How to Improve SEO in 5 Simple Steps

The acronym “SEO” on a plain white background

Why is SEO Important?

SEO, also known as search engine optimisation, is the process of improving your website in order to increase its visibility on search engine results pages (SERPs). SEO is vital to every online business, whether you have an e-commerce website or run a blog like us, search engine optimisation can benefit everyone. The better visibility your site has, the more traffic and new visitors you will get to your website, and we all know that increasing organic traffic is one of the most important tasks in digital marketing.

Improve SEO in 5 Easy Steps

  1. Research relevant keywords
  2. Improve website speed
  3. Optimise page content
  4. Optimise title tags and meta descriptions
  5. Build links

Research Relevant Keywords

Keywords are the ‘key’ to successful search engine optimisation. Keywords are used by potential users and customers every day. When you’re using a search engine, what are you searching for? Most of the time you are using keywords to find relevant results, you probably used keywords to find this blog! That is what makes keywords the foundation of SEO.

So how do you perform keyword research? Researching for relevant keywords is easy, there are loads of keyword researching tools available to help you in your search for the perfect keyword list. The first tool we suggest is Google. 5,6 billion searches are done on Google every day, so where is a better place to find keywords. You can use features such as auto-complete search, ‘people also ask’ section, and top search results. These features from Google show what potential customers are searching for, helping you to get in the mind of the customers.

You can also use keyword research sites to help you find the best keywords for your business. The benefit of keyword research sites is that you can see search volume and difficulty. The volume shows you how often that keyword is searched for, this is useful because you want to get a high volume of searches, however, you need to take into account the difficulty of the word. Keyword difficulty refers to how easy it is to rank for that specific keyword. If you are a small business it will be easier for you to rank in SERPs for low volume, low difficulty keywords. One free keyword tool you could use is Uber Suggests.

Once you know which keywords you want to rank for it will make SEO seem a breeze!

Improve Website Speed

Improving website speed can be difficult, that’s why we have one simple tip anyone can do that will help you improve your website speed instantly! This tip is to remove any images that are over 300KB and replace them with images that have a smaller file size. Large file size images take longer to load, this can result in pages that aren’t fully loaded and can also cause page shifting when they finally do load in. So now, you may be wondering how do you make image sizes smaller? It’s easy, there are hundreds of free sites that you can use which will make your images smaller, all you have to do is upload the image. One site we suggest is Reduce Images.

Optimise Page Content

The second step you can take to optimise your page content is to add image alt text. Image alt text is copy that appears in place of the image if that image fails to load, it also helps webpage crawlers understand what the image is showing and how it relates to the content on that page, in turn, this will improve your ranking. Image alt text is important to get right, you want to be detailed while not having too much text. Using keywords in your image alt text can also help with boosting your page rank. Below we have attached an example of good and bad image alt text to give you a better idea of what it should look like.

A small Jack Russel dog sitting in front of a pink background

Bad Alt Text: “cute small dog pink background”

Good Alt Text: “A small Jack Russel dog sitting in front of a pink background”

Optimise Title Tags and Meta Descriptions

Optimising a title tag and meta description is just like content optimisation, all you need is relevant keywords for the content. When you have your relevant keywords, you are able to create your title tag. You want this to be similar to the page title, and you want to use similar keywords in your title tag that you use in your page content. Doing this allows search engines to understand the content of your page, and will rank it highly for being consistent in its messaging. 

Meta descriptions are harder as they are longer summaries of the page, but make the most of this space. Meta descriptions should keep between 140-160 characters long. This gives you enough room to hit a few keywords and give a brief summary of the contents of the page. When writing your meta description keep in mind your USPs (unique selling points) this is a feature search engines will praise you on. You want your description to be a compelling argument as to why someone should click on it. Below we have added an example of a good and bad meta description. 

Good meta description: “Find all of the best phones and tariffs on the official Carphone Warehouse site – Shop Apple, Samsung, Sony and Google for a new phone with all the latest deals”

Bad meta description: “Apple iPhone 6.9” screen touch screen face ID, 11th gen great deals O2, Three and EE. Shop Carphone Warehouse”

Building Links

Last but not least is linking. Building inbound links allows Google to see how trustworthy you are, if you have inbound links coming from big, trustworthy companies, then Google is more likely to see your website as credible and so will increase SERP ranking. One easy way of building these links is through affiliate marketing sites such as Awin. Affiliate marketing is when you gain publishers to put ads on their website for your company, and they get a commission from doing this, these commissions can be from sales made or generated leads. By using affiliate links you are able to communicate with big and trustworthy companies to give a larger online presence to your brand and website. It also allows you to choose whose site you have links on, meaning you can pick websites and pages related to your company.

