Don’t skip the basics: A comprehensive checklist for SEO success
Often, potential clients come to us with a preconceived idea of which services are right for their business. While it’s understandable to have some ideas in mind, we believe it’s crucial to remain open-minded and explore all potential avenues.
The services our clients think they need are not always the ones that are going to have the greatest effect on their bottom line.
When it comes to digital marketing, we’ve found that search engine optimisation (SEO) is often the most logical starting point. By optimising your website’s content and structure for search engines, you can increase your visibility and attract more organic traffic to your site. But, how do we do it?
Our two-fold onboarding process
At Distl, we’ve undergone numerous changes and evolutions over the years. However, one aspect of our agency that has remained consistent is our dedication to providing personalised and thorough services to our clients.
To achieve this, we’ve developed a unique onboarding process that allows us to truly understand your business inside and out. We believe that every business is unique, and that a one-size-fits-all approach simply doesn’t cut it when it comes to digital marketing.
Instead of jumping straight into strategy development after an initial sales meeting, we take the time to get to know our clients on a deeper level. The first step is a general workshop where we take the time to get to know you and your business. We ask detailed questions about your goals, challenges, and target audience, and use this information to gain a comprehensive understanding of your unique needs.
After this initial meeting, we conduct extensive research and analysis to develop a customised strategy that is tailored to your specific goals and industry. We then schedule a second meeting to present our recommendations and discuss which services we believe are best suited to help you achieve your objectives.
We know that building a resilient and unstoppable business takes time and effort, and we’re committed to being with you every step of the way.
Where it usually begins: SEO
Think of your website as your digital storefront, open to foot traffic from all over the world. However, you are not alone on this street and share it with your toughest competitors. This is why it is important to ensure your website is optimised for potential customers looking for the services you offer. They should feel enticed to come through your digital door and motivated to make a transaction, be it in the form of an inquiry or direct purchase.
To achieve this, we focus on providing a good user experience (UX), clear and informative content, and fast website speed to keep both potential customers and search engines happy. By addressing these foundational factors, we are confident that other channels will be more effective in driving traffic and achieving your business goals.
Are you unsure whether your website is optimised for SEO? Here’s a handy checklist to help you assess the health of your website and ensure that it is in good condition.
The foundational checklist for SEO
If you’re currently managing your own website, here’s a quick checklist to help you check the health of your website.
1. Optimise your website’s load speed
Website load speed is an important factor in user experience and search engine rankings. A slow-loading website can lead to high bounce rates, low engagement, and a negative impact on SEO. To check your website’s load speed, use Google’s Page Speed Insights tool, which will give you a score out of 100 for both mobile and desktop versions of your site. If your score is below 60 for mobile and ~90 for desktop, you should work on optimising your website’s load speed.
2. Optimise and update your metadata (titles and descriptions)
Metadata is the information that appears in search engine results pages (SERPs) when someone searches for a particular keyword. This information includes the title and description of the page, which should accurately describe the content on that page and include relevant keywords. To optimise your metadata, use a tool such as SEO Meta in 1 Click or a plugin like Yoast for WordPress. These tools can help you easily update and optimise your metadata for better search engine visibility.
3. Ensure that your menu structure is logical
Your website’s menu structure should be clear and easy to navigate. It should outline your service offerings and provide a logical hierarchy of information. Users should be able to easily find what they are looking for without having to dig through multiple levels of menus.
4. Use a clear and concise URL structure
Your website’s URL structure should be simple and easy to understand. Avoid using long strings of words or irrelevant information in your URLs. A clear and concise URL structure can help users and search engines understand what your page is about and can improve your search engine rankings.
Keep it simple and not too long. Let’s take one of Distl’s core services as an example:
5. Set up and utilise Google Analytics and Tag Manager
Google Analytics is a powerful tool that can help you track website traffic, user behaviour, and other important metrics. Google Tag Manager is a tool that allows you to add and manage tracking tags on your website. By setting up and using these tools, you can gain valuable insights into how users interact with your site, which pages are most popular, and where your traffic is coming from. This information can help you make data-driven decisions to improve your website’s performance and user experience.
6. Set up and utilise Google Search Console
Google Search Console is a tool that provides valuable insights into your website’s search engine performance. It can help you identify crawl errors, track keyword rankings, and see which pages are driving the most traffic. By using Google Search Console, you can optimise your website’s visibility in search engine results pages and improve your overall search engine rankings.
7. Review your website’s visual elements and copy
Your website’s design and copy are crucial factors in user engagement and conversion rates. Your website should have an appealing design, clear and concise copy, and prominent call-to-action buttons to encourage users to take the next step. Review your website’s visual elements and copy to ensure that they are engaging, easy to understand, and optimised for conversions.
Considering additional services
We understand that no one wants to feel pressured into buying something they don’t need. However, recommending additional services isn’t about pushing a product; it’s about identifying an opportunity that could benefit your business – one that could yield some promising results.
At our agency, we believe in educating our clients on the potential benefits of additional services and allowing them to make an informed decision. Our goal is to empower our clients, not push them.
Introducing other services to complement SEO can offer several benefits to businesses. By diversifying their offerings, businesses can create additional revenue streams and expand their customer base.
So, when is the ideal time to introduce more services?
The answer depends on your business, industry, and current state. Once we’ve completed our foundational SEO checklist, we can evaluate which services will best reach your audience and help you achieve your short- and long-term goals.
Budget is also a factor to consider when selecting additional services. Do you have the marketing budget to start advertising in new channels like Google Ads or Paid Social? We know that every client is different, and there’s no one-size-fits-all approach. Our recommendations are based on what we see as the best approach to achieve the best results and deliver the most value to our clients.
Here’s a quick breakdown of complementary services:
SEO is the practice of optimising your website and content to rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs) for specific keywords or phrases. SEO is a long-term strategy that takes time to show results, but it can drive targeted, organic traffic to your site and help you outrank your competitors.
PPC advertising, such as Google Ads, allows you to create ads that appear at the top of search engine results pages or on other websites. You only pay when someone clicks on your ad, which makes it a cost-effective way to drive traffic to your site. PPC is especially useful for targeting users who are further down the customer journey and are more likely to convert.
Paid social media advertising involves promoting your brand, products, or services on social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn. These ads can help increase brand awareness, drive traffic to your site, and generate leads or sales.
Display Ads and YouTube:
Display advertising involves creating banner or video ads that appear on other websites. YouTube advertising is similar but involves promoting your videos on YouTube. Both are effective for raising brand awareness and targeting users who are further down the customer journey but aren’t quite ready to convert.
Organic social media refers to the non-paid content you create and share on your social media channels. Organic social media is an excellent way to build brand awareness, engage with your audience, and foster long-term relationships.
eDMs and automations:
Email marketing involves sending targeted emails to your subscribers, such as newsletters or promotional emails. Marketing automation allows you to automate certain marketing tasks, such as sending personalised emails to users who have abandoned their shopping cart. Both can help keep your brand front of mind with your audience and nurture leads into customers.
We hope that our foundational SEO checklist has been helpful for you to assess the health of your website and take steps towards improving its online performance. However, we understand that the digital marketing landscape can be complex and overwhelming. If you feel like you need further assistance or guidance with the next steps of your strategy, don’t hesitate to reach out to us.
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