With a focus on SEO, I am posting my thoughts on what it is, how it works and how it affects your website and the success of any business aiming for organic reach online.
Google and other search engines “index” your site based on their relevance to user search queries. Its like a large library of organised information in a type of Dewey Decimal System (think of library book codes), but with some advanced filtering to make it more “human”. i.e. If you search for a “plumber”, ideally they want to show you not only websites that offer services, but more importantly, local service providers offering the service. You’re not going to be calling a plumber from out of town now are you?
With this in mind its important to understand your customers, what they search for when looking for your services and the keywords they use when searching. This is what needs to be reflected on your web pages and their “meta” information.
This may sound complex to some, but most website builders and website “backends” these days allow you to add this information yourself. Its not rocket science by any means, but it should be clear and contain the main keywords for that specific page. Don’t try to be too clever, search engines can now see when you’re using too many keywords and trying to spoof them into thinking your content is relevant. If you offer a service, be clear, concise and to the point. If you add any images, use “alt” tags – the description tags for each photo, also available when uploading your photos.
Meta information should ideally correlate strongly for a singular term or phrase.
On Page Content
On page content is what users see, other than the title and images on your page. This should be compelling and also contain the main keywords for your page. Once again, don’t try to add too much information that isn’t relevant, but do provide links to other pages that a user may find useful in relation to the service or product youre offering. Search engines are now able to see plagiarism; information taken from elsewhere that someone else wrote, keyword ‘stuffing; trying to add too many keywords to a page and will follow links from your page to anticipate a users journey. Ultimately, search engines are trying to protect users and give the relevant search results.
Search Engine Index and Analytics
If you’re not coming up on search engines for your search terms, take a look at your analytics. These should be available from your web developer and you should be added you to your Google analytics or Bing analytics reports. In here you can find useful information; i.e. how many people are finding your page organically and how long they stay on the page. If you’re getting a distinct high ‘bounce’ rate; users are finding your page and leaving instantly, they are clearly not finding relevant information for their search query. This should help you adjust your web page content and the main information people are seeing when they visit.
When users search and they find a result, they are hoping to land on a page that provides them with further useful information. Therein lies the secret; if these two correlate, you’re good to go. Rather add additional pages for non related content or content that detracts from the main query and link to this with clear titles and links. i.e. You offer “Plumbing Services”, but “waterproofing” is a major component of your service. Create a “waterpoofing” page and link to this within the context of your document rather than have an entire paragraph dedicated to it.
To sum it up; Search Engines are getting better all the time. The companies behind them have real people doing research to create a better experience on the internet. Work with that. Provide useful, relevant content and information and you will rank well over time.
Actionable points from this document:
- Understand your users and what they search for
- Ensure this is clear on your web pages
- Ensure you have simple, readable information in the body of your page
- Ensure your meta information contains these search terms
- Gain access to your analytics and review this often to see what is happening
We have some further reading on our blog:
If you need the support and services of an SEO consultant, please contact us and lets take a look at what we can do. We will gladly review your website and give you some pointers that you can work with immediately. We can also do complete SEO audits on your entire website and find problems and fix them.
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