- 1 Analytics, reporting & SEO monitoring tools
- 2 How To Align PPC & SEO strategies properly
- 3 Prospecting for digital publishers and influencers
- 4 Academic & EDU Link Acquisition
- 5 Content development & distribution; maximising content discovery & sharing, in line with the content calendar
- 6 Outline preferred tools and platforms, and how these will be used
- 7 Management of ongoing on page development
- 8 How content ideas for website and blog to aid site performance is to be developed
- 9 A process to identify areas where site information architecture and internal linking could improve
- 10 Recommendation procedure for optimisation of all content assets, including copy, images and all multimedia
- 11 Structured data & snippets
- 12 Video best practices
- 13 A process to monitor and make recommendations to resolve site health issues identified in Google Search Console or Bing Webmaster Tools
- 14 Ensure site mark-up is accurate and make recommendations for improvements or new innovations
- 15 Monitoring, reporting and analysis on site accessibility and indexation
- 16 Ongoing recommendations for implementation, including Sitemap XMLs and robots.txt files
- 17 A process to review and provide recommendations to improve site performance for user experience and search engines, including monitoring of site speed issues
- 18 Analyse and advise on redirects as required
- 19 Monitor site performance across core markets, and make international targeting and optimisation recommendations
- 20 Foreign language websites
- 21 Geo-targeted English language websites
- 22 Market knowledge of the core target markets
- 23 Search Volumes & Potential
- 24 Google Keyword Planner
- 26 Keyword Reporting & analysis
- 27 Competitor Analysis Reporting
- 28 Link Outreach Reporting
- 29 Technical SEO Reporting
- 30 Frequency of reporting & availability of open access to data
- 31 Designing, executing and measuring digital outreach strategies
- 32 How we do it
- 33 App Optimisation
- 34 Analytics for Mobile App Optimisation
- 35 Content Personalisation
- 36 Create behaviour-based user personas
- 37 Segmentation
- 38 Aligning SEO efforts with PPC for optimum search exposure
- 39 Get Your SEO Audit
- 40 Thanks, we will contact you soon
- 41 What marketing strategy are you looking for?
- 42 What can we help you with?
- 43 What are your marketing goals?
- 44 What locations are you targeting?
- 45 Send us a message
There are various tools and platforms which can be used for research and tracking to improve SEO campaigns in 2019.
When we are undertaking keyword research we use a few difference sources.
Some of these tools are Google Keyword Planner Tool, UberSuggest, Keywordtool.io, Google Trends & Search Console.
These tools are great for keyword data and analysis. They allow us to analyse new keywords, suggest long-tail keywords and check competitor keywords, which should uncover new opportunities.
For new trends per industry we would use Google Trends to see spikes in particular activities and places to visit. It is also good to re-examine existing keywords to see if search volumes have increased or decreased from the last time the keyword research was undertaken. As some keywords may have higher demand during particular seasons.
When it comes to tracking keywords & URLs we use Pro Rank Tracker as it allows us to track the keyword, device (mobile/desktop), position 1 week before and position 30 days previously. This keyword tracking tool stores historical keyword position data which allows us to pull reports very quickly to analyse and forecast keyword rank position trends.
Featured snippets increase your visibility in Google SERPs, as you occupy two positions – both the featured snippet and your original SERP position, so this results in double exposure. Research shows that featured snippets consistently result in a higher CTR and therefore drive more organic search traffic to your site. SEM Rush tracks featured snippets, so using data insights from this platform can help identify what needs done to increase rank positions. You can test snippet results using Google’s tool: https://search.google.com/test/rich-results
We use tools such as Ahrefs.com and Link Research Tools as they allow us to measure competitor’s website traffic, domain authority, traffic share % per keyword rank position, traffic per country, referring content, referring domains and backlinks. Using these tools for analysis and research purposes means you can analyse what type of content is working for competing websites and then take learning from what competing websites, who are ranking for similar keywords, are doing.
Ahrefs, SEM Rush and Link Research Tools are good platforms for analysing competing domains & backlinks, keyword rank positions, website traffic, referring content, anchor text usage & traffic share per keyword per country. This will be useful for keyword research and link analysis for new markets, for example, when conducting keyword research for other countries, such as France, Italy and Spain etc.
Google’s answer box is a unique SERP result which is powered by the knowledge graph or scraped from a site that provides an adequate answer. It is typically displayed at the top of the results page below ads. Usually instant answers are a box with a brief text answer and a source URL. A recent study shows Wikipedia led the way by a wide margin at 15.4% of the nearly 4 million answer boxes.
It is very important to rank highly for search terms which include the following: “how to”, “what is”, “how do”, “how much”, “what does”, “what are” as these are question based searches which should be answered by content on the website which is marked up and structured according to Google’s guidelines so search engines can clearly read and serve the page to the searcher.
Performing human translation for all new keyword research will be very important when entering new markets such as Spain. Our in-house language translator and SEO consultant will be responsible for the translation for core markets.
From what we have seen previously with Google boxes/instant answers aren’t always the same between all devices so it is important to measure which keywords are serving answer boxes, per device, and create a plan of what the priority keywords are.
The way in which content is written, structured and architected can greatly increase the chances of ranking for a featured snippet or instant answer.
Usually structuring data and marking it up will help to rank higher on search engines.
Google Lighthouse is a new tool which gives insights into website speed which can be very useful. It may show images which are not optimised, or issues with the server for example.
Our team use a variety of analytics tools, for example, Google Analytics, seranking.com (website audit and crawler), HotJar.com (visitor recordings and heatmap analysis), Authority Labs/Link Research Tools (Backlink and domain checker/competitor analysis software), SiteBulb (website crawler).
Analytics, reporting & SEO monitoring tools
Ahrefs.com is an advanced SEO resource that examines your website property and produces keyword, link, and ranking profiles to help you make better decisions on your content. Three of its main tools are:
Site Explorer, which shows you the performance of specific web pages on your website.
Content Explorer, which allows you to search high-performing web pages under specific keywords and topics.
We’re all searching for something so Answer The Public can suggest results provided by Google & Bing which are a goldmine of insight for today’s marketers. As you type you are presented with an aggregated view of the questions and a hint of the motivations & emotions of the people behind each search query.
For reporting we use octoboard.com to display all of our marketing channels data. This software pulls in data from Google Analytics, YouTube, Google +, Facebook, Google Ads, Pinterest, Instagram, Sendgrid/Mailchimp, WordPress, linkedin etc. All of the data from each campaign/website is displayed on one easy to read report, which allows us to analyse all of the data easily in one place.
