We’ve talked about the value of investing in a slick, user friendly website. But looks aren’t everything. Scratch the surface and you may find that underneath, your site isn’t as good as it looks. What you wanted to create was a site that engaged visitors but how do they find you in the first place? That’s where Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) comes in. SEO ought to be considered during the content creation stage however more often than not, it’s an afterthought. That’s the first error we often encounter. The second, and more important one is that many business owners think that because they are an expert in their field, they know exactly what to optimise for.

Step away from the DIY SEO, it’s not going to end well. Having a detailed knowledge about your particular area of expertise can actually hinder your SEO efforts. Think about it from an external perspective - you already know everything about your business. You know what you do, your offering, your product and all the associated jargon. Your customer often doesn’t!

The fundamental problem is that you don’t know what the average customer who needs your services will type into Google to try to find your website.

Take for example, insurance companies. There’s a lot of jargon in their line of work. Because the terminology is so commonplace to them, they don’t understand that regular people, people who need to employ their services, don’t know what much of that terminology means.

If your website is optimised for all these insurance terms, you are setting yourself up for failure because the only people who will be looking for those terms are likely to be your competitors.

Unfortunately, many industries have hit this stumbling block. Knowing your company, your business, or your industry can lead you to misunderstanding what your customers are searching for. The number one rule of SEO is that you have to know what your clients are searching for. So, under no circumstance should you assume that you know what people are looking for without doing any research. Without undertaking some research you’re setting your website up to fail, no matter how good it looks.

So here we are with our list of tips to ensure you get the right customers to your site.

Keyword research

What is keyword research? It’s exactly as it says – researching keywords to discover what people are searching for and increasing the relevancy of a web page. The data is out there, you just need to go and find it. The most obvious place to start is Google keyword planner

This will give you ideas for phrases but bear in mind all keywords should still be searched for based on the content on the actual page.

  • Use a combination of long and short keywords.
  • Ensure your territories are set correctly – there’s no point competing with London companies if your business is based in Edinburgh.
  • Each page on your site should have up to 5 new keywords that are relevant to the content on that particular page. Google loves fresh, relevant content on each page.

If it helps you, create a spreadsheet to track keywords so if there’s any repetition of keywords or phrases, you can refer back to it.


Create a focus group

It sounds fancier than it is. But think about getting a group of friends or family together who can give you an idea of how they search for services. Trying to work out what people are searching for can be endless so you may as well go straight to the horses’ mouth. Talking to a group of people who are outwith your industry but who may require the service you provide will be invaluable.


Testing, testing…..

As a test, do a Google search for what you think people are searching for and look at the results. Are the Search Engine Results Pages bringing up websites similar to yours? If not, then it’s because Google doesn’t think your website is the right answer for that particular search. Don’t panic, it’s not irreversible – you just need to review and update your keywords and phrases.


Cart before horse

It’s very easy to get carried away with the design of a new website and think about how you want it to look. But how it will perform is vital. While the site is being built, do all your research, create as much content as you can with all the relevant keywords and phrases so that you hit the ground running. Google will love you for it!


If you would like to chat more about getting the best out of your website, then please do get in touch.