Back to Basics – SEO tips and advice from Dragonfly PR
SEO, or Search Engine Optimisation, can be daunting for those who are new to digital marketing. However, it needn’t be.
In this blog, we go back to the very basics of SEO – what it is and how it can help you and your business in ways that you may not have even contemplated before.
So, what, exactly, is SEO?
Essentially SEO is the process of improving the chances of your website being visible to people browsing the internet. More than that, it is about getting the right people to your website.
For instance, if someone is using a search engine to find something that you sell, you want your website to appear in the results of that search. You need to understand SEO in order to make sure that this happens.
Google is the most popular search engine in the world and everyone working with SEO will both love and hate Google at various stages. Because, if Google is the biggest search engine in the world, it’s the one you need to crack in order to get people visiting your website.
When you carry out a Google search you can be forgiven for thinking that the results appear at random, but this is far from the case. To be on the first page of results this is unlikely to have occurred by chance – someone will have worked very hard at making sure their SEO tactics were effective.
So, how can I start to master SEO?
Credibility and Relevance – In order to have a chance of being listed on that first page, you need to show that your website is credible and relevant. Credibility can be demonstrated through links to your website from other authoritative websites as well as links from your website to other relevant sites. Think of a link as a seal of approval – the more credible the site giving you the link, the greater authority your site will achieve. Likewise, when you link to another site, this is also seen as a seal of approval so only link to sites that you want to be associated with.
You can also gain credibility by ensuring your website is free of errors and easy to navigate. Google does not want to send people to broken links on websites, which is why it’s important to make sure it’s in good working order.
In terms of relevance, you need to make it easy for Google to see what your website is about. In simple terms, if someone is searching to buy insulation, for example, then Google will immediately look at the sites that are screaming ‘insulation’ the loudest! Assuming they are credible too, they’ll make the list.
Keywords – Using the right keywords is absolutely essential when you write the copy for your website. That insulation retailer will obviously want to contain the word ‘insulation’, but it might also want to include phrases such relating to its location (‘buy insulation in Manchester) and its product range (‘Styrofoam‘).
Think about the words and phrases that your typical customer would use to carry out his search for your product and you’ll be on the right lines. Having said this, don’t just add keywords to every paragraph – Google is very clever and it will notice if your keywords are out of context from the rest of the copy.
Page Titles and Meta Descriptions – Ranking in Google is one thing, getting people to then click through to your website is another, and this is where page titles and meta descriptions come in.
Page titles are important as they give the users an idea of what to expect on each page. Ensure your titles are concise but watch out for any vagueness. For example, titling your homepage ‘Home’ isn’t very descriptive and something like ‘Welcome to XYZ – where you’ll find the most effective insulation’ might work better.
Meta descriptions are concise explanations of the content of the site and they will generally appear as the descriptive blurb of any website that appears in search engine results. Therefore this is your perfect opportunity to advertise its contents in order to encourage people to visit the site. It might be tempting to pack your meta description with keywords, but that’s unlikely to appeal to the readers. It’s best to keep your description as natural, concise and descriptive as possible.
Content is key – People like to see fresh content on websites and Google knows this, so it is important to keep your website up to date in terms of the products you offer and any details relating to the business. However, you can go one step further than this by adding fresh and interesting content through a blog.
A blog is a perfect opportunity for you to publish any news stories and keep your customers up to date regarding events and new products. It’s also a great platform for you to write topical stories about things that you know your customers will be interested in. A shoe shop, for example, might blog about a new line that’s coming out or which celebrity is wearing which shoe style this season. If the content is both topical and interesting it will draw readers to the blog, and if the right links are in place, through to the website.
So, how do I know if my hard work is paying off?
The obvious test is for you to Google your own business and see where you appear in the rankings. But with Google Analytics you can analyse exactly what is and isn’t working on your website. Once installed on your site, Google Analytics will tell you which pages are the most popular, when people like to visit your site, how they are finding your site and much more. The results will then help you to improve the website and increase the number of visits.
The above is just a very brief introduction to SEO. If you’d like to know more, or if you want any help improving the SEO of your website, contact us on 01709 300130 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.