You can also do external links, this is where you add links on your website to other websites. By doing this you further increase the credibility of your website, while also improving the reader’s experience by providing them with outside references.

In Conclusion

In conclusion, SEO doesn’t have to be as hard as it looks. If you follow these 5 simple steps, whether you’re a business owner or are doing a digital marketing apprenticeship, you can increase organic traffic with ease. 

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Top tips for your Web Content as a Digital Marketer

Man in Striped Long Sleeve Shirt Sitting on Table Using Laptop writing web content with ApprenticeTIps.com logo in bottom right

Having trouble with your web content? As a Digital Marketer your web content should be the cornerstone of your output. As a result of this it is crucial that what goes on your website is to a high standard and above all engaging!

No matter what Content Management System (CMS) you use whether it is WordPress, Joomla or Jadu, this article will help provide an easy-to-follow web content framework for you.

Aims of Web Content

Before you post anything on your website it is important to identify what the aims and objectives are for that web content. This should have been agreed in a marketing plan or campaign plan during the planning stage of a project/campaign. An example of this could be: To provide information on apprenticeships in the UK to help grow the business.

All content should work together to help reach the agreed goal, in other words don’t just post for the sake of posting but upload content that is engaging, original and targeted.

Having a content/project managing plan is helpful to ensure what you are posting matches the aims.

User Experience

Now you know why you are posting; the next step is thinking how you are posting. You will have heard the phrase ‘customer is king’, this applies to web content too! If the user doesn’t find what you are posting easy to read, engaging and original it is unlucky they will return to your site or content in the future. Using the Yoast plugin’s readability function can help with ensuring your content is of the highest quality and what you may need to improve it. If text is too long and confusing then it may need simplifying, think to yourself can I say this in less words?

You need to ensure all links within your content are up-to-date and working because if someone is sent off your site to the wrong place, they might not find your content trustworthy or could not return. Using website monitoring tools such as SilkTide and Monsido run regular scans of your site’s content and provide reports on spelling mistakes, grammar issues and broken links.

Accessibility within your Web Content

When posting anything to your website you need to take everyone into consideration. As a result of this you provide yourself the biggest possible user base. When including links into your content make sure it is within the text and makes sense instead of just having a ‘click here’ link, as these can cause an issue for those using screen readers on your site. Similarly, if an image has been used Alt-text should be applied to it. Alt-text allows for an image to be described to someone who is using a screen reader on your site, so this will allow them to engage with your content the way you intended.

"Designers should always keep their users in mind" on laptop screen

SEO Optimisation

The next step is to ensure your web content can be found. There is little point to posting content no one is going to see; this is where SEO comes in. You will need to do some keyword research and decide what search terms you want to be found for. Using tools like Google Trends can help you decide if you want to target a highly competitive keyword which will be harder to be found for or a less competitive keyword which will have a lower possible user base.  Now you know your keyword you want all the content you post to be SEO Optimised. Using Yoast plugin will help you track how optimised your content is.

Key factors in SEO Optimisation include:

  • Keyword Density
  • Meta Description length
  • Mobile Friendliness
  • Internal and External Links
  • Content length

Success of your Web Content

You’ve posted your engaging, optimised and accessible now what? The next stage is to track the success of your web content. The most popular tool used by digital marketers is Google Analytics, this is because Google is the most used search engine, this is what you want to be ranked on.

Google Analytics provides a wide variety of data such as:

  • Unique Page View
  • Time on Page
  • Bounce Rate
  • Sessions

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) will have been agreed in a marketing plan and these will provide the framework for what you are tracking. An example of a KPI for web content could be: Increase our average page views each month by 20%, this can be achieved with SEO optimising the posts and increasing the rankings.

Conclusion

These tips should help you on your way to posting engaging, optimised and accessible content, to meet those aims! If you would like to know more about any of the topics mentioned within this article, please find out more on our website.  

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5 Reasons Why Blogging Is Essential For Your Marketing Strategy

why-blogging-is-essential-image

When it comes to marketing it is important to ensure that you are always up to date with the latest trends and marketing techniques. A consistent marketing tactic that has been used for several years is blogging, although it has developed along the way. Some people may view blogging as an old-fashioned approach however when used to its full capabilities it becomes an essential element for any business. Regardless of what genre of company you run, it’s vital that you have a blog and here are 5 reasons why.

