What is Search Engine optimisation?
Search engine optimisation is the process of driving organic traffic from popular search engines such as Google, Bing and Yahoo to your website. The aim of SEO is to increase your websites ranking on search engines.
Research shows 93% of online experiences begin with a search engine and 95% of results on the first page of Google getting higher click through rates. This is why the aim for many business owners is to appear on the first page of search engine results.
How do I get on the first page and what do you need to do?
To get started, focusing on optimising your website is the go to task when it comes to getting SEO ready, but when it comes do doing that, there are few things that will need to be taken in to consideration. One of which includes ensuring you website loads quickly, as it’s pretty safe to say that we live in a world of instant gratification; we have access to a wealth of products that we can purchase within a few clicks and if your website doesn’t let your customers get to the products they want to buy, or it takes them too long to purchase items, you could lose them yo other competitors whose sites are optimised. Not only that, they’ll also tell your friends not to bother too, so you’ve not just lost out once.
This is why the loading of your site and page speed is important when it comes to optimising your website. Customers don’t want to wait more then 5 seconds for each page to load. They want to be able to find products or services with ease.
As well as page speed, 61% of mobile searchers are more likely to contact a local business if they have a mobile-friendly site, which is why you will need to work with your web developer to ensure your site is mobile friendly and can be accessed and read by your potential customers, on their mobile device, with minimal fuss. Whilst we’re on the subject of web developers, they (or your marketing person) can also work to ensure unnecessary java, css and html code are deleted from the back-end of your website to help improve page speed. In addition to this, submitting a site map to Google, which is a list of your websites pages, will help Google index your site.
Improving site structure
If pages on your site are structured in a way that they are easy to read and formatted properly, users will stay on your site longer. On top of this, Google Bot, which is a web crawler (aka spider) that crawls your site to organise it in the Search index that will then appear in search engine when it matches an online users query.
To improve your sites structure you will need to focus on:
Using Headings – H1 , H2 and H3 headings etc help to break up content and give your audience a well structured page to read, whilst also giving Googlebot a well structured page to crawl.
The Title tag refers to the title of a web page, which appears in search engines
Meta descriptions is a snippet of up to about 155 characters that appear in search engine results and summarizes your page’s content.
Adding alt attribute to your images – involves adding description to images on your site so they can be picked up by search engines
Adding internal links to your website will help to enhance the authenticity of your website on line. Adding a number of internal links that link to other pages of your website shows that there is relevant content available to online users, as well as make online users journey through your website easier.
Adding external links involves adding your website links to directories and working with partners (e.g. guest bloggers,) to drive traffic back to your website by adding links to their website. This also enhances your website as authentic as well as one with a good reputation, which Googlebot will identify and will push your website higher up in search engine results.
Using keywords and phrases in your web content that are relevant to your business, and more importantly to your customers, will make it possible for people to find your site via search engines
Why are all the tasks important?
When an online user types a search query into a search engine, its Googles job to find and rank useful websites that will help users access what they are trying to find. This could be your website.
Google crawls your site within a 90 day time frame, reading your heading titles, keywords, meta titles and descriptions, image alt tags, internal and external links, page speed and website freshness (checks to see that your website is updated regularly.)
This is why when it comes to SEO you have to be in it for the long haul. It is not a short term fix and there are constant changes within the field as Google updates its algorithm and attempts to ‘think like a human.’ It’s up to businesses to stay alert, roll with the punches and ensure they are fulfilling the tasks required to keep up to data and and improve their SEO.