What is SEO?
SEO is simply making your website appealing to Google and other online search engines.
The workings of search engines are complex and continually being updated. Search engine robots, also known as “crawlers” or “spiders”, move across the web, collecting information, “indexing”, every accessible website that exists.
When someone searches for a specific word or words, the search engine processes all the “indexed” information that is has gathered and creates a page of results. Google and other search engines try to list the most relevant and authoritative websites at the top of the results.
The “win” is to be one of the first websites listed when someone searches for words related to your business. The higher your website appears in the search engine results, the more visitors your site is likely to attract and be converted into customers.
How does Google view your website?
To learn SEO, you need to understand what Google is looking for on your website.
Google sees the web as a source of freely exchanged information. This vision can be the opposite to how many business see their website … the website is seen as a funnel for new business … not a source of free information!
Offering valuable information on your website will impress both search engine crawlers and visitors to your website.
Once you realise that providing information is a great way to attract new customers, not only will your search engine ranking increase but also your expertise to potential customers.
What are the key points of SEO?
Whilst other search engines, Yahoo and Bing, work in slightly different ways to Google, the principles are the same. With SEO, what works for one works for all.
Content Is King
Quality SEO is simply consistently turning out relevant content. Your website content should showcase your business’s products & services, always keeping in mind the search queries that brings visitors to your website.
Content is anything that provides information to visitors and search engines … page text, blog posts, articles, videos, infographics, images.
Relevance: It’s important to be clear about the products and services you offer, this ensures that your website will appear in the search results when people search for keywords that relate to your business.
Make sure your content is relevant for your business and your customers, straying from your business core, will confuse both search engines and your customers.
Your website should be simple and easy to access. This allows search engine crawlers to clearly understand it’s purpose and potential customers can understand how you can help them.
Authority: Websites that are an authority on a particular subject will rank better than those that aren’t.
Does your website present your business as an authority on all the products and services that you offer?
Frequency: Updating your content on a regular basis lets search engine crawlers know that it’s still active and new information is being added. Stale content can penalise your indexing, don’t let too much time go between updates.
Uniqueness: Make sure your content is yours, never copy and paste from another source. Google may penalise your website with a drop in search rankings. You may also breach someone else’s copyright.
Quality: If your website content is of poor quality and takes too long for a web page to load, search engine crawlers will produce a lower ranking and your website will drive humans users away.
Does our website should provide visitors with quality content, a pleasant experience and a quick response time when they click on their search query result?
Links from external sites to your website are very important in SEO. As mentioned, Google sees the web as a source of freely exchanged information and links enable this exchange.
Inbound links are basically saying … “have a look at this website, it has more information”. Search engines view inbound links as a “tick” for your website and the information it contains.
You don’t need lots of inbound links, a single link from a quality website can be more beneficial than a number of links. Search engines place a higher importance on links from quality websites.
As quality inbound links are hard to come by, you should also welcome links from lesser known websites.
The key point for inbound links is that they are “natural” links, never force a link or buy links just for SEO purposes.
SEO has many different link building strategies, be careful as recent Google updates now penalise poor quality, over used and “bought” linking strategies.
In Part 2 Why Good SEO is Essential! we will cover more on Content Is King, Site Structure & Navigation, Page Load Speeds, Tags, Meta Descriptions and Image Alt Tags.
Website owners appreciate the importance of a quality website and social media, where they struggle is creating consistent quality content. This is where many business owners and websites fail, if you can create this consistent quality content your website will reach the top of search engine results for the keywords relevant to your business.
To reach the potential customers who are looking for your products and services simply set aside time each week to write a blog post or record a video!