What is Search Engine Optimisation?
When creating a website, every business would love to feature at the top of Google’s search rankings. Search Engine Optimisation ensures that websites are optimised to achieve the highest level of visibility for a company. SEO strategy should consider both on and off-page factors in order to fully optimise a website. The overall aim of a successful SEO campaign is to ensure that the website features prominently in relevant searches, thus improving brand awareness. But is SEO useful for everybody?
As more and more companies take the plunge and create an online presence search engine crawlers are becoming increasingly important. Web crawlers find and index every page on the internet and have to differentiate between millions of businesses online. When a web crawler searches through a website’s pages, the pages need to be easily reached through direct links. Failure to create direct links and clear structures result in websites that are difficult to crawl.
To guarantee that each page of a website is easily crawled and indexed, websites should have a good internal linking structure. Google indexes easy-to-crawl websites in order to show them to a user when they perform a relevant search. Increased website visibility has a number of obvious benefits for a business including better exposure and a higher likelihood of a valuable conversion.
On Page Search Engine Optimisation
On-page SEO concerns over 200 signals used by Google to rank pages. Considerations for on-page optimisation include the title of the page, the meta description and content. Although each of the criteria are given a different weighting by Google, they are all important for optimising a webpage.
The title should give a clear indication to the reader of the article contents and should include keywords which people may use in their search. Content which is concise, well written and contains relevant keywords will have a better SEO score.
The meta description is the visible text snippet users see when they view a search result. Search engines automatically shorten meta descriptions over 160 characters, as a result the copywriter should ensure that their meta description is accurate and succinct. Although Google do not use meta descriptions to form the SEO score, they give a clear indication of the page’s relevance to the human user.
The loading speed of the page is also a key consideration in web design. Pages with a loading time of over three seconds have a detrimental impact on user experience. Slow load times are likely to lead to customers choosing to visit a competitor’s website instead.
A website should also use a mobile responsive web design to cater for users on mobile devices. Due to recent changes in technology, between 60-70% of searches are conducted on mobile devices. Mobile responsive designs ensure that a user accessing the site by mobile phone can easily navigate and perform functions on each page. As a growing number of people use phones and tablets to access the internet, this is becoming an ever more important consideration.
Effective keyword strategy is essential in order to create successful SEO campaigns. Free tools such as Google Keyword Planner are available to help select the most appropriate keywords for each page. Targeting keywords and phrases as a user would enter them into a search engine ensures that the article appears at an optimum time.
Long-tail keywords are an effective way to improve a page’s ranking in search results. Long tail strategies target more specific search terms with lower search volume than more generic terms. Customers in an advanced stage of the conversion funnel are more likely to use specific keywords to find the exact product they desire.
Off Page Search Engine Optimisation
There are also a number of effective Search Engine Optimisation techniques which take place off the page. Good off-page or off-site SEO can give authority and credibility to a site which contains good quality content.
Off-page SEO activities include backlinks, brand mentions, guest posts and social media. In each of these instances, the activity has a positive impact on the credibility of the webpage.
Backlinks are a significant consideration for websites wishing to increase their reputation and visibility. To increase the number of high authority backlinks to the website, companies should create good quality and reliable content. Good quality content encourages external webpages to link to the content which positively impacts SEO. If you want to know more about backlinks, look out for our in-depth guide which will be published soon!
Using a good SEO strategy to optimise a website is paramount to reach as many potential clients as possible. As more users go online, there has never been a more important time to invest in your digital marketing strategy. Effective search engine optimisation might just make a crucial difference when you are pursuing that vital conversion.
The author’s views are entirely his or her own and may not reflect the views of CodifyMedia.
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