SEO, or search engine optimisation, helps your website be found when people are looking for your services, goods and expertise. So, how do you know your site is properly optimised?
Here's our quick guide to the two most important facts of SEO and a quick website SEO test to get your started.
Today, two trillion search queries are made around the world on Google alone, that’s 88,7000 questions answered per second. Hubspot
Good SEO is a long-term process, a sophisticated mix of good visitor facing content and behind the scenes know-how in the shape of metadata. Having great on-site information and no back office metadata, or vice-versa, is like swimming with one hand tied behind your back – you may make some progress but it’s nothing to what you could be achieving. The two top SEO factors for websites are: content and links Content means the topic information relevant to searches and also includes the correct metadata - that’s the supporting data hidden from visitor view found in the website's back office. Links mean high quality inbound links. In other words, links from other good, relevant and high traffic websites, plus, internal links to relevant content and social media sharing. Different search engines will come up with slightly different search results. That’s because they all use slightly different algorithms when indexing web pages. Google uses over 900 different factors when ranking a site, yet the main ones will be:
- Structure and internal links
- The searcher’s geographical location
- Mobile optimization
- Loading times
- Server accessibility
- Links from social networks
Alongside unique content and quality links you’ll see mobile is also very important as, today, so much searching is done on smart phones and tablets. If your site is not ‘mobile friendly’ you may be and probably are, being ‘downgraded’ in search listings. The ability to share your website information via social media is important to the search engines too, again reflecting current trends and behaviours using platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. Fast loading is highly desirable, as is accessibility for those with difficulty in reading and use screen readers. In fact, anything that is a barrier to ease of access and comprehension plays a role in ranking your site.
Remember: content also includes photographs, video, infographics
Search engines like Google use and regularly adjust their highly sophisticated algorithms that seek to literally think like a human, which try and get the best possible search outcomes for searchers. Which keeps the emphasis on well-written, unique and relevant content because that is what people are looking for.
Did you know that search engines give older sites higher ‘trust rankings’. They are guessing that because you have been around a long time you must be doing something right!
When you read your website copy keep asking yourself, “Am I answering a question my customers may ask?” "Am I offering added value?" no more, no less. Quick website SEO test... mind your metadata - is your SEO up to scratch? There is a quick way to check if your metadata is doing its job (remember this is an important part of the SEO equation). Look at the title tag for each page of your website. The title tag text appears on the web browser tab when you have a page open and stands out in blue text link on a search result listing. Is the text on the title tab the same for every page? Each page should have unique text relevant to the topic of the page and your brand/business name and possibly your location. If your developer has left your title tag as the same for every page you're website is missing out and, it could well be that the rest of your metadata, things like meta descriptions, headline tags and internal links have not been properly configured either and your website is at a disadvantage. You need to check further and, if needed, get support to input the right information. And finally, did you know that PageRank is not a literal naming of the algorithm for ranking your website page by its importance? It was named after Larry Page, one of the founders of Google. More on author and BIG Creative Director Jacky Fitt