SEO…It’s a dark art practiced by wizards in caves, isn’t it?
Umm, no, it’s far more of an everyday science which is actually based on common sense.
So, even the least technical of us can get to grips with understanding SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) to help our websites get found online.
Search Engine Optimisation basics
SEO is the practice of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to your website by increasing your standing in search engine results pages, or SERPS.
In other words, when someone puts a key phrase for your sector and area into Google’s search engine, and the engine’s algorithm sends its crawlers across the web looking for relevant content, you want to be as high up the results as possible.
The algorithm factors in how keywords are used (and how many times), the quality of links to a website, how relevant the content is to the search, the website’s readability and loading speed, and data about site use.
Higher ranking in search results can be achieved by encouraging organic traffic to your website and maximising traffic which comes to you via paid-for advertising. This is often referred to as off-site SEO.
How can you improve off-site SEO?
Increasing organic traffic
There are two main methods of increasing your organic traffic:
Backlinks – These are links to your website from other sites. The more authoritative the site, the better the backlink. For example, if you have a link to your site from a website ending in .gov, that’s an excellent backlink to have. That might be because you have a link on Business Wales’s company directory, or you’ve written a guest blog featuring a link to your site for a local authority. Some backlinks can harm your website if they come from a source a search engine deems to be untrustworthy, but they can be disavowed by your webmaster.
Social media clicks – This can be from your own social media accounts or from other people’s. Links to an offer, a blog, an image gallery, or a page telling your business’s story are all excellent ways to get people to click through to your website.
Increasing traffic from adverts
Whether your adverts are on Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, or YouTube, getting people to click the link through to your site is the aim of the game.
So, your adverts need to be carefully targeted to your ideal customers. This can be done by creating custom audiences for platforms such as Google and Facebook and crafting key messages showing them how you solve their problems.
Social media advertising can also be used to remarket to people who have visited your website already but not made a purchase, for example. That will also encourage more people to go back to the website.
How can you improve on-site SEO?
Content is king for SEO
Having a technically proficient website which loads quickly is important…but having the right website content which backs up the technical side of SEO is vital.
Your website needs the right keywords and key phrases used sufficient times to be seen by the crawlers but also used in an organic and natural way.
Keyword stuffing on pages is a thing of the past, thankfully, as Google’s algorithm is constantly updating and now ranks organic, useful content highly.
In fact, pages stuffed full of keywords used in an obvious manner are often penalised by search engines.
Metadata signposts the way
The metadata on the pages of your site tells search engines what your website’s all about. It’s a signpost for the engine’s crawlers.
So, getting the metadata content right and using correct keywords is also important.
Each page has a metadata tag and every image you upload to your site has an alt-tag which describes the content of the image. This is another useful place to include keywords and phrases.
Need help with your SEO? Call us on 01443 571375 or get in touch here.
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