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SEO By: Clare

At Haxton we like to share experience and knowledge with our clients and we have been looking at the area of Internet Marketing.

When a business owner is looking for a new accountant they are much more likely to use the Internet than just a few years ago.  Most will type “accountant” and then “the area” into a search engine, such as Google, to help with this search.  A huge number of accountants will be displayed but unless we are on page one it’s unlikely we will be found.

So, to ensure that you are on page one you can do one of two things – you can use Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) or pay to appear at the top of the search list.  SEO is the process by which the quality and volume of traffic to a website from internet search engines is improved by using stragegic action.

The alternative is the Pay per Click (PPC) system, in which you can buy your way to the top, but this can be expensive and as less people opt for this in favour of the potentially cheaper SEO the cost of pay per click is increasing.  The main problem is most people are not clicking on sponsored links – 97% click on organic results.  But, amazingly, we have discovered that typically 41% – 45 % of users will click on the first result on the organic results.

To be successful with SEO you need to identify the right keywords, carry out on-page optimisation and create content on your website that is clear, and people will want to read.  You will then need to build links into your Website and it will be interesting to track our results.

It is recommended you have a log of where you are before you make any changes and monitor the results by using website traffic reports so that you can see if increased traffic to your website converts into new clients. This will help you calculate the Return on Investment (ROI). Vital so you can allocate your marketing budget effectively.

You can never guarantee that your website will rank top of every search engine for all your keyword phrases as the formulae that determine search engine ranking are complex and highly protected by the search engines.  Also these formulae constantly change, therefore continuous analysis and tweaking is required.

SEO and PPC can complement each other and form a robust search engine marketing programme.  One is not a substitute for the other. One strategy is to optimise your website for the most important keyword phrases that are searched frequently, and to conduct PPC keyword advertising on those keyword phrases that are less frequently searched.

As SEO requires much time and effort to make sure you keep up to date, it can be used on the most popular keyword phrases that will provide a quicker return on investment. Keyword phrases that do not get much volume of search are in many ways ideal for keyword advertising because they are likely to be overlooked by your competition, and being less competitive, will likely carry lower cost per click rates and better return.

Keywords are the starting point of any search engine campaign, these are the search phrases people use in search engines. A clear and thorough understanding of which keywords are relevant and will perform for your site are essential.  Ensure you are targeting the best keyword phrases by selecting those based on relevance and popularity.

Expanding a site, by adding new pages, is also an effective way to improve ranking and visibility in search engines. Additionally research has shown that websites with a blog have 50% more traffic and double the number of inbound links.

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