SEO (Part 2) – Why Good SEO is Essential!

Why Good SEO is Essential!

Part 1 of Why Good SEO is Essential! ended with Inbound Links.

Quality Content Delivers Quality Links

Let’s revisit the importance of quality content to inbound links. Producing quality content is the key to earning inbound links … the ideal content is insightful blog posts, videos that entertain or teach, infographics and informative analyses & reviews. This level of content will be shared generating the links back to your website.

It does require time and energy to produce this level of sharable and link worthy content.
SEO success or failure … your content is the key!

SEO content success will have two benefits:

Firstly direct SEO benefits, showing the search engines the content keywords that will rank your website and a growing list of inbound links … ticks of authority for your website and the information it contains.

Secondly a direct business benefit, establishing your website with visitors and prospective customers.

Usability

Is your website search engine crawler & visitor friendly?

Not only does your website need to deliver informative content, it also has to give visitors a great experience. If your website is hard to read or navigate, or take too long to load the information, most visitors will go back to the search results and choose the next website.

The search engine algorithms apply a number of aspects of your website’s usability:

Website Code

There are a number of HTML code elements of your website that should be optimised, i.e. formatted correctly and contain the relevant keywords for your business

To deliver a consistent message to the search engine crawlers ensure that following elements are in place:

Page Content: Each web page clearly expresses its purpose and its relationship to your business. Use keywords as appropriate but don’t overdo it!

Title Tags:  Title tags provide the names for the pages on your website, they are that clickable link in the search results and in the tab or top of web browsers. With a limit of 55 characters “Keyword | Brand Name” is the recommended format, hyphens can be used instead of the vertical bar “|”.

Meta Description:  This is the first description that visitors see of your business! On Google search results the meta description is the two lines of text that appear underneath the clickable title tag and URL.  Even though they don’t count for search rankings they provide the description to encourage visitors to click by giving them a preview of what they will find on your website.

H1 Tags:  H1 (Heading1) tag is the most powerful heading tags, acting as the headline for a page. There is no specific character limit for an H1 tag, but it is recommended to only use once on the page.

H2 Tags:  H2 is the sub-heading to the H1 headline for your web page. H2 tags carry less importance with search engines and can be used multiple times o the page.

URL Composition:  Another way to tell search engines the main theme of each page is to use keywords in the url structure. e.g. “https://sharreid.digital/why-good-seo-is-essential/“

Images:  Whilst search engine crawlers cannot see images they do see the additional information contained in the code around the image, the “image file name” and the “alt tag”. To ensure the search engine crawlers understand the image, include a descriptive image file name and update the alt tag text.

Easy Navigation:  Visitors should find it simple to find and move between pages on your website. Search engine crawlers and visitors are not impressed complicated navigation. View your website structure like the design for a house. There are all the different rooms (pages) where visitors can stay but they need hallways (navigation) to move between the rooms.

Consider creating pages that give an overview of your products and services, i.e. Catalogue, from these “hallway / navigation” pages, your visitors (and search engine crawlers) can move to specific pages for more details. On these overview pages give visitors a preview of what they will find if they click by simply including a sentence or two under each item listed.

Page Load Speed:  Search engine crawlers measure how long it takes for your web pages to load. With clean code and reasonable size images your web page will load quickly, make visitors wait for pages to appear and they will go elsewhere.

Missing Page 404 Errors:  A page that no longer exists is like hitting a dead end street. 404 errors occur when links to a page has been deleted still exist. If a web page has been deleted use a 301 redirect to send the search engine crawlers and visitors to an updated page.

Social Media, Reviews & Local SEO

SEO doesn’t just involve your website. A presence on external sites that the search engine crawlers index also sends additional information to Google about your business.
Some examples of external websites for your business:

Google My Business:  A Google My Business profile gives you a strong presence when visitors search locally, with your business name, address, contact details and website URL displayed in the Google search, maps and the Google+ social network.

Social Media:  Social media has become an essential part for businesses. While social media networks like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn do have some SEO benefits, Google+ does directly influence your SEO efforts.

Review Sites: These websites allow customers to review your business, sending additional information about your business to search engines. For potential customers they can also influence the selection and purchase process, with positive reviews helping your business stand out from your competition.

