Search engine optimisation (SEO) is a broad topic with many details. Fortunately, it isn’t as complicated as it sounds. In fact, there are many simple ways to optimise your website content so that search engines like Google can easily find and index your content. If you have just finished creating your website or writing a new blog post, you can use these tips to help your site appear higher in search engine results.
If you want to drive more visitors to your website and improve its visibility in search engines then you should get acquainted with general SEO principles and follow these simple, but effective tips for optimising your website.
Key concepts and SEO terminology
Before we dive into the ways you can get started with SEO, it's important to first establish the commonly used terms that are often tossed around.
What is SEO?
According to HubSpot, an inbound marketing software company, SEO works by optimising a website's content, conducting keyword research, and earning inbound links to increase that content’s ranking and the website’s visibility. It is important to keep in mind that SEO is a long-term process and investment that will take time to reap its benefits.
Below is some SEO terminology you should familiarise yourself with.
On-page SEO: This refers to the optimisation that you do right on your website, such as including keywords in your content and using appropriate heading tags.
Off-page SEO: This refers to the work that you do off your website, such as creating quality links to your website and encouraging others to share your content.
SERP: SERP stands for search engine results page. This is the page that a search engine provides after a user submits either a pay-per-click ad, organic, or paid search query.
Rankings: This refers to how search engines determine where to place a web page in SERP. The rankings begin at number 0 and range to the final number of search engine results in the query. Rankings can change over time due to the algorithm. This is one of the main objectives of SEO.
Visibility: This refers to how noticeable the domain is in the search engine results. If the domain appears in many search results, it means it has high visibility. This is also another main objective of SEO.
Organic traffic: This is the number of visitors to your site from search engines, as opposed to the number of visitors from sources such as referral links or advertising.
Long-tail keywords: Generally, three to five words that are specific to what people might search for when looking for a solution online.
Keyword: A word or phrase that people might search for when looking for something online.
SEO Tips: Keyword search
Search engines like Google try to understand what your site is about by looking at how it’s built and reading the content you’ve posted on it. They also try to understand what exactly people are looking for when they search for something online. For your website to appear on the first page of search results, you need to make sure that it’s optimised for keywords that people are using to find it.
Keyword research is an essential part of SEO because you need to make sure that your content is related to the words that people are using to find information. Relevancy is one of the key criteria Google search engine uses to rank a page in the SERP.
How can you do this?
First, identify a keyword that you want to rank for. Your keyword should be a topic or phrase related to your website’s content.
Next, make sure that your keyword appears in your title, URL, content body, and images (if applicable). This helps search engines better understand what your website is about.
Finally, you should regularly check if your website is appearing in search engines for the keyword you’ve chosen. If not, there may be some technical issues with your website that need correcting so it can perform properly with Google.
For example, let’s say you’ve written a blog about a new coworking space. Search for keywords as well as long-tail keywords related to coworking spaces. Understanding user intent is essential for this process as you want to predict what your clients will search for in order for your content to appear in their organic search results. Such keywords could include“affordable and flexible office spaces”, “private workplaces” "best coworking spaces", “hot-desking”, and “flexible office listings”. Once you have curated a list of keywords, begin to implement them in your blog content.
To further understand why utilising the right keywords can play such an important role, you need to know how Google search engine ranks domains.
SEO Tips: E-A-T Framework
The E-A-T framework stands for expertise, authoritativeness and trustworthiness. These are the three main criteria under the two main components of relevancy and authority which Google uses to rank domains. In order for a page to rank in a high position, it must have a high-level of expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness. This essentially means the content must be useful, credible, accurate, and truthful.
SEO Tips: Make your site crawlable
A search engine can’t understand your content if it can’t read it. You need to ensure that your site is crawlable so that search engines can read every part of it. To do this, ensure that your site is built according to best practices and that it includes everything that search engines look for. There are many ways to do this, but the following tips are a good place to start:
Build your site with clean, simple code. Try not to use any unnecessary coding, plugins, or scripts. You want your site to load quickly and appear simple to search engines.
Create a sitemap and add it to your website to let search engines know which pages they can read. Google’s definition of a sitemap states: “A sitemap is a file where you provide information about the pages, videos, and other files on your site, and the relationships between them.”
Make sure that every page on your website is unique. Don’t repeat content between different pages. This can make your site look like spam to search engines.
SEO Tips: Don't forget your meta tags
Meta tags are a part of your website’s code, but they are also something that people search for on Google. You might think they are a thing of the past, but they are still something to keep in mind when you are optimising your website.
For each page on your site, you must create a meta description. This is a short summary of your page that people will see when they are looking at search engine results. Your meta description will appear below your page’s title in search engine results and can affect how many people click on your page. You can also create a few keywords and phrases and include them in your page’s meta description. This can help your page stand out when people search for those terms.
SEO Tips: Avoid keyword cannibalisation
Keyword cannibalisation occurs when multiple pages on a website target the same or similar keywords. Instead of benefiting the website's overall SEO efforts, it creates internal competition within the site itself. When different pages compete for the same keyword rankings, search engines may struggle to determine which page should be prioritised, leading to diluted organic search visibility and potentially lower rankings for all affected pages.
One consequence of keyword cannibalisation is a fragmented content strategy. Instead of consolidating relevant information and resources on a single authoritative page, the content is spread across multiple pages targeting similar keywords. This can confuse search engines and users alike, as they may encounter conflicting or redundant information. Additionally, it becomes challenging to establish a strong page that dominates the search results for a particular keyword, limiting the potential for increased organic traffic and conversions.
The best approach you can take to mitigate keyword cannibalisation, is to conduct a comprehensive keyword research and analysis to identify potential conflicts. By mapping out target keywords and ensuring each page has a unique focus, you can develop a coherent content strategy that optimises organic search visibility and user experience. Implementing proper on-page optimisation techniques, such as optimising meta tags, headings, and content structure, can also help search engines understand the intent and relevance of each page. Additionally, consider consolidating similar pages or implementing canonical tags to signal to search engines which page should be considered the primary source for a particular keyword, avoiding internal competition and maximising the potential for higher rankings and organic traffic.
SEO Tips: Tracking SEO results
If you have just started your website, it might take a while before your ranking on search engines such as Google starts to improve. This can make it hard to determine if your SEO efforts are effective. You can track your progress and see if you are improving your SEO by regularly checking your website analytics. This data can help you identify what you are doing right and wrong. Google Analytics is a great free tool to monitor and track your SEO KPIs.
When you’re starting out on your SEO journey, it can seem like an uphill battle. Improving the SEO on your website is a long-term strategy that will result in a higher ranking on the SERP. We're here to guide you through this process and help optimise your site. Learn more about creating stunning content to boost your website performance here and hit us up below to speak to a member of our team.