What is Search Engine Optimisation?

It doesn’t matter how great your products or services are, or how compelling your site is if nobody ever ever visits.

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) aims to increase your visibility in search engines and attract the type of visitors to your site that is relevant to your business.

SEO attempts to understand how search engines view the internet and how they determine which pages best answer a searchers query.

In this article we’ll cover:

At a high level, the order, or ranking, or a particular page in the search results is determined by the following factors:

  • Relevance – How strongly is the subject matter of the page related to the search query.
  • Authority or Popularity – This is determined by the quantity, relevance and authority of the links pointing to your website.
  • Intent – Increasingly search engines are trying to determine the kind of information the searcher is looking for when they enter a query and return the search results that best match that intent.

Search Engine Optimisation consists of the standard activities:

Keyword Research

Keyword research isn’t just about finding keywords that you can target in order to get get more traffic from google.

When considering which keywords to target we consider the following:

  • Relevance
  • Search Volume
  • Intent
  • Competition

Keyword Research Planner

Keyword research can be more valuable to your business than just working out which keywords to target to get traffic.

Keyword research can also help you understand your audience, your customers. For example:

  • What are the questions that your visitors need to answer before they can become your customers?
  • What are the particular features or benefits of your offerings that really matter to your customers?

Google’s latest Hummingbird update, aims give Google a better understanding of concepts, rather than matching individual words in a query to pages.

As a result, we need to think more more about building content around topics instead of just optimising individual pages for individual keywords.

Keyword Research will help you plan the content and structure of your website to benefit both your visitors and help you perform better in search.

On-Page Optimisation

On-page optimization is the practice of ensuring the content of a page is set up to be relevant for the search queries being targeted.

Optimising the It is a crucial part of most SEO campaigns – if the phrases you are hoping to rank for don’t appear on the page, it will be much more difficult to achieve your goals.

On-page factors, as you’d think, look at the usage of they keyword on the individual web page and include such things as:

  • Keyword use in the title tag
  • appropriate keyword usage in the content
  • Keyword placement in the page headings

Keeping your content, tight and focused on the page’s topic will help strengthen the relevancy of your page.

It’s well understood that Google and other search engines use the number and authority of the links to your pages as a factor when it comes to ranking pages.

The problem with “Link Building”.

It’s been tempting to try and manipulate your rankings by building easy links to your pages.

Google’s recent Penguin update has attempted to counter this practice to improve the quality of their search results.

As a result, many websites have been penalised, dropping out of the search results and losing their valuable search traffic. It’s difficult to recovering from this position and can take a considerable time.

Imagine if the door to your store was bricked up for a couple of months.

If you’re looking to build your website into a valuable long-term asset, then you need to look past some of the risk practices that may have worked in the past.

That’s not to say that links are not important any more. They are.

You need to think about earning links in an authentic and natural way from sites that are relevant to your business.

Competitive Research

The purpose of competitive research is to understand what your on-line competitors are doing, and of course, how you can out perform them.

  • Understand the people they are targeting.
  • Understand their on-line strategy
  • Assess their strengths and weaknesses against your own

Search Competition Graph

Understanding your competitors will enable you to find opportunities you can exploit to improve your own on-line marketing.

Technical SEO Audits

Many web pages fail to get the attention they deserve due to technical problems with their website.

Such problems can prevent search engines from crawling and indexing the content on your site which in turn, means that your pages don’t appear in the search results.

A technical audit of the existing site is usually undertaken at the start of an SEO campaign and can usually provide many quick and easy fixes that can really help your site perform.

A Word about Rankings

The goal of Search Engine Optimisation is not to rank higher in the search results for your chosen keywords. The goal is to deliver more of the right kind of search traffic.

Ranking #1 is irrelevant if your website isn’t delivering the business you need.
Chasing rankings can become a distraction that stops you from focusing your attention on more productive areas.

Rankings are an increasingly irrelevant metric. As search engines personalise your search results based on your search history, your location, and people in your circles it’s unlikely that the search results you see with be the same as the results other people see.

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