SEO – the basics

Many people consider SEO for their business and are often completely confused when they speak to someone who is selling this service. The aim of this blog is to help you understand SEO a little better so that you can make an informed decision for your business.

SEO – what is it?

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation. SEO is the process impacting the visibility of website in a search engine’s unpaid results. This is often referred to as organic or natural results. Some of the major search engines include Google, Bing and Yahoo Search but rest assured there are literally hundreds of other search engines but these are the big 3.

What SEO is not?

The quickest and easiest way to get to the top of search engine rankings is to run an advertising campaign with that search engine. Running an advertising campaign is a completely separate strategy to improving the organic reach of your website. Be sure you are very clear on this moving forward!

Why do I need SEO?

OK so search engines use bots to go out and crawl or scrape the internet for data. These bots are simply programs (albeit very sophisticated ones) and they are therefore limited in what they can achieve. Like any program they are governed by a series of rules that dictate how they see and index data.

Why is there not a simple formula for SEO?

Unfortunately, the search engine companies do not publish information on how you can improve your SEO rankings. If they did, everyone would do it and this would negate the purpose of their formulas. All of the knowledge around what works for SEO is built up through time and experience.

I have no budget for SEO, can I do it myself?

The good news is YES, you can do a significant amount of work to improve the SEO ranking on your website. Here are a few very simple but effective tips you can implement to improve the SEO ranking of your website.

  • Add new content regularly – all search engines like new content as this demonstrates that the website is being maintained and managed. If you don’t have one, consider adding a news or blog section to your website so you can regularly add new content.
  • Double check your website for functionality – search engines like your website to be easy for the user to navigate. Make sure none of your pages have any errors such as a 404 not found.
  • Write your content for users not for bots. It is vital that the content on your website is extremely readable and does not contain any words just used as keyword insertion. It is as simple as reading through your website and ensuring it makes sense.
  • If you have a WordPress website, consider adding an SEO plugin. This will do a lot of the grunt work behind the scenes for you. We use and recommend Yoast. There is a free version of this plugin or you can buy the premium version for $69 and I would consider this to be a great investment for your website SEO performance.
  • Do some keyword research – this can be as simple as sitting and thinking what words people might use to find your business or you can go all in and do some analysis. There are plenty of options when it comes to keyword research and you can choose how much work you put in to this. Once you know your top 3-4 keywords that people are using to search your industry, you need to use these keywords. Firstly, ensure they are on your home page and then consider adding them in but ONLY where it makes sense – don’t litter your website with keywords.
  • Answer questions – if you write a blog, consider making the blog an answer to a question that someone might type in to their search bar. I do this a lot on my blog and I find it useful not only for SEO but for creating blogs that are of interest to my audience.

I hope that you have found these tips useful and are able to implement some of them yourself.

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