Conference season is truly hotting up and this week we are managing two global conferences, the first commencing the morning and running across five days, with 25 speaker sessions, breakout rooms, networking sessions and panel discussions. The event has attracted hundreds of professional delegates looking to explore and unpick the hottest topics and biggest questions in their field.
Imagine if bringing more visitors to your website could be done by simply identifying some keywords and filling your pages with engaging content….
This may simplify the process but is ultimately not so far from the truth. By understanding the keywords and search terms that your potential audience are using and then directing them to the page on your website capable of fulfilling their search requirements you can increase your associations web traffic.
This forms the basic principle behind Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and the process of elevating your site to the top of the ‘organic’ search engine rankings; with 3.5billion searches performed each day on Google alone, featuring higher in the rankings means more people finding your site – applying for membership, signing up for emails, reading your content and (hopefully) increased revenue.
With search engine algorithms continually evolving, most recently to favour semantic (conversational search) and ‘one-click’ responses to queries, it’s important to regularly audit your website. This will enable you to create clear and strategized content clusters that meet the needs and answer the questions of your potential market.
Why not just pay for rankings?
Surely if the return on increased visitor can be measured in monetary value then adopting a pay-per-click campaign is the way forward? But the problem is those high-ranking Google results come with an equally high price and, once you stop paying, your ranking can quickly fall.
Organic traffic, the type generated by using planned and strategic SEO campaigns, comes from legitimate interest. It may take a little longer to get there but once you do you will stay there for longer.
With Associations facing tough budget making decisions the minimal outlay to bring a legitimate interested audience to your site should be money well spent. The added benefit of encouraging your SEO through keywords and content is that the results and outcomes are measurable and manageable. Your attempts can be evaluated and updated as many times as you need.
Will we have to completely rebuild our site?
Completely rebuilding a website can actually have a negative effect on search engine rankings – undoing any ground already gained in the coding and architecture. By performing a SEO audit and accessing Google Analytics report you can check which pages and keywords are performing well and concentrate on the ones which aren’t. In fact following the principles of SEO has the added bonus of improving the content, format, readability and layout of your website; making it a much nicer and easier to navigate domain. This means that visitors will spend longer on your site and your ‘bounce rate’ (the number of people leaving your site) will be reduced.
“Our CMS manages our SEO….”
Lots of CMS systems claim to provide a complete SEO system and, whilst many of them can offer a SEO solution of sorts you can achieve much better results when you have control over the webpage, microformats and HTML. Ultimately well managed and relevant content is the key to ranking high.
What are the additional benefits to utilising SEO?
As well as driving new traffic to your site for minimal outlay, improving your SEO also improves the visitor experience for your existing members and demonstrates the added value you are offering them in their subscription.
By increasing the visibility of your site you are also confirming your associations ‘knowledge’ and authority amongst your audience and potential members.
Still not convinced?
As with everything that can improve your Associations visibility there is a degree of effort involved in formulating a SEO plan and maintaining it but, whether you like it or not, SEO needs to be a key factor in your organisations future plans. If you aren’t being proactive with your SEO you will soon be overtaken by an organisation that is.
For a free SEO audit, report and conversation, please get in touch with our Marketing Director, Emma Burley at firstname.lastname@example.org