Click through rate testing is important and should be carried out on an on-going basis. To do this the page title, meta description and call to action will need to be tested. Firstly, you would change the meta description and then record the CTR on our project management system to compare. After the new meta description has been tested you would then test a page title change. It’s important to test one change at a time, rather than having numerous changes all done together. As it would be difficult to measure the impact of changes if you are altering many attributes at once. To improve on-page SEO conversion rates would be best monitored per landing page, using Goals or event tracking in Google Analytics.
One of the main analytics and monitoring tools we are using for visitor recordings, heat maps and funnel analysis is HotJar.com. Their SEO tool is a fast & visual way to understand your users and is everything your team needs to uncover insights and make the right changes to the SEO campaign. You can use HotJar for Recordings, Conversion Funnels, Form Analysis, Feedback Polls, Incoming Feedback and Surveys.
One of the main SEO tools we use is Link Research Tools (LRT) – this is great for Link Audits, backlink/domain analysis & risk monitoring, link building to grow traffic and competitor analysis.
This monitoring tool can analyse and monitor your existing links with the most comprehensive link data.
I’ve listed some of the main advantages of this tool below:
Firstly, LRT identifies links which are improving rankings and helps you watch out for new links potentially hurting you.
You can learn where your competitors get strong links from, and how you could build great links, too.
It also allows you to outperform competing domains by identifying high interest content and traffic share.
The main reason we use this tool is to find the best links with the highest trust and lowest risk for your domain’s link profile. It can be used to recover lost links after a web site re-launch, analyse link building spikes that could harm you, and to build only low risk links.
I have also used Screaming Frog SEO Spider the last 5 years as it efficiently crawls large sets of URLs.
It provides data on 301/302 redirects and response codes, technical issues such as 404s, meta data, page titles, image alt tags and h1 and h2s.
How To Align PPC & SEO strategies properly
SEO and PPC strategists should work together as a cohesive unit to share key points of information that highlight how and what the competition is doing from a digital perspective.
Approaching SEO and PPC holistically is the best strategy. Using PPC marketing can ensure that relevant content is present during key moments in the consumer journey, such as when a user is ready to make a decision on which place/accommodation to book.
From managing their PPC marketing we realised that customers weren’t aware of specific locations you could travel to do these activities. Customers also tended to search a lot using “where to” and “how to”. Searches showed that people used stag and hen holidays references a lot as they often didn’t know what activity they wanted to book. In this instance we used insights from PPC to inform the SEO strategy. We were then able to action specific tasks based on the data from our PPC campaign.
Using the ‘search terms report’ on Google Ads shows the exact search terms which were used when the keyword matched. You can then add an attribute to the column and see exactly which keyword in your list was matched against the specific keyword match type.
This data is really useful if you have conversion tracking set-up, as you will then be able to see exactly what search term converted and what match type (whether it was exact, phrase, broad match or broad match modifier). I like to use this data for our client’s SEO campaigns too as it informs us of new opportunities, how searches happen and can give great content suggestions and ideas to target, which will help generate more relevant traffic to the website.
When aligning SEO campaigns & PPC campaigns it’s important to try to make sure that your efforts are aligned through shared:
- Reporting (Analytics campaign overview reporting, keyword rank reports, time sheet reporting)
- Objectives (CTR goals, conversion goals, clicks/impression metrics)
- Communication portals (e.g. Skype channel or Teamwork Project Management)
This strategy will increase internal awareness of key conversion opportunities.
Optimising landing pages to drive qualified traffic and conversions is a fundamental component of any SEO and PPC campaign. SEO strategists can provide their PPC strategists with important information around consumer behaviour, intentions, objectives and demands to reduce bounce rate and increase click-through-rates (CTR).
PPC strategists can then use their insights around consumer online activity to show paid ads that only appear in front of the most qualified consumers possible. By doing this, both teams are able to support each other in ways that improve user experience, maximise relevant traffic and reduce wasted advertising spend.
Running paid ad campaigns that 1) offer precise messages and 2) are located next to your organic listings on Google can increase overall CTR and lead to a higher return on your investment.
It is important to run paid ads alongside keywords that the website already ranks for. This type of positioning is effective for creating the sense that the website is more prominent than competing websites and therefore more credible.
It is recommended to share seasonal data and information relating to other offline variables to learn how to approach and optimise for specific times throughout the year when activity peaks.
This information can be used to create a calendar of events that guides you on how to:
- Create organic content that aligns with specific themes and locations of the content;
- Design paid ads that contain unique messaging based on location and intention;
- Maximise brand awareness during peak activity points like the holiday shopping season;
- Increase consumer engagement and conversions during seasonal low points.
Create monitoring systems that identify your competitors in terms of:
- positioning within SERPs;
- key message points; and
- primary / secondary / long tail search terms
- Use this information to adjust your ad spend, to improve CTR and to outrank other competing domains by taking up more space within SERPs
Prospecting for digital publishers and influencers
Link Research Tools is a great tool to use for prospecting backlinks. It can help uncover digital publishers, influencers, bloggers, authority websites, newspapers and industry magazines which are relevant. The main advantage of this tool is that link prospecting for many keywords can be done at once. The platform allows us to research contact data of authors and domain owners. You can aggregate data, duplicate, filter, rank results and automatically filter results by all metrics.
Another advantage is that you can ignore domains that are already linking to you, meaning time is saved when link prospecting. Link prospecting should only ever be aligned to high authority, trust worthy and respected websites which are relevant.
The table below shows competing domains which can be analysed using LRT Quick Domain Compare.
This shows the theme of a domain, country, popularity and other important metrics which can be used to determine whether we should analyse these domains for link prospects.
We use several tools for analysing broken links, for example, Screaming Frog & Ahrefs for broken link building as it has a “broken links” section (see image above) which identifies all broken links on a website. This helps us identify broken links on other websites, which allows us to see link opportunities to take advantage of. Example section on Ahrefs:
We also use a tool called Response Source – for connecting PRs and organisations with the UK media. For example, The Guardian, often send out emails via Response Source asking for help with content, quotes, advice etc per industry. We have had good results using this tool for acquiring links. An example link we’ve acquired before has been listed on Virgin.com – (example link https://www.virgin.com/entrepreneur/art-persuasion-intrapreneurs-greatest-tool
Example PR and outreach functionality with Response Source:
Our team acquired a link via The Guardian newspaper – https://www.theguardian.com/hidden-treasures/2018/aug/17/heights-camera-action-six-uk-family-adventure-holidays – this was for our client Vertical Descents. The are a Scottish outdoor experience company offering canyoning, coasteering etc.
Academic & EDU Link Acquisition
Academic link acquisition is also very authoritative and can benefit a website hugely. We reached out to local universities and acquired links by providing content & quotes – http://pict.uws.ac.uk/digital/the-future-is-digital-uws-digital-futures/
In relation to influencers, we often use Bloggers Connected and other high-quality blogger outreach services. Usually these bloggers have their own websites which makes it fairly easy to acquire influencer links. Vuelio is a great tool for connecting with influencers, people, events and networks. We often use this to reach out to influential people and gain publications for our clients.
