SEO the basics
Search Engine Optimisation or SEO for short is a marketing practice which can help drive more traffic to your website. When a customer goes to a search engine to find information, the search engine results pages (SERPs) shows the most relevant website and content to the search term. We will cover the basic terminology of SEO in this blog to give you a staring point to improving your own marketing.
How do search engines work?
Search engines are designed to help people find the information, product or service they are looking for. When they bring up the results page websites have been indexed in a database for the engine to pull from. To add a websites to the database the site needs to be crawled by a bot. This process allows the content of the site to be referenced against specific keywords, descriptions and search terms.
Keywords are used to help bring people to the website through the relevance of the words used in the code and the content of the website. When carrying out keyword research you need to find terms with high search volume and low competition. A tool you can use to carry out the research is Google Adwords Keyword Planner.
In your content place your keywords through the text to show the search engines that it matches what the consumer wants to find. Be aware your website will mark a site down in the search if your content is just full of keywords, balance the keywords in your content with quality information on the topic.
Meta Descriptions and Title Tags
A search bot is not able to read anything apart from your website code, when displaying images, videos and audio files these will only be seen if you provide the information to the bot in the form of a tag. Making sure your website pages are properly tagged will help optimise the indexing process to increase your search rankings. We have listed a few of the most common tags:
Title Tags – Describe the title of your site pages
Meta Tag – The meta description tells the visitor what your site is about. Keep your summary of the page brief and unique. Place keywords in descriptions and use full sentences.
Alt Tags – Are used to describe pictures in the content, try and place a keywords in the image description to show the relevance of the image.
Sitemaps & Links
The sitemap provides directions to bots when searching your website and can be use by customers to navigate to different pages. If you have a large site your main pages should be indexed, where as smaller websites should make sure all pages appear in the sitemap.
In your content it is good practice to place link to internal pages. It can improve how long visitors spend on your website, by providing them with further reading options. It can reduce your bounce rate and can rank your keywords higher on the site. Having external links to quality websites can also increase your SEO ranking, it shows within your chosen subject to the search engines you are an authority on this topic.