  1. Blogs can help to attract new customers
  2. Blogs provide an insight into your brand
  3. Blogging improves SEO
  4. Blog content helps with your social presence
  5. Blogging boosts brand awareness

Blogs Can Help To Attract New Customers

Blogging is a key component to any digital marketing strategy, and it is proven to increase leads as well as direct more traffic to your website. Provided that your blog posts are well-written and informative readers should be able to gain an insight into your business and the products or services you have to offer. Blogging not only provides a platform for creative and informative content but it also allows you to showcase calls-to-action that make it easy to convert into leads.

Blogs Provide An Insight Into Your Brand

A blog provides a platform to tell your brands story, it is a great way of giving consumers a better insight into your company, employees and the product or service you offer. Writing a blog post is an opportunity for marketers to share the brand identity through tone of voice and personality which will in time build up a customers trust and increase brand likability.

Demonstrates how to create a blog post

Blogging Improves SEO

Content is key when it comes to producing blog posts and as marketing has evolved blogging has played a huge part in improving a company’s SEO performance. When you develop a blog, you are able to reach a wider range of search queries. Blogging is great for generating broader search results that your website alone would not be able to attract.

Adding a blog to your website is an easy, yet effective way of increasing the amount keywords and search queries you can rank for on Google. This makes it easier for potential customers find YOU!

Blog Content Helps With Your Social Presence

Creating regular blog posts for your business can help to direct people to your social media platforms. Every time you are publishing a new article you are producing helpful content that people can share across various social networks which in turn will help with brand awareness. Blog content helps to boost social presence by driving new visitors to your blog via different social channels.

Blogging Boosts Brand Awareness

When you product blog content on a regular basis this will naturally increase your brand visibility. It can only take one relatable post for your post to go viral which will in turn increase your audience. Blogging allows you to determine an authentic voice and persona behind the brand image and logo.

The best way to grow your business is by providing the information that customers are searching for. Blog posts can broaden your site visitors while still staying within an appropriate target audience.

To Conclude

Whether you’re a small business owner or blogger, your blog is an extension of the company’s online presence. It provides value by providing information on what sets them apart from others in the industry. It also showcases products that can help people achieve success with whatever goal might be important enough for this purpose!

A blog is a great way to reduce your marketing spend, increase website traffic and generate new leads. But most importantly for businesses: blogging provides value in the form of content that helps build strong customer relationships!

What is SEO?

Imagine you are a bakery owner who wants to expand your business, so what do you do? You decide to create an online presence by creating a blog. You begin posting on your blog regularly, however even after regular posting of your blogs there were hardly any visitors. What’s your solution? Search Engine Optimisation

SEO is used to improve the quality and quantity of people coming to your website from search engines. It can also increase brand awareness, attract local customers and build credibility and trust and all this is possible without the pain of throwing money at it. In order to do this you’d need to utilise both forms of SEO which are on and off page SEO. On page should always come first which involves you optimising your website both in terms of content and technical aspects including the html source code schema meta tags and more!

You begin by using Google ads to find hot keywords/phrases used when people search for the recipes you are planning to post on your blog. Look for the search terms also linked to wider areas of baking such as cooking and hand related topics. Once you find these search terms begin incorporating these into your recipes, start by providing an introduction to the recipe and with this you can provide a really engaging start to your story like how this dish is close to your childhood and naturally include your search terms into the blog.

 Also include these keywords in the actual recipe where you can. Additionally add images, time lapses, videos and more to increase credibility & engagement for your content and consequently convince the search engines to show your content to more people. After this you should move to the site’s meta content which search engines display when your blog appears in search results. Optimise your search tags, alt tags and more. In simplistic terms this completes the on site part of your SEO. 

Now let’s explore what you can do off page to improve your pages visibility on search engines like google. Off page requires you to do things outside your site’s page in order to improve your search engines ranking. Making optimisations outside your site will help improve your website’s popularity, trustworthiness and relevance. This is possible when reputable sites vouch for your content with backlinks, social media marketing, guest blogging, linked/unlinked brand mentions, influencer marketing and much more. Using social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram will help give you a wider reach for your site by sending powerful social signals to search engines leading to your page being highly relevant to related searches and audiences. After knowing and implementing all this you have still just scratched the surface of what is possible with SEO.

Once you understand the fundamentals of SEO you will begin your journey to becoming an SEO expert. If you follow the structure discussed in this blog you’ll have a great foundation going forward and all you need to do now is delve deeper, continue to learn and most importantly give it a go! Practice makes perfect and this is no truer than when it comes to improving a site’s SEO. Trial different keywords and writing styles, start social channels to compliment your site and if you’re feeling adventurous reach out to influencers in your field and ask them to promote your blog.

Dos and Don’ts for Google Analytics in Digital Marketing

Photo of Google sign on the top of a building.

