I wanted to do a quick post on the keyword SEO Cardiff. Talking about why ranking for it is not only useless but also actually quite easy.
Google nowadays is based on a number of ranking factors. 200+. But none of these actually make a difference if you don’t build the correct picture and build that picture using the correct process! I’m writing this post as a test to use for some data about whether this keyword is really worth all the hassle. My findings would equal… Probably not.
SEO Cardiff – Who Cares? — No one.
The problem with these types of keywords are that the only people ever searching for them are the seo companies themselves who want the ego boost of saying “we rank #1 for SEO Cardiff” – This generates very very few leads and honestly overall is a massive waste of time for both agencies and even the clients the agency works for. If they are investing your campaign’s capital into ranking for a keyword to benefit just the ego… Not the best idea in the world.
You can see our process fully below if you are interested. It’s something I’ve refined over the years to a pretty exact system. We don’t take on many clients nowadays but if you are a Cardiff based business or if you are looking for seo training then feel free to get in touch!
As you probably already know if you’ve found this article, there are 2 broad elements to SEO. The first is on-page optimisation, this is anything that is done to your website directly, for example text, images and the code of the site. On-page elements are incredibly important and many people think they have integrated them correctly after reading 1 or 2 posts on SEO…. Chances are you are forgetting some of the most important elements or even over-optimising your content, which is something we’ve seen with 25% of clients coming on board in 2017. On-page optimisation is only the first stage. In competitive niches you will generally see similar on-page optimisation across all of the top ranking sites, the difference in rankings comes from the 2nd element of SEO, and that’s off-page SEO, primarily backlinks. First we will take a detailed look at all the on-page optimisation elements you need to include on your website or webpage.
On-Page Optimisation – Step 1 (Website Audit)
If you are creating a brand new website on a new domain then you won’t need to do a website audit, if you aren’t and you are looking to re-design or re-optimise the site then I would recommend an audit with the following elements, I am only including the most important as there is no need to over complicate these things!
- Website Speed – Check the speed of your website using the GTMetrix tool. This will give you a figure of between 0-100, and a grade between A-F. You want to see a figure above 80, anything less and you need to add website speed to your to-optimise list.
- Responsiveness – Google ranks responsive websites higher than non-responsive sites (all other metrics even), this means if your site is not mobile friendly you are losing on both rankings, but also on potential sales through a non-responsive and hence off putting website. You can test this using the Google mobile friendly tool. If this fails you will need a full responsive website redesign.
- Other Checks – in SEO 20% of your efforts results in 80% of the results (probably 95%.) As a result I don’t recommend any further audit checks. If you are more experienced in SEO or have the time to implement smaller tweaks, I would recommend looking into: branding, colours, images, coding, themes, website architecture, content & just about anything on the site itself.
On-page Optimisation – Step 2 | Keywords.
Determine your pre-established keywords. For example, if I want to rank this post for SEO Cardiff then I need to make sure I integrate this into all of the primary tags on the site.
One of the most misunderstood elements of SEO but one of the most important. Selecting the correct keywords can be the difference between zero visitors and thousands and that is no exaggeration. To select your keywords I would recommend going to the Google keyword planner and beginning by typing in the most obvious keywords you can think of related to your business, then continue to find longer, less competitive and less searched keywords. “But why would I want to do that?” Because all of these smaller keywords add up to huge traffic figures and they are also a lot easier to rank for. The keyword research section will take a long time if you have no experience doing it before, the advantage is if you are doing this manually you only need to do this once. Then simply save your keywords (I also recommend tracking your rankings using one of these tools.)
Using an example we can see how important keyword research really is.
Let’s take a local business example: A solicitor in Cardiff. Our primary keyword is going to be “solicitor Cardiff”, so we head over the keyword planner and check the search volume for this. [image right.]
After selecting this you want to hit the “keyword ideas” tab.
This page will show you all the information you need to know. Sorted by relevance and monthly search volume. Now you want to manually search through the keywords and take any keyword that a potential client or customer would relate to your business (all of them!) and add them to your list.
2 primary reasons:
1.) They are usually very similar to one another so optimising is very easy, we usually just have to say the same thing a bit differently, the technical name for this is latent semantic indexing or LSI.
2.) Ranking 1st for a keyword that only gets 10 searches a month might seem semi-pointless, but the truth is these are the best types of keywords! They are very uncompetitive, which means you can rank very quickly and hence generate sales / clients a lot quicker. Once you rank for one of these small keywords, you will rank for all of them. Ranking for 1 keyword that get’s 10 searches a month isn’t going to change your business. But ranking for 100 or 1000 of them is going to seriously increase your traffic.
Using our solicitor example, if we rank #1 for 3 keywords getting 10 searches per month each, then we should receive around 50% of this traffic (some goes to ads, some to lower organic results) so that’s an extra 15 visitors a month which sounds pathetic! But these are hugely targeted visitors, searching for the exact long keyword that we offer and as a result they are extremely likely to get in touch! Even at a conversion rate of 5%, inside 1 year these 3 tiny keywords would generate the business (5% x 15 x 12) = 27 new clients. The average lifetime value of a solicitor client? This depends on the service of course but let’s say £5,000. So that’s £135,000 additional revenue per year. Multiple that by 20 tiny keywords and you can see the importance of ranking for all the small keyword variations!
