Search Methodologies – Koala
- Organisations wishing to increase their natural rankings of their top keywords
- Organisations with a search strategy already in place
- Organisations looking to reduce PPC spend
The first stage of this integrated search model is to perform a Keyword Gap Analysis. That means looking at your keyword list and identifying which keywords you’re not currently ranking in the natural search results as well as you would like for.
If you’re already running a PPC campaign, you can use this stage to assess what are your lucrative keywords driving the most sales or leads. Once you’ve identified your keyword gaps compared to those driving traffic from natural search, prioritise the ones that you feel are appropriate whether due to the cost of purchasing them or the potential traffic you’re currently missing out on.
The second stage is to take your keyword and see if you have a page on your website which is optimised for this word.
For example if your keyword is ‘folding tables’, does it appear in that exact form in the following:
- Meta titles
- Meta descriptions
- Domain names
- Folder names
- Internal linking
- Back linking
- If your answer is under 50%, then it’s time to optimise that page some more. If you find you don’t have a single page that is optimised for that keyword only, it’s time to create a brand new page dedicated to that keyword. This page should be placed as high in the directory structure as possible, as the search engines place more importance on the pages the higher up in the structure they are.
Creating an entire page of content around a keyword, can seem difficult at first and as the purpose of this page is to not only be optimised for search engines but to draw in visitors to your website, it’s important you make sure your content is of the highest quality. The more time you spend on your content the harder it will work for you. I like to think of each content page of a website like a network of sales agents, each a specialist in their subject with their entire focus on pulling the customer in to the website or shop.
This brings us nicely on to the third stage. What actions do you want the visitor to do next?
Decide what call to action to add to your page of content. Draw on traditional long copy
direct marketing, so using some old school direct mail techniques like the acronym, AIDA
(Attention, Interest, Desire, Action) can prove very useful.
So that’s the visitors covered, but what about those hungry search engine spiders – what
do you want them to do next? Spiders cannot follow graphics, they need text, so make sure
there are text links to your deeper content pages to enable them to index the rest of your
website. Watch out for more than 100 links per page, as they’re known to get bored with
more than this number of links (just like your visitors).
So your page’s design and layout are just as important as the words you write. Get your
design team involved when you’re briefing the content page to ensure user experience
design is considered for every new page. Plus is this page accessible with a screen reader?
What happens to the page if your visitor is browsing via a mobile or a browser other than
Internet Explorer or Firefox?
This stage is similar to the previous stage, but it’s helping your other pages out. What
keyword do you mention in your new page of optimised content that you already have a
page of optimised content on?
If the link doesn’t draw away your visitors from the purpose of the page, add a hyperlink
to that page from that keyword. The anchor text that is used to link to a page is one of the
most important factors that the search engines consider when assessing a page for the
most relevant on a particular keyword. So if you have lots of links pointing to a page and the
keyword in the link matches the keyword the page has been optimised for, the Google bot will compute that others agree that this page is about what it says it’s about. External sites
with a higher page rank than your site have the ultimate authority on this, but you’re missing
out by not linking your own pages internally.
Do you have any sister sites that could link to you in this way? The search engines place
higher importance on links that are within editorial content rather than sneaked in at the
bottom or in a list with lots of other links, so try and add your optimised links within the
middle of the content. A word of caution, you don’t need to add more than a couple of links
per page; they should be relevant to the content and only add them at all if it doesn’t detract
from the goal of the page you’re optimising for.
So you’ve added your uber-optimised page that your visitors and the search engine
robots will agree is an authority on the subject. The final stage is to get out there and start
promoting your content. The purpose of this stage is to approach and secure links to this
page of content. Not only that, but ensuring the link added contains your keyword and
preferably, only that keyword.
This stage can be very time consuming. It usually consists of an initial research phase to
find appropriate linking partners, followed by an interaction stage where website owners,
bloggers and social networking groups are approached.
Partners’ content is assessed for search engine reputation (what’s their Google Page Rank)
and likelihood of the ability for them to publish a link.
A lot of links on blogs and forums use the “no follow” tag so search engines are discouraged
from passing value to the links to your site. However it does mean that you will receive
relevant traffic which may bookmark, share or buy from your site once they’ve clicked
Whilst volume of links is important, securing a link to your optimised page using the keyword
it’s been optimised for within the anchor text can jumpstart your SEO reputation and deliver
your website to SEO paradise.