Our number one SEO tip

SEO is a thorny and ever-changing battleground, and we’re always getting asked what we do to ensure our client’s sites rank for the keywords they want. As our business is mostly around the build side, our top search engine optimisation tip is not the usual content-driven response (although don’t forget to have content on your site!).

The main piece of advice we’d give – and it’s not one that will be easy to hear for a lot of people running websites out there – is that organic search is very dependent on the quality of your website build.

No matter what keywords you want to rank for, if your site isn’t at it’s best from the code up then Google will penalise you. Additionally, if your your web developer isn’t up on all of Google’s latest algorithm changes, you need to find a better web developer.

I recently had a chat with a prospective client whose existing web development agency “didn’t do SEO” and thus traffic to their site had dropped by 40% in the last month, simply from visitors who would normally find them via organic search. The issue was easily diagnosed: their site wasn’t mobile friendly, and thus fell foul of one of Google’s most highly publicised and recent algorithm tweaks.

So do make sure your code is valid – use the w3c’s HTML validator – and keep an eye on what Google look for in a website (check out the Google mobile-friendly test).

On Ticketlab, we identified our key search terms before we even started building the site, and we ensured those keywords pepper the whole site and appear at every level. As such we are number one for this particular search that other ticketing sites haven’t targeted and we attract most of our new sign-ups through these terms (which I won’t divulge here lest it dilutes our rank!).

We currently get around 20% of our traffic via organic search and it has the lowest bounce rate of all our acquisition methods (0% on traffic generated via the terms mentioned above, around 55% overall).

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