The Trick to Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
First off, there’s no real trick to SEO. Search engines change up their search result algorithms all the time – so investing your time and money to beat the system is going to get you very little in the long run. Instead, SEO is just about understanding your product, and understanding what people want, when they want it, and why they want it.
SEO is focused on developing and improving organic search engine results. SEO includes both technical and creative elements required to improve rankings, drive traffic and increase awareness in search engines. There are many facets of SEO, from the content within your page, to the keywords included, to the amount of traffic directed to your site, to the way other sites link to you and vice versa on the internet. SEO is about ensuring that not only search engines, but humans too, can understand your site.
If search engines cannot find and add your content to their database, you miss out when someone searches for something in that search engine related to your site. The right search engine optimisation can lead to increased site traffic, while the wrong search engine optimisation can lead to your website being buried deep in the search results.
Furthermore, search engines aren’t as able to comprehend visual content as they are text-based content. Even though they’re getting better, content such as Flash files, image files, video files, audio files and other plug-ins are difficult for search engines to parse.
But not all text-based content is ranked equally – search engines rely on relevance and importance to determine site rank, which is measured through a combination of cues based off how humans react with your website’s content. Use words in your body copy that accurately describe the product/service you are trying to sell. Make sure they are easily digestible and shareable. There is no use trying to jazz up your body copy with big words that are uncommon terminology, unless your product/service is very niche and there are no alternatives.
Not all keywords are relevant or worth investing in. Before you start adding keywords into every paragraph of your body copy, conduct some necessary keyword research. Just because your product/service is associated with certain words, it doesn’t mean that your target market is searching for your product/service with those specific terms. Due diligence and thorough research on your market’s keywords can help you pick the most relevant and cost efficient keywords for your product/service, and maybe even reveal more about your customer base.
There are some useful paid services that you can subscribe to for more thorough keyword research such as SEMrush and ahrefs. Knowing who and how big your competition is for the same keywords will give you an indication of how hard it will be to rank, and how much it will cost for a given keyword.
3) User Experience
Despite the many advances in technology, search engines don’t interact with sites the same way humans do. Search engines can only rely on meta information and record how people interact with sites and webpages, to determine the quality of said sites and webpages.
On top of keywords, through linking patterns and user engagement metrics, search engines can make certain deductions about a site. User experience of a site can influence its search engine ranking as internet users tend to visit and return to well-crafted sites.
Backlinks are inbound links of website. Through links, search engines can determine the popularity of a site based on the how popular and how many sites are linking to them. Trustworthy sites tend to link to other trustworthy sites, while sites full of spam are very unlikely to be linked by trustworthy sites. Furthermore, sites that link to spam sites are probably spam sites themselves – and search engines can analyse your sites’ links to determine if this group of sites are considered trustworthy or just spam.
Links from more popular and important sites contribute more to your search engine ranking, and links from topic-relevant sites are also more highly regarded than general sites. So, it is very important to meticulously choose sites that can help you with your search engine ranking.
5) Measures of Success
When it comes to SEO, measurement is key. However, SEO has a ton of metrics available – so which ones should you take note of? Although every business has different needs, and will thus need to measure a whole array of different metrics, there are few basic metrics you should track:
- Keyword Rankings
Use a keyword ranking tool to monitor keyword rankings. As you pour more resources into optimising your keywords and creating keyword-optimised content, your keywords should start increasing in rank.
- Search Traffic for Keywords
Knowing how much search traffic your keywords are getting will give you a basis for comparison over time. For example, site traffic has increased dramatically through links with low relevance, it is not a cause for celebration.
- Conversions from Keywords
Identify which organic keywords ultimately lead to paying customers and further develop the landing pages that these keywords lead to.
The many aspects of SEO cannot be fully understood in a short article – resources are available all over the internet to learn more about the different facets of SEO. No matter how complicated it may seem, don’t give up as SEO can be the most cost efficient form of advertising and marketing for your product/service when done right.
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