Google Analytics is a free web analytics software used to look at the current performance of websites and identify web traffic. It has many capabilities and is arguably a tool that you could continue developing your skills in with time.

DO: Take the time to do Google Certifications

There are free Google Analytics certifications that you can complete which are provided by Google itself. They’re extremely comprehensive and give you the opportunity to learn more about the platform from a theoretical and practical standpoint.

Google Analytics Academy only requires a Google account so it won’t require a separate account. If you have no prior knowledge about Google Analytics, Analytics Academy will walk you through the report and analytics basics. If you already know the basics, there are Advanced Analytics courses you can complete which will give you a better understanding of more advanced things you can do on Google Analytics.

The form of each learning differs, but most follow the structure of videos that goes through the learning. If videos don’t work for you, there are transcripts which offer as much information as the videos. On certain modules, there are additional resources you can use to help recap what you have learnt. Other modules have Google Analytics demos so you can walk through what it would be like to create reports and generate data.

If you are someone that works best with mini assessments, then you’re in luck! Analytics Academic has small assessments at the end of each module that recaps what you were taught. You can’t progress any further until you get a pass mark of at least 80% and completing that in every assessment means you can gain a certificate of completion.

You can also complete the Google Analytics Individual Qualification which is available on Google Skillshop. This certification only lasts for a year so you will need to refresh your certification every year. However, it tests you on knowledge from the Google Analytics for Beginners and Advanced Analytics courses.

DON’T: Forget to include Google Analytics tracking code to webpages!

It’s all well and good to have Google Analytics to collect data, but where does it come from? Without linking the Analytics account to the webpage, it won’t collect any data. For any webpages you want data on, connect it to Google Analytics using the Google Analytics tracking code.

If you find there is still no data coming through, check to see if your tracking code is up-to-date. Any outdated or invalid tracking codes will not collect any information, so this will be worth updating for Analytics data.

Photo of someone working on a laptop with a Google Analytics report.
Photo by Myriam Jessier on Unsplash

DO: Make use of segments

Segments are a subset of your visitors that match certain criteria that you set ahead of time. They can be extremely useful to understand how people of different demographics may behave and see if there are trends in any particular data. You can get extremely detailed with segments and this can be applied to other reporting. Segments can also help you create custom audiences for your marketing campaigns as well as providing clear insights.

For example, you can create segments with a geographical segmentation of people living in England, or a town in England. You could also create segments that track returning users based on browser history or IP address.

DON’T: Lose sight of what you are tracking

Google Analytics has a lot of capabilities and it can get very complicated and overwhelming if you try to understand everything at once. Therefore, it is important to understand what you want to look for, and what your targets are. Important metrics like bounce rate and organic traffic are good ones to always look out for as it can give you an idea of what to improve on your website.

Take some time to sit down and do some research on industry benchmarks so you know what to reach for. Analytics does update regularly, but work on your website will take time, so it’s good to be patient and wait to see how it improves.

DO: Use Google Analytics’ Custom Reports

Using Google’s standard parameters, whilst handy, has limited personalisation to your business. Custom Reports are ways of creating reports with specific filters or segments that can make your reports more personalised to your business as well as easier to navigate. It is likely you will be looking at many similar reports, so using Custom Reports to create reports that are personalised to what data you want will be extremely beneficial.

With Custom Reports, you will be able to customise five elements of custom reports: users, sessions, hits, metrics and dimensions. You can change the presentation of the report as well, so it represents your data in the best way possible. The different report types include: explorer, flat table and map overlay. Explorer is the basic report with a line graph and data table; a flat table is a sortable data table; and a map overlay is a global map with colours to indicate engagement, traffic, etc.

For example, you could create a custom Acquisitions report to look at the activity on your website at specific dates and times. This could help you understand what times your website has more traffic and try to identify why this may be.

DON’T: Forget to check your Google Analytics data regularly

This may be an obvious tip, but if you leave your data for a long while, you won’t get a long-term view of how your website is performing. It’s good to pull weekly and monthly data to see if there are any sudden changes on your website. You can also leave notes on reports so you know what the state of your website was at that time.

The longer you have Google Analytics, the more data you can use to your advantage. Keeping a reporting spreadsheet can be extremely beneficial to not just yourself, but to any SEO and SEM work.

Conclusion

This isn’t an exhaustive list and there are definitely more things you can and can’t do with Google Analytics. As a digital marketing apprentice, you will learn how your company uses Google Analytics and what you can do. With basic training and application, you’ll find the data analytics software to be incredibly useful across multiple marketing disciplines. By remembering some of these key tips and spending time to familiarise yourself with Google Analytics, you will be a pro at generating data and reports in no time!

