There is a lot of advice and jargon – about improving traffic flow to your company’s website. But search engine optimization and search engine advertising may be easier than you think – just don’t expect results overnight.
There are two ways to generate traffic to your website with Google; search engine optimization (SEO) and search engine advertising (SEA). My experience is that you need to do both.
What are the golden rules of SEO? The most important one is: ‘Be relevant’. By this I mean you need to think as if you were a visitor to your website. They are looking for answers to a specific question(s), and not for your company.
If you are starting SEO for the first time:
- Don’t expect results within a few months
- Determine the most important keywords (with the search volume) that people are using on google
- Divide those keywords. Make a list of the most important ones in relation to your business, and unique selling points (USPs)
- Develop landing pages. For each keywords, produce one landing page that a visitor will find in the search results when using Google. Use a relevant title, subtitles, content (answers) with the keyword(s), and one or more pictures. Or, even better, include a YouTube film (Google owns YouTube and loves showing their own content)
- Don’t release all your landing pages at once, but schedule releases over the course of several weeks. If you do this on a regular basis, Google will index your website on a weekly, or even daily, basis
- Search for websites / forums where other people are talking about these keywords, and ask for a link to your page (we call this ‘link building’)
- Never delete a page – each has a value (for a Google ‘ranking’)
- For new keywords, add new landing pages, and so on. HVAC owners often seem to forget that you always want to achieve a conversion on your website – even if customers are not ready to arrange an installation yet. So don’t always/only bother them with ‘request a free HVAC quote’ conversion. Try to capture information (email, name, service and so on) for your database.
Remind customers later – at the right moment or most relevant time (i.e. winter or summer) – that they can receive your quote. For example, if they are looking at information on installing a central heating system, your conversion could be an invite to download your white paper – ‘please fill in your name, email and address, and you will receive free central heating information by email’.
SEA: The golden rules?
Follow the money! Be sure that you can measure each step – from your bid for a click, to the value of the conversion.
If you are starting SEA for the first time:
- Do expect results within a few days
- Only start with one or more landing pages , after you have optimized them for SEO (see above), with one or more conversions
- Be sure that you measure each step.
- Optimize, then optimize, optimize and so on….
- Uses these results for SEO
Should I use a digital agency?
A key question sometimes raise in relation to SEO and SEA is: could/should you do it yourself, or use an agency instead? That depends on the amount of time and technical experience you have. You could, and should do it yourself, using your marketing department.
If you don’t have the time yet – it is a lot of work – or the technical experience, you could use an agency to set up the templates and campaigns, and you could also ask Google for help. Google with be willing to assist you for free!
I have had a very positive experience with the support of Google’s Auckland office, as well as with an agency. And…using SEO and SEA is addictive! So, have fun.
“Matthew Woodley is an internet marketing specialist and the founder of Heat Pumps Auckland, an online portal that provides free heat pump quotes from accredited and approved installers. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.”