SEO lore is packed with myths but getting found online is a pretty easy process.
Search engine optimisation. It’s not a tremendously exciting topic but it can make or break a business’s success online. For those not in the know, SEO is all about getting your website as high as possible up the rankings on Google (other search engines are available…) for relevant search terms, so that potential customers and other stakeholders are more likely to stumble across you.
The discipline is regarded by many as a complex dark art. There are many theories about how to shoot up the tables and some less-than-reputable companies who claim to guarantee you’ll be at the top of the rankings once you’ve put them to work. In reality though SEO is a pretty straightforward process and there are some simple steps you can take to make it easy for customers to find you online.
1. THE BASICS
Google is essentially looking for signals that your site will be one its users want to see. That means it takes into account not just content but also design and other technical factors. If your website doesn’t load quickly or it’s difficult to navigate then Google will penalise you. Just this week the search engine has also began ranking websites based on whether they are easily readable on mobile devices.
While packing your site with keywords is no longer the answer, getting the descriptions and labels on your website right is still key. That includes generic words like what your business is and does (‘butchers’, ‘florist’, ‘search marketing’) but should also include where your business is based and operates and any specific areas of expertise. Everything on your site, including images and videos, needs to be clearly labelled so that Google can understand what it is. A web developer or web marketing company should be able to help you with this.
3. GET THE WORD OUT
Traditional link-building may be dead, but Google still considers links from reputable sources as a good sign of a website’s value. Being active on social media helps too. Grice says Google doesn’t specifically rank links based on how much they’ve been shared on Facebook and Twitter, but the more people who see (and search for) your site, the better it will perform in the long run.
4. REVIEW YOUR SEO REGULARLY
Google’s algorithms change quite frequently, so it’s good to keep up to date with the latest SEO zeitgeist. You should also keep an eye on what your opponents are doing.
5. ABOVE ALL…
At the end of the day Google is just trying to find the results that will please its users the most – If people don’t find what they’re looking for then they are likely to leave your page sharpish – and Google will penalise you accordingly. When it comes to SEO, there’s no substitute for providing good content that people actually want to see.