To rank well on Search Engines, a website needs to have good SEO genetics; a Search Engine-friendly infrastructure, fresh and original content and a good linking building strategy … these are the SEO basics of any successful SEO strategy.
For a website to deliver a return on investment, it needs to be Search Engine-friendly and have a clever balance of a beautiful and enticing design, user-friendly navigation and engaging and compelling content. Research shows that few people look beyond the first few pages of search results. There is no point developing a stunning website that cannot be found on Search Engines. Here are five SEO basics to optimise your website.
Step one: Keyword research
Keyword research forms the basis for your website navigation and SEO strategy. Keyword research is a practice used by SEO experts to find and research actual search terms people enter into the Search Engines when conducting a search. Keyword research is not just isolated to using keyword research tools. Keyword research can be done in several ways:
- analysing your own data by using Google Analytics;
- market research such as focus groups;
- social networking websites;
- competitor analysis and;
- usability or landing page tests.
Step two – SEO-friendly technical infrastructure
A website needs to start with an SEO-friendly technical infrastructure which is defined by your preliminary keyword research. You need to strike a balance between a Search Engine friendly infrastructure and being a beautiful design that users are drawn to. It is important to consult an SEO company at the start of the design process to ensure that the website is SEO friendly. This may save you money in website redevelopment which can be a very costly and time consuming process.
For more SEO basics on how to develop an SEO-friendly technical infrastructure, contact us or read our article on Keywords – How to Build an SEO-Friendly Website Structure.
Step three– SEO copywriting
Search Engines give preference to websites that are updated regularly with interesting and original content. You also need to find a balance between optimising a web page for targeted keywords and ensuring that content remains interesting for your customers. Web pages must be appealing to both Search Engine spiders and customers alike.
Once you have decided on the keyword theme for your pages through keyword research, you need to continue to use this theme in your on page elements. These include:
- Title tags: Important keywords should be used towards the start of the title tag and word counts should be aimed at 10-12 words;
- Meta description tags: This is a guide for Search Engines to use as summary text (beneath the title) when a website is listed in the Search Engines results. Word counts should be aimed at 25-27 words;
- H1 and H2 headings: Make sure that your primary keyword or keyword phrase is included ideally at the start of the heading. Use one H1 heading per page to emphasise the most important keywords on that page to the search engines and use H2-H5 headings to optimise for secondary terms – make sure these are used as sub-headings;
- Body content: Insert the keywords naturally and seamlessly on the page within the text. Make sure you reach a balance between keyword rich content and keyword stuffing (placing keywords unnaturally or out of context in the text)
For more SEO basics on how to optimise your SEO copywriting, contact us or read our article on SEO Copywriting – Seven Tips to Improve Your Internet Marketing.
Step four– Good link building strategy
Back links are links from other websites that link directly to your website. The general principal is the more back links you have, the higher your pages will be ranked, as your website is validated by other sites linking back to it.
Not all links are rated equally however; when determining the link value, Search Engines will consider the reputation and relevance of the site linking back to you and the “anchor text” (the words that the link is embedded behind) in the links to your site.
Ways to create links back to your site include:
- writing great content other websites will want to link to;
- listing your website in blog directories;
- writing blog comments on articles relevant to your industry;
- participating in forums;
- writing guests posts.
Internal link strategies are also important in Search Engine Optimisation. However, don’t overuse internal links within copy, just link to a small selection of relevant pages. The fewer links you have on a page, the more value each link has.
For more SEO basics on link building strategies, contact us or read our article on Link Building – Ten Practical Ways to Get More Links.
Step five – Monitoring your SEO activities
SEO isn’t a one-time activity; it’s an ongoing process to maintain or improve your Search Engine ranking. Search Engines are constantly change their algorithms to improve the integrity of web search for users. It is important to be vigilant and monitor your ongoing SEO activities. This can be done by:
- ongoing SEO fine tuning of your website including review of title, description, alt and keyword tags;
- monitoring your keyword strategy for keyword effectiveness and targeting new keyword phrases;
- adding unique and original content regularly;
- focusing on link building strategies;
- ongoing keyword ranking and SEO performance reporting.
These are some SEO basics to get you started on your SEO journey. The cost of hiring an SEO company may seem prohibitive when you’re faced with the other start-up costs of your online business. However, hiring an SEO company should be seen as an investment and can be one of the most cost-effective internet marketing strategies for reaching a broader audience and increasing online sales.
Contact us and find out more about Search Engine Optimisation can increase your Search Engine visibility, drive quality traffic to your website and improve your conversion rate.