We also use social media for link acquisition and influencer outreach, for example, Twitter and Facebook to manually reach out to link prospects. Our employees will search, identify and tag other companies to build relationships and generate PR for our clients, which often results in link acquisition.
We search for brand names using a tool called Brand Mentions – so in effect this could drive a large increase in backlinks as the tool identifies websites online who have mentioned the brand, but never actually hyperlinked the words to the website.
Content development & distribution; maximising content discovery & sharing, in line with the content calendar
There are a variety of approaches to distributing content. Depending on the type of content, there will be different channels, mediums and places online where the content may be best suited.
Firstly, clipping longer form content can be more beneficial to just distribute a snippet of your content and then create a backlink (this means an audience has to go to your site to see the rest of the article).
Secondly, optimising each piece of content you’ll be distributing can improve the chances of success. By creating metadata (e.g. title tags, descriptions, etc.) search engines can easily understand what the content is regarding and index the piece of content.
Then, as you distribute or syndicate a given piece of content, optimise the meta description for each platform or site. This can help a piece of content fit in with the site and resonate better with that site’s audience. It can also help avoid any duplicate content issues (or penalties).
Thirdly, it’s important not to forget to include previously created visual and/or audio content. By including videos, podcasts and other non-written content in your distribution and syndication strategy this will increase brand reputation and visibility.
These other formats can be particularly appealing to certain segments of your target audience.
Partnering with your current audience can have many benefits. By reaching out, and asking and encouraging your audience to distribute and share your content. You can even create incentives to motivate your audience (for example, offering discounts, giving away a free product in exchange for them republishing your content via their Linkedin profiles and their own blogs and websites.)
Apart from the obvious channels to share content, e.g. Medium, Slideshare, Linkedin Groups, Facebook Groups, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube it is also good idea to take this a step further by asking your audience to actually create content, for example relying on user-generated content.
One great way to do this is via a contest or challenge that requires your audience to develop some piece of content for you and then having them share it.
Outline preferred tools and platforms, and how these will be used
The main tools and platforms used for link acquisition and digital PR. Ahrefs is one of the main platforms for backlink analysis and competitor research. This platform has a keyword explorer, rank tracker, SEO Audit tool, site explorer and content gap analysis tool built in. These can be used for finding out which traffic share competing domains have for specific keywords, reviewing backlinks recently built by competition, finding lost backlinks, broken link opportunities, content gap opportunities (for link acquisition) and generally ideas for creating content to gain new backlinks.
Below is a screenshot of competing domains for in Italy (one of the new emerging markets being targeted). This shows the domain, keywords unique to competitor and any cross overs in terms of what’s being offered on the website (intersection graph)
Link Research Tools (LRT) is a platform specifically for link building purposes which provides data to help you increase your website traffic and revenue by significantly growing your backlinks. LRT is a link prospecting platform, which identifies high and low quality links to help you increase the quality of your link profile.
You can identify bad links from the past that impact current organic traffic, restore Google rankings and drive revenue. This tool also helps safeguard your website against future penalties and protects your online revenue from Negative SEO. Another advantage of this tool is competitor analysis. LRT supports SEO campaigns by helping you learn from and outperform your competition. I have used insights around competitors’ link behaviour, mistakes and successes to action tasks on previous campaigns.
Management of ongoing on page development
As there will be a variety of different people working on updating the website and optimising pages. Therefore, it’s best if everyone communicates via a specific Skype channel for any on-page updates and content developments. This means that everyone is kept up to date, no duplicate work or wasted time is spent on the campaign.
It’s important to update the following elements, and communicate it internally:
- content / page updates
- meta data updates
- meta descriptions
- internal links
- image alt tag updates.
Featured snippets are important and can be used for reviews (star), price, stock etc. We can use snippets to take up real estate space for particular places. So, in relevance to travel we would include structured data for particular places. Knowledge panel can also be utilised to increase organic search prominence.
The new search snippets are in the form of FAQs or frequently asked questions, Q&A and how to (SEJ, 2018)
The new snippet features give more insights into what the searcher can expect from that web page before deciding to click on the search result. This means we can be able to mark-up content with structured data and to have their search results be eligible to have question-and-answer previews shown — similar to how supporting metadata around the number of up votes and the Top Answer feature works.
There are technical considerations around snippets to consider which can be optimised:
Mark up your organised events so that users can discover events through Google Organic Search and other Google products like Google Maps.
You can add all types of events through markup — from fitness classes to visiting a new place in Edinburgh. Adding structured data mark-up to your events makes it easier for users to discover and attend your event.
Q&A Section (Knowledge panel):
Q&A Pages are web pages that contain data in a question and answer format, which is one question followed by zero or more answers to the question. For content that represents a question and its answers, you can mark up your data with the schema.org QAPage, Question, and Answer types.
Properly marked up pages are eligible to have a rich result displayed on the search results page. This rich treatment helps your site reach the right users on Search. Here’s an example of a result you might see for the user query “How do I get to Edinburgh Castle?” if the page has been marked up to answer that question then you will receive a featured snippet result for the search term.
A double featured snippet is a featured snippet with a second featured snippet beneath it. This arrangement effectively shows information from two websites and advertising in the space normally showing ten websites.
Click through rate testing is a good exercise to undertake to improve organic search visits. We use Optimizely for this.
Some common examples of where CTR can be measured include:
- A link on a landing page
- A PPC ad on Google search results
Click-through rate is calculated by the number of clicks on an element divided by the number of people who have seen that link. You can calculate this with the following formula:
(The total number of clicks on an ad / the total number of people who saw the ad)
Click-through rate, or CTR, is one of the most important metrics you can measure in paid search. Click-through rate is the rate at which your ads are attracting clicks, calculated as a percentage of impressions. The higher your CTR, the more your ad is engaging with people who see it. As we’ll see in this post, CTR also has a huge effect on your Quality Score.
A high CTR is so important to your account and account score. You can increase the CTR of your ads through A/B testing and 3 optimisation techniques:
Targeting relevant keywords is very important when it comes to segmenting visitors and making predictions on traffic volume. Writing compelling, emotional ads can lead to a higher CTR as they tend to engage visitors more.
A high CTR is important for the success of all paid ad campaigns, as it tells Google that your ads are attracting clicks. This is an indication that you are providing a good user experience for people and helping them find the products and services which they want.