In our example there were approximately 40 keywords all saying a similar thing (law firm, solicitor, lawyer, legal services.) Individuals will search using different variations but we want to rank for all of the variations and to do this we first need to know them. Once you have your keywords in place you want to rank them in importance, generally you will put your most relevant and potentially most profitable ones at the top. I recommend picking 3 “golden” keywords that would generate your business the highest value if ranked. There is also an advanced method to finding long-tail keywords but that involves the use of a paid software so I won’t mention it for now as its not essential either, it just saves time on the process.
On-page Optimisation – Step 3 | Implementation.
Off-Page Optimisation | Backlink Generation
Pro Tip: Timing is everything, especially for brand new websites or domains, if you’ve been established for over 3-5 years the timings of the below are less important.
Pro tip 2: Not all backlinks are created equal. A link is only as powerful as the website it is coming from.
Backlink Generation | Stage 1 – The Foundation
- Press Releases – These are the easiest types of backlinks to create and they are great for branding your business, they are also perfect if your site is brand new. Either write and distribute a press release yourself or pay for a distribution service, this should be around £50-£200 depending on the distribution network and writing quality. Inside the PR remember to put a URL link back to your website with no specific anchor text (anchor text is the actual clickable part of an article, usually blue.) – I recommend at least 1 press release every 6 months, and more frequently if you have any press release worthy content or launches coming up.
- Citations – A citation is a place on another website where your business’s name, address and phone number is listed. For example Yell.com, Yelp, Thompsonlocal ect. You should aim to have as many of these as possible, but the most frequently used ones are listed here. Primarily used to rank local businesses in the Google map pack, but they are also great trust signals, showing Google that your business is “out there” and active. Citations and press releases should be done at the start of a backlinking campaign. Note: You should also have a Google business page set up if you are a local business or a Google brand page if you are a national/global one, simply search Google business for more information.
- Social Foundations – Social foundation links are links from your social accounts pointing back to your website. For example the links that you place in your twitter bio, Facebook description, Google business page, Pinterest account and so on. The more of these you have the better.
- Social Signals – Social signals are currently NOT A RANKING FACTOR. Do not believe anyone who says they are. Instead social signals are trust factors. You want to have a website that shows Google you are a popular brand. One of the best ways to do this is have a continuous stream of high quality social signals to your site. You can either do this manually by posting, tweeting and +1ing your site everyday with new content or information, or you can purchase social shares, as long as these are high quality signals they will be as effective as doing everything manually yourself.
If you have completed the on-page optimisation, citations, press release and social signals your website will be above 90% of your competitors, but it is yet to have the real powerful links pointing to it, these are the links that will get you from page 2-3 onto the top of page 1. These need to be built after everything else is in place which is why I have left it until the end of the article, don’t rush to these elements otherwise they will not be as effective!
Backlink Generation | Stage 2 – The Power
The most powerful backlink is a relevant, highly authoritative contextual link.
Relevance – From a source that is relevant to your business. For example a tech blog linking to a tech startup would be a relevant link.
High authority – This is a website that has lots of trust in Google’s eyes. For example large news publications such as inc.com, forbes, bbc ect. But these links can also be authorities in very specific industries or niches. We want to find the most relevant authority in an industry and generate links from them!
Contextual – A link that is placed in the middle of surrounding content for example any link surrounded by relevant text would be classed as a contextual link. Our aim is to get all 3 elements present but most of the time we will settle for 2 and still class this as a great link. Below are some of the strategies we use to go about building powerful backlinks.
- Competition Analysis – Using tools such as ahrefs & SEMrush we can see where competitors are getting their backlinks and then reverse engineer these sources to get links to the client site.
- Guest Posts- Still a highly effective linking strategy. Any website that is either relevant or authoritative is great for guest posts, this is also a great traffic generation technique.
- Local Websites – Similar to the reverse engineering method, we can use search terms and reach out to these websites offering to update the content or add a post or business and receive a link through this.
- Outreach – Reaching out to website owners and asking for a link or to link to a specific piece of content. This works best when you have an awesome piece of content that you can use as link bait. This is the essence of content marketing.
- Broken Link Building – Finding relevant broken 404 links similar to the topic of your site and asking the webmaster to fix the link and instead link to you instead of the broken link.
- Influencer Outreach – Reaching out to influencers in your industry and offering them free or review products. This works best when you don’t pre-organise a link in return. A percentage of the time they will link to your website AND shout you out on social media profiles, this means you get the benefit of the link AND you get the traffic potential through social. For example a fitness supplement company can give 20 free samples of their protein to fitness bloggers in return for a “review on their blog” they will likely link to your site in the review and you’ve just generated 10-20 high quality, super relevant links, just from giving away some of your products!
Conclusion to this SEO Cardiff Post
So that’s it. As you can probably tell I haven’t put much effort into this post, it’s just a test to see how well we can rank for the SEO Cardiff keyword. We will see.
I’m going to track this post over the coming weeks and months to see where the SEO Cardiff keyword indexes in Google and not only that but how high we can rank it to prove how utterly ridiculous this is.