If you’re interested in finding out the technical applications of Google Analytics, check out some of our other articles:

Dos and Don’ts for PPC Digital Marketing Campaigns

How to Build a Strong Website and Increase SEO

UTM tracking parameters | Digital Marketing Apprenticeship Tips

Top tips for a digital marketer

Work can sometimes feel overwhelming, and you aren’t sure what to do. Marketing is no different. Knowing the right tricks of the trade or the best method for completing tasks is something you usually learn as you develop into your role. With technology being ever-changing, especially online, any digital marketer needs to have a strong understanding of trends.

Email marketing and social media can be difficult to perform well at. Understanding how to market to your target audience is pivotal to the success of your brand. In order to fully get a grip on your role, here are 5 top tips for any new digital marketer.

digital marketer

Understanding your target audience

Before you can even start marketing, you need to have a firm understanding of your audience. Completing a market analysis is a good way forward for this. Alternatively, you can have a look at competitors in your industry and see who they market to. Market research can help you define your target audience so that you can market accurately. You wouldn’t want to create material that appeals to over-50s if your products are popular with 16-25s.

If you have joined an existing company in a training role, then they may have this already sorted out. Make sure to ask colleagues if you are unsure. Once you know who your audience is, you can see what they are into. With research, you can get a fundamental understanding of how to proceed. See what interests your audience, and then create content relating to it.

SEO

SEO or Search Engine Optimisation helps how well your website ranks on search engines like Google. Everything that you post, from social media to blog posts, can be affected in some way by SEO. It is always a priority to make sure content has been optimised fully. There are many different factors to SEO, such as meta titles/descriptions, images, tags, and the content itself.

Keywords and topics are also very important for your ranking. Make sure to always use a relevant keyword for what you are wanting to rank for. Topics, which are groups of related keywords, can also help you with your ranking and optimisation.

Generally, SEO can seem quite straightforward. Meta descriptions should be kept between 140-150 words, keywords should be used, and content should be fresh and relevant. However, there are many more factors to SEO you will need to understand as a digital marketer. There are plenty of sources online to help you learn the best SEO techniques

The importance of backlinks as a digital marketer

Backlinking is when other websites link back to a target webpage on your website. High DA websites linking to your website is a serious ranking factor on Google. The more sites that can link to your website and webpage, the higher authority you will have, and the better ranking.

Consider outreaching to others to link to your site. You should always try and aim for high DA sites, as having too many low DA rating sites can seem “spammy” to Google, and negatively affect your rating.

Email marketing

Email marketing is a good way to reach your audience on another platform other than your website and social media. There are tools out there, such as Mailchimp, which can help you learn good techniques for marketing effectively. Keywords and word counts come into play when email marketing. Ideally, any text should be kept short and concise, to help with click rates. People don’t enjoy reading a large amount of text when opening a newsletter, so keep it to the point.

Another factor is the subject and title you use for the newsletter. Make sure the title is snappy and attention-grabbing. Consider a variety of different email campaigns. Promotional emails may do better than an average newsletter. Find out what works best for your business.

Conclusion

There are many different factors to working as a digital marketer. Some factors can change overnight in some cases, so it’s always good to keep a close eye on the trends. If you are interested in learning more, visit ApprenticeTips.

5 Easy Ways to Generate Website Traffic

The more people who reach your website, the more potential customers you have. Everyday 250,000+ websites are launched worldwide according to Siteef. As this space becomes ever more cluttered, it has never been important to ensure your message gets through. If you don’t generate website traffic, you won’t have any potential customers.

An image of someone working on a laptop, using a data tool to track the growth of web traffic

1. Social Media

There are multiple different social media and all have a different user base. These are the main ones:

  • TikTok: You have the ability to reach millions of people for free. 60% of all TikTok users are aged between 16-24 according to a social media research firm Wallaroom. A good example of a company who have used TikTok well is the Irish airline Ryanair, who have amassed 1.3 million followers. From every post you make you could recieve thousand of additional hits to your website. The more you post, the more views you get, giving you more chance to increase profits.
  • Instagram: Similar to TikTok, Instagram’s main demographic is 18-29 year olds who make up 59% of all users according to The London School of Economics. Instagram gives you more freedom than TikTok because with Instagram you can post picture, videos, stories and more but TikTok can only be a video. A good example of a company who have used Instagram well is Starbucks who have 18 million followers. The American Coffee giant have transformed themselves from just another Cafe chain to a status symbol.
  • Twitter: You can reach thousand of people with just one post. Unlike TikTok and Instagram you can actually put a website link in the description of a post which means it is easier for people to click on to your website. A good example of a brand who do well on Twitter is H&M the high street fashion retailer with 8.4 million followers. According to the same London School of Economics report 37% of Twitter users are aged 18-29.

