Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is about all the steps that you take on and off your website to gain more exposure in search engine results. It is a long-term process that if done well brings long-term value. Your chances of sale increase when more people visit your site for the right reasons. Search engines’ job is to deliver quick and accurate results to their users. Gaining search engines’ credibility is not an easy or a quick job. It takes time and involves analysis, keyword research, content creation, link building, and resolving technical issues.
Before you optimise a website, you should specify what your keywords are. Keywords are terms that people type into search engines. Let’s say you have a business that sells handmade cards. What should be your keyword then? The keyword “handmade cards” is highly competitive for a company that is just starting out to promote itself. What about “buy personalised yellow handmade cards.” It may be less popular but is relevant to your business and can be beneficial for you at the start. If you want to find out what keywords would be best for your business, you need to do the research. Start by listing all services you offer. You may want to come up with a long-tail keyword such as “buy personalised holiday homemade cards.” The thing is that you may find many long-tail keywords that can bring you a way better results than the keyword “homemade cards” would bring from the start. Some tools can help you to do the keyword research. These are Google AdWords Keyword Planner (free tool) and Google Trends. Before you choose to use any of the keywords you have found, you should consider three things. These are relevance, competition and search volume.
Web pages – search engines versus people
How search engines and people view web pages? Search engines crawl the entire website to find out what is in there and how it is organised. Make sure that your website structure is clear and user-friendly to both people and crawlers. You ideally should make a list of keywords for every page on your website. Next, you write content and include these keywords in the text for that particular page. Your keywords should also be put in the URL, meta title, meta description and subheadings of your content. One of the recommended tools for thorough SEO analysis is Moz SEO toolset. It is a paid tool, but there is a thirty days trial option available for you to get familiar with it and see whether it suits your needs. It is worth mentioning that user-generated content brings many benefits to your website. These are comments, guest blog posts, votes, infographics, product reviews and more.
One of the crucial things when it comes to technical SEO is to make sure that your code is clean, meaning that it does not contain any coding errors. How do search engines discover the new content on your website? They go through links. You can create an XML sitemap to make it easier for them. What if there are any specific pages on your site that you do not want Google crawlers to see? There is a file called robots.txt that instructs web robots how to crawl and index a website. You can exclude certain pages from crawling and indexing if you want to. Here I can recommend two resources where you can find credible information on sitemaps and robotos.txt file:
What is more, if you move your content from one page to another, you should implement 301 redirect. It is a permanent redirect that tells search engines that the content is no longer available under the old URL. Finally, I would like to add that loading time of your website matters as well. It is one of the most important factors when it comes to SEO. How can you speed the loading time of your site? You can consider using CND (Content Delivery Network) or leverage browser caching. Google expressed the preference for secure sites. You may want to buy SSL certificate for your website.
Link building strategies
Backlinks are still one of the most important SEO factors. What matters to Google is the number of links that are pointing to your website and the quality of these links. The quality of your links is assessed by their relevance to your page content. Additionally, anchor text should ideally contain a phrase or a keyword. It tells Google crawlers what they can expect to see when they click that link. Anchor texts such as “Click here” or “Link” do not contain much value. Search engines are also expecting consistency. If you received a considerate number of links in the past few years but are not gaining any links now, it can be an indication to search engines that you hired someone to get these links. In consequence, your site will not be very credible and authoritative in the eyes of Google or any other search engine.
Start with keyword research for your website. Write down all the services you offer and try to create an excel spreadsheet where you include all your website’s pages and keywords you try to rank for per each of these pages. Next, you evaluate the relevance of the keywords you want to use and their popularity. Write SEO friendly content and do your on-site SEO. Once you have all that in place, promote your website through external advertising, social media and link building. Find your link building opportunities by analysing your competitors. Consider guest blogging and adding review section to your website where customers can leave their feedback on the products or services they received from you.