 

Feeling overwhelmed and wondering where to start?

Start by checking your website pages, pick the 3 or 4 major pages, and optimising your website code and content, so that the search engine crawlers get a best view of your website and business. Then move through the remainder of your pages.

Once completed you are ready to move on to on-going content, this is where the success or failure of page 1 search results is measured.

In Part 3 of Why Good SEO is Essential! we will cover a number of tools that can help you with your SEO … stay tuned!

SEO (Part 1) – Why Good SEO is Essential!

SEO

What is SEO?

 

SEO is simply making your website appealing to Google and other online search engines.

The workings of search engines are complex and continually being updated. Search engine robots, also known as “crawlers” or “spiders”, move across the web, collecting information, “indexing”, every accessible website that exists.

When someone searches for a specific word or words, the search engine processes all the “indexed” information that is has gathered and creates a page of results. Google and other search engines try to list the most relevant and authoritative websites at the top of the results.

The “win” is to be one of the first websites listed when someone searches for words related to your business. The higher your website appears in the search engine results, the more visitors your site is likely to attract and be converted into customers.

How does Google view your website?

To learn SEO, you need to understand what Google is looking for on your website.

Google sees the web as a source of freely exchanged information. This vision can be the opposite to how many business see their website … the website is seen as a funnel for new business … not a source of free information!

Offering valuable information on your website will impress both search engine crawlers and visitors to your website.

Once you realise that providing information is a great way to attract new customers, not only will your search engine ranking increase but also your expertise to potential customers.

What are the key points of SEO?

Whilst other search engines, Yahoo and Bing, work in slightly different ways to Google, the principles are the same. With SEO, what works for one works for all.

Content Is King

Quality SEO is simply consistently turning out relevant content. Your website content should showcase your business’s products & services, always keeping in mind the search queries that brings visitors to your website.

Content is anything that provides information to visitors and search engines … page text, blog posts, articles, videos, infographics, images.

Relevance:  It’s important to be clear about the products and services you offer, this ensures that your website will appear in the search results when people search for keywords that relate to your business.
Make sure your content is relevant for your business and your customers, straying from your business core, will confuse both search engines and your customers.
Your website should be simple and easy to access. This allows search engine crawlers to clearly understand it’s purpose and potential customers can understand how you can help them.

Authority:  Websites that are an authority on a particular subject will rank better than those that aren’t.
Does your website present your business as an authority on all the products and services that you offer?

Frequency:  Updating your content on a regular basis lets search engine crawlers know that it’s still active and new information is being added. Stale content can penalise your indexing, don’t let too much time go between updates.

Uniqueness:  Make sure your content is yours, never copy and paste from another source. Google may penalise your website with a drop in search rankings. You may also breach someone else’s copyright.

Quality:  If your website content is of poor quality and takes too long for a web page to load, search engine crawlers will produce a lower ranking and your website will drive humans users away.
Does our website should provide visitors with quality content, a pleasant experience and a quick response time when they click on their search query result?

Inbound links

Links from external sites to your website are very important in SEO. As mentioned, Google sees the web as a source of freely exchanged information and links enable this exchange.

Inbound links are basically saying …  “have a look at this website, it has more information”. Search engines view inbound links as a “tick” for your website and the information it contains.

You don’t need lots of inbound links, a single link from a quality website can be more beneficial than a number of links. Search engines place a higher importance on links from quality websites.

As quality inbound links are hard to come by, you should also welcome links from lesser known websites.

The key point for inbound links is that they are “natural” links, never force a link or buy links just for SEO purposes.

SEO has many different link building strategies, be careful as recent Google updates now penalise poor quality, over used and “bought” linking strategies.

 

In Part 2 Why Good SEO is Essential! we will cover more on Content Is King, Site Structure & Navigation, Page Load Speeds, Tags, Meta Descriptions and Image Alt Tags.

Website owners appreciate the importance of a quality website and social media, where they struggle is creating consistent quality content. This is where many business owners and websites fail, if you can create this consistent quality content your website will reach the top of search engine results for the keywords relevant to your business.

To reach the potential customers who are looking for your products and services simply set aside time each week to write a blog post or record a video!

Sharreid Digital