2. Reviews

Reviews help sell product but what most people don’t know is reviews also generate website traffic. It does this in a few different ways:

  • Referrals: People who have bought something are likely to tell their friends about it if they like it. According to a study conducted by Big Commerce only 25% of people trust adverts, but 92% of people believe the recommendation of a friend or family member and 75% of people believe the reviews of previous customers.
  • Search Ranking: If you have reviews on your website you will rank higher on google. If your previous customers leave reviews, the Google algorithm can improve its ranking of your website.

“Google itself has made it clear that reviews can influence local search rankings — and are factored into its algorithms for determining where businesses appear on Search Engine Result Pages”

Review Tracker

3. Paid Advertising

Paid advertising is a brilliant tool, but only when it is planned out well and constantly reviewed. Failure to manage paid advertising well can turn it into an ineffective money pit. The best methods for paid advertising are:

  • Paid Search Marketing: This is the most popular type of paid advertising, according to a study done by PPC Protect, 45% of small businesses used Paid Search Marketing in 2018. This method is good because you only pay for clicks onto you website after someone uses your search term. The Paid Search Marketing price is dependant on the competition for search terms, if you pick to many mainstream terms, you will find your paying a lot more per hit then they are worth to you. If this happens you should pick some more niche keywords and under used ones. You can research keywords using Google Trends, Semrush and many other programs.
  • Display Advertising: This is where you have a pop up advert on different websites, whos viewerbase you want to target. An example of a website you would see Display advertising on is the Daily Mail website. According to research firm Sumo only 3% of people click on these kind of adverts, but it is a good way to build brand awareness.
  • Social Media Advertising: This is where a post on social media is promoted to reach far more people than it ever would have. You can generally pick the locations, ages and interests of people you want your campaign to reach. The idea is to generate website traffic from only people interested in your sector. The average cost of social media advertising per 10,000 impressions are (according to Bark a marketing firm):
Social MediaCost Per 10,000 Impressions
Facebook£54.20
Instagram£59.60
YouTube£73.00
Twitter£48.70
Tik Tok£75.60

4. Email Marketing

Email marketing is a fantastic, cost effective way to drive traffic to your website, because you are emailing people who have already registered an interest in your company. The best time to do this is when you have a new product or your have a special offer, to entice these people in.

5. SEO

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) in simple terms is optimising content on your website in order to rank higher on search engines. Things you can do to improve your SEO include:

  • Use Alt tags on images
  • Update content regularly
  • Keep Meta description to no more than 70 characters
  • Start regularly blogging
  • Fix or remove broken links
  • Use Keywords
  • Benchmark your site against your competitors using Google Page Speed

Beginners Guide to SEO – Digital Marketing

Beginners Guide to SEO 1

When you’re a beginner to the world of digital marketing one of the most daunting things is getting to grips with SEO (Search Engine Optimisation). In this article I am going to explain not just how to get good at SEO but how to move from crappy SEO to building habits to consistently Ranking page 1 on Google Search.

Even if you are following all the basic advice of ‘creating great and engaging content’, ‘adding keywords to your website’ and you’re even ‘making sure your website loads fast. It won’t alone make your website shoot to the 1st page of Google Search. So let’s break down 5 steps.

SEO Step 1 – Find Three Keywords

These are words that you will create content around that is relevant to your intended target audience. For example, if my audience is Gen-Z female gifters then there is no point in me creating content that would resonate with Generation X male gifters. A way to get around this is by using a site like ‘answerthepublic.com’. This site shows questions, prepositions, comparisons that people post on forums, blogs and social media. This content in turn will influence the content you create but also act as long tail Keywords being an easy way for our site to start appearing number one in less competitive searches. This will also have the added benefit of allowing our content and website appeal to the terms our target audience actually want to see.

Another option for finding Keywords is ‘explodingtopics.com’. This is another free tool that lists a bunch of Keywords for new topics in your chosen topic of exploration. Because all the topics are new current trends it usually means that the Keywords associated with them are less competitive than the standard ones. You can even head to this site first and then put the topic into ‘answerthepublic.com’ to get even Long tail Keywords.

SEO Step 2 – Create Epic content

Once you’ve chosen your three Keywords now it’s time for the fun part, now it’s time to make content around these three key words. This step is very important. The internet is full of amazing pieces of content that people have the luxury of picking up for free to assure you content is one of the lucky ones chosen, you are going to have to make the content captivating. I can’t tell you exactly how to make your content stand out, actually If I had the answer to that I’d be a millionaire but what I can do is give some key pointers as things you can do when you onto something to make your content more shareable and linkable.

