One of our clients asked an innocuous enough question earlier this week:
What’s the point in SEO?
Innocuous in the sense that they probably expected a 45 second answer, instead of the extended lecture with into which I gleefully launched. But for the lack of a tie, a fresh face, and an ardent desire to extol the virtues of a Nazareth-born leader of men, not-so-devout listeners
To cut a (incredibly, and perhaps even needlessly) long explanation short, SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation (or Optimization if you hail from North America). It is the means by which a website aims to increase its position in organic search engine results.
Reducing it down further, SEO is about bringing more visitors to your site. It’s one of the best – and certainly the most cost effective – techniques to increase the visibility of a website and, with that, the number of potential customers who stumble upon your products.
So – how to do it?
Firstly, it’s perhaps worth explaining that there is no easy way to climb to the top (and then stay at the top) of the search engine algorithms. Their metrics for ranking websites are a) constantly changing and b) very secretive.
That isn’t to say it’s a case of leaving it up to Google and co. and hoping for the best; there are several actions you can take that are proven to boost your site’s search engine rankings. We’ve broken these actions down into the three widely acknowledged tenets, detailed below:
1) On page SEO
This is how the content on your website is structured, both in terms of what it says, and how the data is structured. To continue the numerical theme, there are 2 main ways to ensure your website’s On-page SEO is best optimised:
First, and perhaps foremost, is ensuring that the content on your website is actually content that your target audience want to read. There’s no real way to trick the system here; if you write appealing, relevant and enticing content, people will want to read it. Try to keep extended pieces of content at around the 500 word mark.
This should be supplemented by structuring the on-page data correctly – telling search engines which pieces of information pertain to fields such as ‘Meta Description’, ‘SEO Title’. When you’re searching Google, this information comprises the title of a page and the snipped of text below. When this is relevant and enticing to a reader, the chances of their viewing your website increases exponentially.
2) Off page SEO
An altogether simpler element of SEO to perfect, Off-page SEO requires links from other websites back to your website. This tells search engines that your site has sufficient authority to warrant back-links and, as such, boosts your SEO score.
The more respected the website that links to yours, the better. Essentially, links from the BBC are good, links from newly set-up sites with very few visitors are not so good.
3) Technical SEO
Arguably the easiest elements of your website to optimise from an SEO perspective full under this category. Yet, paradoxically, this can also the hardest criteria to fulfill, insofar as it requires a specific set of expertise. The tasks that are encompassed under this broad heading range from ensuring the rather nebulous site is running quickly to the frighteningly specific optimise robots.txt files, created XML sitemaps and add structured data/schema markup.
As always, feel free to get in touch to learn more about SEO, or any of the other services we offer!