A Beginner’s Guide To: Search Engine Optimisation

Posted on 11 July, 2018 by Heather in

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This is the third post in a four-part series, which also includes articles on Web Design, Web Hosting, and Ecommerce.

To sum up SEO in a few words, it’s all about people finding your business. If you have a website, and especially if you cobbled it together yourself, you most likely have several unsolicited emails from companies begging to boost your SEO for you. They might even throw around a lot of jargon and techno-babble like algorithms, CTRs, and SERPS. But never fear, we’re here to de-mystify SEO for you!

What Is SEO?

Search Engine Optimisation is most often boiled down to an acronym, SEO. Basically, it’s the process of increasing traffic to your website through organic (also known as non-paid) search engine results.

1) What Is A Search Algorithm?

Search algorithms are step-by-step processes that are used to find and retrieve a specific piece of data, using a search key, amongst a collection. Search engines use their algorithms to find useful search results.

2) What Are Search Rankings?

Search rankings describe how high, or in what position a specific result appears in a user’s search.

3) What Is A SERP?

SERP stands for Search Engine Results Page. It’s the page on Google or Bing that returns the results of your web search.

4) What is a CTR?

CTR stands for Click-Through Rate.

Why Is SEO Important?

animated gif with two drawn hands one working on a website and the other working with him seo

With only 10 results per SERP, you want to your website be on page one, near the top of the page. Human nature is key to this – people aren’t likely to keep moving through the pages, so if you are on page one, you have a much higher chance to be found by your audience or customers.

Never before in the history of marketing has it been so simple for a person to find the product or service they want. Ranking high in searches also makes it more possible to compete with bigger companies.

How Do I Make Sure My Website Has What Search Engines Need?

Specific search engine algorithms are top secrets at Google and Bing, but because they care about people and resources finding each other easily and effectively, they often (Google especially) provide excellent  information about how best to rank high in searches.

1) Words

Words have power. Search engines have spiders crawl and catalogue all of the words on the internet in order to match them up with search words people type in. When someone does a search, the search engine narrows its results to pages that contain those particular words.

2) Titles

Every web page has an official title that appears in the website’s code. This page title summarises that specific page’s content. A page title that does a great job of summarising that page’s content will help the search engine algorithm determine its quality.

3) Links

Links between websites tell search engines that the information on those pages is good. Using both inbound and outbound links in your content helps the search engines determine quality content. For that reason, make sure that the links you are using come from quality, trustworthy sources.

4) Reputation

Build up a reputation for providing fresh, consistent content and soon you’ll have other websites linking to you when they need outbound links to quality content. Search engines notice this as well.

5) Content and Context

While all of the earlier topics are important, what’s relatively new, especially at Google, is how they view both content and context. You may have heard about keyword stuffing in the past – the practice of making sure your desired keywords appeared as often as possible on any given page of content. This led to a lot of awkward and stale writing; sentences that were forced into place around the keywords.

Well, thank goodness that’s a thing of the past and now quality, unique content is where it’s at. Google now uses a  process called RankBrain to help them sort through search results. RankBrain pays attention to how users interact with website content – how long users are spending on a particular page (dwell time) and the click through rate for that page. Their thinking is that people will spend longer on a page that has comprehensive, quality content.

Optimise Your Search Engine Rankings

We pride ourselves on being SEO experts, and have written extensively on the subject. Grab yourself a cuppa, find your comfiest chair and find out even more about how you can rank higher, and most important, help your customers find you.

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