So, how do you optimise a website for Google?

The first thing to say is that since nearly 90% of all UK search traffic goes via Google, everybody wants to know the answer to that.

It’s the ’64 million dollar question’ of the online world and Google keeps the answer a closely guarded secret.

Partly because of this secrecy, different people will tell you different things and

The reality is, there is no single thing that you can do

There are over 200 ranking factors in Google’s algorithm. And whilst we know a lot about them, Google changes their importance to each other over 500 times a year.

Moz, a well respected SEO software company, does an annual ranking factor study, and you can see the results of their 2015 study, here:

moz-seo-ranking-factor-study-2015

Google’s ranking factors can be grouped into three broad areas:

  • relevance – how closely matched a webpage is to what someone is searching for. These factors are mainly to do with specific pages on your website.
  • visibility – how easy a website is, for search engines and for people to visit and understand. These factors are mainly to do with how the website is set up.
  • reputation – the degree to which your website is trusted by other websites. These factors are mainly to do with links to your website, from other websites.

Sounds hard work! Is it really worth the effort?

On the whole, yes. Whilst it can take quite some time to improve your website’s ranking, it’s worthwhile.

The table below shows the findings of a click-through study by Advanced Web Rankings (July 2014). You can read the full article here.

Click Through Rate Study from Advanced Web Rankings, July 2014

The study found that for organic search, on average:

  • Over 70% of searchers clicked a result on page 1 of Google.
  • The first 5 results on page 1 account for about 68% of all the clicks. The results from 6 to 10 account for only 3.7%.
  • Pages 2 and 3 on Google get only 5.6% of the clicks.

We also know that the percentage of people who click on a paid search result, rather than an organic search result, could be as low as 6%, and it’s certainly no higher than 25%.

Zanzi’s SEO process

  • Step 1: understand how well your website is doing compared to your competition. Where is it doing ok, where is there room for improvement and what quick wins are available?
  • Step 2: implement initial fixes and put in place a plan based on your business priorities.
  • Step 3: begin investing in content marketing: create webpages that are helpful for your target customers, at every stage of their buying process. And make those pages easy to share on social media.
  • Step 4: get active on social media. Give stuff away, answer people’s questions, and be the good guys in your sector.

And then repeat steps 3 and 4, measuring and refining you go, following a structured process such as this.

If you do all this right, people will begin to find you, trust you, and get in touch with you.

You can see a more detailed explanation on SlideShare, here, and you can learn more about SEO on our blog.

Using SEO we have helped:

  • An Ecommerce business in Oxford selling high-end health food supplements. Over an 18 month period we increased the number of keywords people used to visit the site from 100 to around 1,300, and quadrupled the number of people visiting the site.
  • An Oxfordshire-based executive taxi company, who were an established AdWords client. They were already ranking for several keywords but not for some of the ones they really wanted. The SEO quick wins that we implemented delivered a 52% increase in organic visits and a 61% increase in goal completions, compared to the same month in the previous year.
  • A national restaurant chain who were redesigning their website. We successfully preserved their search rankings and natural search traffic (around 250,000 visits per month) when the new website was launched.

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