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SEO for 2017 In South Africa. What does it involve?

SEO South Africa 2017Search Engine Optimization or SEO can be a very vast concept.
The aim of this article is to simplify things a bit.

We’ve all heard about Google Penguin and the latest update 4.0, but what does this mean with regards to online marketing and specifically SEO?

The old ways have become new and the new ways have become old. Whenever there is a system that works well, there will be somebody trying to misuse it. That is why keywords and meta tags have become obsolete and Google is increasingly focusing on quality over quantity.

Google is placing emphasis on the website itself and more specifically each page itself and the quality provided to readers.

On-Site SEO consist of 64% of the total SEO score for a website and the rest is made up with backlinks, but be warned: Not just any backlinks from anywhere, they are looking for backlinks from a website with a high domain and page authority.

How are companies affected?

If your website is outdated and been gathering dust, now is the time to take action. Get a reputable business that is well up to date with regards to SEO to design or re-design your website.

Correcting your content will be a good investment as once content is correctly setup, it will remain that way. Once a spelling mistake is corrected, it remains corrected unless it is deliberately changed. Yes, Google does check the spelling on your website as well.

Focus on quality rather than quantity on your website.

Herewith some fundamentals to keep in mind

  • Mobile friendly. As we are reaching closer to 85% of internet users that are using mobile devices, this has become obvious and need not even be negotiable.
  • Rather buy proper stock images than grabbing images from Google images and if so, consider it as a temporary and unethical solution.
  • Make sure your keywords are well structured without keyword spamming and that your content is sufficient and easy to read. The longer, the better approach does not apply any longer.
  • The design itself should be fast loading, carries the message across, be functional and well structured. Google check the interaction on the website itself. Add a call to action or simple contact form.
  • Google likes to see themselves. Add a map, Youtube video, Analytics etc. The more you use Google’s products, the more they see a two-way street.

Getting backlinks

Social media is still one of the most effective ways to get backlinks rather quickly. The only disadvantage is that they are considered as temporary backlinks, meaning you will have to focus on getting long term, more sustainable backlinks as well.

In South Africa, we don’t have that many options when it comes to buying backlinks as for instance the US. The manual way is still the best way as this will ensure that your quality stays high. Buying backlinks are like buying a lucky packet, you don’t always know what you get.Well written articles and guest posts are still winners, it establishes you as an expert in your field.

Hypes and trends. By researching what the latest hypes and trends are and relating it back to your business can bring in a huge amount of traffic. For example, if a used car dealer would write a quality article on the latest Ford Kuga catching fire story, they can improve rankings as long as the content of the article is not spammy and the content is unique.

Reporting

Quality reporting remains crucial to check how you rank and check how you are holding up to the competition. Google keyword checker and Analytics are valuable tools, but more in-depth reports can cut down time significantly by simply minimizing the guesswork.

Where does one start? It all seems so overwhelming.

Get a good quality report on your current website and on your nearest competitor on the keywords, you would like to focus on. This will tell you what they have that you don’t and vice vera.

A good report should contain all of the above. How your website is seen by visitors as well as Google. It should firstly tell you how your website is structured and where the shortfalls are. How keywords are structured, headings are used and what the overall user experience is. Secondly, it should tell you how well your website is known on the Internet for a specific keyword and what your competitor, as well as your own Page (PA) and Domain Authority (DA), is. Think of this as similar to a credit score at a bank.

Your current website designer may feel a bit intimidated with such a report, but it is not to discredit anyone and should rather be seen as a valuable tool to help everyone. After all, the aim is to increase sales and improve the overall performance of the company.

The next step is to understand exactly what the report means and how it can be used to your advantage. Consult with us and let us make suggestions in this regard.

Action plan

Setting up an action plan towards your digital marketing will provide you with a guideline to follow, broken down into steps. Know where you should focus your attention and in which order, whether it is on social media, your website, citations, your current clients, SEO etc. You need to know where to prioritize and follow up from there.

There are much more considerations than above, but the best solution is to be as informed as possible and work with someone that has the experience and knowledge to assist.