Google is the holy grail

Search engine optimisation (SEO)

Search engine optimisation (SEO) is one of the least well understood of the five core digital marketing tools.

And yet, appearing on the first page of Google organic listings is the holy grail for any business with ambitions to cost-effectively fill their sales pipelines with high quality prospective clients. Like everything we do at Abacus, we are absolutely passionate about creating and delivering high quality SEO solutions for our clients. As with all our work, when it comes to search engine optimisation, we follow a strategic planning process, which helps us to identify the best keywords to focus on for your business.

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A long-term investment

Let’s be clear. Search engine optimisation is unlikely to deliver a quick win for your organisation, so you need to be patient and willing to invest over a sustained time period to generate and maintain results. However, if you get your SEO strategy right, it will be significantly more powerful than a paid digital advertising. Why? Because once you make it onto the first page of Google, you’ll be there day and night, so there’s no need to second guess as to when clients might be looking for a company that delivers your services. Secondly, people trust organic results much more than paid ones.

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Google is king

Google accounts for 89% of all search engine traffic in the UK. Bing (9%) trails in its wake, so most search optimisation work naturally focuses on Google. However, that doesn’t mean you should ignore Bing. Why? Because, once you have deployed your SEO strategy on Google and finetuned it until it works well, it’s a quick win to deploy it on Bing. Secondly, Bing is also the search engine of choice on Microsoft Edge, so some users are likely to automatically use it instead of Chrome, where Google is the first choice. It is also likely that SEO efforts that focus on Google will transmit naturally through to Bing anyway.

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Onsite optimisation

Onsite optimisation falls under three main themes – content, architecture and HTML. These elements include the creation of page titles, meta descriptions and headers, making sure search engines are able to crawl your webpages easily, having well written and authoritative content, using the right keywords for your business, avoiding duplicate content, and making sure fresh content is added to your website on a regular basis. You also need to make sure your website is responsive so that it displays properly on laptops, mobiles and tablets, as well as displaying properly on the most popular browsers and operating systems. You will be penalised for having a website that lacks substance, as well as for trying out any black hat tactics such as keyword stuffing, page cloaking and content hiding.

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Offsite optimisation

Offsite SEO techniques can be summed up under the following four themes: ‘trust’, ‘links’, ‘personal’ and ‘social’. ‘Trust’ issues include questions concerning bounce rates, site authority and history. ‘Links’ means you need to have perceived partnerships in place with a variety of trusted and authoritative third party websites (noting that these links will have greater value if they point to webpages on your website with a high degree of keyword-relevant content). ‘Personal’ refers primarily to the location of your business. ‘Social’ is related to content sharing on social media networks and the information contained on your accounts. Negative factors include paying for off-the-page links and creating spam links on third party forums, blog cloaking and content hiding.

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Local search results

Underneath paid results, you will often see a map with various businesses listed on it when you conduct a search on Google or Bing. These are organic local search results and are of ever-growing importance to all the search engines. This is understandable, as Google recognises that many people are interested in looking for products and services supplied by companies located geographically close to them. There are certain SEO actions which will increase the likelihood of your company appearing in these local map pack search results.

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Social media

Being active on social media is integral to the success of SEO. The more visibility you have, the more opportunities people will have to see your content and link to it. With so many active users, social media is also a great way to proactively build an audience for your website. Social media can also help you to appear in branded searches, which can be particularly helpful when customers search for your company by its trading name. Another important factor to bear in mind is that content on some social channels, such as YouTube, can support SERP performance on Google too.

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Quality content

While web content should be created with an eye to SEO, it should always have user engagement as its primary area of focus. Our copywriters are experts at writing copy that’s written well for the subject matter and is not just stuffed with keywords (Google hates this tactic, and penalises sites when it spots it), and we’ll make sure everything flows naturally, effortlessly and compellingly. Our SEO team will then come on board to optimise it for the search engines.

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Paid search

Paid search is where you place an ad on a search engine, such as Google Ads, and pay every time someone clicks on it. It has more immediate results than SEO, and we sometimes recommend that SEO is preceded by a short period of PPC to test whether the keywords your wish to target are delivering the high quality traffic one might expect. If not, it is quick and simple to optimise the PPC strategy before you settle on the keywords you wish to focus on for SEO purposes. SEO performance can also be enhanced by running a small PPC campaign on an ongoing basis in support of your primary keywords.

The bottom line…

If you want your marketing activities to cost-effectively deliver high-quality incoming leads on a regular and ongoing basis, SEO is something you need to consider. It’s like waving a flag of welcome to prospective customers searching for the types of goods and services you offer.

SEO agencies in London

Looking for SEO agencies in London? Please get in touch if you would like to find out more about who we are and how we can help. We offer a two-hour marketing consultation without cost or obligation at a venue of your choice to discuss any marketing challenges you are facing.

Please call us on 020 3858 7836

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