Another very important metric that Google uses to evaluate the strength of your ads is Quality Score, a score between 1 and 10. The higher your Quality Score, the better: A high Quality Score means your ad will likely be served to more users (known as impression volume) and with better rankings on the search engine results page. Advertisers pay less per click than ads with lower Quality Scores, saving much needed budget. Accounts with high Quality Scores don’t just save on cost per click (CPC), they save on cost per conversion too.
How content ideas for website and blog to aid site performance is to be developed
There are many content discovery tools, from Ahrefs, Google Trends, Quora, Growthhackers, Google News, Twitter, Reddit. All of these platforms can provide you with content suggestions, ideas and themes.
One of the main ways our team finds new content ideas is by crawling competing domains on Ahrefs content gap tool. This software shows keywords that your chosen competing domains rank for, but the website doesn’t rank for.
The tool then suggests keyword themes and content ideas which are being discussed currently and shows you the position, search volume and CPC of the content so you can review it and use it for ideas. Finding keywords which competitors rank for can open up new ideas for the blog and improve website performance as more keywords will be ranked, bringing in additional traffic.
The results show keyword positions and volumes in comparison to competing domains:
Ahrefs.com also has a section on its tool called “Top Referring Content” which can be used to see which content is the most popular.
Google Trends gives some insight into search terms and the popularity of themes.
For example, a search for the rest and be thankful on Google Trends shows interest over time. This means content can be created based on popular places or attractions.
Quora is a website and app where you can discover new things and connect with others based on particular topics. You can discover collections and communities that match your interests. This is a good way to construct new blog topics and articles, which will bring in new traffic for the website.
See below for possible content ideas from a quick Quora search:
Using Answer The Public can give great ideas for researching new content topics and themes – example screenshot below of possible content suggestions
Link Research Tools (LRT) finds the strongest pages of any website which helps you understand which pages are the most powerful on a website. The software shows the strongest subpages and sub-folders of a domain. This type of competitor research enables careful analysis and content prospecting. The LRT Competitive Landscape Analysis compares the link profile of the user’s domain with other, competitive domains by using e.g. the top search results for a keyword.
Through crawling and visualising relevant information and SEO metrics the analysis provides a qualitative overview of how one’s link profile appears compared to the top competitors. Additionally, the competition’s SEO activity can be viewed in detail, which allows the user to identify best practices regarding new link building, keyword selection and ranking improvements.
A process to identify areas where site information architecture and internal linking could improve
Sitebulb has an Internal URL report which provides a more holistic view of how the site is put together. High level, structural indicators tell you how different content is distributed across the site, and intelligent hints warn of potential issues with URL structures. This report also does the simple things well, such as providing a straightforward way to access all the URLs from your website.
This tool will help the team learn how the website is put together, in terms of the different types of web pages, and how they fit in the overall hierarchy of the website structure
This means we can quickly spot potential issues, such as orphaned content or lots of disallowed pages.
You can find out what different types of content are on your site, and if you have a lot of URLs which are not HTML pages (which could result in wasted PageRank).
Seranking is another tool we use to on-page SEO audits, so using this to identify internal linking improvements and broken links.
Finding Internal Linking Opportunities – how the process could be designed
Google Search Console shows and helps you find internal links with at least 28 days’ worth of data, although preferably 90 days would be best.
The first thing we would do is log into Google Search Console
Then visit ‘Search Traffic’ > ‘Search Appearance’ and set the date range to Last 90 days
Finding Internal Linking Opportunities in search console.
It’s important to find out the general context of the content. For example, if I use “best beaches in Scotland” as a search term.
You would then go search on google in your browser and perform a “site:” search for your domain with the keyword, for example:
Find the article which is the most contextually relevant, and copy that URL.
This means we can then go back to Google Search Console and paste that URL so that Google only filters queries by that page. You can then see what keywords this page is already triggering for and take advantage of that so the team creates a higher quality internal link.
Select ‘Pages’ > No filter, and input the URL that you copied from the Google “site:” search.
Once you have filtered the links, click on the ‘Queries’ button again and you will see the keywords that this page is already ranking/visible for.
You could do an exact match link for the keyword, however, we would suggest that you find a semantically related word.
This adds even more context to your articles and this will only help to improve performance.
If you do this over a period of time the indexed pages will be more carefully planned. This process helps figure out where you are missing content opportunities. It can also help increase the relevant visitors which are coming to your website. You can keep visitors on your site longer and keep them engaged. The most important thing that this helps you do, is it helps to improve the searcher’s experience.
A clear process to fix broken links:
Fixing broken links for navigational purposes, search engines and customers is a good idea.
Each month a crawl is done using one of the above tools (SiteBulb, Screaming Frog, Ahrefs or SEranking).
Once the crawl is complete any broken links are exported and scheduled for completion on the project management system.
These are then reported on at the end of the month.
Recommendation procedure for optimisation of all content assets, including copy, images and all multimedia
Our project management tool has task lists for SEO, PPC, Web Changes which means we can categorise work which is need completed. In terms of scheduling copywriting tasks, our 4 in-house content writers, would manage any content optimisation tasks. We can work per category and set out a structure to optimise the pages.
For example, the main elements we would optimise on-page for copy is:
- Page Title
- Meta description
- Body Content
- Alt tag
- Internal links
- Structured data mark-up for snippets and answer boxes
A dedicated task on our project management tool (teamwork.com) will be made accessible between teams. Alternatively, Trello is also great for task management, and can help streamline tasks, cutting down on time spent. For example, a card marked as green indicates the page has been completed for alt text optimisation. This will enable other team members to see what’s active and completed.
Video optimisation is much more important now, therefore, it is recommended to structure and markup any video content with structured data to help your video show in Google Search and be an entry point for discovering and watching the videos. The description can be edited, thumbnail URL, upload date, and duration. Google may use your mark-up to power carousels (for example, the Top stories carousel with AMP). Video mark-up enables a badge on the image in mobile image search results, which can encourage more users to click the displayed content. Video optimisation can increase the click through rate (CTR) of the website.
Here’s an example of video structured data for AMP using JSON-LD.
An example of standard video mark up using JSON-LD.
Structured data & snippets
You must include the required properties for your content to be eligible for display as a rich snippet result.
You can also include the recommended properties to add more information about your content which may provide a better user experience.
Additional image guidelines
Every page must contain at least one image (whether or not you include markup).
Google will pick the best image to display in Search results based on the aspect ratio and resolution.
- Image URLs must be crawlable and indexable
- Images must represent the marked up content.
- Images must be in .jpg, .png, or. gif format.
For best results, provide multiple high-resolution images (minimum of 50K pixels when multiplying width and height) with the following aspect ratios: 16×9, 4×3, and 1×1.
The date the video was first published, in ISO 8601 format.
It is recommended to provide a URL for your video.
You can provide a URL by using one or both of the following properties: “contentUrl” and “embedUrl”.
