What is Search Engine Optimisation?
Search Engine Optimisation, or SEO for short, is the advertising and marketing process that is used to help websites score highly in search engine rankings. The better your SEO, the higher your website ranking, and the more likely you are to get visitors. Good SEO is not about spending more and more money on AdWords for specific keywords. Good SEO is about making your website the best it can be.
The best SEO strategy focuses on improving what is known as the organic or holistic SEO factors of a website. These SEO factors can be divided into two categories: On-Page SEO and Off-Page SEO. Organic Search Engine Optimisation is not a quick fix process that gives immediate results, but more a slow burn process that builds effectiveness over time.
First of all, you have to accept that Google is the King and Queen of all search engines. Your Search Engine Optimisation must be carried out in accordance with Google guidelines if you want high rankings. First of all remember this, Google ranks web pages, not web sites. The more Google likes some of your pages, the more it will visit your site, and the higher the pages will rank in the listings. Read on to learn more about how to optimise your website for the best results, and we can help you with this. Email Russell Collins for further information.
A few word about AdWords strategy, and other paid for advertising. Too many organisations waste too much money on AdWords. They think they more they spend on AdWords the higher they will rank. This is simply not true. Large organisations spend more on the popular keywords than many companies can afford, therefore they rank highly. Google a search term and you will see the top listings start with an “Ad”, this shows that it is a paid for listing. Look at the name of the company, and ask yourself if you can match their AdWord spend.
A proper AdWords strategy can be very effective, and low cost when used to enhance an organic SEO strategy, but not in the way many think. You only actually pay when someone clicks on your AdWord and goes through to your site. You then want them to click through to another page on your site. If the visitor clicks to your site, then you have spent money. If the visitor then leaves your web site the money is wasted. You want your visitor to click through to another page, and we can help you with this. See long tail keywords down below.
On-Page SEO Factors
On-page factors are the factors that you have complete control over. These include issues related to site structure, site content, user experience, site security and site speed among others.
Having a good site structure makes it easier for Google to travel around your site. A good site structure should be a logical structure that helps visitors find what they want. If a visitor can travel around your site easily, then so can Google. The best way to make it easy to travel around your site is to have extensive internal links. The better your structure, the easier it is for Google to read, and the more Google will visit it, This will improve your Search Engine rankings, and we can help you with this.
Google likes websites that are frequently updated with new content. The best way to update a website is by blogging once or twice a week, and frequently updating your permanent content. A blog post counts as a new web page, and that post should be written around a specific keyword. Blog posts can be short, but must be relevant to your website and must be informative. Content needs to be well written, grammatically correct and logically laid out.
Put some images into the text and make sure they are properly optimised as well. Hover your cursor over the image on this page to see what SEO feature comes up, The more your site is properly updated, the more Google will visit your site, This will improve your Search Engine rankings, and we can help you with this.
Whilst Google likes plenty of text, it also likes images that are properly sized. If the images are too large then the site will take a long time to load, and visitors will leave.
A good user experience (or UX for short) means that your visitors stay on your web site and click through your links onto other parts of your web site. Your site should load quickly, and this means that images are sized properly. If a visitor come to your web site, reads part of a page then leaves, then you get nothing from it. If a site is slow in loading, then the visitor could lose patience and go elsewhere. This will also show Google that a visitor didn’t think that particular page, or your website interesting. Visitors need to come to your website, stay on the page, then click through to other pages. The longer a visitor stays on your website, clicking through to other pages, then the more Google will visit it, This will improve your Search Engine rankings, and we can help you with this.
Off-Page SEO Factors
Off-page factors are the factors that you have much less control over. These include back links, keywords search, your niche competition, and market competitiveness.
Getting high quality and relevant links to your web site from other sites gets Google to visit your website more often. These links can come from testimonials written by your customers and suppliers on their website or blog. Other links can come from press releases written by you and placed with an on-line agency. Social sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest are excellent sources of links.
Links to your website MUST be relevant to the content of your website. If the links are irrelevant then Google will mark you down. The general rule is that you never buy links from a third party. Having said that, buying some high quality back links could be beneficial, but only after extensive research. If Google finds links to your site that you have bought, especially from unrelated sites, it will penalise you heavily. Your site will move down the rankings list and could disappear from the rankings completely. Never swap links with unrelated organisations either. A proper back linking startegy will improve your search engine rankings, and we can help you with this.
A keyword can be of more than one word, a better term would be keywords, or key phrases. Many organisations want to rank highly for certain popular keywords and optimise their web site accordingly. They often spend large amounts of money for AdWords on those keywords. This strategy is frequently wasteful for a number of reasons. Firstly, you need to rank for keywords that potential visitors are using, not what you want them to use. Secondly, there are organisations that spend far more money on AdWords campaigns than you can ever afford. You will never rank above them using AdWords. Thirdly, competition for popular keywords ranking is intense, and others have been ranking on those keywords for longer than you have.
You need a proper Keyword strategy based around Keyword Research, Short-Tail Keywords, Long Tail Keywords and Blogging. This will help improve your Search Engine rankings, and we can help you with this.
There are plenty of tools on the web that will help you identify suitable short and long tail keywords for your line of business. You can then incorporate those keywords into your web site. Short tail keywords should be used for the main pages of your site, and the long tail keywords for the blog posts you do. Each short or long term keyword or phrase should only be used in one post or page.
Short Tail Keywords
Short tail keywords target large groups, and less specific keyword searches. They are usually the most popular keywords and there is a great deal of competition for sites to rank on those words, They get a lot of search activity around them and it is unlikely that you will achieve a good ranking with them. Short tail keywords also have quite a high AdWords spend on them, and you can see this on a Google search. Short tail keywords should be used for your main web pages.
Let us assume that you sell vintage clothes. If you do a Google search on “Vintage Clothes”, or “Vintage Clothing”, you will find more than half-a-million entries, with the top few displaying the “Ad” label that to show they are paid-for advertising.
Long tail keywords are longer and are more specific in their application, they are aimed more at niche searches. They get a lot less search activity on them which means you are more likely to get a good ranking with them. Long tail keywords should be the subject of your blog posts
If you specialise in a particular niche of vintage cloths, such as shoes, then a long tail keyword search on say “red 1940 style shoes” gets much less traffic and therefore you have a higher chance of ranking well. You can write a blog post based on “red 1940 style shoes”, and link it to your “Vintage Clothing” web page. It could then be a good value for money if you then ran a low priced AdWords campaign costing pennies around this long tail keyword,
Keywords And Blog Posts
A good keyword research exercise could give you more than a hundred short and long tail keywords that you can use. You should use the popular short tail keywords for your main web site pages, and write blog posts based around the longer tail keywords. Then link the long tail blog post to the short tail page. You should then publicise your blog post on social media. You should then get visitors reading your blog post, and hopefully clicking through to the short tail page you have linked to. This gets Google interested in your post, page and web site, and therefore helps to moves you up the rankings.
Getting results with an organic, or holistic SEO strategy takes time, and you can’t expect to see big results for at least a few months, but results will come, and we can help you get these results.