So what is SEO?

 

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation.

In the simplest terms it’s about being found on search engines like Google, through their organic search results (rather than paid ads). And to achieve anything online you need your website to be found!

The name is a little misleading though as it’s as much about users as it is search engines.

While it’s imperative that search engines can access and understand your website content, so they can be the answer machines we need them to be, it’s also imperative that you understand what your users are searching for.

If a user finds your site from a Google search, but you don’t answer their query or provide a great experience, they’ll leave and go to another website. This itself impacts your search engine rankings, as Google wants to provide the best possible results, information and experience.

Why SEO is vital for the success of your website

Investing in SEO helps your website rank higher on search engine result pages, bringing more traffic and better qualified leads to your site… and the more qualified leads, the better your chances of reaching your business goals.

According to MOZ* “The majority of online traffic is driven by search engines. SEO has ~20X more traffic opportunity than PPC (paid advertising) on both mobile and desktop.”

More than just content

Many people think SEO is just about keywords and content, and you’d be right to think that without content, there’s nothing for users or search engines to find. But there’s a lot more to it.

With almost every business having a website today, Google relies on more than just great content to determine how to rank all those websites, and which ones provide the best results for users.

There are a range of other factors that influence SEO. To give you an idea, just a few of these factors include:

  • Having a responsive website. A responsive website detects the browser width of the device it’s being viewed on (e.g a mobile, tablet or desktop) and adapts accordingly. This is especially important now that Google has implemented mobile-first indexing. This means Google will use the mobile version of the page for indexing and ranking, to better help their primary users – mobile users – find what they’re looking for. If your website isn’t responsive, it’s imperative you plan for an upgrade as a priority.
  • Ensuring your most important content is in HTML text format so that it’s visible to search engines – they can’t understand what they can’t see. This is why alternative text for images is also so important.
  • Submitting an XML site map to Google (and preferably also Bing and Yahoo), to make it easier for search engines to find your pages.
  • Optimising your images so they are a small file size and don’t slow down your site (and more broadly that your site is light and therefore fast, as page speed is a factor for SEO).
  • Having an SSL certificate and your site on HTTPS. Security is a priority for Google and HTTPS has been a ranking signal since 2014, with Google now displaying a ‘not secure’ warning for websites that aren’t HTTPS.
  • If you’ve developed a new website, setting up 301 redirects from your old website URLs to your new ones so that both users and search engines are forwarded to your new website rather than 404 error pages.
  • Having links to your website from other reputable sites (known as backlinks), as these act as third-party credibility signals for Google.

 

These are just a few of the many things to consider with SEO that go beyond keywords and content.

Stay tuned for our next blog post, which will discuss the power of great content.

 

Need help?

In the meantime, if you need any help with your website or SEO, drop us a line at hello@communikate.net.au

 

* Source: https://moz.com/blog/beginners-guide-to-seo-chapter-1

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