Video best practices
Tip: You can ensure that only Googlebot accesses your content by using a reverse DNS lookup.
The duration of the video in ISO 8601 format.
Usually this is the information in the src element of an <embed> tag.
The number of times the video has been viewed.
A process to monitor and make recommendations to resolve site health issues identified in Google Search Console or Bing Webmaster Tools
Regular weekly manual checks are part of the process involved when reviewing important elements, such as the URL inspection tool, performance, coverage, sitemaps, mobile usability and links report via Google Search Console can mitigate against major site wide issues and stop problems arising in the future. Usually index and crawl issues are the main problems encountered by webmasters via Search Console or Bing Webmaster Tools.
Mobile usability issues are now becoming more common as Google has moved to Mobile first indexing.
To help the process, you can add in any email address to Google Search Console to be provided with updates on critical/important issues. For example, an admin would receive an email with information about “content wider than screen on mobile”. This task would then be scheduled for updating on teamwork.com project management system using the green, orange and red traffic light system.
Google search console allows you to export and download the crawl/indexing issues to csv. This csv can then be shared on a task or card to other team members.
As part of the process of monitoring issues, the tasks should be grouped by task list and marked green for complete, orange for active and red for not started yet.
Example issues for mobile usability which may be encountered are ‘content wider than screen on mobile’, ‘clickable elements too close’, ‘text too small and viewport not set.’
|Error||Content wider than screen||Complete||4|
|Error||Clickable elements too close together||On going||3|
|Error||Text too small to read||Not Started||0|
|Error||Viewport not set||Not Started||0|
|Valid||Mobile-friendly pages||Not Started||163|
Example issues which could be flagged by Google Search Console
Our project management system will give a breakdown of the task completion, time, milestones and work by user (on the right hand side). See project management overview below:
Ensure site mark-up is accurate and make recommendations for improvements or new innovations
Google has a Structured Data Testing Tool which can be used to see what is marked up properly.
Google crawls your website and shows structured data on a page by page basis.
There is a rich results testing tool too:
The old search console is still available and gives you quite a lot of information about schema mark-up.
Adding structured data to your news, blog, and articles can improve your appearance in Google Search Results Pages (SERPs). Enhanced features can include placement in the Top stories carousel, host carousel, Visual stories, and rich result features such as headline text and larger-than-thumbnail images.
Web pages may be eligible for different features depending on how you code your page:
AMP with structured data: AMP pages with structured data can appear in the Top stories carousel, host carousel of rich results, Visual stories, and rich results in mobile Search results. These results can include images, page logos, and other interesting search result features.
Non-AMP web pages with structured data: Non-AMP article pages that include structured data can increase the likelihood of appearing in search results with rich result features.
All of the structured data which Google recommends are available here:
When it comes to marking up content like video, it’s important to know the required properties to be optimised (description, title and length).
These are listed below on the video objects table from Google developers:
Schema which is relevant, although not implemented by google yet is the tourist attraction mark-up
Google doesn’t use it at the moment, although Google is now starting to approve different types of schema. These are best practices, although Google does have their own way of doing things with reference to marking up content.
Monitoring, reporting and analysis on site accessibility and indexation
Google Search Console highlights all indexation issues. This can be found under sitemaps. The platform shows you when the sitemap was processed, how many pages were submitted and how many were indexed.
Index errors can be analysed and resubmitted by our technical SEO consultants, see below:
Fetch and Render
Pages can be fetched and rendered by Google using Search Console. See below here:
Crawl errors and crawl stats can be viewed on the left hand side and marked as fixed once complete (these are split between desktop and smartphone). See here:
Ongoing recommendations for implementation, including Sitemap XMLs and robots.txt files
A sitemap is a list of the main pages on a website (usually limited to 50,000 pages). Sitemaps are responsible for showing the similarities or relationships that exist between the site components and the pages on the website. They also have more metadata about each page such as update frequency, update date and content types. A sitemap provides the following information to a search engine:
- Types of content in pages;
- A website’s structure with the pages it has;
- Extra information such as image type, description of the content
When a new page is created the sitemap should be set-up to automatically update.
Google Search Console has a blocked URLs section with the new Robots.txt tester to help gain insight on errors or warnings which could be found in your robots.txt file. Simple robots.txt mistakes may prevent search engines from crawling your sites.
The robots.txt file is a resource for search engines to understand what pages, site sections, or types of pages they shouldn’t spend time crawling. It can be a benefit when telling Google what non-search index critical content you have on your site, duplicate content, and content you don’t want crawled.
While this is a handy tool for a webmaster, you have to understand how to use it and test the robots.txt file. There are three types of robots.txt directives:
Anything as a child page of a folder (Disallow: /example-folder/*)
A file type (Disallow: /*.pdf)
Below are common robots.txt errors which should be avoided.
Launching a site and the staging site robots.txt is brought into the production site disallowing the entire site from crawling.
Disallowing the folders of the site that hold indexable content such as images, videos or multimedia. You may catch this first by seeing a drop or non-existence of image impressions in Google Search Queries information.
A process to review and provide recommendations to improve site performance for user experience and search engines, including monitoring of site speed issues
Google Page Speed Insights helps provide information on how to improve the speed of your website on all devices
(https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights/) – The tool shows mobile and desktop speed results.
GT Metrix crawls your website and analyse your server speed and page speed.
Google Analytics (GA) shows a list of slow pages according to specific browsers and locations. Part of the process is gradually and randomly checking individual pages for speed performance. When scheduling tasks for speed optimisation we would discuss what is a priority, and how updates may impact other areas of the website internally.
Once the team is in agreement on how to move forward our project manager would create tasks for each element under the task list “Speed Optimisation” on our project management system. We would then use this task list as our priority list to work through, with updates happening via the system and Skype channel to keep every team member up to date with what tasks are complete.
GA also analyses and tests website speed. The behaviour site speed overview, page timings, speed suggestions and user timings highlight important data about average page load time, country, the specific page and the server response time. See site speed section on Google Analytics below:
HotJar is a user experience testing tool which guides you in understand what users want, care about, and do on your site by visually representing their clicks, taps, and scrolling behaviour as long as it’s set-up correctly.
Elements which can be tested on-page:
- Heatmap analysis
- Visitor Recordings
- Conversion Funnels
- Form Analysis
- Feedback Polls
- Incoming Feedback
- Recruit User Testers
Analyse and advise on redirects as required
Screaming Frog and Google Search Console show you the 404s (page not found),301 and 302 redirects.
Google Search Console shows not found pages (404s) which can be used to tidy up your website with broken pages.
301 redirects are the recommended way of ensuring website traffic is sent to the most up-to-date version of a URL. For example, if a website page is deleted and your customers try to access that page and it’s no longer there, they get an error message, which isn’t a great user experience. You would use a permanent redirect of the old URL to the new, or most appropriate URL (a 301 redirect).
