What is SEO?
You might have heard this word thrown around from time to time. You know it stands for ‘search engine optimisation’ but exactly what is SEO?
So what is SEO?
Search Engine Optimisation is about making your website appealing for Search Engines like Google or Yahoo. When you type in a search on Google it has to decide within a few mili-seconds which page is the best match for that particular search term, so it is vital that your website sends a clear message stating that your business is the best candidate for top position.
As you probably know, Google can’t see your website as you do, and the only things that Google’s robot is able to read is the code behind the browser. This means that by optimising that code and tidying it up, makes the Search Engine give priority to those keywords or sentences you want to highlight.
Why is SEO Important?
“If a tree falls, and no one is around, does it make a sound?”
If a website is created and no one is there to visit, does it really exist?
SEO not only gets your website found but it drives higher amounts of traffic to your business.
Source: Distribution of Clicks
As you can see from the above heat map you can see were people are looking, so it’s pretty obvious were you want your website to appear.
So how do I do it?
There’s many SEO services companies you can go to for help, they will help you create a Search Engine Marketing plan that focuses on winning and adding new customers, but if you’re a do it yourself type of person or just want to save the cash here is some things you can do.
1. Determine your audience
If you’re bakery in Richmond, it’s not relevant for someone in Perth looking for bakeries to find you. So determine if you’re targeting local traffic, national or even international traffic. If you’re after local traffic have a read of my previous blog about local SEO.
2. Check were you rank
Find out were your website might already rank in Google. Now it’s no good going on to your home computer that you use for everything, and searching for website via Google. Google personalises searches, and will bring websites up if it thinks they’re more relevant to you. Getting a web visibility report is your best bet.
3. Check your website
A lot of people over look this, but if your website has errors/ bugs or is slow this does affect your search results. A Search engine sends a robot to view your website not a person, so they only see code. Your website’s code needs to be validated. Go to W3C to see how your website goes.
Researching the words you want to come up for is very important. You need to find out what people search for the most, how many times they search for that term locally, and what’s the competition like on that keyword. The Google Keyword Tool can help with this research.
You also need to look for keywords that will convert into leads, for instance the keyword “Hardware” has 368,000 local monthly searches compared to buy tools online which has 880. The difference is that when someone searches for “buy tools online” you know exactly what they are after and you can tailor a page directed at that exact need.
5. On Page Optimisation
This refers to the copy on your website, if a search engine comes to your webpage and you’re targeting “business phones” and the search engine reads that phrase a number of times, then it’s going to think you’re relevant for “business phones” and you will move up the ranks.
WARNING – Don’t over do it. It’s very easy to go overboard with how many keywords you use on a page and it will appear you are ‘Keyword stuffing’; this is a considerable negative for a search engine.
Mention your keyword 3-7 times in your content, and bold or italic once or twice. You should only have a positive effect on your page position.
Also mention your keyword once in the
- Page title
- Heading 1 tag
- Heading 2 to 4 tags
- Page (Meta) Description
- & In your alternative text tag for an image.
6. Search Engine Friendly URLS
You seen a URLs that look like this.
Messy, confusing, not descriptive – Google agrees. Search engines don’t like these types of links. This might be a difficult task but you need to try and make your URLs short and descriptive as possible. You should even include a keyword!
For example – the URL designerwebsites.com.au/what-is-seo, is friendlier for the user and search engines alike. It’s easier to remember and the search engine knows that this page is most likely talking about ‘what is SEO’
A static page is never good; Google wants web pages to be always updating with new content and staying “Fresh”. The more often your webpage is updated the more frequently search engine’s are going to come and visit your page. A very active website will most likely be crawled on the hour, updating the search engines all the time, while an inactive website might only get crawled once a month.
A good idea is to have a blog section on your website to update your customers (and Google) on what you are doing within the business, it’s also a good place to launch new products or create special offers.
The trickiest part about SEO is getting people to link to your website. A link to your website is almost like a vote and that vote has more power depending on the quality of the page it came from. Submitting your website to web directories can sometimes be a good idea, just need to check the quality of them first. Have a look at the SEO Web Directory List from SEOmoz
SEO gets very serious very quickly, so if you don’t have the time I definitely recommend getting SEO services from an expert. If you’re just a local business looking for local traffic then start with Local SEO. Call us or shoot us an email if you need a hand, or if you have any questions we can help you with.