08 Aug What Is Search Engine optimization?
Do you know what Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is?
Today #PDS is explaining what SEO really is and how important it is for your website.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO for short) is, in simple terms, the work carried out on a website to improve the websites visibility in the Search Engines search results.
So let’s really take this back to basics as a lot of our customers don’t know all the Internet terms, and that’s not a bad thing as they are here to learn like we all did.
So Search engines, examples of these are Google, Bing and Yahoo. There are many out there but these are the three main ones used. The search results you get from these come in 2 main types: Paid and Organic. Paid listings or Sponsored listings are Pay per Click or paid for adverts. The Organic listings are listings that the search engine has found by crawling the Internet and indexed into their results. The organic listings are what SEO will affect.
Imagine, You are sat at your computer and you bring up your Internet browser, and it brings you to your internet search box, e.g. www.google.co.uk or you have a search bar pre-installed to search Bing.
You need a local printers as you want some leaflets printing for your business.
So in that search box, you type: “Printers in Kettering “for example.
Once you have hit enter, you see the results in a long list of results for those keywords that you have just typed in.
At the top you will see sponsored listings. These are the paid for adverts. These are not organic results so SEO doesn’t apply to these listings. These companies have paid to get their spots at the top of the page. So look a little further down. Sometimes you may see a map of results and then just below that you will see the start of the organic results.
These are what you want to be paying attention to. Search Engine Optimization is what helps you to organically get listed nearer the top of these results, page one etc.
It’s a true fact that users will rarely go further than 3-5 pages deep when looking at the results they are given when searching for a service. So your aim is to get onto that first page of results.
Everyone’s websites are different and each keyword search term will have different competition. So depending on your keyword competition and the optimisation you do to your pages will affect how well your SEO will work for you and your business.
TOP TIP: NEVER BUY FROM A COMPANY GUARANTEEING YOU FIRST PLACE RANKINGS!
No one, not even Google can guarantee first spot results. Google even have been known to hire experienced SEO experts to get their own pages to the top of some results!! No one can guarantee your position and if they are saying they can…then quite simply, they are lying…
Search engine optimisation will improve rankings, drive traffic, and increase awareness in search engines.
There are many factors involved when optimising your website and it’s not just optimising for a Google Bot, you also have to make sure your website is top-notch in usability so your visitors enjoy using your website.
Why Does My Website Need Search Engine Optimization?
Imagine your website is the City of London. There are many roads to London, some little windy and small and some large motorways. The Search engines are the major roads to your website, they pull in largest amount of targeted traffic resulting in the most conversions into sales or purchases on your site. The little roads, which are still important and widely used, are your social media and advertising campaigns for example. They get people to your website still but on a much smaller scale. So without the motorways, it takes a lot longer to find and get to London. You need to optimise your website to get those motorways working perfectly to provide users a straight fast road to your business.
How do I improve my Search Engine Optimization ?
Most people can implement the basics into their website to help their SEO. There are many free tools available to help the novice user. For anything more complex we recommend hiring an expert, but you can do the basics. When we create a website we always implement the basic Search Engine Optimization rules. For anything more in depth you will need ongoing Search Engine Optimization and a company to run a campaign for you.
The SEO basics:
Page Load speed. The time is takes your page to load is very important. Google want to see fast loading webpages and it’s important to keep your users attention so they do not browse away from your page whilst stuck on the loading icon. Check your page load speed here:
Mobile responsive. This became even more important recently. Google changed the rules for websites and if they are mobile responsive. All websites need to be mobile friendly to avoid Google penalties. Read more about mobile responsive websites.
You can check if your website is mobile responsive here:
The title tag on your website pages tell the search engines what your page is about. It should be 70 characters or less and include your business or brand name and keywords that relate to that specific page only. Do not fill the title only with keywords, as this is known as keyword stuffing, and Search Engines will penalize you for this, but make sure that it reads well.
The Meta description on your website pages gives search engines a little more insight into what your page is about. These do show up on the Search Engines results pages, so make them readable and again do not keyword stuff. Make them appeal to the users searching for your services.
We use WordPress mainly for our website design. We highly recommend using a plugin like Yoast SEO as it makes it very easy to put in your title and description for each page.
Content is King
Unique and original content is what will get you listed in Google. The Search Engines do not want to see copied content or content that is not written very well. So take the time to add unique content. Get your keywords into your content but never overdo it! Spellcheck your work and make sure it is easy to read.
Optimize your images.
When you add images to your website make sure you add a title and ALT text. Search Engines cannot see your image so they read the information from this.
Example image title:
Alt text: Search Engine Optimization
See how the title has a – in between each word, and not a space or a _. This is so the search engine can read the words correctly. The alt text should be written as readable to the normal eye.
H1, H2, H3
Use these HTML header tags for your titles. Only ever use the H1 tag once per page or it confuses the search engine.
Use H2 and H3 for subheadings and these can be used more than once.
Don’t do it too often but occasionally making text bold for the user to notice a little better can increase the search engines potential to notice the keyword or phrase.
Create a Google + Page, a Facebook page and a Twitter page for your business. Search engines like you to engage with your users through social media.
These are just the basics to get you started with Search Engine Optimization. There are many other factors but these will give you a running start.
If you need further advice or want help to implement SEO on your website, then please contact us and we will be happy to help.