Anyone who has a website, whether it is a personal blog or a large multinational corporation needs to know how important SEO is for generating website traffic. SEO, standing for Search Engine Optimization, is a concept surrounding strategies designed to organically improve your website’s ranking in search engines, such as Google or Bing. By making a few small changes to your website, you can significantly improve it’s ranking, meaning people are more likely to click on it. This increased website traffic will help you with brand promotion and offers potential sales too.
SEO Key Concepts
In order to maximise your SEO strategy, it is essential to first understand the key concepts that surround SEO. Experts suggest that these can be boiled down into three fundamental components; relevance, discoverability and crawlability:
Relevance refers to ensuring that your content sticks to the main topic, and by using keywords within this one topic, it helps the search engine algorithms to understand the nature of your website. These keywords should relate to what users type into the search bar on search engines, and greater use of the keywords means your website is likely to be higher up in the rankings.
Discoverability is how easy it is for the world at large to find your site. It can also be understood as internet marketing and focuses on how many external pages have links to your site, how frequently other websites will promote you, and your presence on social media. By being discoverable, there is far more likelihood of your website being found through other sites, not just search engines, but a greater internet presence is likely to help your rankings too.
Crawlability just means making the site as accessible as possible. The term comes from search engines which regularly send out ‘web crawlers’ (automated software programmes that crawl through your website content and attempt to classify and categorise it). By helping these ‘crawlers’ to access and easily understand every page will allow them to bring up your site more frequently if search terms match the categorisation of your website.
When creating, reviewing or updating your SEO policy, it is important to focus on these fundamentals and correlate your action plan to at least one of these, in order to ensure that your efforts will be fully rewarded.
As well as working on the fundamentals of SEO, experts have also suggested a number of helpful tips that are easily actionable but will make a significant difference to your SEO campaigns.
1. Research your keywords thoroughly
It’s all too common for website managers to assume keywords, especially within smaller companies and personal businesses. While it may seem obvious to you what the most frequent keywords will be for your site, you must research this before writing any content to ensure that you are right. Once you have established the right keywords, use these in your titles, headers and the first few words of your content, as these are the most important areas from a search engine’s perspective.
2. Create a sitemap page
A comprehensive sitemap allows for search engine algorithms and web crawlers to easily discover every page of your website, and fully analyse them. Sitemaps work most effectively when they are integrated through headings and subheadings, along with a brief, but keyword rich, description of that page.
3. Use URLs effectively.
While it is not the main content that is considered by search engines, the URL of a webpage will still have an influence on the overall ranking. If your page is about diseases trees can contract, then it will be far easier for search engines to understand and return your page with www.treedisease.com/elm/barkrot for anyone searching for elm trees with bark rot than the following www.treedisease.com/Treetype1/003. Efficient use of your URLs will also help your end users understand your page more easily too.
4. Content must be considered
While trying to insert as many keywords and internal links as possible, it is common for many websites to forget about the quality of the content they are producing. Content is key, as it will have a significant impact upon the end user’s reaction of your page and brand. While being high in the search engine rankings is great, it is ultimately pointless if users don’t like your website and you have a small conversion rate. Therefore, it is vital to see your site as an end user, in order to help drive their experiences and allow them to complete the customer journey.
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