Search engine optimisation (SEO) is the practice of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to your website through organic search engine results. SEO involves optimising your website or web pages such that it becomes more visible on search engines when searches for a particular keyword or phrase are made.
The major search engines are Google, Bing and Yahoo. Search engines are a major source of traffic to lots of websites. Search engines such as Google use their technology to crawl millions of website every minute looking for information and indexing them. When users search for particular words or phrases it serves up relevant links, websites, and articles.
Showing up at a vantage point on Google can make a huge difference to your business and brand. If your website is not optimized for people to find you on search engine, then you are missing out on a lot of traffic and opportunities for your business. Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) are the pages that are shown when a search query is made on the search engine. Google has an algorithm which is updated frequently and determines the ranking of web pages in search results.
In order to optimise your website to rank high and show up favorably on search engines you need to have a comprehensive strategy. A SEO strategy will help you increase the visibility of your website, make it easy for users to find you and help to achieve your business goals.
Here are tips and steps to take to create a SEO strategy that will bring desirable results.
- Define your goals.
The first thing to do is to understand the goals of the SEO strategy. The goals can be to get more organic traffic, more sales, increase conversions and sell more products, or increase email signups.
Also consider who your target audience is, their wants, problems and user behavior. This will enable you create content tailored to their needs which will attract them to your website.
- Optimise your Website’s Performance
To make a website visible to search engines it has to be built for users and not machines. Search engines rankings are influence user experience on your website. Search engines want visitors to have a good experience on websites that are served up during search queries.
Create an easily navigable and searchable site. A website that is designed to ensure good user experience will make it easy for users to navigate and find information that they want.
Site architecture should be such that users can go from a general content to specific content without any hassle. The hierarchy of information should also guide users from one section to the other seamlessly. Avoid broken links, thin and duplicate content on the website. When you take the aforementioned steps, search engines crawlers will be able to find your pages and index them easily.
Your website should also be mobile friendly i.e. it should be responsive and work well across devices of different screen sizes.
You can use tools such as Screaming Frog and SEO analyser to audit your website’s onsite SEO and identify areas of improvement. You should consider redesigning your website if it is dated, has too much clutter or difficult for users to browse through.
- On-Page SEO
According to Moz, on page SEO refers to the practice of optimising individual web pages in order to rank higher and drive more traffic from search engines. On-page refers to both the content and source code of a page that can be optimized. For on-page SEO you make use of keywords, meta description, titles, internal and external links.
Identify the most important keywords in your industry. Use Google Keyword Planner to research the keywords and know the search volume. Keywords could be short tails keywords (search phrases with 3 words or less) or long tail keywords (search phrases with 3 to 5 words).
Meta description and title tags
I will recommend Yoast SEO if your website is built on WordPress. Meta description enables you highlight and choose the most relevant part of a page or article that you want to be shown on Google search results.
Use alt text for your images. Alt text refers to the description of an image, you should use relevant keywords to enable your images come up on Google Image search and help your website overall SEO.
Use permalinks that are short, precise and relevant.
Create Relevant Content Consistently
Create useful content that is relevant to your niche. Search engines try to provide the most relevant results to a searcher’s query. Endeavor to provide enough information that makes users better for it after going through your website. Your content should be written for human beings not for machines or google crawler. Avoid keyword stuffing. Your content should have both quality and quantity. You can use Ubersuggest to get content ideas and topics that will interest people.
Knowing your targeted audience and carrying out research will guide you on what content to create and the relevant keywords.
Create a content calendar that you follow consistently. A content calendar consists of a list of topics and relevant that you are to create content such as blogpost, articles, infographics or video on. Creating quality content will help to increase your domain authority and boost your website ranking.
Include links in your content, this will make Google see your website as one with good structure and boost your domain authority. There are internal links which links one article to another and external links which are included in your website content and links to other websites with relevant content.
- Off Page SEO
Off page SEO refers to approaches which are applied outside of your website to raise your site’s visibility, these include link-building and social media marketing.
Build backlinks by submitting your details such as business name, contact details, website Url address to business directories such as Yellowpages, Yelp e.t.c. Ensure that your name, address and phone number (NAP) are consistent on all entries.
Social Media Marketing
You can also open social media accounts for your business or brand. Most social media such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram will allow you add your website links in your profile. These profile links point back to your website and will help boost your visibility on the internet.
You can increase the domain authority and page authority of your website by increasing the volume of inbound links to your website. For instance, you can write articles and guest posts for other websites and publications and add links that point to your website domain. The more inbound links you have, the higher your website pages will rank on Search Engine Results Page (SERP).
Submit Website to Search Engines
Create sitemap and submit to Google. Your website should be also be added to Google webmaster tools and other search engines such as Bing and Yandex.
- Measure your SEO results
Carry out periodic measurement and analytics of your SEO. Use tools such as Google Analytics, Semrush to monitor metrics such as website traffic, Visit, Bounce rate, Time spent on website, return visitor, which backlinks are working, volume of organic traffic e.t.c.
- Other Tips
Carry out competitor research and analysis.
Local SEO – Register with Google My Business and include relevant details such as your business location and contact details.
Optimising a website for search engines is a task that requires hardwork and consistency. You might not see results immediately, but if things are done right your website will rank higher in the long term and your goals for having a website can be achieved.