Let’s get the big questions out of the way first, what is Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)?
SEO is the methodology through which your business’ web presence is optimized to your market, in order to drive high quality traffic to your website, hopefully, giving you more sales, clients and/or increased brand awareness.
More than a few years ago now it was quite easy to rank highly on the search engine results page, meaning your web project’s biggest investment was the website itself. Unfortunately this is no longer so as Google continuously strives to be the world’s best search engine. How does one become that? By giving its users the best possible answer to the problems or queries they are facing. For instance, if I needed a plumber in my local suburb, I wouldn’t want Google, Bing or Yahoo results showing me plumbers in a different state or even another country.
We were recently looking for a Youtube video that would give our clients a brief, yet accurate, crash course on how SEO works and why it is so important. We did find a very interesting video, however, it wasn’t what we were after. We did, however, gain some insight.
The presenter in the video had split up the words Search Engine Optimisation into its own, singular words which, I believe, gives some clarity as to what SEO is and how it works
in SEO implies that the user of the search engine is looking for something. Whether it is funny cat pictures or looking for a quality SEO or web design specialist the underlying drive is the same. The user has a problem, or a question, and is searching for a solution. Google aims to answer this question with the number one, top spot on the results page. While it is so obvious that that is Google’s purpose, it is often forgotten.
is a mechanical thing and so is Google. Google doesn’t manually adjust the ranking for millions of webpages around the internet. Instead it is a machine that operates on an algorithm. This algorithm has a predictable pattern, a pattern which SEO specialists around the world attempt to figure out on a daily basis. We know that certain aspects of an SEO strategy will have more impact than others, while some will turn out to be a complete waste of time. This is why it is so important to hire a professional when you want your website to rank higher.
is the process of making something as close to perfect as is possible. By its very nature it is also an on-going process, something that Google highly encourages. A website built 2 years ago about a certain topic will, in the search engines’ eyes, be outdated. Furthermore, your competitors are living and breathing an on-going SEO strategy, so why shouldn’t you?
So next time it comes to rebuilding your company’s or business’ website keep things in mind when you talk to your web design professional.
Now that we have covered this interpretation and have set the foundations for a healthy level of SEO wisdom, let’s go into our top 5 tips for better SEO.
1. The Basics
Often we can get so caught up about an exciting SEO campaign and how we will be ranking number one on Google in a matter of days that you forget the basics. The basics means your website should be in a format that makes sense. H1, h2, h3 etc. tags should be structured in sensible way that allows both visitors and Google to determine what header is more important than another. You should also ensure you have set your keywords in the content, your media and pictures are optimised for the web and your meta description is tailored specifically to keywords and your target market. It is surprising how many companies we deal with who haven’t manually set their meta description. Your meta description, if you didn’t know, is the two lines you get on Google search results. Normally the search engine generates these autonomously, however, you should really write these yourself.
2. Customer experience
Remember when websites were dull and just a chunk of white background, black text and basically boring? Nowadays it is a lot about customer experience. Visitors to your website don’t want to have to wait 20 seconds for your page to load, they are part of the instant gratification society and want to see your website, now! Customers also want a sensible structure that will not confuse them and give them a clear information hierarchy. So while 5-10 years ago you could build a website that would trick search engines to rank you higher, today is all about serving your visitors first. Do the right thing by them and Google will do the right thing by you.
3. Mobile friendly
Early last year Google made dramatic changes to its algorithm. It was dubbed Mobilegeddon and basically meant that if your website wasn’t mobile friendly your competitors would get ranking priority and your pages would get punished. We are rapidly approaching the mid-way mark for 2016 and we are still seeing websites come to us that are nowhere near mobile ready, let alone mobile-friendly. It is often possible to retrofit your current website to cater to smart phones, so don’t start to panic , thinking you need to redevelop your entire site.
4. Content is still king
A few years ago there was a saying in the SEO circles “Content is king”. Basically, if you could pack your website full of keywords with random writing that was roughly about your goods or services then you would rank highly. In a way this is still the case, content just looks a little different now. As we all know YouTube is so hot right now. People can no longer be bothered to read, they want to watch and listen. They want to be fed information rather than research for it. So if you are creating content, even if your marketing budget doesn’t allow professional videos, center it around the interests of your visitors. This blog, for example, is ruthless self promotion.
5. Quality not quantity
One way for Google to determine how high your website ranks is to check how many webpages, particularly credible and authoritative ones, link back to your website. These are called backlinks. Essentially, the more you have, the better you are off. This works only to a certain extent though as attempting to get backlinks from websites that are mostly to do with hobby farming, or fishkeeping, for our very own www.3amideas.com.au would be a bit of a waste of time. Fishkeeping websites hardly have authority when it comes to quality SEO or web design and Google will know this. So rather than trying to publish yourself everywhere, focus your efforts on industry and market specific backlinks.
So there you have our top 5 tips for better SEO for June 2016. Naturally, this advice could be outdated next week as we never know when Google’s algorithm is due for a massive change next. Keeping a finger on your SEO pulse is a vital practice if you wish to generate sales or clients through your website. If you are in business and would like a free SEO audit, or work with us on your Search Engine Optimisation package we would welcome your email.
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About 3am Ideas
We are Australia’s digital marketing agency for small businesses and startups. We provide an ROI driven service to our clients. We are especially dedicated to our Business Startup, Social Media Marketing and Search Engine Optimisation packages.
We always aim to work intimately with our clients because collaboration guarantees best results. From startups with big ideas or established small & medium sized businesses wanting to take the next step. Gain control over your online presence.