Search engine optimisation, or SEO, is one of the most complex aspects of digital marketing. Not least because the entire practice is in a constant state of flux. Quite simply, SEO is a culmination of tricks and techniques to ensure you rank high on Google. When people search for your service, you need to appear on the first page or two to capitalise. That’s where a good SEO strategy comes in. The trouble is that Google are smart, really smart! They change and update their algorithms on a regular basis. It means that last year’s best practices are no longer useful. Worse still, they could get you penalised! With that in mind, here are the essential pillars to an essential SEO strategy in 2015.
Search engine optimisation has always relied on keywords. Google send out crawlers, or spiders, looking for keywords that describe your site. It helps them categorise your website and send searchers to the right place. SEO expert Oliver Wood suggests you spend a long time researching relevant words and phrases. For example, you can use Google’s keyword planner to find the most popular keywords in your niche. Make sure your content uses these words regularly so Google can find them.
Metadata, titles and URLs
Once upon a time, the metadata of your site was crucial. Google has since become a little smarter and can hunt down keywords in your content and text. However, metadata is still quite important. Fill your URLs, titles and meta descriptions with appropriate keywords. It is the first place Google’s crawlers look when indexing your website. The key to SEO is making everything simple and descriptive.
Authority and links
Google are not just looking for relevancy. Sure, keywords and descriptions are important. But, they also want to serve their users the best and most authoritative websites. In order to rank authority, they take into account what other websites are linking to you. For example, if your business website is linked to by the likes of Forbes, Google can assume you’re a big deal! It’s not so much about quantity; a sheer volume of links aren’t always the answer. Instead, work for high quality, authority links.
Traffic and community
Your analytics numbers are important when it comes to search ranking. The volume of traffic to your website says a lot about your popularity. Google takes notice of that and will recommend websites that have a proven community. Focus on building a strong, loyal group of visitors and direct lots of traffic to your website. The key here is providing a good service and fantastic content. Remember, more traffic equals more sales!
The last thing Google want is to send its users to a slow website. It takes website load speed very seriously, and a matter of split seconds can make all the difference. Speak to your web designer to ensure you are shaving as much time from your loading speed as possible. A quick site equals lots of search engine traffic!
SEO needn’t be so confusing when you understand the basics. Take your time, do some research and focus on quality. Best of luck!