Search Engine Optimisation is the art of bringing your website to or near the top of a search engine list when potential customers search for a product or service that you want them to find.
When someone types in a ‘keyword’, which is a word or phrase related to your product or service, Google will present to them lists of websites relating to that keyword, in an order which Google considers most relevant.
The fine art of SEO is in satisfying Google’s exacting standards of relevance or ‘ranking’, so that your website gets to the top of the list. That’s the nutshell explanation.
Achieving the desired result depends on many factors and can be time-consuming both initially and on an on-going basis.
Time is money – how much it costs to properly optimise your website depends on factors unique to your business, your location, your product or service, your competition and many other considerations.
SEO- Search Engine Optimisation
Web designers and SEO experts make a living from creating and optimising websites. Some are good, some are bad and some are excellent, just like any other profession.
Both are specialised fields, and usually they form alliances to provide a complete service to their clients. At the very least a good web designer should be able to recommend a good SEO specialist.
Not all websites require SEO, but if you have a website that no-one visits and you need customers, then you need to act. This means employing someone to drive your ranking and push traffic to your website. No budget? Then you need to prepare for a very steep learning curve and set aside significant time to market that website yourself.
Ten Tips for Understanding SEO
- Think about your customers and what they are likely to type in to a search engine like Google to find your product or service. Working backwards from what your customers need will help you to decide on page titles and key words for each page.
- Key words. Every website page should have a key word. This word or short phrase should be relevant to your page content. Consider what people who need your services might be searching for. Check out the competition, especially the high ranking ones – what is their SEO ranking and what keywords are they using?
- Title. Every page title should include your key word for that page.
- Content. Your key word should appear a few times throughout your page content, and especially in the first paragraph.
- Content is king. The more words on your pages, the more valuable they are. Search engines will improve your ranking if you provide well written page text on every page and the more words the better. That information is also valuable to the person browsing your website. The more page text, the more opportunity to use your key word for that page.
- Database Optimisation. If your website uses a database, keep it clean and efficient! Unnecessary data bogs your website down, and affects page load time. Search engines don’t like slow pages and neither do visitors to your website. Slow loading pages will definitely have a negative affect on how search engines rank your website. Having a cluttered database can damage your SEO and decrease user experience.
- Image Optimisation. Large images also affect page load time. If you think you can manage your own website, you will need to learn how to correctly size and optimise the images appearing on your pages. Ensuring that search engines know what those images represent is another important requirement of image management. Search engines cannot read images. At least one image on each page needs to contain the keyword for that page.
- Social Media Links. Networking is an important part of internet marketing. You should claim all of the social accounts with your business/website name and make sure that they are linked to your website in some way. Then you should use those accounts to interact with people in those communities. The more that is on the internet that links you to others, the easier it is for search engines to categorise you.
- Blog articles. Write articles relevant to your website topic and add them regularly to your website. Such articles provide new opportunities for people to find your pages, and search engines love to see regularly updated websites. In a nutshell, blog articles will go a long way to improving your search engine optimisation ranking.
- Measure and Experiment. Use the tools that Google provides to see how much traffic you are getting and which keywords are the most effective in driving this traffic. They will help you to write content which is effective in improving your search engine ranking.
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