Learning how to use SEO on a website is crucial for its success. So whether you’re familiar with the term SEO or it’s completely new to you, the following blog is full of tips and strategies on how to optimise your website for SEO.
What exactly is SEO?
SEO, or search engine optimisation, is the method of achieving higher rankings for website pages in search engines such as Google. Improving your page’s SEO means your website will appear higher in web search results. Therefore making it more easily accessible and discoverable for users.
Search engines utilise user agents called web crawlers to scan each page of your website. These assess the information before relaying it back to the search engine. The web crawler ‘indexes’ a site based upon a number of algorithmic factors determined by the search engine company.
Therefore having a high quality, search engine optimised site and content maximises your potential for a good ranking in searches.
Poor SEO ranking means your website is less accessible.
Taking advantage of the 5.6 billion worldwide Google searches per day means an increase in traffic and conversions. In short, optimising your website means it is visible to as many people as possible.
On-page and off-page SEO
To break it down further, there are two categories of SEO: on-page and off-page. Using a combination of on-page and off-page SEO methods is the best way to enhance your website’s performance.
What is on-page SEO and how can it be used to improve your website?
‘On-page SEO’ is a fairly self-explanatory term. The term on-page SEO refers to SEO techniques that directly affect the pages of a website. In turn, this helps your website’s ability to rank for your target keywords in search engine results.
The higher quality of content, the more information search engine crawlers can gather and the better your page will perform.
Titles & Descriptions
The meta title and meta descriptions are important for both users and search engines as it conveys the web page’s primary topic and purpose. They are typically the first encounter that a user has with your site when they perform a search. And with so much competition out there your first impressions count.
Search engine result pages (SERPs) use the meta title to identify entries.
Often, the search engine result page will show a meta description under your meta title. Although it does not have any impact on your SEO ranking, a compelling meta description does have the power to raise the click-through rate (CTR) of your organic search results. That means more of the people who see your page in the search results, may actually click through and visit your site. This means more traffic for your site, even if your ranking stays the same!
Structuring your page content correctly has a great impact on the page SEO. Breaking the content down into headings, paragraphs, images, internal links and outbound external links is key:
- Headings and subheadings (H1, H2, H3) let search engines know the overall topic of the content.
- Paragraphs are a clear way to format the main page copy.
- Using images for visual impact is key; however, since Google crawlers cannot process visual imagery in the same way, alternative text descriptions are essential (ALT attributes).
- Internal links, which are links to other pages on your site, help search engines to understand the structure of your website. Not only do they help users navigate the site, they also help search engines navigate the site. Links also establish a hierarchy for your site which gives you control over using a link building strategy to prioritise more important pages on your site.
- Outbound external links, which are links to pages outside of your website, help to strengthen the topic signals of your web pages therefore helping to add context for search engines to understand your site better.
This allows search engines to crawl your pages as easily as possible to gather information about the content and rank your site better.
Updating your Content Regularly
A search engine’s goal is to provide the searcher with the best and most relevant results. They want to help them answer questions or find products that will solve their problems.
It’s up to you to ensure your website content is as good as possible to make sure your business is one of those top search results.
Every time you make an update to your website content, search engines take notice and re-arrange your site’s ranking.
However, search engines view static websites without any updates of any kind as a ‘dead’ entity – with nothing new to offer.
You need to ensure your website content is up-to-date and relevant. This is a great way to show Google and other search engines that you are a reputable authority in your industry. If you can do this effectively, you’ll see your rankings naturally improve.
Remember quality is key here, not quantity. You are going to be penalised if you fill your site with a ton of low-quality articles stuffed with keywords.
What is off-page SEO and how can it be used to improve your website?
Off-page SEO, also called off-site SEO, refers to techniques used outside of your own website to impact your rankings within search engine results. The main idea behind off-page SEO is building your site’s authority, popularity, reliability, trustworthiness and relevance. There are a variety of ways to do this.
The backbone of off-page SEO is link building, which consists of developing a variety of high-quality backlinks.
Backlinks are inbound links coming from external websites into your website. To achieve the best off-page SEO results, the backlinks must be coming from other trusted, relevant, and authoritative websites. Moreover, quality over quantity is key.
You can build quality backlinks in several different ways:
- Natural links are links to your website that are given without any action on the part of the page owner.
- Manually built links are acquired through link-building activities such as influencers sharing your content or customers linking through to your website.
- Self created links are links created by you when entered in directories, forums, blog comments, signatures, or press releases. Although this may seem like an easy option, search engines don’t necessarily favour this method, so tread lightly here.
- Social media marketing – PPC marketing or content marketing can be used to achieve backlinks with social media.
- Blogs are links given from other blogs which direct to your site. The more relevant the blog content, the better.
- Influencer marketing is similar to social media marketing. Paying influencers to feature your products/site is a way to create backlinks.
In conclusion, for the best possible results for your page’s search engine rankings, you should use a combination of off-page SEO and on-page SEO techniques. Using the techniques listed in this blog can be a great start to improving your website’s SEO.
For more information about improving your website’s performance using SEO, contact us.