As many will be aware, being found online is a pursuit which requires a marketing plan focused specifically at meeting this aim. To be successful, you need to go beyond tagging on some social media activity to your existing offline marketing activities, beyond sending regular emails, beyond rebranding your identity and website to boot.
You need systematic Search Engine Optimisation to be implemented. Google, to my knowledge, doesn’t mind what your logo looks like, nor what colour scheme your website boasts. Neither does it make note of how many emails you’ve sent via outlook when it tries to determine whether you’re business is worth listing on page one of search results, or rather further down on page 2 or worse.
To feature on page 1 of Google’s (or other Search Engines’) results list, you need to incorporate targeted, behind the scenes, pre meditated SEO tactics in to your regular marketing activities.
One case study of ours, Ashan Lettings Agents in Kettering, were doing remarkably well at being found online for their chosen keywords. Despite this, as Google’s Panda and Penguin updates came in, the company’s results rankings started dropping dramatically.
They weren’t able to ascertain what could have gone so wrong overnight! The most important thing to bear in mind for SEO is that Google are constantly changing the goal posts! So just because particular practices may have been working 3 months or 3 years ago to boost rankings, does not mean that this is still the case. These practices may now be doing nothing for your rankings, so you need to know to stop investing time in them. Furthermore, it is often the case that practices which previously boosted your rankings can now be negatively affecting your position, and causing you to be dropping further and further down the results’ pages.
One example of this was clear from Ashan’s SEO situation. Once Lilac James took the client on, it was discovered that the company had previously employed another agency who had set up a number of what now turned out to be ‘bad links’. There are a number of different factors which make links back to your website ‘bad’. Previously, the more links you had from other websites coming back to you, the more your rankings would be boosted. Now though, if your links are coming back from ‘link farms’ (websites where they host hundreds of links per page and the content is completely random and senseless) then this will adversely affect your rankings.
It is therefore advisable to check where the links to your website are coming from, and try to get any ‘bad links’ removed.
Another aspect of SEO that Lilac James initiated with Ashan was to focus on their use of keywords. Whilst they were being found successfully for some time for one specific group of keywords, i.e. ‘letting agents Kettering’ and ‘letting agents Northampton’ they were not being found for many closely linked keywords, as their website wasn’t optimised for other variants.
For instance, they wouldn’t be found for searches of ‘houses to rent in Kettering‘ or ‘houses to rent in Northampton’ or even just ‘lettings agents in Wellingborough’ or ‘lettings agents in Corby’ – so for all of these different combinations of keywords which they weren’t optimised for, other lettings agents were being found in Ashan’s place, less business for Ashan.
Lilac James conducted thorough keyword research for Ashan, and came up with a number of different keywords that it was definitely in Ashan’s interest to be found for.
The website has been updated, and ongoing supportive work to boost their rankings has begun, so watch this space!