Search engine optimisation (SEO for short), is the process of following certain SEO techniques so that search engines place a website or page in as high a ranking as possible in their unpaid search results. Ideally, in one of the top three positions. If traffic is important to you, then this is essential for you to know.
Here’s Why you Need to Get Good at SEO
Most of us who search online just want to find what stuff quickly. Hence, we will almost always choose a website from the first page of our search results. Furthermore, we’ll usually pick one that appears in the top three spots. The upside of this is that if you take the time to understand it and do it properly, then SEO can actually be your friend. It will work in your favour by helping you get more visitors to your site.
If, on the other hand, your website is not optimised for search engines and sits all the way behind the first page, then most potential visitors to your site will probably never find you. Regardless of how amazing your product, message or service is.
Given This Situation, How do you Get SEO to be Your Friend?
Firstly, a bit of background information on search engines. There are many at your disposal, and they all operate in pretty much the same way. They collect information on every website on the internet and each has its own algorithm with which the collected information is evaluated, catalogued and ranked. Exactly how this is done is a well-guarded trade secret of search engine operators. Hence, it is difficult to say exactly how search engines evaluate a website. Luckily, there are experts at SEO techniques out there who, with their know-how, will bring your website out of obscurity and into that all-important first page.
If, on the other hand, you want to manage the SEO for your website yourself, it’s beneficial to keep in mind that there is a bit of a learning curve. You may not get it right the first time, but with care, consistency, and careful adherence to the SEO techniques listed below, you should, in time, see some good results.
This is by no means an exhaustive list of all the things you can do to improve your website’s search engine ranking but it’s a good place to start.
1. Keywords are Key!
Search engines register every word on your website. When someone searches for something through a search engine, what they type in is considered to be a set of keywords. The search engine will then bring up all the results that contain that set of keywords. The most relevant keywords will take up the top positions in these results. Therefore, you should think about what keywords a visitor would enter into a search engine to find your website. These keywords, also known as search terms, should then be incorporated into the text of your website.
How do you make your text relevant to what people would search for? Firstly, you’ll need to think about which keywords your visitors might use to find you. Since a website usually consists of several sub-pages, these should also be individually optimised for your specific keywords. It is very important that your keyword appears in the title, in the permalink, and in the actual text of every sub-page of your website. You should also have your keyword in the meta title and in the meta description of each page.
2. High Quality Backlinks
If another website links to yours, this is a positive recommendation for a search engine. The higher the quantity of external websites that refer to your site, the more important your site appears to the search engine. Be aware, however, that not every link carries the same weight. If the link comes from an established website with a decent amount of traffic, it will be ranked higher. A link coming from a newly-created website with few visitors will be ranked lower. Furthermore, if the link comes from a website that is non-thematic, it can also be considered negative. This is because the search engine suspects ‘purchased’ SEO links here.
Which brings us to our final point…
3. Quality Counts!
Search engines prefer websites with regular, new, and original content. A steady increase in backlinks is also beneficial. However, make sure that these are from quality websites as search engines are really good at telling the difference!
Search engines also prefer sites that are user-friendly (does your site have a responsive design for mobile devices, for example?). The bounce rate and average time a visitor spends on your site are also important.
To summarise, if you have a quality website, then visitors are more likely to stay. This has the obvious benefit of giving you traffic and in doing so, making your site look like a quality website in the eyes of the search engine.
Also, keep in mind that search engines regularly change their algorithms and therefore, it is essential to keep up to date with the latest developments in SEO.
What will never change, however, is the need for websites to provide visitors with interesting and useful content and in so doing, significantly improve their chances of receiving a high search results ranking.
Need some help improving the SEO of your website? At Kleinermann Web Design, we specialise in SEO. Contact us here.