The 301 status code is one of many HTTP responses which tells visitors and search engines what is happening with that URL. The HTTP response status code “301” means this URL has moved permanently and as such, should only be used for permanent redirection, meaning any links featuring the URL that the 301 moved permanently response is received for, should be redirected to the new URL provided.
To better explain this, it is worth briefly running through the process of a how a web page is served to a visitor in the first place.
When the website server “serves” up a web page on your site to a visitor (either a human or search engine crawler) it also serves a status code in the header. This information is “served” before the actual page content to inform your browser (or search engine) what the page contains, for example HTML, PDF, video etc. The server status code is designed to inform the visitor or search engine the “status” of the page (file) in question.
Monitor site performance across core markets, and make international targeting and optimisation recommendations
Site performance can be measured across many countries using ahrefs.com and SEM Rush.
The organic keywords report in Ahrefs shows how visitors search per country, the keywords they use, the traffic volume share per keyword, the rank position and URL which ranks. This can be insightful data as it means new keywords which haven’t been picked up on can be explored per country.
To monitor site performance, we can use the ‘movements’ section on ahrefs under ‘organic search’
For example, in Italy, Ahrefs shows organic keyword data based on what search term currently ranks, the volume, keyword density, CPC, traffic share and URL.
This information is key because it analyses specific pages that rank and have potential to do improve.
Foreign language websites
Our client, The Rare Malt Whisky Company has an e-commerce website selling all over the world.
These overseas markets include Germany, France, Italy, Sweden, China, Japan and USA.
For large websites, the best approach to international SEO is going to be either a directory or subdomain structure. From an SEO and analytics tracking perspective, things can become unmanageable when you have multiple top-level domains.
If your time and resources are limited, consider buying one non-country-specific domain, which hosts all the different versions of your website. In this case, we recommend either of these two options (https://webmasters.googleblog.com/2008/08/how-to-start-multilingual-site.html):
- Structure the content of every language in a different subdomain. For our example, you would have en.example.com, de.example.com, and es.example.com.
- Structure the content of every language in a different subdirectory. This is easier to handle when updating and maintaining your site. For our example, you would have example.com/en/, example.com/de/, and example.com/es/.
A directory structure would be the preferred choice. It is clean for the navigation, and directories add to the overall authority of the website. This is basically the case with subdomains. Subdomains are more “separate” than a directory structure as far as content segmentation is concerned.
It’s very important to correctly declare the appropriate character encoding of your pages to make sure they’re displayed properly, especially handling with non-ASCII characters, for which UTF-8 is recommended.
You also should specify the language of each of your pages by making use of:
- HTML Lang
- Content Language Meta Tags
- HTTP Headers
Google doesn’t use meta tags or HTML attributes to identify the language of specific pages, these are used by other search engines, for example Bing. Therefore, it’s recommended to include them, making sure the annotation is correctly set and included with the right language code for each case.
Use this reference to specify the HTML Lang attribute and this other to set the “content-language” HTTP header and meta tag.
Hreflang Language Specification
Hreflang annotations are used by Google to identify the language (and also country) targeting of a page to make sure they always show the right version to the relevant user. Hreflang uses the ISO 639-1 codes to specify the language.
As Google includes in this document, hreflang can be featured as:
An HTML link element in every page header, which can be the simplest way to implement it
The HTTP header, which can be especially useful for non-HTML files
In XML Sitemaps, which also can be handy when there are too many international web versions to include
The hreflang annotation also can be used along with the rel=canonical annotations as long as the canonicals are used to fix content duplication issues within the same international Web version.
Geo-targeted English language websites
Geo Targeting is active response to Geo-Location: Having identified the visitor’s location according to the IP, and/or WiFi / GPS data (=”geolocation”), content specific to that location is served (=”geotargeting”). This location can be a country, state, city and more.
The results are specific to the location, in an effort to serve information which is relevant to the search query.
When setting up conversion experiments that test different page elements, it may be valuable to make a prior segmentation that is location-based. Testing different ideas and approaches when location is taken into account, usually creates interesting insights. What will work better for your funnel – showing your traffic from Spain pages in Spanish or English?
A/B testing and multivariate testing can be very useful. If the traffic is segmented correctly according to location before the split, your experiment is of far better quality, which will yield better results for the campaign. For any website it is important to undertake lots of tests using geo targeting to best target individual searches within the core markets.
The page language should always be matched to the visitor’s country of origin.
Measure what converts better if you have an entire funnel in different languages, otherwise decide on a KPI on the page (CTA click, time on site) and measure its performance.
For example, visiting visitscotland.com from Germany redirects to their visitscotland.com.com/de directory, and the language is as expected. Finding the location change icon is fairly easy at the bottom left, as is the language switch at the top right of the main menu.
Geo-Targeting allows webmasters to run different campaigns in different locations. Your ads might be served all over the world and vary in their marketing message according to the segment and audience that you approach. Is the marketing message on your site the same as the geo-targeted ad? You can experiment with sending traffic from a geo-targeted banner to a geo-targeted landing page (in language, currency, offer,) and to a generic page.
Market knowledge of the core target markets
An international SEO campaign offers scalable way to grow and reach core markets, like Germany, USA and Spain listed in the project scope and brief.
It’s important to understand the level of detail and planning it takes in order to effectively plan resources and actions with the required time and scope.
The international SEO process for target markets can be structured as follows:
Market Research & Analysis
An international SEO process should begin with in-depth market research to validate the initial starting point and the potential for each international market, which will allow you to prioritise.
The first step is to identify your current international organic search visibility, traffic, conversions, and conversion rate by answering the following questions:
Which other countries and languages are currently receiving organic search visibility and traffic share?
What’s the search volume and trends over time of the organic search visibility and traffic coming from each country and language?
What are the keywords which have the most search visibility and traffic for each of the main core markets?
Analysing the organic search click through rate (CTR) and conversion rate of the visitors coming from each of the top international markets?
What is the conversion volume and trend coming from each of these core markets?
These questions can be answered using data from Google Analytics, using the “Geo” reports under the “Audience” section report.
Search Volumes & Potential
Now it’s time to assess the potential of each of the top country and language markets you’re considering targeting (for which you have already identified your current status in the previous step).
Keyword research will help to identify this potential by collecting the following data for each one of them:
Relevant keywords and phrases used as queries by your international audiences
Organic search volume for these keywords per country
Level of competition of the keywords per country
Your current rankings for these keywords in the target markets
As initial input to identify the relevant keywords, you can use the ones you got before – the ones that are already bringing organic search traffic to your site – and complete the information by using the following tools:
Google Keyword Planner
Google Keyword Planner is usually used for keyword and market research.
