What Can You Do To Improve your Search Engine Rankings?

Want to know the secret sauce to SEO success…? The big secret is that there is no secret! Pretty much every piece of SEO knowledge has already been given away for free by someone but the hard part for the average business owner is sifting through all the advice and figuring out what is going to give them the best bang for their buck.

In this article, we’re going to highlight some key areas where your efforts will get the most value. These are things that are easier and/or more effective when done by a business in-house than trying to outsource to an SEO agency. We’ll also highlight a few areas where agencies can really add a lot of value and take care of aspects of SEO that are very difficult for a business to do in-house without creating an internal SEO team.

The two main areas where you can add the most value are;

  • Requesting reviews from customers
  • Contacting other websites to request links

We’ll go into more detail on each below.

Requesting Reviews

Reviews are an important part of Local SEO (ranking in the local area) so it’s important that you encourage your past, present and future customers to review you on your Google My Business (GMB) listing.

The best way to do this is a personalised and direct email to your best customers possibly preceded by a phone call to explain it to them. There a lot of different possible approaches you could take to get them to agree but an honest request along the lines of ‘I’m trying to expand my business and I need to get some reviews from my best customers on my online Google profile’ usually works just fine. You can use the link below to send people directly to the review section of your Google My Business listing. They will need a Google account in order to leave a review. If you’re lucky, they will be willing to create an account first in order to leave the review you’ve asked for, or they’ll already have an account. If not, that’s understandable and hopefully, the next person you ask will have an account. It’s definitely a numbers game; not everyone you ask is going to end up leaving a review but the more requests you make, the greater your chances of getting more reviews.

Use this link to take people directly to the review screen for your business:

https://search.google.com/local/writereview?placeid=<placeid>

Replace the <place_id> placeholder with the place id which you can get from here: https://developers.google.com/maps/documentation/javascript/examples/places-placeid-finder

If you can ask your customers to mention the products and services they used/purchased then that will be extra helpful as Google scans for these words to help with your rankings.

Requesting Links from Other Websites

Links are another important part of SEO as Google considers links from other websites to your website as ‘votes’ for the quality and authority of your website. There are many techniques you can use to get links but one of the easiest is to simply email relevant websites and ask.

These requests work best when they come from someone internal to your business as you’ll be in a position to respond quickly with an accurate brand representation and negotiate. This technique is also a numbers game. Many of the websites you contact won’t reply at all, some will ask for money in exchange for a link, some might ask for a free product to ‘review’ and then they’ll include a link in their review and a small percentage of them will be happy to link to you without anything in return.

Ideally, we’ll want to get links without having to give anything in return but you could consider some of the exchange or payment options depending on how big the website is who’s doing the linking and what the cost/request is.

How Can an SEO Agency Help You?

The activities described above are most effective when done in-house but there are lots of other SEO strategies which are much more effective when done by a specialist agency such as SLAM Strategy as we have the software, experience, and knowledge to get them done quickly, efficiently and correctly while you focus on running your business.

There are many things we could mention here but we want to focus on two key things;

  • Advanced link building
  • Advanced keyword optimisation

Advanced Link Building

We’ve already explained the importance of getting other websites to link to yours (link building) and this is one of the key ways that an SEO agency can add value. There are hundreds of techniques we can use to build links and we’ll select the right one to fit your situation and goals. One of the most popular and effective techniques is known as ‘guest posting’ and it involves arranging to contribute articles to a third-party website with a link in it that points back to your website. There are several moving parts including writers, editors, researchers, and outreach specialists. We have the resources and systems in place to bring together a link building campaign that will meet your SEO goals effectively while you focus on running your business.

Advanced Keyword Optimisation

Keywords are another integral part of SEO as they are both the things that people type into a search engine to find something and the things that search engines scan for on websites to determine what that website is about. The basics of keyword optimisation are fairly simple and you can learn and apply them in-house if you can set aside the time. If you have a little more time then you can also optimise your website structure, keyword targeting (often the keywords you think people type in to find you are not the best to target or there are other opportunities you are missing) and Click-through Rates (CTRs) but now you’ll be spending an increasingly large amount of time learning and implementing SEO and at some point, you’ll probably realise that it would be better to outsource this work to a specialist SEO Agency such as SLAM Strategy rather than trying to become a jack of all trades yourself. We have access to special software, the latest industry research and have established templates and procedures to make sure nothing is missed and the maximum number of opportunities are discovered.

Conclusion

Want to get better rankings on Google? The good news is that you can get started on it right away in-house using the tips we’ve given in this article. But don’t get carried away and try to reinvent the wheel. You and your employees’ time is probably best spent on your core competencies and things close to your business while your SEO strategy is best managed by an SEO Agency such as SLAM Strategy. We can involve you and your team as much or as little as you like in the process so we can maximise our combined resources for the best results for your business.

Contact Us Today to Discuss your SEO Strategy

About the Author

Nick Morris

Nick Morris is the SEO & Web Development team leader at SLAM Strategy. He has nine years of experience working in the field of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) including five years with SLAM Strategy. Nick has primarily focused on SMBs and worked with businesses in a variety of industries including home improvement, business services, automotive, tourism, hospitality, retail, and many others. Nick is particularly interested in SEO strategy and process development.

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