What is SEO? All you need to know
Learn all you need to know about SEO, and how you can get started.
What is SEO?
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation. In simple terms, it is the activities we implement to help websites and web pages more visible on search engines and results pages.
When optimising your website for search engines, you will also benefit from optimising your website for your users, leading to greater engagement and potentially more sales.
This is because search engines prioritise websites that provide a greater user experience; ensuring content is accessible, relevant and engaging for readers.
How does SEO work?
Most search engines such as Bing and Google use bots to scour sites for information and report back, this is stored into something called an index.
They then analyse this data and analytics, taking into account hundreds of ranking factors. This then helps search engines to decide which order the pages are seen in on a results page.
No one knows for certain what ranking factors that search engines consider when reviewing a page, but the most likely are keyword usage, content quality, mobile friendliness, crawlability and content optimisation.
Why is SEO so important to marketing?
SEO is a factor which should be considered in all marketing campaigns and strategies. According to Google, trillions of searches are executed each year and a large proportion are to find services or products. This means that your ranking in these search results could be the difference between whether or not you get a sale.
Search engine rankings are vital for companies in today’s digital world as more and more shoppers move online to find goods and services. They set the precedent for how visible a company is on search results which can affect the sales performance for that quarter. Therefore, as a company you should be putting SEO high on the list of things to do for your brand and marketing.
How do I optimise my website for SEO?
There are several different factors to consider to ensure search engines rank you highly and that you use SEO to the full extent.
Good, relevant keywords are key
When creating new content always have keywords in mind. These are vital in driving traffic to your content. Use a keyword tool to help find words that are commonly searched for to help increase engagement.
You can also use SEO competitor analytics tools to find out how the competition is optimising their keyword research.
Keywords are a vital element of SEO and can make a difference to your rankings so think carefully about which ones you are using and do your research before each new article.
Ensure your content is optimised
This is a key element of SEO and should be checked regularly.
Think about your offering, and make sure that the keywords you choose to target are included in, and relevant to, your content. As a good rule of thumb, it’s important to make sure your target web page has an optimised:
- Meta Title – the title of your page as seen in search engines. This should be between 60 to 70 characters.
- Meta Description – the content found in your search engine listing. This should be between 140 to 160 characters.
- H1 – this is the top heading of your page, and helps search engines understand the content they are going to be reviewing.
- Page Copy – search engines will review all copy it can find on a page, so make sure that it’s relevant to your target keyword.
If for example, your business only sells red ties, it’s going to be very difficult for you to rank for blue, green and purple ties. It’s important to be realistic in what you can and can’t rank for a given page.
If you do want to expand your keyword targeting, you will also need to expand the number of pages in your website, making sure each keyword has a dedicated webpage.
Are you mobile friendly?
In this modern age a large majority of users access the internet through their mobiles. According to a report published by the World Advertising Research Centre (WARC), almost three quarters (72.6%) will access the internet solely through their phone.
This means having a mobile optimised site is vital for your website. If your pages are not mobile optimised this will also mark you down on the rankings.
Another aspect of your site the bots will look at and analyse is the layout and the crawlability. Is it easy to navigate? Are your buttons clearly labelled to help consumers go back to the homepage? Do you have a search bar, and does it work effectively?
If your site is not user friendly this will also place you lower on the rankings so ensure you check on a regular basis to ensure all aspects of your pages are working. Watch out for broken links and out of date plug-ins as these will also have a negative impact in your overall rating.
If you need help or advice on how to best optimise your site for SEO we are here to help. We are an expert in all things marketing from SEO to social media marketing and we can support your company through these difficult times and beyond.
Contact us today to find out how we can help your marketing strategy.