You also can use the Bing keyword research tool or the keyword tool of the search engine used by your target market.
These are useful to get not only more relevant keyword ideas but also the “official” organic search volume and trend provided by the search engine. The figures are used as a reference.
Be mindful of selecting the relevant country and language from the options to make sure you get more accurate data for the desired market.
This tool provides you the information of Google Suggest, allowing you to select from 11 countries and 6 languages, and you can use it to get additional ideas for your target audience queries.
With a “Top Sites” list, SimilarWeb allows you to identify websites which have the highest traffic of any country and sector, this gives you potential competitors for each international market.
This tool also features a profile for each of the listed websites, including information about their top organic search keywords and search traffic channels which can be used for keyword research.
SEMRush enables an additional source of keywords (supporting 25 countries so great for the core markets Italy, France, Germany and USA) as it allows you to search for ideas and volume for website and keywords. This tool is another example of a competitor analysis tool. You can use the websites identified as your potential competitors for each country.
After selecting the most relevant keywords which target the different types of searches (informational or transactional) of your international audience and identifying their organic search volume, it’s time to verify how difficult it would be to rank for them. Keyword difficulty can be used in this instance. Competition levels in Google Keyword Planner Tool can also help with identifying competition levels.
Once market research has been undertaken to see how competitive the keyword is to rank for, you can check your current rankings for the selected keywords using rank tracking software.
Why this is the right strategy for internationalisation
This process ensures we have all the information we need to identify the search potential for each country and language and the best way to target these search terms.
Understanding which countries have enough organic search volume of relevant and reasonably competitive keywords can help the team select these search terms to target and prioritise.
Location is an important factor to take into consideration for large websites.
Once you have selected your desired international web targeting and the type of structure to use it’s recommended to optimise the website to make sure it is crawlable, indexable, and relevant. It is always a good idea to provide the desired targeting signals in order to avoid search results issues. For example, the wrong keyword indexed for the wrong landing page.
Crawlability and Indexability
As each of your international web versions need to be crawlable and indexable by Google and Bing, they need to be featured in their own URLs under their relevant structure.
It’s recommended to avoid using scripts/cookies which don’t allow search engines to correctly index content as that can confuse Googlebot.
It’s also important to link between your different international websites for crawling and indexing purposes.
It’s also important to translate (if language targeted) or localise (if country targeted) the different elements of the pages of each of your international website versions, using the search terms which have been identified during the research stage:
Crawlability: Bots ability to crawl your site.
Obtainability: Bots’ ability to access information and parse your content.
Perceived site latency: Critical Rendering Path.
- Title and meta descriptions
- Menu and navigation elements
- Images and alt tag descriptions
- Main body content
- Prices, address
Our project management system has gantt chart functionality which can be used to map out the project time line.
Within Teamwork Projects, you can view and manage each of your projects in a Gantt chart, giving a graphical ‘timeline’ representation of your project.
A column showing task lists, tasks, subtasks and any attached milestones.
A completion percentage tracks the progress when tasks are complete while viewing the Gantt chart – if you use the button at the top to show completed tasks too, this will update to show the overall completion based on tasks already completed.
You can collapse and expand each task list using the next to the task list name.
Timeline – this is at the top of the chart, showing months and days. Weekends are highlighted in grey.
Tasks – represented by coloured bars, the colour is associated with a person on the project automatically when they are invited and is fixed.
Tasks are grouped together into task lists, which have a grey bracket above each to show the earliest start date and latest due date of any task on the list.
Next to each task, you’ll see the name of the person assigned and the duration (this is the automatically calculated difference between the start date and due date).
Lines with arrows from one task to another represent dependencies.
Milestones – shown as an orange diamond at the bottom of their attached task list, on the day that they are due.
Only Milestones which are attached to a task list will show on the Gantt chart.
We use various tools and platforms for client reporting purposes.
Each tool which we use has its own benefit, whether it is used for keyword tracking, competitor analysis, link outreach or technical SEO.
Keyword Reporting & analysis
One of these tools is Pro Rank Tracker which tracks historical keyword positions, suggestions, monthly average search volumes, URL groups, location, device (desktop, mobile & tablet). This tool is very useful for client reporting as the data which is pulled from the reports can inform and provide insights into the SEO campaign performance.
Below is an example report for one of our clients who owns an Indian restaurant in Glasgow. We track various keywords for this client. From the more general, to longer tail keyword
- “indian restaurant Glasgow” (general search term)
- “indian restaurant merchant city” (long-tail search term)
Example Keyword Rank Report
Competitor Analysis Reporting
Ahrefs provides insights and reports with reference to competing domains. An example report below shows the top ranked organic keywords.
This reports shows search volumes, traffic share, keyword position movements, URL and Cost Per Click (CPC) per country.
This report from Ahrefs.com shows organic traffic all time, one year or 30 days.
It also shows the main countries where traffic come from, the top 10 competitors and backlinks / domain volumes.
Link Outreach Reporting
We use the link opportunity review tool in Link Research Tools (LRT) to gather link intelligence data on link quality prior to reaching out.
With the Link Juice Recovery Tool, you can find broken links, to pages that existed previously, but don’t anymore.
While traditionally “broken link building” is only about the outgoing links, this tool looks at your inbound link profile.
Usually, the tool reveals a couple of thousand links which you lost previously.
The Link Juice Recovery Tool method can be seen below:
Technical SEO Reporting
Screaming Frog SEO Spider is a technical SEO tool which we use to crawl missing page titles, descriptions, images, error response codes, URLs, canonicals, pagination issues and international SEO diagnosis.
Google Search Console has been through various updates and is now seen as the main reporting tool for technical SEO.
Google Analytics is also great for reporting purposes when analysing page speed improvements, traffic issues, time on page, location analysis and more.
Google page speed insights (https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights/) gives easy access to data about speed, although this tool should only be used for general speed information. A more accurate speed testing report is GTMetrix.
W3c validator checks the markup validity of Web documents in HTML, XHTML, SMIL, MathML, etc. If you wish to validate specific content such as RSS/Atom feeds or CSS stylesheets, Mobile content, or to find broken links, there are various validators and tools available.
Frequency of reporting & availability of open access to data
For larger campaigns we dedicate time to weekly phone calls. This allows our team to update clients on-demand. It also allows for time to ask questions, analyse data, make campaign recommendations and highlight what’s currently working or not. Weekly reporting means the purchaser and our team keep in constant communication.
Monthly face-to-face meetings to review campaign performance for the next month are also essential. This allows us to forecast, plan and schedule the required campaign tasks.
Our project management system allows open access to open & completed tasks, task breakdown, project milestones, campaign data, team members, gantt chart data, task lists and end of month reports.
