As we live in the time of an ever-growing digitalisation, there is no surprise that 89% of B2B buyers and 81% of B2C consumers conduct Google search before completing a purchase. This is a huge number! And here’s another interesting fact for you – 67% of the buyer’s journey is now done digitally. What does this mean for you? Let’s explore together…
In a nutshell, this means that you need to do a brilliant job in attracting visitors to your website to beat the competition. Furthermore, once visitors land on your website, you want them not only to stay and explore but to convert to a customer.
The first step of this journey starts by attracting visitors to your website. This is where the famous acronym, SEO, kicks in. SEO stands for “search engine optimisation” and should do what it says on the tin – tell search engines, like Google or Bing, to send relevant visitors to your website. As Google is by far the most popular search engine, let’s focus on it for now. There is a lot of SEO content out there but we’ll try to cover the basics and easy-to-fix things for you.
So, how is Google supposed to know who might be your “relevant visitor”?
Next time you “Google” something, pay attention to the overview of the suggested results. This is called the search engine results page which lists up to 10 suggestions per page. It’s down to Google algorithms to place search results in the relevant order. And those algorithms are incredibly smart products of AI (artificial intelligence)! Google usually looks at things like:
- Website accessibility - how easy is it for Google to crawl or read your site
- Compelling content – how well your page answers a specific question
- Keywords optimisation – relevant search phrases hidden within your content
- Great user experience – your website should be fast and easy-to-use
- Optimised meta description and alt-tags.
Let’s look into all these things in a bit more detail.
You need to make sure that your website has a clear structure. This might not be something you can influence yourself, but your Marketing team or agency need to make sure that your website has things in place that will enable Google to crawl your site.
Create compelling content that will make visitors stay on your page for a long time! It’s all fine when a visitor lands on your website but if there is nothing to keep them there, they will leave straight away and it’s no good for your credibility, user experience and lead conversion.
Think about the search phrases your potential customer might look for. For example, it might be “accommodation in central Manchester”, “meeting venues in Boston” or “the best student accommodation in Galway”. These search phrases are called keywords which need to be incorporated into your web content. The search engine will then match the search term with the keyword on your webpage and list your website as one of the matching results. Every single piece of content can be keyword-optimised, including landing pages, blog posts, reports etc.
Now it’s not enough to only include your relevant search results throughout your on-page content (this is the content that your visitor could read when landing on your page). You also need to incorporate the relevant keywords throughout your meta-description and alt-tags (in other words - image descriptions). A meta description is what you see as a description snippet of your website on the search results page. It’s fairly short (up to 155 characters) so make sure you use the most relevant keywords. And don’t forget, the description should still read well and make sense. Google understands when the description only contains keywords and can actually “punish” you for doing that by not putting you high enough on the page.
Other things that you would need to look out for are:
- Quality of links within your website, as well as the quality of links of any external websites linked to yours. No broken links that will go to 404 pages!
- Social media metrics, e.g. Facebook shares or LinkedIn likes.
- Even the offline usage of the link plays a role – make sure that the print media is linked to your website well.
Start with a list of the keywords that you think would bring your prospect to your website. And don’t overpromise! If you don’t offer 5* accommodation, there is no point of trying to rank for it, all you would do is damage your reputation and bounce rate. Instead, focus on the keywords that match your offering and really could increase the lead conversion. Play on your strengths! For example, you might not have the most modern and freshly renovated venue but it’s in a central location. So why not try something like “meeting spaces in central [your location]”? The more specific your term is, the fewer people will look for it, but it also means more relevant people will! Quality vs. quantity is the key here. Start with a lower amount of keywords and increase over time.
The theory of SEO is rather complicated and loads of companies dedicate a full-time role to master it. However, by looking into these tips a little bit more, you’ll already be able to beat a lot of your competitors. Some little changes will make a big difference in the number of people visiting your website. Good luck!