A Beginner’s Guide to Search Engine Optimisation.

Apr 21, 2021

Director of Partner Growth

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Director of Partner Growth, Callum Ridley, is excited to publish the next blog in our series ‘A Partner’s Guide to Marketing Channels’, which takes a deep dive on different marketing channels and how partners can take advantage of these channels to improve site performance as well as to improve performance when working with brands on the Partnerize platform.

Callum recently interviewed Michael Scowcroft, SEO Director at Bring Digital, to talk about all things Search Engine Optimisation! Bring Digital is one of our Partner Agencies. Bring Digital was set up with a clear focus: to deliver an outstanding service to our clients and be as passionate about their growth as they are.

Michael has been working in digital marketing for over 15 years, both in house and within agencies. During that time he has worked across paid search, as a digital analyst and in all areas of SEO. Michael joined Bring Digital as the Head of Technical SEO and now he heads up the SEO function as the SEO Director. Working with an amazing team of SEO, outreach and content experts they continue to learn and develop their approach to SEO.

Callum Ridley: What is Search Engine Optimisation?

Michael Scowcroft: With search engines like Google and Bing, online search is one of the key ways to drive traffic to your website. Search engine optimisation (SEO) is the process of optimising your website and content to ensure that your website ranks as highly as possible within the search results for the most relevant terms to a user.

CR: How does Search Engine Optimisation work and why is it important?

MS: With Google using over 200 ranking factors to value and rank a website, it’s best to break SEO down into a number of key areas:

Technical SEO and accessibility

When accessing a website, search engines will crawl and index all resources available across a website, from web pages to images. This allows the search engines to index and understand the content, quality and value of any given page. Having a website that is fast and technically sound will not only provide the best user journey, but also ensures that all your key pages aren’t blocked from ranking within the search results. 

Content and relevance

Nearly every algorithm update Google has rolled out over the last few years has focused around serving the user with the most relevant result for what they’re searching for, and content is key to this. From creating a blog through to a transactional page, content needs to be of a high standard and to be as useful as possible. We do this using keyword research tools to inform you what users are searching for and reviewing the purpose of that page you are creating. If you can add something of unique value to your user in addition to this, the search engines will reward your content and rank it higher within the search results.

Authority and backlinks

This has been exploited over the years by a number of sites, but building awareness of your website and content by achieving natural links is the best way to build your website authority. This authority is used when ranking your website and pages, as search engines view these backlinks as a vote for your website from that referrer. The higher authority and relevance of the referring site, the higher the link value. To avoid this being exploited by websites — either trying to pay for links or using poor practices — Google’s algorithm is able to identify what a natural link or a link that breaches their guidelines looks like.

It is important for all SEO best practices that you follow Google’s guidelines to avoid being penalised: https://developers.google.com/search/docs/beginner/seo-starter-guide

CR: What would be your top three tips to improve Search Engine Optimisation?

MS:

  1. Write for the user and not the search engine. Creating a page that’s sole purpose is to rank highly in the search engines and hasn’t been created for the user may rank initially, but won’t stand the test of time. Google uses user metrics to rank a website within its results and will quickly demote poor performing pages within its results.
     
  2. In June, Google will be updating their algorithm that focuses on their key metrics titled Core Web Vitals. With usability being of high importance to Google, addressing website performance issues like speed, poor layouts and non-responsive websites. Google will be updating their algorithm to incorporate how well your site scores against their core web vitals and providing a ranking boost for those sites that score well.

  3. Do your research — Look at your competitors and see who the search engines are rewarding before you make a start on your own pages.

    Behind each search term a user enters into the search engine, there will always be an intent. Taking a standard strategy to all of your pages will mean you will miss out on key opportunities to target new terms and miss that key information your user may be looking for. Benchmarking your website against the top ranking pages for any given term is the best way to inform how you should build your page and create your content, and have a better chance of success in ranking for any given term.

  4. Bonus point — Housekeeping!

    It’s so easy to build a lot of outdated or low quality pages on your website. If time sensitive, keep the information updated — if it’s of low value, remove it from your website.

CR: Can you recommend any SEO tools?

MS: 

  1. ahrefs.com — SEO research tool looking at keyword ideas, website performance and backlink opportunities.
  • Google’s own tools
    1. Search console
    2. Google analytics
    3. Google tag manager

  1. SEMRush — SEO research tool looking at keyword ideas, website performance and backlink opportunities.
     

If you are not currently working with Partnerize, let’s have a conversation! You can reach out to our Partner Growth team on partner.growth@partnerize.com or you can sign up for a Partnerize Partner Account here.

If you have additional opportunities available over the next few months, for brands and retailers to get involved with, let us know! We would love to help get the word out and share these on the Partnerize platform. You can submit your opportunities here.

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