SEO stands for 'Seach Engine Optimisation'. In practice it is increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to your website through organic search engine results like Google and Bing. Have you ever thought about what happens when you search something on Google? Most people don't, that is until you want to improve your own website ranking. So how exactly does it work? Google (or any search engine you're using) sends out a 'crawler' that gathers information about all the content they can find on the Internet. The crawlers bring that information back to the search engine to build an 'index'. That 'index' is then processed through an algorithm that tries to match all that data with your search query giving you your search result.
Search Engine Optimisation is not a once off thing you can do, it takes maintenance but if you have the basics set up correctly, maintaining your SEO is easier than you might think. Here we've put together a step by step list of things you can easily do to improve your websites ranking.
1. Website Analysis
Before you get started it's important to know what you are working with. Most website hosts (Strikingly, Wix, Wordpress) have tools that allow you to assess how your site is performing online. Another thing to do is do a website clearout. If you have outdated, duplicate content remove it and do an SEO Spring clean. If you have Google Analytics set up you should check this to see what pages your visitors are going to. If you don't have Google Analytics set up - it's a good time to get started.
2. Do a keyword analysis
Imagine that you are a potential customers looking for something related to your business. What would you search for? When you are in a specific industry it can be easy to use technical 'industry specific' words when this is not what would be used by their customer base. For this we suggest coming up with a list of 10-20 words you would use to search for your business. Then use tools like Google's keyword planner to expand on those words. This list should form the basis for your website content, your blog content and for any online advertising you do.
3. Content Optimisation
Having relevant content on your website is a great start to improve your ranking. To do this we suggest a content calendar listing what you would like to talk about over the the next 3-6 months. You can add things like events and news from your business as it comes up. Having this content is a great starting point, however it's important that this content is also optimised. It's important to:
- Put yourself in the shoes of your readers, what would you be interested in reading about?
- Create Page Titles. Keyword-based page titles help identify the page theme and the direction for your chosen keywords.
- Create meta tags. Meta description tags can influence click-throughs but aren't directly used for rankings.