The Foundations of Search Engine Optimisation: How Your Monthly SEO Works
If you know nothing about SEO and how it works, then you might not know the ins and outs of how a website is optimised. Of course, amending keywords and adding additional, localised pages are two great ways of improving a website's rankings, but what are the other forms of SEO?
We will be splitting this article up into three parts:
- Technical SEO
- Off-Site SEO
Through this, you will be able to learn a little more about the work that goes into successfully optimising a site and the different elements that come together to help your website rise in the rankings.
Though, technical SEO covers a broad range of elements on your website, it is by and large the most vital to your site's enduring success. Having shoddy technical SEO, or missing key elements in the background of your site can result in it not even being indexed (seen) by Google.
Here are the major areas that SEO experts optimise to help improve your rankings:
Any broken links on a website are a huge red flag for Google, so need to be redirected as soon as possible. As part of monthly SEO, specific programmes are used to check for broken links so they can be fixed.
Responsiveness on a website is always beneficial for user interaction as many people now use their phones and tablets to browse the Internet. If your website isn't mobile friendly, it will detract a lot of people from staying on it, as well as Google having issues reading it due to their new mobile first indexing update.
Metatags and Meta Descriptions
An important part of SEO is making sure that the metatags and meta descriptions on each page adhere to Google's rules around character count and content. Pages with duplicate metatags and with meta descriptions over the character count are not viewed favourably by Google.
Not only is a slow loading speed annoying for your site users, page speed and overall site speed is a key ranking factor. If Google deems your site to be too slow, it will drop your rankings as it's harder to access.
The most visible form of SEO, content is the text between the body tags of your website. This is not only what your users view when they visit your site, but what Google reads, too. Websites with high quality content that follow all of the points below tend to have higher rankings overall.
Choosing keywords appropriate to your business and making sure that they are optimised every month is key to boosting your rankings. Depending on what your customers may be searching for, this is what SEO experts, like the ones at Smart Domain Group, specifically target on your website to increase the frequency of that keyword across certain landing pages.
If there's one thing you want to avoid at all costs on your website, it's duplicated content. Large chunks of text copied on more than one pages on your site is a huge red flag for Google. Content needs to be as individual as possible (this also includes different to other websites, as well) and be of a high quality (i.e. not spammy).
Correct structuring of your pages is very important for how Google reads your content. Having relevant headers that link to the paragraphs and also that contain keywords help make you content quality. When Google has an easier time reading your text, it increases the chance of your site being ranked higher.
High Quality Content
Unique, high quality content is exactly what Google wants to see on your website. If you follow all of the above content rules, you'll come out with a site that's likely to rise in the rankings every month.
The final corner of the structure is off-site optimisation, which is something a few companies don't think is worth it. Off-site optimisation is the cherry on top of the cake, the last hop, skip and jump to help you really make the most of your SEO. What is off-site optimisation? Well, it is what it says on the tin: anything you do to help optimise your site while not, directly, working on your site.
Featuring your content on other websites and having them link to your website is a fantastic way of creating good backlinks. You have to be picky with what sites you contribute to; they should be reputable and not spammy, otherwise you can undo all the good work you've already done on your own website.
Make sure that the content of your guest posts are of high quality, just like your website's content. If it's repetitive and bland, Google will look unfavourably on your backlinks.
Google My Business
An optimised Google My Business account (or Bing Places) will help in getting your website and company found on the search engine. Having a claimed Google My Business account will help secure a spot in Google's local listings, helping improve traffic and ranking to your website.
Registering a business on reputable directories and listings is a great way to help improve a site's position in local searches, which is extremely important in modern SEO. Local listings and local rankings are more prevalent in SEO than they used to be, which means you have to utilise them as much as possible.
Showing a personable side to your business is key when it comes to social media. Gaining traction on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram can be difficult, but when you have accumulated a fanbase for your business, maintaining a constant presence on social media will bring traffic to your site. Depending on your business, this can turn into conversions, or people getting in touch via the contact form or by phone.
There are many ways to help improve your SEO, but the strategies discussed in this article, when done right, can really help your organic results. If you want your website to be found on Google, SEO is key; without it, you'll struggle to get into the top ranks and on page 1.
Our SEO experts employ all of these tactics and more when working on all of our customers' websites every month. Constantly improving and adding high quality content to sites, as well as checking metatags and descriptions, looking for broken links and crawling for errors not only improves rankings, but helps maintain them, too.