In the past 1000 years, we as a civilisation have experienced quite a few life altering changes and advancements in our humanity and our very existence on this earth. From the Iron Age to the Industrial Revolution, from the Age of Communication to the Age of Information, one thing is clear, the #digitalage is here and you are a part of it whether you like it or not.
You are probably wondering what this has to do with SEO and to be honest, really not much, but it does bring to mind some basic skills that are needed to survive and of course, run a business. This brings us to the SEO part of this post.
What does SEO stand for again?
To refresh your memory, SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation and its exactly that, how to optimise your websites content to ensure Google and the other (slightly lesser) search engines can find your website if someone is searching for your unique services and skills. By analysing the data provided from Google Analytics, you can effectively make business decisions based on real data. No more “hearsay” or theoretical ideas!
In our earlier blog post on SEO, we gave a broad overview of Google Analytics and how it functions. But lets be honest – there is some very confusing jargon used in this crazy world of SEO. Lets break them down for you so you have a clearer understanding of what we are talking about.
How does it work?
We all know why we need to optimise our websites, right? So that users can find your website easily online. Most users ignore the paid for advertising (the top 3 highlighted search results) favouring the organic or natural results, this just highlights the importance of ensuring your website is optimised.
A search engine main duty or process is divided into 3 key elements: crawling, indexing and querying.
- Crawling: A search engine runs a software program called a ‘spider‘ to discover or ‘crawl’ through your content on the web.
- Indexing: The search engine analyzes the content it ‘crawls’ to determine what it’s about, it then ‘indexes this info’ or ‘organises the content’ – so that it’s quickly referenced or retrieved for the next step of the process.
- Querying: When you type your query into the search engine of choice, it retrieves a list of results for you to consider or read through. These results appear on a Search Engine Results Page (SERP). These results are based on the index.
How do I get ranked?
We’ve spoken about Google’s new algorithm – Penguin, and what is does, but what does this algorithm want to find out or learn? Long gone are the days of “keyword stuffing,” “multiple outbound links” and other dubious SEO tricks.
These days, the most important thing to know is that your content must be high-quality and rich in information. Basically, if your website’s content impresses a human, then it will probably impress Google. Two key areas to focus on is length of content and freshness. We will discuss this in more details in an upcoming blog.
To have Google trust your page enough to serve it up as a top result to a search query, then your page better deliver great content. If your bounce rate is high, you will be penalized. (Bounce rate is calculated on users that leave your page without clicking through to another page)
Besides having original, killer content on your site, there are a few small tweaks that need to be addressed to ensure you are as optimised as you can be.
A Keyword is a word or phrase that shows up in popular search results. With some research you can discover what keywords (if searched) would naturally bring traffic to your site. But before you start adding tons of keywords, if your content is not original and fresh, no matter how many keywords you use, you won’t appear in search results.
Make sure your content focuses on topics that cover and use these keywords. And if you don’t know what keywords will help your organic search results then use Googles Keyword Planner.
The Title Tag is just that – the title of you web page. This title will appear first in the search results on your SERP so it is essential for SEO as well as the user experience. This title is also what Social Media Platforms will show if your content is shared.
Here are 3 simple recommendations to keep in mind:
– Keep your title tag between 50-60 characters. This prevents a too-long title from getting cut off in search results.
– Your title must accurately describe the content on the page.
– Place your keywords at the beginning of the title tag.
Its also important to ensure you don’t use duplicate keywords or titles as Google does frown upon duplicate content – if this is the case, consider merging your 2 pages into one or altering the content slightly to deliver a different message.
The meta description is a brief summary or to state the obvious, a description of your web pages content. This is something you can specify when you compose your page. It’s also very similar to a snippet (a snippet is what Google picks up as your page description and displayed under your Title Tag on your SERP)
If the search term the user entered appears in your snippet or meta description then it will be highlighted in the search results. These highlighted words can draw attention to your listing and increase your hit rate.
Links on your site are broken down to internal and external links. Internal links are links that link content within your website. The latter are links that lead to content outside of your website. You will want to have an equal amount of internal and external links.
Now don’t overload your page with links, Google does want to see the content has been researched adequately, but does not like seeing loads of links as this will water down your contents “appearance” and actually encourage users to leave your page. Use them wisely and you can’t go wrong!
Now that you have a much better idea of what SEO is and how it can work to your advantage (or disadvantage if you do it wrong) you can start understanding your analytics report and make strategic decisions about your #digitallandcape
Remember, great content will get great results!
If you need your websites SEO to be reviewed or changed then please contact us and we can help increase your natural rankings and increase search traffic to your website.