Designing, executing and measuring digital outreach strategies
Creating content for other websites via outreach is one of the main ways which a digital outreach strategy works.
Promoting content (primarily blog posts or articles) for increased traffic, social engagement, and links is the main goal for any outreach strategy.
We usually keep outreach for content promotion simple by using Twitter direct messages.
For example, over the summer holidays we launched a campaign around outdoor experiences in Scotland and we knew two of our prime audiences were stag dos and hen parties. We knew what our focal points are when we reach out. We also know what to focus the content around.
Once the content is created, and we have a general idea of where it’s going, we have many tools for finding relevant people.
BuzzSumo is a great tool for outreach. It has the ability to search a domain name for popular content and then dig into to see not only what topics have resonated with that audience, but who shared it.
An example link we achieved for our Client, Vertical Descents, was a german article where we were referenced with anchor text “Inchtree Falls” – https://www.visitbritain.com/de/de/schottland-tiefe-schluchten-kleine-fluchten
We then use this information to put together link prospect. BuzzSumo can help create an initial list to work from.
Our in-house digital marketers are good at identifying and developing relationships online.
We also use Ahrefs and Link Research Tools for designing the outreach strategy.
Firstly, you would search the domains/links pointing to a specific URL and generate a prospect list.
Once you have a relevant list you can then begin to manually outreach to the website owners.
How we do it
Using shared online documents and project management software to keep our in-house team up to date on each customer touch point is useful. We can then update your CRM or project management tool with this communication. To help manage the outreach process and keep track of who has been emailed, when and what the response was we use Google Drive and sheets.
The main point about outreach is to have a really good outreach email. If you can capture the reader’s attention you will stand a really good chance at building a relationship.
Mobile site and app optimisation
The Mobile Friendly Test shows how easily a visitor can use your page on a mobile device.
The web is being accessed more and more on mobile devices. Designing your websites to be mobile friendly ensures that your pages perform well on all devices, from desktop to mobile and tablet.
Google Search Console alerts you about critical site and helps you manage how your content appears in search results.
A good approach is to look at niche keywords. These are keywords which are relatively untapped and have high relevance to your app.
We evaluate keywords for mobile app strategy based on the following metrics:
Search Volume: These figures show often the keyword is searched for in the app store. It tells us how much traffic we should expect to see from this keyword.
Difficulty: This is often determined by a mixture of how many other apps are currently competing for this keyword and how strong the ASO profiles of those apps are. It tells us how likely it is to rank and achieve visibility for this keyword.
Relevancy: There is no point targeting a keyword which isn’t relevant to your product. The people searching that keyword should be looking for your service. A larger volume keyword may yield less downloads than a much smaller keyword.
Analytics for Mobile App Optimisation
Just like Google Analytics, there are a number of powerful app store analytics tools that are designed to help your mobile app strategy. You will be able to see where your app stands in relation to competing apps and to boost your app store rank.
For example, these analytics tools can give insight into mobile app data:
- Sensor Tower
Personalisation usually involves finding out which signals to use to define the user personas around which the strategy is formed.
Create behaviour-based user personas
Behavioural data is the foundation of personalisation. When considering personalisation scenarios, it’s vitally important to know who you’re talking to.
Establish behaviour-based segments and understanding the customer journeys for each is important for segmentation and personalisation.
Google Analytics shows you what time a user engaged with your content. You can then dig deeper to understand how website visitors are behaving at different times of the day.
For example, some example questions during this process are:
- Are website visitor’s commuting with an hour to spare for reading long-form content?
- Can you pick out users that are browsing on a tablet in front of the TV?
- Which users have a preference around reading short versus long-form content?
Using a variety of techniques, you can determine with some accuracy where someone is in the world. This gives us more specifics for our persona and more signals to consider. You could use geo location to deliver specific content, for example, be it on a country or hyper-local level.
Using past behaviour to predict website visitor’s intent helps personalise their experience to help them towards their goal. In so doing, you look at what a user has done so far to anticipate the journey they are on.
Taking this further you can add more signals together to try and predict the user’s intent. For example, how did the user arrive on the site? Did they use a specific search phrase or arrive from a particular email campaign? This information – much of which you can find in Google Analytics – can clear the way to the user objective.
Aligning SEO efforts with PPC for optimum search exposure
Implementing a pay per click (PPC) campaign can actually help you put together the perfect SEO strategy.
By creating different PPC campaigns which target specific keywords, you can analyse which keywords receive the most search volume. This way means we can also determine which keywords lead to the most conversions and the lowest cost per acquisition.
Sharing data from the search terms report on Google Ads with the SEO teams will help everyone working on the campaign understand the keywords which are converting. This data is ideal for using in the SEO campaign.
Another point to consider when it comes to aligning SEO and PPC is click through rate (CTR) testing.
The best way to get more visitors is to make all the impressions count (by testing CTR).
To calculate the click-through rate on a paid ad you will need to divide the total number of clicks on the ad by the total number of impressions (i.e. the total number of people who saw the ad). You can multiply your result by 100 to save time calculating the percentage.
Although a lot of marketers may talk about click-through rates in paid advertising, there are several ways to measure click-through rates on other channels.
For example, if you want to know how many people visit a website after reading one blog post then in this instance we would look at the click-through rate, which will tell me how many people clicked the link to the website from the blog post, out of the total number of visitors to the blog post.
Visitors Who Click Website from Blog Post/Total Number of Blog Post Visitors x 100 = Conversion Rate
Digital marketers use the conversion rate and the click-through rate to measure the success of their digital marketing efforts. However, click-through rates and conversion rate impact two different stages of the sales funnel.
At the top of the sales funnel, the click-through rate measures how many people perform an action (ad click) before they arrive on the website.
At the middle and bottom of the sales funnel, conversion rates measure actions which people take when they’re already on the website, like submit a form, newsletter signup and download an infographic.
For example, if you want to find out how many people visited your website after clicking a Facebook Advert you may want to determine the click-through rate (CTR).
If the Facebook ad earned 100,000 impressions, and 6,500 of those people clicked the ad to visit the website, that makes the click-through rate 6.5%.
Click through rates can be improved by changing page titles, URLs, meta descriptions and using different call to actions, e.g. “visit our website to see why…”
It is important to A/B test various elements of your landing pages. For example, hero images, call-to-actions, taglines, descriptions, button positioning and the format of contact forms.
Get Your SEO Audit
Does your website target the right people?
If not and you would like a comprehensive website analysis and audit then hire our team for a day to find out how we can help you build your domain trust up and generate more website traffic organically.
What marketing strategy are you looking for?
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
Full Digital marketing strategy
What can we help you with?
Select one service
Website Design & Build
What are your marketing goals?
Increase Website Traffic
What locations are you targeting?