Stagnation is a dangerous thing to happen to anyone, it doesn’t matter if you’re an architect, a director or even a web marketing agency in Crowborough. Stagnation means that things aren’t moving forwards, and as is the case in the world of marketing; progression is key to success, countering the old adage of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. When working on a Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) campaign it can be natural to accept that whilst keywords will have the occasional wobble, once they’ve achieved certain positions that’s it! No more work is needed! This mentality can come into play due to a list being carved in stone by either the owner of a website or by an SEO agency, but it’s vital to keep in mind that things change and so too should your targeted keywords. It’s important to shake things up, to explore new avenues and let loose those keywords that might be holding back an otherwise great website from achieving its potential. Join us and hold your very own keyword-ageddon as we explain why you should in this Blackboard Monday.
Too Many Keywords
Yes, you can have too much of a good thing, and sometimes a keyword cull is in order. One of the important parts of planning out an SEO campaign is realistically assessing how much time will be afforded to it. Time, like everything else in a business, is a resource that needs to be managed well in order to see the best possible results, and mismanagement can be disastrous. Part of planning how much time you can dedicate to a campaign will be dictated by the number of keywords that you’re tracking, as well as the difficulty of those keywords and the realistic possibility for ranking for them. It can be tempting as part of your keyword research to throw a large number of keywords at the wall Jackson Pollock style and see what sticks, and whilst research is vital (which we’ll come to shortly) you’ll want to trim this number down to a more manageable number in good time. It’s important that you ensure good communication with your client in any business, and web marketing is holds true to this statement, so you want to ensure that between yourself and your client you both know what you’re tracking and what you’re working on. This might mean that in the short term you only have 5 keywords that you’re going to focus your efforts on, and there may be 30 that you’ll track, but might not necessarily pursue as part of the campaign for some time. In an ideal world time wouldn’t be a factor, and we could promise the earth and track hundreds of keywords for every client, ensuring that we dedicate our time to each one, but in the real world budgets aren’t limitless and this just isn’t realistic, so cut down the number of keywords you will work on and track to a level that suits your budget, there’s a benefit to this that we’ll get to.
Set Realistic Goals
This is going to seem like a bit of SEO 101, but as part of your keyword tracking you want to ensure that you manage expectations; whether you’re the SEO person or the owner of the website being worked on. This can be summed up in a simple example; if you have a fruit delivery company who wants to drum up more business for apples on your website you might be tempted to target “apple” as a keyword and throw money at it to get it to rank. Whilst this sort of simple keyword thinking isn’t completely out of the question, you won’t stand a chance at outranking a certain technological company based in California, nor will you stand much a chance of competing against the numerous editorial websites that discuss and advertise their products, and you might find that the many retailers, including their very own branded retail stores will pose a problem. This is of course quite an extreme example, but in these kinds of instances you would want to ensure that you have realistic goals in mind for how as a fruit seller you’ll be able to rank of Google’s Search Engine Results Page (SERP) for Apple. Just for clarity you’d be lucky to appear above the oblivion that occurs after the fifth SERP.
The Advantage of Focussed Keywords
Focussing in on a realistic and achievable set of keywords has a number of benefits to your SEO campaign. The most obvious of which is the direction that it will give those who work on the campaign itself. Having a keyword list in which a handful of keywords will be focussed on allows those who write the blogs to ensure that these are targeted, it also ensures that relevant landing pages can be implemented as part of the design process and that those pages are naturally optimised to reflect these words. By doing this and ensuring that you use natural thoroughly researched keywords you’ll begin to see success and this success should have a knock on benefit of bringing up other keywords that you’re tracking.
Research is Vital
It’s paramount to the success of your SEO campaign that you do some research before you embark on your wondrous marketing adventure, before you make bold claims of what the campaign will achieve and definitely before you solidify the first version of your keyword list. For your keywords this research takes many forms and will feed off of your initial research into the type of business any given website will be going after, who the competition is and what search terms they’ll rank for. Once you have a rough idea of the market it’s time to do some further research; if the website for this particular campaign has been around for a while Google’s Search Console (the artist previously known as Webmaster Tools) can be a great way to get ideas for the sort of search terms that people are currently using to find their way to you. There are a number of tools that are available to do further research after this; Google Trends is a great tool to get an idea of whether or not a Keyword will be successful and Moz’s Keyword Difficulty tool offers a more in-depth look at how well a keyword may perform, taking into account the domain authority of any given landing page. You should keep in mind that during this research these tools should be used to give an indication of how a keyword might perform, or how it is currently performing, rather than a resolute truth that what is shown on screen is definitely the position of that keyword on Google’s SERP. There are a great number of factors that will influence the appearance of your website such as the way that Google tailors the results of any given search enquiry, so keep in mind that the data gained from this research isn’t absolute.
Nothing is Static
Everything is evolving. This is true for practically everything in the world of technology, and market trends reflect this. As we stated at the start of this article it’s important not to stagnate, and once you’ve done your research, agreed upon a tracked keyword list and seen the results of a handful of crawls it’s probably time to reassess that list. This is particularly useful if you’re running a campaign for a brand new website, especially if that website is for a new company with a relatively new product or service. Your first few crawls for your initial keyword list will start to give you an idea of what works and what doesn’t, and you’ll likely have a better handle of how well your website will perform, and what sort of clients it’s attracting. Now is a good time to implement some fresh ideas gained from your real world experience from the site being live. The same goes for existing websites; sometimes trends can change and so can the offerings of any given business or on a more subtle level the focus on their individual products or services can shift. For instance our aforementioned hypothetical fruit seller might have found that the market for online fresh fruits hasn’t been going too well for them and they now want to focus on the sales of dried fruit. Provided that you have a decent level of communication between client and agency you can address this through your keyword campaign and of course the focus of the content on the site. A refocusing of efforts may even require changing the url structure to bring more relevant pages closer to the parent page.
Knock on Benefits
The knock on benefit of a well implemented keyword campaign is actually pretty cool. As a result of ranking for natural well researched keywords, the authority of your website should naturally increase and as a result of this you’ll find that your other tracked keywords that you might not necessarily be focussing on, will naturally rise up like rubber ducks in a bath that’s filling with water. With this increase in page authority you should start to see a snowball effect as your website starts to rank higher and higher on Google’s SERP and those increased number of clicks start to turn into clients.
Keyword Rankings Aren’t Everything
Though ensuring that your tracked keywords are in order and potentially through holding your very own keyword-ageddon, you should see beneficial results in your SEO campaign, but it’s important to remember that it’s just that; it’s beneficial. Keyword tracking and rankings aren’t the sole metric by which to understand the success of your campaign, neither are they the sole focus of your efforts. Truly effective web marketing takes into account numerous different factors that start at the web design process by ensuring that a well designed site is in place that provides an excellent user interface, backed by high quality coding that ensures that it runs quickly and smoothly all the way through to providing fresh unique content that all generates a great user experience. Your SEO campaign is there to boost the efforts of your website, and makes sure that the right people can find what will of course be an amazing website. This includes citations, external linking and a wide array of other processes that make up an SEO campaign.
What We Can Do For You
At Michael Bell One we have a vast combined experience of web marketing, and our team ensure that you have a website that looks great, performs well and ensures that those all important clicks turn into clients. If you want to find out more about how to best implement keywords as part of your campaign, or if you want to talk to us about your web design, web marketing or SEO needs then please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. You can contact James Golding by completing our online contact form, by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling our Lewes office on 01273 478822 to speak to a friendly member of the team.