  1. Publish content that is long and in depth. This will mean there are more touch points for other sites to want to link back to as it increases the likelihood that you have something shareable.
  2. Add something to hook your audience into the content that would make them want to share or link to it. examples of these could be:
    1. Statistic or Data Visualisation
    2. Example Case Study 
    3. Unique Strategy
    4. An innovative brand new tool

Anything that will make someone feel the need to link back to your content.

SEO Step 3 – Optimise the Keyword for you Content

No longer is Keyword optimisation all about stuffing your page with Keywords, now the goal is to help Google’s algorithm understand what topic your site is about. 

The first step is to include your target Keyword in a few important places on your webpage.

This are but not limited to:

  • Title Tag
  • In the first 100 words on the page
  • in the image alt text
  • In the H1 Tag and in the H2 & H3 Tag
  • In the Last 100 words of your page

The next thing to do is to add a little something called LSI Keyword. Without sounding too simplistic LSI Keywords are terms closely aligned with your main Keyword. For example if my Keyword is gifting then my LSI Keywords would be Birthday, presents, christmas and more. Doing this will reinforce to the Google algorithm that your website is about your chosen Keyword Topic. The easiest way to find this is by searching your keyword, heading to the bottom of Google search, and using the ‘Search Related to…’. This brings up a list of potential LSI Keywords for you to use and add your webpage.

Step 4 – Optimise your content for users

Backlinks alone are not enough for your content to rank well in Google’s search algorithm, it must  be optimised for your users. This is because the algorithm pays attention to how users for lack of a better term use your website. If the users click onto your page and then straight off it then it will start to push it down the search rankings. The opposite though is true, if users click and stay on your page then a Search ranking boost shall come your way. 

Here are some tips on how increase the time spent on your site by users:

  1. Front load the important information. 
    1. Don’t buy into the long introduction slow burning the information people are seeking. Give to them upfront so they’ll actually read it and then have the rest of the content be more depth on the topic being discussed.
  2. Make sure the visual design of your site is simple and easy to digest for audiences to consume. This will mean that your great content actually gets viewed as there is nothing distracting the user from what they came for.

Step 5 – Build Backlinks

A backlink for the uninitiated is simple: it is the link on another site that sends users to your webpage. All the best practises discussed above leave you in a good position for backlinks to be made to your site. A great proactive way to build backlinks is to find ‘broken links’. A broken link is as it says on the tin a link that doesn’t lead to a page anymore. These offer the opportunity to message the author of the site with the dead/broken link to replace the link with similar if not the same content on your webpage.

If all these steps are followed this should set your web page and content well on the way to landing on the first page of Google search and you’ll have fantastic SEO. If you found these SEO tips helped and are looking for more support, please head to https://www.apprenticetips.com/ for more content just like this and much more.

Differences between SEO & SEA

SEO vs SEA

There are different digital marketing techniques that can help to get your website out to your target audience; Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and Search Engine Advertising (SEA). These different techniques will allow you to connect with your target audience when they search for a term related to your business.

Looking for the right method to get the word out about your business depends on:

  • How much time you are willing to spend?
  • How much money you are willing to spend?

WHAT IS SEO?

SEO stands for search engine optimization, which is a set of practices designed to improve the appearance and positioning of web pages in organic search results. Because organic search is the most prominent way for people to discover and access online content, a good SEO strategy is essential for improving the quality and quantity of traffic to your website.

WHY IS SEO IMPORTANT?

SEO is important as it will bring traffic to your website. This means that people, within your target audience, will be able to see your website more often than your competitors. The more visitors your website has, the more potential those visitors will become customers/clients.

ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES OF SEO

An advantage of using SEO techniques is it will provide results that are long-term instead of something that will be only be seen for a set amount of time. This means you don’t need to worry about having to do a lot of work all of the time as the results will be there. You can easily do SEO work that covers 3 months, then do it 3 months down the line after the work you’ve done. This, in the long run, will increase your SEO ranking without the worry of paying a lot of money to get your ranking up. A disadvantage of using SEO is that it will take a long time before any results appear. As this is an unpaid option in getting your brand noticed, it does mean for any results to come in it will take time. This would mean you to give it a few months until you can see any results from trying different SEO techniques to get your brand up in the rankings.

Even though it does take a while for your website URL to rank high within search engines, it does give you results that will provide good things for your company. These are; increased visibility, increased accessibility, and increased brand awareness. With these things increased, this will mean your website will be receiving more visitors which will, therefore, increase the number of customers you are getting over time.

SEA

WHAT IS SEA?

