What is SEO?
SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is about making your website relevant to what people are searching for and enticing to visit, when they enter keywords into a search engine. It sounds simple but in reality there are well over 200 factors that influence your position on the results page. Good practice or White Hat SEO can improve the position of a website within a page of results from a search engine. In simple terms this means that the more frequently your website appears in a list of search results, the more visiting traffic your website will receive.
How to optimise your website to achieve results
Simply submitting a website to a search engine will not attract the traffic to your website that you require. In order to gain the traffic you need to be able to achieve good search positions within listings.
Besides having quality content within your website attracting large amounts of visiting traffic it is important that you find ways to increase the way your website appears in the search results of those searching for the products or services you offer. This is done through SEO. SEO is an important way of attracting FREE traffic to your website, along with the content contained within the pages. Of course once your visitor lands on the site the content they see needs to be very RELEVANT to the search term or they will simply bounce away. That, added to the fact that Google can identify and penalise copied, plagiarised or duplicated content means your site needs to be well written, informative and above all useful to your audience.
Using a single unique word or trade name can obtain a high position within the search listings, but to enable a consistently high position for a more competitive keyword or phrase and remain there means that you need to be aware of the key optimisation techniques. You’ll also need to invest some time and persistence in order to gain a satisfying reward in the form of increased traffic to your website and interest in the services you have to offer. SEO ensures that key words and phrases appear in the most effective positions within the pages on your website therefore increasing your chances of a higher position within the search engine results list.
Below are a few keyword pointers for you to consider when thinking about the optimisation of your website within search engine results.
- URL structure should have important keywords in it
- Page title should have important keywords near the start
- The Meta Description should be well written to entice humans to click onto your site
- The H1 tags of your page should also include the important keywords
- The content of your page should include important keywords in the right proportions and places
So as you can see, keywords are, well key to SEO. You will need to research the most relevant keywords and phrases and then build them into the very structure of your website. With the right keyword strategy and selection – properly deployed across your site, you will notice an increase in the amount of RELEVANT traffic visiting your website.
Website Structure and Hosting
There are a number of things that can prevent your site being picked up by Google (other search engines are available) including:
- Spammy content
- Slow server speed
- Too much Flash content (Search Engines cannot read it)
- ‘Black hat’ SEO techniques
- Overseas servers
- Low quality ‘scraped’ content
- Bad URL structure
Of course selecting and incorporating the important keywords is only part of the battle if you are chasing competitive keywords and phrases.
If you search for ‘car insurance’ you’ll get half a BILLION results. A good position is therefore not as simple as accurately deploying the basic tips I have mentioned above. It involves good backlinks to your website and other people clicking onto your site which can help to give your website credibility and authority.
Social networking, YouTube content or event photographs on other websites (like Flickr) can help as can getting loads of FOLLOWS, LIKES or +1 recommendations. However plenty of relevant useful content is still a must.
This is a complex area and one that can make or break a website. Google wants to see lots of credible, authoritative links from relevant companies back to your website. That means if you buy 1,000 links for $19 dollars you will probably end up associated with some dodgy link farm that sells thousands of largely irrelevant links to companies. In extreme cases this can lead to your website being removed from the search engine results pages or buried on page 1,001. At best it will bring lots of irrelevant traffic to your website.
Instead of risking the quick fix solution, it is far better to build up a relationship with companies in a related area and ask them to put links to your site up on theirs. That way you can be sure that the site you are associated with is credible, professional and relevant.
PageRank is a link analysis algorithm developed by Google that assigns a numerical weighting to hyperlinked documents (like web pages) with the purpose of “measuring” its relative importance within the set. Whilst it means very little in isolation, a site’s PageRank is a good indicator that the company is professional and credible and has plenty of authoritative backlinks.
Blogging and Infographics
Blogs and Infographics placed on forums and social networking sites can provide a healthy number of relevant backlinks to your website. Of course to do that they’ll need to be informative and useful to your potential customers and deployed well to maximise the SEO benefits. Done properly people will share and like your articles and in some forums they’ll be picked up and syndicated across other websites so they have the potential to go viral.
Naturally enough the first step in making sure your website benefits from the massive potential of the web searching public, is to ensure the technical and structural aspects are done well.
Once your key words and phrases have been identified, the structure and content of your site can be planned and organised so that search engines can easily find all of the great content you have created. Done well as part of a planned SEO campaign, this starts to create ‘Authority’ in your domain and gives your website credibility.
Ongoing SEO Activity
Once your site is optimised you can then start an ongoing campaign of SEO activity – blogging, commenting, contributing to forums, publishing articles and so on to create a buzz about your company or brand.
Or alternatively you can ask us to do it for you.