Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

What is seo?

online marketing seo

SEO is a marketing and development practice that is built into your website that works to help it to be ranked highly on search engines. The full term is Search Engine Optimization. SEO isn't just about building a website to be SEO friendly, it's about making it better for people to read, analyse and respond to.

The purpose of SEO is to show search engines your intentions so they can recommend your website to a relevant search query.

Why do I need SEO on my website?

Although Social Media and other types of traffic can generate visits to your website, most internet users will search using Google, Yahoo or Bing first to find what they are looking for. Experience has shown that Search Engine targeted traffic to your website provides the biggest amount of exposure on the internet.

Work with search engines by implementing your own SEO

Search engines are clever, but they still need help. The major search engines are always working to improve their technology to crawl the web more deeply and return better results to searchers, but there is a limit to how they operate. So you need to work with them by doing the right SEO and this can get you thousands of visitors and popularity, the wrong moves can hide or bury your site deep in the search results where you can't be found.

In addition to making content available to search engines, SEO also helps boost rankings so that content will be placed where searchers will more readily find it. The Internet is becoming increasingly competitive, and those companies who perform well in SEO will have a decided advantage in visitors and customers.

People's eyes are drawn to search results near the top of the page, and to organic results over paid results. Higher rankings in the first few results are critical to visibility.

Basic search SEO is fundamental, and essential.

Ranking high in Google is of massive VALUE – basically it is ‘free advertising’ on the best advertising space in the world.

How do I implement SEO Keywords correctly?

Try to match the keywords your visitor may look for to find you. If your website has the relevant keywords and content, they will have an easy time finding you.

Compile a list of targeted search keywords and phrases and make sure to include locations. These keywords can be used in articles and image captions, but it is very important to code them into the template. Your most relevant keywords should be in your titles, headings, text and metadata.

The reason behind targeted keywords is not to rank high for all your keywords that you choose, but to rank high for the keywords that people are searching for to find your particular website.

Checking to see which websites already rank high for your keyword phrases gives you valuable insight into the competition. Do you see lots of paid for ads come up for your search phrase? That is an indication that your keyword phrase is an important one according to the search engine.

Two important questions you need to ask yourself when choosing your keywords are this:

  • Is the keyword relevant to your website's content?
  • Will searchers find what they are looking for on your website?

Just remember that the majority of keyword searches done by searchers are for those keyword phrases that are unique, in fact 70% of searches are for unique keyword phrases, so this shows us that it is important for your keyword phrases to be somewhat unique too so it reaches your target market well.

Here are some keyword research sources:

How do I create website content for Search Engines correctly?

seo website content

The easiest way to work with search engines to develop good SEO is to make your website for your visitors, not for search engines. When you write your content, stay on topic. Your website should be informative and accurate.

Burying your content in rich media such as Flashplayer or Javascript will hide your content and links from crawlers. Your most important content should be in HTML text format. Often web designers who do not have coding or SEO ability rely on a CMS like Wordpress to create a website that has animated / fading / sliding content to wow the reader, but very often all this content is hidden in the animations and Search Engines are not able to read any of the content. Often these kinds of website also have links buried in Javascript. As a result, though there may appear to be readable content, the content is actually not readable by the Search Engine.

Get a Google Business listing, your website will also show up on Google Maps as a big SEO bonus.

A little more info on how Search Engines work

Search engines are designed to give you the most relevant results.

Search engines cannot reach content behind a logged in area.

Websites using a CMS (eg default Wordpress theme) will often create duplicate pages. This is a major problem for Search Engines and your SEO as they are looking for unique content. You can easily trip up the spam filters this way. When multiple, fairly duplicated pages are combined into a single page, those pages stop competing with each other and create a stronger relvancy and will rank well in search engines.

Search engines trying to crawl a site that has a poor link structure, may not reach the web content at all.

Search Engines will only crawl so many links on a page until they stop.

"There are, on average, ten positions on the search results page. The pages that fill those positions are ordered by rank. The higher your page is on the search results page, the better your click-through rate and ability to attract searchers. Results in positions 1, 2, and 3 receive much more traffic than results down the page, and considerably more than results on deeper pages. The fact that so much attention goes to so few listings means that there will always be a financial incentive for search engine rankings. No matter how search may change in the future, websites and businesses will compete with one another for this attention, and for the user traffic and brand visibility it provides." - Mozilla Firefox

Talking about Usability and User Experience (UX)

These websites are favoured by search engines:

  • Easy to use and navigate
  • Provide relevant info for the searched query
  • Professionally designed coding
  • Credible and high quality content

The more users engage with your content and click into your website and stay the stronger the ranking that search engines will give you. So, if a searcher does a search and finds you and also finds content that is not relevant to their search and leaves your page, search engines will rank you down.

On topic links will strengthen your ranking.

Earning links from highly-trusted domains can result in a higher ranking. Be careful which websites you link to because a search engine could mark you as spam if you are linking to a spam website.

What you put in your linking text is important. Where is the justification in using a broad term like 'click here' when you can use a more meaningful Call to Action that provides some info about the links content, and isn't a verb phrase (like click here).

Sharing content to social media is recognized by search engines, even though they deal with it in a different way.

Ensure fast load time on Desktop and mobile.

Linking Your Content

Through links, search engines can analyze the popularity of websites linking to them and can also measure metrics like trust, spam and domain authority.

Create interesting articles that visitors will want to link to and share.

Create a sitemap and upload it in Google Webmaster Tools or Bing Webmaster Tools. This is a list of files that shows search engines what pages you have.

SEO Myths

Spending on search engine advertising (pay per click, or PPC) does not improve your organic SEO rank.

Keyword Stuffing into your page does not help SEO. Keywords are helpful in moderation, relevant content is key.