What is Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)?
Search Engine Optimisation, also known as SEO, is a fundamental part of online marketing. SEO refers to the process of improving your website to increase its visibility for relevant keywords in Google (and other) searches.
Greater visibility and ranking higher in search results than your competition can yield a great impact on your business growth.
While webmaster guidelines vary from search engine to search engine, the main principles remain the same: Don’t try to trick search engines. Instead, provide your visitors with a great online experience. For example, great content, good quality images that load quickly, helpful and informative content, minimal pop ups and other distractions from the content. Furthermore, fast loading web pages make for a better user experience and therefore assist in SEO rankings. You can test your site with Google’s Page Insight.
Here are some search engine guidelines to follow:
Google’s Basic principles:
- Make pages primarily for users, not for search engines.
- Don’t deceive your users.
- Avoid tricks intended to improve search engine rankings. A good rule of thumb is whether you’d feel comfortable explaining what you’ve done to a website that competes with you, or to a Google employee. Another useful test is to ask, “Does this help my users? Would I do this if search engines didn’t exist?”
- Think about what makes your website unique, valuable, or engaging. Make your website stand out from others in your field.
You can find out more about ‘what to avoid doing on your website’ here.
What do search engines look for on a website?
Search engines rely on providing high quality and highly relevant results. If they didn’t, they would not be relevant themselves. Think about it, if you searched for ‘Best Web Designer Central Coast’ and the results were 10 pages of graphic designers outside of Australia would you come back?
The way search engines provide relevant results is via their own internal algorithm which constantly changes so they can stay ahead of the game. Whilst we have some insight on certain aspects that help assist in their rankings, we probably will never know the full extent of their algorithm. That being said, the following all play a role in ranking, along with relevance to the search word/term.
From imagery through to high quality text. You need to provide your visitors top notch content for them to want to continue using your website or your services. If you focus on what your customers want to know and hear instead of keyword stuffing you will find yourself climbing the rankings.
User experience is hugely important when it comes to ranking. But also when it comes to keeping your customers happy and wanting to buy products or learn more about you. As a business owner you want visitors to WANT to stay on your website. So you have to give them a reason too. For example fast loading websites, great content, internal linking and relevant information all play a role.
Site speed is one of the most important factors to be considered, if not THE most important. Slow loading websites are not user friendly and yield a poor bounce rate. Meaning, visitors leave the site before doing anything. You can check your website’s speed here.
Clear navigation and linking is a huge must for onsite SEO. It not only provides the reader with more information and options on your site (keeping them on your site!) it also helps Google crawl your and index your site and boosts your ranking for certain keywords.
Meta data including your title and description are great ways to attract visitors to your site. When your website comes up in a Google search this is the content the user will see. Make sure you have quality metadata with clickable content.
One of the best ways to boost your website’s visibility is via your social media channels. Make sure you select channels where your clients are active. Don’t do all channels in an average way. Basically, it is better to do a smaller amount of platforms and do them WELL! Be sure to link back to your website regularly. As well as being active on social media, remember to interact with your followers as well. Don’t just post and ghost. Be social!
In summary, if you keep your website informative and user friendly you are on the right track.
WordPress Search Engine Optimisation
Is your website using the WordPress platform? Try the plug-in Yoast SEO. It is a great tool that we use to build search rankings organically. Of course all of our work is inline with the basic principles above.
Need help with your website rankings? We would love to have a chat with you about your search engine optimisation expectations and online marketing goals. Contact us to discuss.