The Essential – But Brief – Guide to SEO

The Essential - But Brief - Guide to SEOSEO is a crucial part of online marketing – if you have a website you need SEO. Despite its importance, SEO is something that causes confusion even among people directly involved in digital marketing. Understanding the basics of SEO, however, will help you direct your in-house team and website designers to achieve the best results.

What is SEO and Why Do You Need It?

SEO is an abbreviation for Search Engine Optimisation. It is actions taken to make your website more visible to Google. This is to increase your chances of appearing in a high position when a potential customer searches for your product, service, brand, or industry in Google.

It is important because the vast majority of clicks on a search results page go to the first few results – the ones that appear before you have to scroll. If you want to maximise the traffic you get from Google, you need good SEO.

Understanding What Search Engines Look For

Google and other search engines look at a number of things when determining where to rank your website. Two of the most important, however, are relevancy and quality. If your website is relevant to a particular Google search, the user is more likely to find the information they are looking for. The quality of content on the page is also an important factor in this.

That is Google’s ultimate goal – to give the user the answer they were looking for.

SEO Basics

  • Keywords – keywords are the phrases that people type into Google when they search for your products. Having those keywords on your pages helps demonstrate the relevancy of your website. Don’t overdo it with keywords, however. This is called keyword stuffing and will have the reverse effect – Google will penalise your website.
  • Works on mobile – making sure your website works on mobile is no longer an option – it is essential. This normally means having a responsive website. If you don’t, Google won’t show your website on searches people do using their phone.
  • Site speed – Google prefers websites that load fast. Make sure your web designer optimises yours for speed.
  • Usability – Google also likes websites that are easy to use with straightforward menus and well organised content.
  • Internal links – this involves having links on pages to other pages on your website. This helps users as well as helping Google understand what your website is about and how all the content connects together.
  • Title tags and meta descriptions – Google uses title tags and meta descriptions when it ranks your website, plus it uses them on search results pages. The one-line title you see on a Google search result is usually taken from the title tag and the two-line description is taken from the meta description. Your website designer should include both for every page on your website and each one should be unique.
  • Google My Business – this is a free Google tool for registering your business. It helps with local search results and can greatly enhance your visibility in Google.
  • Content – Google likes websites that regularly upload fresh and unique content. A good way of doing this is through a blog.
  • Social media – finally, you should link your website and social media channels together, and you should share the content on your website to your social audiences.

For more tips, help, or advice with running your business, please contact a member of the Gilroy Gannon team today.

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