An introduction to search engine optimisation for boat brokers

by | Apr 1, 2019

There are a number of ways that you can attract potential customers to your website. They can come to you directly, they can find you through social media and adverts you may have placed online, or they can arrive at your website via a google search. The traffic that visits your website from search engines, is referred to as ‘organic traffic’.

This is where search engine optimisation comes into play…

Search engine optimisation (SEO) is the discipline that focuses on ensuring your website appears high up on search results pages on search engines like Google and Yahoo. With competition for places fierce, it can be tricky to achieve a high ranking on these pages. This is why the discipline of SEO is very important to most businesses. If you want to be found via Google and other search engines, then you need to ensure you’re following the right steps.

The search term “boat broker Surrey” has produced over 870,000 results.

Here at Spidersnet Marine we build all of our websites with SEO in mind. This means that from a technical standpoint, all of our sites are designed to achieve prominent rankings in search results pages. However, there are also a number of other tasks that can be carried out to further enhance a website’s chances of ranking well. We’ll get to these shortly…

“Search engine optimisation is a methodology of strategies, techniques and tactics used to increase the amount of visitors to a website by obtaining a high-ranking placement in the search results page of a search engine (SERP) — including Google, Bing, Yahoo and other search engines.”

– Webopedia

WHY IS A HIGH RANKING IN SEARCH RESULTS PAGES SO IMPORTANT?

1 – Millions of people every day use search engines

There’s a reason that Google is the most visited website in the world. It’s where people go to find out everything and anything. If people want to know where they can purchase a new or used boat in their area, they will often turn to Google.

If potential customers are searching for boats in your area and aren’t finding your website, then you may be missing out on sales. It’s that simple.

2 – People rarely look past the first page of results

Research carried out by Hubspot revealed that over 75% of users never scroll past the first page of results on search engines. This means that if your website doesn’t rank within the first page of results, you’re missing out on huge swathes of potential customers. Things look even more bleak for businesses situated on the third, fourth, or fifth pages of results, where even fewer people are willing to scroll. Therefore, appearing high up really is vital.

3 – Over half of all web traffic comes from search engines

SEO experts BrightEdge carried out research that revealed that over 51% of all website traffic is driven through organic search (searches on Google and other search engines). This proves that if you’re not ranking appropriately, then your website is most certainly missing out on a lot of potential traffic.

Their results also highlighted that 10% of site traffic came from paid search, 5% from social media, and 34% came from a mixture of other sources. Highlighting how rare it is for people to head directly to a brand’s website.

WHAT CAN POSITIVELY IMPACT A WEBSITE’S CHANCES OF RANKING WELL?

When ranking websites and deciding which pages to place where in its results, Google looks over a variety of criteria. Here are a few things (though there are plenty of others) that Google is looking for on your site…

1 – Good quality content

Having quality, informative, unique content on your website really is a must. In Google’s very own Starter Guide to SEO, they wrote: “Creating compelling and useful content will likely influence your website more than any of the other factors discussed here. Users know good content when they see it and will likely want to direct other users to it. This could be through blog posts, social media services, email, forums, or other means.”

This goes to show how important Google feels your content it. If you have landing pages that have very little content, or copy that is poorly written and uninformative, then this could have a drastic detrimental effect on your site’s ability to rank well in search results pages. We find this is common on boat broker websites, with pages such as manufacturer specific landing pages, or other services pages, often being the worst offenders.

2 – On-site and on-page technical SEO 

There are also a number of technical aspects to SEO that need to be taken into account. These involve the optimisation of the following things:

  • Meta data (titles and descriptions)
  • File names/Alt data
  • Anchor text
  • Site speed
  • Internal linking
  • URL structures

Many web design companies, Spidersnet Marine included, will build their sites with all of the above in mind. However, other aspects are able to be improved over time by you, or a hired SEO professional.

3 – Links

As well as making sure your website has good internal linking, Google also puts a lot of value in external links. Essentially, if another website links to yours, this strengthens your reputation in the eyes of Google. This is why a lot of SEO professionals dedicate a lot of time carrying out ‘link building’ a task that aims to drive more links to a certain website.

4 – Good user-experience

Google takes your users’ experience very seriously. But what is user experience? Good user experience means that if a potential customer comes to your website in search of a specific boat, they’re able to find it with ease. Or, if someone wants to know other information about your brokerage, or find out if you offer other services, this information easily accessible.

5 – Mobile-friendly design

With Google placing so much emphasis on user experience, and the huge number of people browsing the web on mobile devices, it’s essential that customers visiting your website on their smartphone are being catered for. If your website is clunky or hard to use on a mobile or tablet device, this could have a negative impact on your ability to rank.

Historically Google has always crawled the desktop version of a website first, before then moving on to check the mobile version. However, from September 2018 onwards, it is now looking at how a site appears on mobile first, highlighting the importance of having a site that is slick and easy to use on mobile devices.

6 – Consistent citations around the web

A citation is any mention of your business, address and phone number (NAP) online. This includes online listings pages, articles, blog posts, and review portals. Google uses these mentions of your business to build up a profile of your brokerage. This profile will include your location, products, and the services you offer. This information is then used to ensure that Google returns your business in the relevant search queries.

Google always associates each website, or Google My Business page, with one main physical location. This is how they provide the most relevant results in local business searches. Therefore, it’s important that all of the information about your business is consistent across every single citation.

WHAT CAN YOU DO?

As a Spidersnet Marine customer your website is already mobile friendly, and has a lot of technical specifications in place to help it’s ability to rank well on search engines. However, there are still some actions you can take in order to further improve your chances of appearing high up in search results.

  1. Improve your website’s copy!
  2. Set up internal links
  3. Make sure the right information is in the right place
  4. Increase and improve your citations online
  5. Invest in additional monthly SEO from Spidersnet Marine and let us take care of it for you!

If you would like to know more about our services, provide us with your details below and we will give you a call!