There are still many business owners who look at us questioningly when we mention the word ‘SEO’. So let’s start this post off by defining what SEO is and why you should be getting really excited about it.
We’ll then get into an overview of the top 5 essential areas you currently need to consider in SEO if you are really wanting to boost your website to the front page in search engine rankings.
SEO – The Definition
SEO – or Search Engine Optimization – is in a nutshell, the integration of a range of tactics aimed at enhancing the ranking and visibility of a website in the search results that a search engine (such as Google or Bing) puts forth. Read the full definition on Wikipedia.
Why get excited about SEO?
When a potential customer is looking online for services that your business offers, SEO will help to ensure that your website features prominently (for example the first page) in the results that the search engine is feeding them. SEO done well, will increase the chances of that potential customer clicking on your website link and converting to a query for your business.
What you need to consider when optimising your website – the Top 5 SEO Essentials
1. Focus on Quality
Search Engines such as Google are constantly updating their search algorithms (how they reference and rank websites). Search engines are increasingly favouring those websites that create a great visitor experience. They focus on:-
- Design – the site should be visually pleasing and easily navigable;
- Performance – the site should be quick to load and all pages and links should be functional;
- Content – the text, titles and descriptions on each page should be informative and professional;
- Local – the site should ideally be hosted in the country you’re targeting and your content should include the regions, suburbs and towns you operate in.
2. Be Social and Shareable
It has for some time been highly beneficial to ensure your Social Media platforms link to your website as this enables inbound traffic from these platforms. But things are advancing quickly and social signals are starting to be introduced into search algorithms.
- Be Socially Active – search engines are taking note of your presence & activity on social media sites and will give preference to those companies that are actively engaging with their customers online;
- Let them share your site – ensure that your customers are able to share your website pages and blog posts easily.
3. Be Viewable Across Devices
According to a recent study by Deloitte which you can download here, data usage and the use of tablet and smartphone devices, as well as internet enabled cellular devices will continue to rise dramatically. Interestingly, more and more people will have access to multiple tablets of varying screen sizes.
- Ensure your website is responsive – it is imperative that your website re-adjusts its size seamlessly and is easily navigable across all devices;
- Optimize your Mobile website – a mobile website is a good idea if you anticipate that your market will use their mobile phone (or smartphone) to perform specific functions on your website. Do ensure that you follow SEO best practice when creating your mobile website!
4. Ensure you are using Meta Data
- Title Tags – think of these as an advert – they are the first thing your potential customer will notice and should attract attention;
- Meta Descriptions – these should contain some keywords and a meaningful summary of the page they are relevant to. These are intended to help your potential customer decide whether your page is what they are looking for, so make the meta description count.
5. Maintain an Informative Blog
Providing your potential customers with interesting information is good for business. It shows that you understand what you are talking about when it comes to your products and services and reveals that you are happy to help your customers beyond the sale. Good blog articles contain relevant keywords that help search engines find the information they are looking for.
- Create Great Content – great blog articles in addition to being informative, also contain relevant keywords that help search engines find the information they can reference as results to searchers;
- Share Great Content – share your blog articles throughout your social media pages to create relevant back-links to your website.