly nil. That text must do its job and answer the query.
For example, if people search ‘Can I microwave a pineapple’, the websites that rank are the ones that actually tell people whether or not it’s okay to microwave a pineapple.
Not those sites that sell pineapples, or who have recipes about pineapples, or who claim to have been a pineapple in a past life, but those that directly answer the query.
Google, and rightly so, ranks content the highest if it actually answers the question.
Keywords are crucial
The headline of this article is an example of a long-tail (multiple worded) query that’s likely to be searched. Our content then answers the question in the first line.
We could have chosen the headline: ‘How can SEO avoid sales losses’, but fewer are typing that into a search engine. The appeal to popular searches is, however, a double-edged sword.
There may be more likelihood of people searching the headline we’ve chosen, but there is also far higher competition.
SEO has to blend popular keywords and localised, long-tail queries that, although fewer in number, might be more likely to lead to a conversion. Local search terms tend to draw in more valuable visitors. You can try competing for ‘shoes UK’, but you’re up against Nike and Reebok.
The term ‘tall people shoes London’ might be searched less often, but those who do it are more likely to buy. If they are tall, have feet, and aren’t hippies.
But you can’t just have good keywords without quality content. Those days are gone. Since the adoption of Google Panda, high-quality writing has been an extremely potent tool against the competition in the eyes of search engines.
If a page has many spelling and grammar errors, Google presumes it’s unlikely to be worth reading.
This assumption isn’t always true. We’d rather have a poorly written first-hand account of a gripping story of a first car than a well-written manual for a Ford Sierra.
We don’t know precisely how Google balances these priorities because their workings are a guarded secret.
They may look at the length of time spent on a page and override the spelling errors if people seem to be reading it. The sharing of pages on social media is also an indication of value.
You must get backlinks
A further backbone of search engine optimisation is increasing your popularity. Good writing is designed to engage and deliver value for your audience and is more likely to be linked to and referenced by other websites and platforms.
The more websites link to you as a source of good content, the higher Google places you. So, for example, if The Times or even Construction News were to link to your blog in one of its online articles, your ranking on Google would soar.
Why? When a site with a high value refers to you, this tells Google that you have value too.
We combine the technical and the aesthetic
At Morton Waters, we continually follow the development of search engine optimisation. As a result, we deliver SEO-incorporated content that both readers and search engines appreciate.
Our blend of high-quality writing and online engineering is a digital alchemy that powers our clients’ traffic.
As an agency specialising in the Built Environment, we’re conscious that SEO doesn’t necessarily work exactly the same way as in other industries. Since businesses tend to know each other well when they compete or collaborate, there’s likely to be fewer searches in B2B looking for big-name companies.
This excludes searches via Google only made to circumvent having to type in the domain name manually.
No one who works for Malcolm Group is on Google searching how to excavate with a JCB digger. Neither is Network Rail sourcing its sleepers on Compare The Market.
But long-tail keywords, therefore, become more critical. Network Rail could be searching for ‘tender support in civils for rail electrification’. Someone in overalls at Malcolm’s might search “cladding a lightwell in small space”.
If these niche search queries aren’t met with a satisfactory answer on Google, that’s an opportunity for someone to create that content. Finding long-tail enquiries that haven’t yet got content that answers them is a great way to capitalise on gaps in the search index and rank top.
SEO is as important in construction as in news and fashion, particularly if you’re a small-to-medium-sized company that wants to be better known.
The primary way to get that higher prominence in the digital age is through being visible on search engines.