Even though SEO and SEA sound similar, there are differences between them. SEA increases the traffic to your website through digital marketing advertising instead of SEO techniques. That means your business pays the publisher of the advert (e.g. Google, Bing, etc.) every time a visitor clicks on your ad when it becomes available on that search engine. These advertisements are highlighted on the top of the results page where they are on top of the unpaid results or on the right-hand side of them. SEA has other abbreviations that you may have seen or heard of before. These are Search Engine Marketing (SEM), Cost Per Click (CPC), or Pay Per Click (PPC).

ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES OF SEA

An advantage of SEA is that you can control where your visitors go on your website. Whereas SEO techniques are for your specific keywords, SEA offers you the chance to create an ad for every landing page you have within your website. For example, if you would want to showcase a specific service (e.g. graphic design) your company offers, then you can create an ad for that URL. This will, therefore, get more people looking on your page which will. If this happens, it will increase the number of inquiries you have from customers about that specific service.

However, SEA campaigns have a time limit. This means that your SEA campaign won’t be on your chosen search engine for longer than you have set it up for. This means this becomes a short-term solution in getting results. This is because results will only occur when your ad is up and available on the different search engines. Therefore, you would need to work on your SEO to get your URL more visible on the different search engines.

SEA campaigns are a perfect thing for new businesses. This is because it gets the word out about your company’s website faster than SEO can. This can be done by making sure your URL is one of the tops ones that are shown on search when searching a specific phrase or keywords within the search bar of the search engine. Aside from the speed of the results, this can be said to be good for new businesses by the flexibility and possibly low cost of the campaign.

Conclusion

The use of both SEO and SEA within your marketing techniques will get the word out about your website and company to your target audience faster than your competitors who are doing one or the other. Both of these marketing techniques will be beneficial to your business and you can see this by watching your client/customer list increase

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3 Quick SEO Tips to Supercharge Your Digital Marketing in 2021

Image of writing a post on WordPress

You’ve researched keywords, you’ve neatly added your heading tags, and you’ve had a little too much coffee. You press “post” on your latest article, and sit back for the views to — well, they’re not exactly rolling in. They’re trickling at best. But you’ve already spent hours on this content and your manager wants to see results – now. Don’t worry – here’s 3 quick and easy ways you can supercharge that post today!

Add a favicon

Screenshot of Google search results showing a favicon
A bold favicon stands out in mobile search results

A favicon is a little icon next to the url for your site – when you scroll through Google mobile search results, those tiny colourful graphics help your article pop. Industry experts Moz say a high contrast icon is a great way to stand out, and they only take seconds to make using a favicon generator. The favicon applies to the entire website, so make sure your boss is happy before adding it, but they help users visually identify your website in search results and browser tabs in a noisy world.

Make your titles snappier

Sometimes you want to keep all of those must-have keywords in your title (although don’t overuse them!). Maybe every Thursday, you post a Throwback Thursday post, or a Fab Friday Facts listicle, and you put those words in the title, for example: “ApprenticeTips.com – Fab Friday Facts – 5 Ways Social Media Changed The World”.

But is it putting readers off? Moz says yes, it very well could be. In removing the boilerplate text from your title (“the parts of your title tag that repeat every single time”), you’ll create unique titles that are more interesting for the reader.

Image of writing a post on WordPress
Creating a WordPress Post

Link your old content to your new content

Your old articles were great, and your new ones are just as impeccable – but don’t neglect your old content! Update your links in old articles to your new one (where relevant) to refresh your old content. Internal links should be seamless, providing more quality information to the reader and helping them to continue their journey throughout your website.

Moz says if you’re trying to rank for a particular keyword, use Google Search Console to see which of your articles are already ranking for that keyword and add links to the new content. The hard work’s already been done, and Moz says a quick update of your articles can add relevance to your content and boost your domain authority.

Domain authority is Google’s way of checking if your content is what the reader is looking for. If you can clearly answer the reader’s question and provide top quality, interesting information, Google will reward you by pushing your content to the top of the search results pages (SERPs).

If you have a little more time, impress your employer with an in depth SEO audit to keep track of your content and see if you can fill any gaps between and within articles.

Not getting results quickly enough?

That’s normal. There’s lots of things that can affect SEO, and don’t forget – improvements to SEO can take months to show on search engine results pages. It’s not instant, but these tips are quick and easy to implement, and the marginal gains each improvement makes can push you further up those search results!

As part of a Level 3 Digital Marketer Apprenticeship, you can be sure you’re learning the latest in industry developments from experts in the field. With the SEO landscape constantly changing and evolving, staying up to date with the latest advice will help you to get results that will amaze your employer and ensure your skills are cutting edge!