Here are the basics of Search engine optimisation also known as SEO that every business should know.
Search engine optimisation can appear to be complicated but the basics are actually quite simple.
And as a business the basics are all you really need because the truth is most people who run websites have a limited understanding of SEO, so often you only need to get the basics right to get good results.
What is a Search engine?
I am sure everyone has heard and used Google which is currently the biggest search engine. An easy way to explain what a search engine is that they are a question answering service. You can go to them and ask for a piece of information and they will give you a list of potential places to find the answer.
They do this by looking at all available content on the Internet, webpages, PDFs, images, videos and so on, and evaluating it to determine which content is most likely to answer your query. The order the content is shown in is known as ranking.
What search engine optimisation?
Search engine optimisation helps you increase the amount and quality of your website visitors by setting up or changing your website to achieve the best position in search engine results without paying for adverts. A big part of search engine optimisation is creating content, and you do this you need to understand your audience and create content for what they are looking for.
And there are three main types of searches that people make.
- Informational, where they’re still researching and are just looking for broad information. So if you take Graphic icing as an example they may be searching “What does a website designer do?”.
- Then we have navigational, where they are searching for a specific website, so they might search for “Graphic icing”.
- Finally, there is transactional when you are looking to book or buy. So they might search for “Website design quotes”.
And you need to create content to reach the audience at each of the stages so that when they get to the final stage of wanting to buy it is your website a trust.
Why is SEO important?
After all paid advertising, social media and other online platforms can generate traffic to your website but the majority of online traffic is driven by search engines.
It is important to remember that it is not about tricking search engines to rank your website better but to help search engines understand your website better so your content can be properly displayed within search results.
This idea of tricking search engines comes from bad practices, like everything there are good methods and bad methods.
And you may have heard this referral to you as white hat versus black hat SEO.
White Hat SEO refers to SEO techniques that are best practices because they abide by search engine rules and focus on providing good content for your website visitors.
Whereas black hat SEO refers to techniques that attempt to trick search engines, however, it puts your website at a huge risk of being removed from search engines altogether.
Things you should be doing
- Make your website pages for users not search engines
- Offer engaging content
- Use social media
- Use alt tags to describe images
- Use Google my business
- Use an SEO plug-in, for WordPress I recommend Yoast SEO
- Create pages/posts with a minimum of 300 words
Things you should avoid
- Using link schemes or buying links
- Using stolen content (duplicate)
- Keyword stuffing (adding keywords in an unnatural way)
- Misrepresenting any of your business information
If you have any questions I am more than happy to answer them in our Facebook group.