Search remains a key tool in the marketing armoury, enabling consumers to find the information they require, and by following a clear process, advertisers can boost visits and – ultimately – drive sales.

In a WARC Best Practice paper, Caitlin Robertson, SEO Account Manager at digital marketing agency Reprise, notes that organic search drives more than half of website traffic – and the proportion has grown over the past five years, indicating the channel’s continuing importance.

In How to stay at the forefront of SEO trends, she sets out the three key pillars to organic search – technical, on-page and off-page activities – all of which need to be taken into consideration in order to formulate a robust organic search strategy.

In terms of on-page activities – effectively the front end of SEO – keywords are the main way that people search, so it is crucial to continually research keywords and their popularity.

A particular development here has been an update to Google’s algorithm last October, which helps to contextualise words in search queries and make natural language easier for search engines to understand.

“With this in mind, we would recommend paying attention to keywords on a thematic basis and ensuring different types of user questions are capitalised on,” Robertson advises.

Using tomatoes as a theme, she suggests thinking about all of the possible information users could be looking for:

• Tomatoes – broad generic term

• Cherry tomatoes – granular topic

• Where can I buy tomatoes in London? – local search query

• Tesco tomatoes – brand query

• What are the different types of tomatoes? – informational query

“When conducting keyword research, it’s important to consider not only the keyword with the highest search volume but, more importantly, the most relevant keyword,” she says.

“As well as keyword research via Google’s keyword planner, you can ensure that your pages are responding to user queries by using tools like, which will give you plenty of user queries segmented by search intent.”

The ‘where can I buy … ?’ question is one that is increasingly asked as users look to local listings for information and businesses need to take advantage of features that enable users to get relevant information – typically opening times, phone numbers, reviews – without having to click through to the full site.

As with branding in general, consistency is key, Robertson stresses: it’s important to:

• Make sure all of your listings follow a similar, logical structure

• Mention the location in the title

• Include consistent imagery

• Include local reviews of shops

Sourced from WARC