Getting Started with Search Engine Optimisation
These days, people rely heavily on search engines to find them the most relevant information to what they are looking for. Research data shows that when people use search engines, they are more likely to only click on the results that appear on the first few lines. Websites that have been search engine optimised are more likely to appear on the first few pages of search engines like Google. Being first on Google is what many websites are trying to achieve. Having that ranking gives credibility to the website which would generate more traffic to the web page. This is crucial for businesses that want to stay competitive in this digital era.
Optimising your website to increase your search engine rankings is an on-going process. It is not a one off thing that you can set in place and forget, then hope that your website will be ranked higher. However, there are simple initial steps that you can take to make sure that your website is optimised for search engines. Here are five of them…
Become a wordsmith or hire one. Keywords play a large role for on-page SEO, however recently Google changed their algorithms to include content relevancy and its originality. Copying content from other websites then regurgitating it on your own website will not help your website get ranked higher. It’s important to frequently publish new and original content so search engines can index those pages which will improve your website’s rankings. When writing, make sure you are using the keywords that you want your website to be found with. Use those keywords as often as possible but refrain from overusing, as it may look forced and disingenuous. Google will also penalise your website for Keyword stuffing. For example, a commercial cleaning company should use the keyword phrase “commercial cleaning” as often as possible on their website. When people search on Google for “commercial cleaning”, their website will be associated with the keyword and be displayed amongst the results.
2. Website Structure
A website needs to be developed correctly in order to be search engine optimised. Look at the source code of your website and check whether all the important elements have been filled out. It’s shocking the amount of websites we see everyday that doesn’t have their meta data and title tags optimised. Meta data is the data that search engines will use to display their results. Meta data does very little in terms of getting your website ranked higher. However they are important, as they are what search engines will use to display in their results. It will be what visitors see before clicking on a result.
Title tags are also an important element in website development. They have a lot of weight towards your website’s ranking. We often see websites that use the same titles on all of their web pages. This doesn’t help them in terms of ranking. The most important keyword of the page should be written on the title tag. In the example of our commercial cleaning website, the title should contain the phrase “commercial cleaning”. However, other pages should have different phrases such as cleaning company. This will expand the amount of keywords that people can use to search for your website. A good web designer will know all this, so when you choose a website developer, make sure you are using a reputable web company with extensive experience.
Websites can be built on many different infrastructures. There are two main contenders and they are HTML and Flash. While flash looks great and gives developers the ability to create interactive websites, flash websites are not search engine friendly. Not to mention, flash websites are not supported on Apple mobile devices. Search engines do not see website like humans do. Search engine spider bots only read raw website source codes. Flash websites do not have any readable source codes so there is nothing for the spider bots to index. HTML websites can never be as interactive as Flash websites, however using the latest technology such as jQuery and HTML5, you can create an intuitive website that offers sufficient interactive features. Many SEO companies will recommend your website to be built on HTML as they are the most search engine friendly.
4. On-Page Linking
To make the life of spider bots a little easier, make sure that your website has clear and easy navigation. Ensure that all the critical pages of your website are linked from the home page. When spiders crawl through a web page, they are also looking for links within a page that it can also index. If you have a web page that hasn’t been linked from anywhere, the spiders will not be able to access the page.
One important aspect to SEO is monitoring the progress of your strategy. Use a program like Google Analytics to monitor the traffic that is coming into your website. Analytics gives you an insight to what keywords your visitors are using to find your website. It is a good way to gauge the performance of your keywords. Through the data you received from Analytics, you can determine which keywords you need to focus on and implement on your website.
These five steps are the fundamental steps to begin your journey to a search engine optimised website. It is not the five golden rules but it’s a start. Within the Magik Education series, we will be covering more ways of how you can increase your website ranking on Google and other search engines.
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