Search Engine Optimisation

How to do it well: Part 1

15 Mar 2018

Over 3.5 billion searches are performed on Google each month and 81% of those are conducted by shoppers researching before they make their purchase decisions. It’s therefore crucial to be where your customers are. If you are not, then you simply won’t be considered. Search engine optimisation aims to increase your site’s visibility in search results to avoid this from happening.

Of course, there are many aspects to consider with SEO and things can quickly get overly complicated and overwhelming, but let’s scale things back and look at the key components for SEO.

The first post in this series will talk about the basics and content. Make sure to watch out for the second post in the series to learn more about on-site and off-site optimisation.

1. The basics

Ultimately, SEO is about getting your web pages to rank well in search engine results, enabling more potential customers to find you. However, to get your pages to rank well, search engines need to be able to read and understand your page content. As search engines are becoming more and more sophisticated in doing this, the information architecture, user experience and user interface all matter.

Index

Which pages should be indexed by search engines and which pages should not? Pages that are indexed will appear in search results, so you need to make sure they are supposed to be there and that they are working. If they don’t work, make sure to put redirects in place.

Hierarchy

The overall site structure does not only affect usability but also accessibility of the website. Is your site and content structure clear? Do you use internal links to help search engines find their way around? 

User experience

How easy is your site to use? Is the design professional and trust-worthy? What about the cross-device experience? Google looks at where searches are coming from and will give higher weight to pages that display well in that device. Is your site optimised for mobile and tablet?

Speed

If your pages are delivered too slowly, there is a good chance they will be downgraded in search results. Generally, better performance means better results for customers. Pages that can deliver that, get rewarded with a higher rank.

2. Content

You have probably heard the saying “Content is king” and there is no denying that content is very important when it comes to SEO. More content is generally better than less, but that doesn’t mean you should create content for the sake of creating it.

Keyword analysis

Before you can create quality content, you first need to think about which keywords you want to rank for.  Brainstorm which terms may be appropriate and analyse monthly search volume using an online tool. This will confirm which keywords are being used and enable you to create content that is tailored to those keywords. 

Quality

You need high quality content that is meaningful. When your pages contain useful information, users are more engaged. When they are engaged, they are likely to spend more time on your site and link to your pages. The more external links you get, there more potential there is to get more traffic.

Sources

Content creation is not limited to you as a business. It is other people’s opinions that often help you in building credibility. Reviews, testimonials and case studies are all valuable and powerful sources for information that give dynamic and fresh content. A good eCommerce platform will allow you to manage reviews and the like.

Types of content

When writing content, think about its purpose, too. Good content may be emotional, practical, entertaining, educational, unique, unexpected, relevant, inspiring or a combination of these.

Duplicate content

In most cases, search engines do not penalise sites with duplicate content. They may, however, eliminate some pages from the index, especially with in-site duplication. Unique content is therefore always something you should strive for.


tags:

SEO

author:

Sina Braeuning

date published:

15 Mar 2018