Utilising search engine optimisation (SEO) to make your business easy to find via search engines is critical because over 90% of consumers search the internet to research and discover products and services before making a purchase decision.
What is SEO?
SEO is the process in which improvements are made to web pages in order to improve the search result ranking of your company’s website on the results page of a search engine such as Google or Bing. Generally, the best your search page ranking the more Internet traffic you will receive as your business is exposed to a higher audience, which in turn should lead to improved sales results.
So, how do you improve your searching ranking through SEO? Here are a few hints and tips:
Make it easy for search engines to find you
Search engines are designed to deliver the information users are looking for as efficiently as possible. To do that, the engine needs to understand the content of your web pages. So, try to focus on a single theme for each page, making it simple for the search engines to classify them and surface when it matches keywords in a search result.
Did you notice how SEO is mentioned in the title of this blog post and peppered throughout the opening paragraphs? That should help search engines find this piece – classic SEO in action.
Optimise each page using keywords
Start by thinking about your target audience. What are your products and services and how are people likely to be searching for them?
Then consider the five or so key words that people will probably search for when they’re looking for the products or services you deliver, or the information you have on your individual webpages. Those are the keywords, so it’s wise to ensure they are featured on each page contextually.
Keywords should be used in everything from blog posts to press releases, landing pages and your website.
Check your keywords: a handy hack
To help you decide if you’ve chosen the correct keywords you could check with Google AdWords. Just open an account for free – if you haven’t already.
Then locate a tool called ‘Keyword Planner’ which is found under ‘Tools’. The Keyword planner enables you to input your chosen keywords to get further keyword recommendations from Google – as well as the average monthly search volumes for each of them. So, you’ll be able to ensure that the keywords that you intend to use to optimise your web pages with are actually being used. Obviously, it’s a good idea to include keywords with the highest average monthly searches.
Create an SEO tree
You may find it useful to produce an SEO tree for each of your core web pages. An SEO tree lists out the important optimisation components so that whoever’s writing the content knows which words to include on each page.
A typical SEO tree looks something like this:
Page name: Homepage
Details: SEO tips, SEO for entrepreneurs, SEO tricks SEO basics and Optimise websites
Page title: SEO basics for entrepreneurs
Page description: What SEO is and top tips on using SEO to improve a website’s ranking.
Headings (H1 & H2): (These are the main headline – H1– and the subhead beneath it – H2)
[H1:] Search engine optimisation (SEO) basics tips for entrepreneurs
[H2:] How to get your website ranked higher
Image ALT tags (Search engines don’t interpret images, but ALT tags provide ‘hidden’ text that describes the image, which is read by the search engines. This contributes to how the page is indexed and where it ranks. Image of SEO tree, useful when optimising web page content.
Use ‘friendly URL’ structures
This is a web address that’s easy to read and includes words that describe the content of your webpage. It helps you gain a better ranking in two ways; firstly, by being easier for visitors to remember the web address. And secondly, it helps describe the contents of the page to search engines.
Add useful content
Search engines are designed to find and deliver pages that include the information that people are looking for. Regularly adding good, fresh and relevant content that your target audience is looking for can help your website rise up the search rankings – and may boost your business.
Regularly check for the latest SEO ranking criteria
What’s vital for a decent page ranking right now can change. So, analyse your page rankings on a regular basis and also make sure that nothing has changed in the way rankings are decided.
For example, not that long ago, social media was just a minor, cost-effective way to help market a company. Now it’s also an important part of maintaining/improving page rankings.