seo

What is SEO? - November 2020 Guide

By Jess Stanier

Hello. SEO then.

 

It’s one of those irritating things – easy peasy when you know it and absolutely impossible when you don’t. So, let’s at least get you understanding the basics of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) so that you know where you’re going right… and where you might be going wrong.

 

Let’s check out your site.

 

A great start is to check out your site right now. So, head to Google and search a term that relates to your site….

 

For example if you are a Mobile Phone provider, Google ‘Mobile Phones Jersey’. Try a few variations of these phrases – maybe ‘Buy Mobile Jersey’, ‘Buy iPhone Jersey’ or ‘Great mobile deals’. After all it is unlikely, unless you are a household name, that the customer will actually google your business name when searching for the service or product you provide. 

 

How did you do? Did you rank on the first page of Google? The second page? Or further down the search? Did you notice many paid ads? (If you’re unsure what paid ad’s are, check out our blog on SEM) 

 

The goal here is always to be on the first page of Google when searching for something that relates to your business, as most customers are proven not to look beyond page one of the Google search results. 

 

The good news is that you can improve this ranking, move higher up on the search list and even get to the first page through use of SEO. 

 

How do Google Algorithms work?

 

Search engines scan different elements of your website to understand what it is really about, and your ranking on Google is determind by a number of things (which we will explain below). The ranking has good reason – it helps Google to ensure that it delivers the most relevant website to the initial search term that the user has Googled. It wants to make sure that the Googler gets what is useful and relevant.

 

Although Google will never give away the ever-changing algorithms used to rank websites, our super savvy Digital Marketing team have a pretty good understanding of what works. Essentially, it’s all about ensuring that your website actually does what it says on the tin.

 

My site isn’t ranking well. What do I do?

 

Search Engine Optimisation or SEO is basically a way of helping Google’s scanners, spiders or bots quickly scan your website and label it as relevant for a group of key phrases that are associated to your business offering. You (or us if you’d rather) have to do the market research, choose these keywords or phrases, and then ensure your site is actually centering around those things. 

 

How do I ‘do’ SEO?

 

An important thing to know is that SEO is organic. It is work you have to do to improve the way you are found online. SEM is paid search – read more on what SEM is here.

Here is some easy steps to begin your journey to awesome SEO.

 

Ensure content is relevant to why the user landed on your site in the first place. 

 

Imagine for a second you are the customer here. Let’s imagine you’re looking for a new laptop online. You google it, follow the link to the website and you’ve ended up looking at kitchen furnishings. Infuriating! This isn’t what you searched for! This isn’t relevant! So you immediately leave the website. This impacts on the ‘bounce rate’ of the site – and suggests that the website is not actually relevant to the term that you initially searched. So, Google will disconnect your business from that phrase and claim that it is not relevant. 

 

It is important to think like the user so you have them in your mind fully when creating content for your site. After all, the whole point of the Google Algorithm is to ensure the user is getting the most relevant search for them.

 

Information you can add to your site via your CMS to improve SEO…

 

Title tag

 

On each web page you have a title tag. This tells the search engines what your page is about. This should be 70 characters or less, including your business name & what the content is about.

 

title tag

 

Meta Description

 

The meta description on your website tells search engines what each page is about.

 

meta description 

 

Headings

 

H1, H2, H3 help to reiterate to search headings what your content it about. It’s like a big online filing system.

 

Diagram explaining how to use headings, sub headings and sub sub headings for seo

 

Link building 

 

Getting other websites to link back to your website – it is a common tactic in improving SEO, because links are a signal to Google that your site is a quality resource worthy of citation. The best way to do this is just producing really good, interesting content that is worth talking about and sharing! (And making sure you share the hell out of your content on your own social too).

 

Diagram explaining how to use link building on a website for seo

(Credit: adlibweb.com)

 

Internal links

 

Linking from one part of your site to another helps users find more relevant content. It does the same with search engines.

 

Example of internal linking on a website

 

Image name & ALT tags

 

If you use images on your website, you also want to include your keyword or phrase in the image name and alt tag. If the image doesn’t appear, it essentially explains that this content is still relevant. 

 

alt text

 

Keyphrase Setting

 

keyphrase setting

 

Your Keyphrase is the term that you want your page to rank highest for within Google Search. This can be implemented in WordPress using tools such as Yoast SEO. The ideal Keyphrase will be relevant to your article or page, highly searched for on a monthly basis and have a relatively low amount of competition. But how do you get this data? There are a number of tools out there that you can use to find the best keyphrase for your page. These include:

 

Google Ads Keyword Planner (Requires a Google Ads account)

SEM Rush

Google Trends

Keywords Everywhere

Google Search Console

 

Once you have found the Keyphrase that works best for your page and implemented it into WordPress you need to:

 

  • Include the Kephrase throughout the page copy and headings
  • Add the keyphrase to some of your Alt tags
  • Use the Keyphrase at the start of you Title Tag
  • Mention the Kephrase within your meta description

 

Using the Kephrase consistently throughout your page is great for SEO. But it is possible to overuse your Keyphrase which will have the opposite effect on your SEO efforts. We would recommend using it once per paragraph, and in every other Alt tag to avoid your content being penalised by Google.

 

Social Media

 

social media

 

Having a clear, well thought out plan for social media is absolutely key in your efforts to turn up on that page 1 of Google search. If you consistently produce regular content that gets good engagement, it’s likely that search engine spiders will recognise and index your content.  Website authority grows over time, but when many are sharing or engaging with you on social, then you’re gaining more backlinks and places where your content lives online. In turn, this builds your profile as a trusted authority on a subject, worth Google directing people to. 

 

A couple more top tips…

 

  1. Don’t do too much SEO or the search engines will penalise your page, as they will think you’re trying to trick them! If you have any concerns about how much is too much, our experts are happy to help.
  2. Keep in mind that search engine optimisation takes time to work its magic. You won’t experience the benefits of it overnight – but, it will definitely make a difference to your business in time.

 

Has this article blown your mind? 

 

Don’t worry. Whether lack of time, resource or will (different strokes for different folks) means you can’t get your head into a Search Engine Optimisation strategy, it’s OK. Outsource your points of pain to our Digital Marketing team who are improving our clients SEO day in, day out (and love doing it). 

 

Give us a nudge, and we will be happy to help.