Are the three letters of S-E-O making your head spin? Search engine optimisation or SEO is a really important component of a business website, however it is also one of the more confusing elements of enhancing an online presence.
Google’s algorithms often change and can therefore be harder to master if you aren’t regularly keeping up to date with the world of SEO.
Here, we have created a guide with all you need to know to make your site easier to find through search engines results pages.
Alt text is optional text which can be added to the HTML, this makes elements with no words readable to search engines such as images. Search bots can only read words so they can’t “see” what is in your websites photos or videos. Therefore by using alt tags, you are telling the search engines what information is in the photo and how it relates to what is on your website.
Breadcrumbs are a navigational tool which shows users the steps that they have taken on your website & aren’t that common for small websites, however breadcrumbs are important for eCommerce or online shops and websites which have plenty of content because they stop users from getting lost.
Crawling is what is happening when a search bot ‘reads’ your site. This information is then held in a huge index which websites such as Google and Bing to direct traffic.
A developers job is to develop an easy to read site to avoid any crawl errors for example a DNS error or code bugs which will negatively impact your search rankings.
When a search engine removes your content from its results page, the content has been delisted or de-indexed. This will happen when you delete a page or violate the search engines best practices (such as using black hat SEO techniques), this can be both permanent and temporary.
Every time that you link to a website, search engines will monitor this. External links are just links that go to any website that is not your own domain.
Search engines will view your content and understand your place in the world using these links. Links help to establish your credibility as for what you offer.
Look to focus on linking to higher quality external sources.
Higher ranked search results sometimes include extra information from the source about what was searched, this is called a featured snippet.
Featured snippets are most common on Google search when the user is asking a question and the answer is information which is easy to understand.
A ‘Googlebot’ is Google’s main search bot used to index and then rank websites. The Googlebot uses machine learning to go through webpages.
Heading tags are one of the most important tasks when it comes to SEO.
There are H1, H2, H3, H4, H5 and H6 tags in the code and these tell search bots what is most important in your content.
The tags are ranked in priority with H1 being the highest and H6 the lowest. Most websites use H1 for page titles & H2 for sub-headings.
Just like the external links that we mentioned earlier, inbound links help you to build credibility on your website. Inbound links are links which come to your website from other sites.
Juice is a word used for the SEO power of a site. A high ranked website will have more juice than a lower ranked website. The internal and external links we discussed with plenty of ‘juice’ can increase your search engine rankings too when linked to your site.
Keywords are the words and phrases in the content on your site that best identify what you do/offer. These are normally the words that people use on Google search to find you online.
These words are used on a site to help search engines decide what the website is about.
Local Search Engine Optimisation will help you to get your company in front of your customers which are near to your physical location.
Your website description should be about 300 characters long and will provide information about your site to Google/Bing via a snippet description. They don’t always contribute directly to your search rankings, they can help to increase organic clicks and that does boost your rankings.
No-index tags inform search engines not to index/rank/read a webpage, this will exclude the page from the search. This is great for webpages which you are wanting to keep private, for example a special landing page for deals or information.
It might seem strange but a lot of the important promotion that you can do for your site is not on your website. Off-page search engine optimisation relates to all of the marketing that you do to get people to your website.
Off page SEO includes link building, content writing or publishing, and email marketing.
Pay-per-click adverts are online campaigns which aim to get users to visit your website. Google are the most common sellers of Pay Per Click ads.
One of the best things about PPC is that you don’t pay unless people visit your website and you choose your own budget.
This is simply the word/phrases that a user types into a search engine.
There are two types of redirects which are 301 Permanent redirects and 302 Temporary redirects. This is used to move a user from one place to another, normally if a page has been deleted/moved.
In relation to SEO, a redirect will tell the search engine that content has been moved.
This is micro-data which creates a rich snippet in search engine results. This provides contextual information for the likes of Google to further understand what is on your website.
The title of a web page is the title tag of the page, it is probably the most important part of your on-page Search Engine Optimisation. The search engines will use this as the title on display in their feed, so you should be using relevant keywords for your website.
It is important that the content on your website in unique and not either copied and pasted multiple times across your website or scraped from other companies online.
Voice search is expected to continue to grow and by 2020 could account for half of all searches online.
Anytime someone asks a device such as “Hey, Siri.” to perform a search, that is a voice search.
This is certainly one of the more rapid growth areas in search.
The amount of words on a webpage matters with your rankings. If you have not enough content then you can reduce your search trust as you content will flag as low quality.
While the recommended amount of content can change from time to time, at the moment the recommendation is to have at least 300 words of text on each page.
A websites XML sitemap is a list of the pages in your website that a search engine such as Bing needs to know about. This will only not include a listing of no index pages as we discussed earlier.
This is frequently known as DNS information, the instructions to how traffic on your domain name will be directed.
Building credibility with search engines take time and hard work. Our recommendation is to start with the essentials both on and off page, following good web design practices.
A website which has got a high ranking in the search engines is down to a variety of different factors which start with building a strong website with user-friendly content.