Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
Drive Organic Traffic With The Effective Use of SEO
Search engine optimisation – the practice of increasing the online visibility of a product or organisation is an absolutely crucial aspect of digital marketing these days. This applies whether you are a small business or a larger, multinational company and in either case having a poor-quality web presence will seriously harm your sales, as it will drastically affect the amount of organic traffic you receive to your webpage.
When searching for a word, phrase or product, as millions of people do on the internet on a daily basis, the search results will come up in web pages provided by search engine companies – such as Google or Bing. Search queries (an ‘organic search’) can vary, and term variants can have an effect on the information that comes up (the search engine results).
Obviously, in order to maximise your presence on the web, you’ll want your company or organisation to appear close to the top – or as close to the top as possible – of search engine rankings for any variant of the search term used. For example, a person may search for ‘holidays in the South of France’ – but another person may search for ‘French Riviera vacations’.
Usually, SEO is divided into two parts, Technical SEO (On page) & Off page SEO. Technical SEO involves manipulating the on page properties of a website (You can use a WordPress SEO Plugin) and off page SEO involves manipulating factors outside the webpage. Google is known to use over 200 ranking signals and no one knows the exact formula. However, based on experiments and data-driven research most SEO companies and experts have classified the following elements that influence the search rankings.
The architecture of a website – The most effective and the most basic a technique for optimising your web page’s search rankings in search traffic is to have a clear information architecture. Imagine going to a supermarket and looking to buy a product. If the place is properly organised with clear signs, name tags, pricing it will be easier for you to find the product right? It’s the same concept. If you have a clear website architecture (Navigation, structure, User interface, user-friendly URLs, Content, Call to action, Links etc) it will be easier for search engines to ‘crawl, index and rank your website. Not only that it will provide a better user experience. User engagement signals are important to search engines.
High quality and unique content that helps users with their search intent – The quality and uniqueness of the content are equally important. Duplicate content is not good for SEO and continuously updating your content is a positive signal to search engines. So it’s important to keep the content fresh and update when necessary. Your content should target users search queries and provide a clear and accurate answer. So, It’s important to have a content marketing strategy from the start. Quality content has more weight than quantity ‘thin’ content.
Use of relevant keywords – Keywords are basically words or phrases that people will tend to use when searching for a particular item on the internet. The old days of creating specific content for individual keyword is long gone. Search engines have evolved with new machine learning algorithms and they’re able to understand the relationship between keywords, synonyms. etc The focus should be on creating topics instead of keywords. The keywords must also be used carefully as stuffing them into an article can cause over optimisation and Search engines like Google will penalise sites trying to trick their algorithms. The keywords must be naturally flowing with the content and obviously should make sense. We can use semantic and LSI keywords to avoid over optimisation. Recently there has been a rise in the use of TF-IDF formula to calculate the usage of keyword density.
Internal links between pages on your site – Recent times internal links have become a lot important to SEO. By creating clusters and different topics you can internally link between articles and pages to help search engines understand the relationship between the content. The internal links will also pass authority and help pages rank.
The site speed – With the rising popularity of mobile and tablets, Search engines like Google has started taking page load times into account and incorporated this into their ranking signals. So, it’s vital to have a fast loading page. WordPress and other CMS systems offer various plugins and there are many third-party applications like Cloud flare, WP rocket etc can help you speed your website’s assets and improve page load times. You must take extra care when using large images and multimedia assets.
The number of quality backlinks – This is known to be one of the biggest ranking factors. ‘Inbound links’ – which is getting a link to your website from a another webpage. This strategy is known as ‘link building’, It’s against Google’s guidelines to build links using unnatural ways. So anyone paying for links is in the risk of getting caught and penalised by search engines. The link building should be part of your content strategy and by producing high-quality linkable content and assets will naturally drive links to your site. This is harder than said but with a clear outreach and link building strategy, it’s possible to get good links to your site. When building links its important to obtain links from relevant websites and ideally with higher authority. Topical relevance is important as if you have a cake business and getting a link from an insurance website might not be a good idea. Anchor text must be used carefully and ideally diverse as possible with the highest percentage being branded.
Click through rates (CTR) – Click through rates play a vital role in search engine optimisation. In order to increase your CTR, you can create good title and meta descriptions. This will likely to increase clicks. You can work towards obtaining featured snippets to your site and they are known to get better click-through rates. Another technique is to obtain star ratings for your product and service pages by implementing schema data.
These are some of the important elements. However, there are many other elements such as the use of Social signals, SSL implementation, etc.
Apart from this, there are different types of SEO, like Local SEO, Video SEO, Image SEO, e-commerce SEO etc. These things don’t apply to every type of business and a good consultant can help you implement the right strategy for you.
Let’s talk solutions
I have been doing SEO for over 5 years and have ranked some highly competitive keywords without using any ‘black hat’ methods. If you want me to take a look at your business and help you with rankings send me a message and ill provide some of my previous work along with a clear strategy and quote. I can conduct an audit of your site and provide recommendations or if you’re a new business I can help you from scratch (IA, Keyword research, competitor analysis, content strategy).