If you’re promoting your Lancashire business online and are interested in getting more traffic from search engines of your target audience, you need to consider various search engine optimisation strategies carefully before you begin your work. This is due to different search terms (the jargon in the industry is keywords) having different audience purposes when searching for them. The key is to choose which strategies to go for and adapt both your own site and your link building strategy to suit. An SEO Lancashire business can help you along your path, but the article below should get you started until you get around to hiring one.
Whilst it is possible to go for the strategies outlined below, it will require extensive work building landing pages specific for each search term as the different search strategies come with users expecting to find different things from your website. Trying to please all types of users on the same page, for instance your homepage, will often result in clutter that can decrease conversion rates. For someone just starting to optimise their site, it’s probably the best option to choose just one strategy and stick with it until you get results. But this requires making a difficult choice as all strategies have potentially great paybacks. This is a decision you’ll have to make based on what you think will work for your own Lancashire based business and from the guidance below.
If you’re one of the growing numbers of companies in Lancashire running an online store, optimising your search engine optimisation strategy for e-commerce sales could be your best option. Although the other methods that we will look at could also result in sales, if implemented correctly, this strategy targets those people searching for keywords that are most likely to lead to sales that you’ll be sending down the M6 or M62 to your customers in Lancashire and across the UK. Luckily, your SEO Lancashire firm is likely to be based near the same motorways thus allowing you face to face meetings to discuss strategy.
There is ample evidence that a specific set of search queries are related strongly to a consumer desire to purchase immediately and these search terms are the holy grail to target if you are going for the e-commerce sales, search engine optimisation strategy. In this case, the user has already made their mind up that they want to purchase an item and is actively looking for sites that sell it. If your Lancashire based business sells the product online that they desire at a price that is appealing, there’s a strong chance those who find your site using these search terms will purchase from you. SEO Lancashire firms can help you optimise for these terms to ensure you get those sales.
But how do you know which keywords to target if you choose this strategy? Doing a small amount of bidding for adverts in the search results, for instance in Google AdWords, can provide great data on how many clicks on your site from the search term convert into sales and what the average value of those sales is. This way you can select what keywords to target. This will often involve multivariate testing, but thankfully, you can get an expert from an SEO Lancashire company to help you with this.
The problem with the e-commerce strategy is that it is often the most competitive. It’s probable that many other businesses will be actively targeting the same keywords. If they have much higher budgets than you, it’s likely that you won’t rank as highly as them, unless you have a great marketing strategy that an ingenious SEO Lancashire firm has given you. To rank highly for these terms, your pages will have to be strongly targeted at the keywords with many incoming links from relevant sites with link terms exactly or closely related to the keywords you’re targeting.
Another strategy you could adopt is labelled branding. Here, your goal is to get visitors to your site from search engines to recall your brand at a later date and perhaps then make a purchase. The benefits of this strategy are that you target numbers rather than sales in search volume, so therefore can target relatively non-competitive keywords that others are not bidding on, as they are unlikely to lead to immediate sales. For instance, these could be for search terms where the user is looking for information not related to a purchase. An example of how this could work for a company selling fencing would be to build pages focussed on how to construct and maintain a fence and target keywords relating to this. Whilst visitors are unlikely to purchase directly from you then, their visits give you a chance to give yourself a positive brand impression by giving them helpful information. That positive brand image can often result in sales down the line.
The key with the branding strategy is to provide useful information whilst prominently displaying your brand on the page. You must ensure your site is not overly sales orientated, whilst still making sure those who want to purchase can do so easily. As for keywords to target, you’ll often have better results going for multiple long tail keywords. In the example above, a long tail keyword might be “how to construct a wooden fence”, rather than going for shorter, more general keywords where competition is higher. The key to branding is the number of eyeballs. The downside is that this will mean more pages of content have to be created, so you should ensure you have the knack for creating useful content related to your business before choosing this strategy. Of course, an alternative would be to outsource the content creation to an SEO Lancashire firm.
Perhaps you sell a service that isn’t usually purchased online. Maybe you are a lawyer in Burnley, an amusement park repair firm in Blackpool or a timber merchant in Preston. Your product or service doesn’t fit into neat quantities that can be purchased without consultation and thus your site either doesn’t do e-commerce, or if it does, it isn’t the main focus of your business. Your goal here is to get people to come through your door so you can make a sale and the best way of doing this is labelled lead acquisition.
Here, you’ll need some way of directly measuring the effectiveness of search terms. Common ways of doing this include having forms users can submit on your website, or simply asking anyone who calls using the phone number listed on your site, how they found you. As with the e-commerce strategy discussed earlier, it’s important to know which keywords will convert before putting the work into link building. The way to do this is with pay-per-click marketing with services such as Google AdWords.
As you’ll be targeting people who can come through your door, the key here is to localise your search terms. Target terms such as “Preston timber merchants” or “Lancashire oak suppliers” rather than terms without localization. Those people clicking have a far higher chance of making conversions into sales. Hiring a local SEO Lancashire expert means they will probably know the area better than an SEO firm based elsewhere, so the SEO Lancashire firm won’t have any problems identifying relevant localised search queries.
A rather obscure yet effective strategy that won’t win you many friends among your competitors is to go for an influencing strategy. Here, you purposefully seek to change the mind of those searching on a topic. This can be great if you know you offer a better product or service than a competitor, as you can target those looking for their product with information that is likely to make them reconsider who to buy from (and thus possibly switch to buying from you). Keywords with this strategy are most likely to be related to your competitors and their products. You can also use this strategy to promote pages on sites other than yours.
The flip side of the coin to this strategy is one of reputation management. Your goal is to maintain positive brand image by reducing the chances that someone searching for you or your product or service will see negative information that will put them off sales. You’ll be doing something very unconventional in SEO, in that you will be mainly trying to build links to sites other than your own to push them up the rankings.
You might want to adopt this strategy if, for instance, your product has a site or page by users who are unhappy with it, high in Google. Say, you run the Preston based timber merchants above and a local group of environmentalists didn’t like your sale of timber they, perhaps mistakenly, believe to be from unethical sources, or perhaps you’ve really annoyed one former customer and they’ve posted an extensive rant about you that is ranking well on search engines when people search for you. Either way, your goal is to ensure the page that is damaging your brand sinks down the search engine results pages so hardly anyone sees it.
The plan here is to ensure that pages you either control, or know will stay positive, rank highly. You can start by providing links to them from your own site, but beyond that, you need to develop a link building strategy that encourages links to those sites whilst ensuring your site remains in the top position. Whilst this may sound simple, as most negative sites won’t have many links to them, Google’s algorithm is designed to ensure diversity of opinions in search results, so the positive really outperform the negative to ensure they sink. For this, it’s often wise not just to focus on linking to a few sites, but to ensure that there are many positive sites ranking well in order to influence the algorithm’s perception of the general feeling about you or your product. An SEO Lancashire company can help you with this by writing positive reviews of your product and posting them on sites and building links to them.
Whilst some of the strategies listed above are rare for businesses, especially the latter case in Lancashire where there’s a strong reputation for ethical, honest businesses, you should consider carefully which strategy fits your business best before embarking on link building. After doing so, you should consider hiring a consultant in an SEO Lancashire based company, with expertise in the area. They will advise you on what strategies to use in both on-page optimisation and link building to gain maximum returns and help you set up the multivariate tests in AdWords to see what keywords convert and what don’t before you start link building. The internet really has opened the market for Lancashire businesses in a way that hasn’t been seen here since the start of the Industrial Revolution when canals linked local towns as a national market for their goods. Today’s information canals can do the same for the county, if businesses here are smart about their search engine optimisation strategies.