A Guide To SEO.

SEO 101

What Is SEO?


SEO stands for 'search engine optimization'. It is the name given to the process of increasing/optimising the traffic gained from search results within search engines, such as Google and Bing. We'll be delving into the below SEO topics in this guide:

Keyword Research
On-page optimisation
Off-page optimisation
Link building
Content

There are other aspects of SEO, but we'll go into these in further detail in our 'advanced' SEO guide.

Keyword Research.


Keyword Research is an important aspect of SEO. How do you know which keywords to target when you don't know the search volume, priority, or competitor usage? SEO'ers will use tools such as Moz, SEMRush and Sistrix to gather the below information for which keywords to target and focus on:

Average search volume
Keyword difficulty
Competitor ranking
Competitor ranking url
and more...

A list of keywords to target can also be built by using these tools, as well as Google's Keyword Planner. These tools build a keyword list for you, which will include related search terms and their search volume. You'll then be able to decide which keywords a particular page of your website should target, or whether you need to build content around the additional keywords found. You'll then hopefully start to see traffic through these keywords increase, as you look to target them.

On-page Optimisation.


On-page Optimisation is the process of improving the site experience for your user. One of the most popular tools at your disposal to gather where you can improve your website, is using Chrome's built in developer tools. This suite of tools will advise you if your site can be optimised in the following areas:

Page size
Page load speed
User experience
Meta tags
and more...

Page Size - Everything on your site can contribute to this. From your image size, to the size of the css files that tell a user's browser how your site will look. Make sure to optimise images, and reduce the number of calls to externall files such as JavaScript and Fonts.

Page Load Speed - By improving the Page Size, you'll improve the page load speed. This is a priority as users have moved to mobile devices to do their browsing. The quicker your Page Load Speed, the more likely users are to continue browsing your website.

User Experience - What good is a website if a user finds it difficult to navigate? You can improve your website by ensuring that your site can be browsed on a range of devices and screen sizes, and by making sure your site is easy to navigate. This can be achieved through an optimised navigation bar, and internal links.

Meta Tags - Useful Meta Tags to optimise are the Page Title tag (the blue link a user sees on the search results page) and the meta description tag (the block of text below the Page Title). The Page Title is an important ranking factor, whilst the Meta Description is your chance to encourage the user to click on your result on the Search Engines.

Off-page Optimisation.


Off-page Optimisation is all about how your website is presented across the world wide web. The below areas are examples of Off-page Optimisation:

Anchor Text
Follow/No follow
and more...

Anchor text is an important one, it's the text of a link you see when someone is linking to your site. The anchor text can help Google and other search engines to identify the content of the page the link is linking to. Follow/No follow determines whether Google should pass authority through a specific link. Although Follow links are the 'good' ones, it's good to have a balance of the two.

Link Building.


Link Building is the process in developing partnerships with third parties to include a link to your website. The below areas are quick win areas in getting links to your site:

Business/Service directories
Well known blogs/news sites
Influencers
and more...

The big search engines don't like paid links, and you can find yourself with a big penalty if you go down that route. Big businesses have found themselves removed off of Google and other search engines for consecutive months due to penalities received. Do some networking, reach out to people, and get REAL ORGANIC links to your website.

Content.


If Link Building is King, then Content is surely considered the Queen of marketing. Content is all about engaging your users with the right information. Content can be in the below forms: of guides, top tips, newsletters, blog posts to name a few:

Guides
Instructional/Information Videos
'Top Tips'
Newsletters
Blog Posts
and more...

If Google or other search engines finds that your site lacks contents and that users are leaving due to not finding the right information, you could find yourself tumbling down the search engine rankings. Create good content and you can't go wrong. Try reading your articles as if you were completely new to the subject, if you've answered all of the questions you find asking yourself then you're onto a winner.

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