…and why your SEO strategy is probably out of date…
At its simplest, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) refers to any action undertaken to improve where a website ranks on a search engine results page (SERP).
So, if you want your website to be the first thing a potential customer sees when they search on Google* for the service or product your business offers, then read on, to learn more about SEO…
(*We refer to Google but the advice that follows applies to almost all search engines)
The most important thing to understand is that SEO is not a one-off task.
Google has a long history of changing its search algorithm and therefore SEO strategies are constantly evolving. You cannot stick to the same SEO strategies and still expect to rank well in search engine results pages in six months.
Having said that, there are some golden SEO rules that we highly recommend.
1. Web Design vs SEO
There’s only one thing better than a beautiful website…and that’s a beautiful website that ranks highly on a search engine results page!
Web content, metadata, page names and navigation are all critical to SEO.
Your website designer might be able to create a beautiful website but do they sufficiently understand SEO to ensure your business will appear in the search engine listings?
One of the latest changes to the Google algorithm, due to take effect in August 2021, will be based on the visitor’s experience of a web page, i.e. whether it loads quickly, displays correctly or has intrusive pop-ups. If the visitor doesn’t stick around for more than a few seconds, that will negatively impact your website’s SERP.
2. Content is (Still) King
Make sure your website content demonstrates your Expertise, is Authoritative and Trustworthy. Not only because it makes sense for the reputation of your business but because Google rewards ‘EAT‘. (If your content is not factually accurate you could fall foul of Google’s strict YMYL (“Your money, your life”) rules which penalise false or misleading health, legal and financial claims.)
Although it is tempting to put words in an image on your website, remember, search engines only index text so your keywords need to be text on a webpage (rather than words in an image).
Your keywords should appear naturally on web pages, blogs, page titles etc). The practice of “keyword stuffing” is outmoded and is highly likely to be detrimental to your rankings.
3. Join the Google family
Google My Business is a free marketing tool that can help potential online customers find your organisation quickly and easily. Not only does Google My Business improve your local ranking on Google, but it also gives you valuable insights such as which search terms people used to find your business.
Google Search Console (previously Google Webmaster Tools) is a free service that helps you monitor the indexing of your website and fix any problems. Google Search Console can also help you determine which content is most popular along with which websites referred traffic to your website.
Use Google tools to regularly audit your website’s page loading speed and check for orphaned links (especially important about a website redesign).
4. Offsite Content
Inbound links, also known as backlinks, happen when other websites link to a page on your website. Google use inbound links to determine a website’s reputation and this is thought to be one of the most influential factors in Google ranking.
However, not all links are equal and the referring sites authority, and relevance to your website, has a major part to play.
Here are some ideas to generate quality backlinks:
Write a guest blog post for your suppliers.
Create quality, shareable content and use a service like ShareThis to encourage sharing.
If you’re sponsoring or speaking at an event, supply website details to the event organiser.
If you’re a trustee or member of an organisation ask for your website details to be put on their “About Us” page.
5. Keep Learning (and adapting).
So, if the Google algorithm keeps changing, how can you ensure your SEO strategy remains relevant?
According to a 2018 report by Google, 27% of the online global population is using voice search on mobile. When you consider the rise in popularity of voice-assisted tech and wearables, it’s hardly surprising that this figure is set to increase.
This increase will necessitate a change in SEO, the way our websites are optimised for search engines. Voice searches tend to be more conversational than typed queries so it’s important to adopt a naturalistic tone in your content.
Why should SEO matter to you?
Customers may find your competitors more easily if you don’t implement an effective SEO strategy.
Speak to us about making sure your business can be seen and heard.