Getting Your Website Optimised For Search Engines
Search engine optimisation is an essential part of the first stage of the Inbound Methodology (“Attract”) and it is necessary for you to understand what it means. In this article, we will cover the basics of SEO to help you get up to speed on how to best optimise your website for search engines. By the end of this article, you will have a basic understanding of what SEO is, and the potential it can create for your business.
You might have noticed when performing a Google search that the results are ranked from most relevant to least relevant. Search engines such as Google, Yahoo or Bing use complex algorithms to determine the ranking of websites, according to how they are “well-optimised” they are. In simple terms, search engines look for the most important pages of the web, and show those first when a user performs a search query.
So how is it that some websites rank higher in the search results than others? And how can you get your company website to be on the first page of a search engine? That is where Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) comes in.
According to Wikipedia, Search engine optimisation (SEO) is the process of affecting the online visibility of a website or a web page in a web search engine’s unpaid results—often referred to as “natural”, “organic”, or “earned” results. It is important to note the difference between paid results and organic results. SEO efforts are aimed at getting organic rather than paid results. Therefore, You need to figure out what your prospective customers are searching for, so that you can make sure that they find your website.
Let’s put this into perspective. Suppose you want to build your favourite dog a kennel, but you are not really clued up on DIY. How would you go about finding this information? Chances are, you are probably going to head online and “Google it”. You will probably be specific in your search. This is what you might search for: “how to build a dog kennel” or “materials needed to build a dog kennel.” The search engine will reveal the results of your search query based on that topic, “dog kennels” and not “top ten pasta recipes”. These are the keywords that the search engine had to look for. Keywords are the words that you type into the search engine when you are searching for a particular topic or point of interest.
SEO can be broken down into 2 main stages, namely on-page SEO and off-page SEO.
On-page SEO: optimising the pages of your website
This is where you fine-tune your website structure and content to increase your search engine visibility. Some examples of the things you can do to at this stage to optimise your site includes meta descriptions, page titles, adding sitemaps etc.
Off-page SEO: promoting your website
This entails promoting your website so that it can rank better in search engine results. It refers to all the variables that search engines take into consideration such as blog posts, interactions on social media networks, website mentions etc.
For your website to be well optimised, start with fixing your on-page SEO issues. You need to ensure that search engines can crawl your website. Your website must have unique meta descriptions that explain the content on your website. Furthermore, you must ensure that your site content has the keywords that will draw prospects to your site. There are plenty of free tools on the Internet that you can use to do an audit of your website to pick up common SEO issues. Secondly, focus on off-page SEO. As the famous saying goes, content is king. Ensure you have valuable and share-worthy on your website. SEO cannot help you in the long run if you do not have good quality content. Optimising a site with not very good content will only bear short term fruits. The Internet community is always looking for good and relevant content. A website with good content can do very well with or without SEO.
In the next post we will look at examples of well optimised websites and how you can get your to be visible for search engines. In the meantime, consider fixing on-page SEO issues.