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The Digital Business Kit for Retailers

Learning Outcomes

Retailers will understand how they can use eMarketing strategies to sell products and services online. [printfriendly]

mod-arrow SEO

Search Engine Optimisation

effective seoA primary goal of eMarketing is to get people to actually visit your online presence – typically your company website or product page. Search engines are free online applications that people commonly use to search and find information online.

Search engines use a variety of techniques and algorithms to find web pages that match your search criteria, listing the most relevant search results first. There can often be many pages of search results, depending on how broad or specific the search criteria are. Your goal?  Get listed in the search results on the first page, as close to the top as possible. This will increase the likelihood that people searching for information will go to your website.

SEO, which stands for “search engine optimisation,” is the process optimising your online marketing techniques to benefit from the “free,” “organic,” “editorial” or “natural” listings on search engines. All major search engines, such as Google and Bing, have a variety of algorithms and methods to quickly and effectively generate search results. Meeting algorithms’ criteria is critical to getting traffic to your website. For example, if you sell Sport Clothing in Brisbane, you want your retail shop to come up on the first result page every time someone searches for “sports clothing Brisbane.” SEO helps you do that.

The search result position from SEO is a result of your efforts to adjusting website content and other best practices listed on this page, rather than paying for your ad to show up, which is a form of paid advertising.

Why SEO?

Customers are far more likely to click organic search results versus paid results. While surveys show the results vary somewhat, the average rate of preference to organic results vs. paid is significant.

In essence, search engines have different things they look for in a website to match it to a search request. As your company builds and develops its website and online presence, it is important to develop and follow a SEO strategy. The optimise-marketing section below provides a basic overview.

Strength: SEO and analytics are a must for online marketing, attracting new customers who are not connected to you via other channels.

Weaknesses: SEO is only as effective as the website or presence it leads visitors to. Analytics should be used to track how your content is performing AND how your website is performing through metrics like “bounce-rate” (indicating how rapidly people are leaving your page), page visits, etc.

Costs: Can be free based on your own efforts in managing website content, or you may pay for consultant/3rd party services.

Optimise marketing

SEO has a basic level of best practices that should be followed. However, how and what you choose to implement can vary based on your company size, complexity and your goals.

Best practice

  1. Content updates – Always keep your webpage content up-to-date and fresh.
  2. Keywords – Use keywords that people are likely to use in your page content. There are tools available to find the frequency of keywords used in searches.
  3. Rich media (photos, videos, etc.) – Google loves YouTube videos. (Google owns YouTube)
  4. Link density – More links on your web pages increases your results ranking.
  5. Tags – Tags in your website related directly to your keywords.

Training/resource required: Basic SEO practices can be learned in a day-long workshop. However, the scope of your company’s SEO campaign is relative to your goals and many other factors. Many SEO methods can be set-up once when developing your website, but performance should be monitored regularly and adjustments made as needed.

Refer to resources for further information on analytics tools.

Common SEO tools

Analytics Analytics refers to data you will analyse to measure the success of your program. The data is collected by your website, platforms or 3rd party systems like Google Analytics.  You can view your email analytics in 3rd party systems like Constant Contact to see how many people opened the emails and clicked on links or content. Click here to visit the “What is eMarketing?” page for more on the free Google Analytics program or the resource page for other 3rd party analytics programs.
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Keyword tools After deciding on your product and target market, you will need to determine what keywords people will use to search for your product.  The Google keyword tool shows the search frequency from Google so you can type in the keywords you think people will use to search for your company and product and the keyword tool will show how many times the keyword has actually been searched.  It will also recommend related search terms that may yield better results.
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