SEO is something you’ve likely heard of, given its importance with regards to getting your business discovered on Google and similar search engines. Just what is SEO? As you may guess, it starts for Search Engine Optimisation. How does this work? Well, Google is the biggest of all search engines at present, and let’s say someone keys something in to a Google search such as where to buy an item (for example chocolate) at a good price, Google will give the person searching a list of what it thinks are the best answers to this question.
Here’s the interesting part. In order for any search engine – Google or otherwise – to answer any search requests, they will send in virtual bots (called ‘Spiders’) to go through your website, observing what it’s made of while simultaneously ranking it based on indicators of how helpful it’ll be to your customers, or the reverse (if they think it’s spammy or disingenuous as opposed to helpful). These indicators include:
A. How often you update or add content to your pages
B. If you have any links to your pages on or from another website and how many
C. How long your website and/or company has existed
D. How many visitors you generally receive.
Having good SEO for your website results in a website that the Google bots (the ‘Spiders’) will like and then pass on and recommend to others. At Trent & Hanover, our company, we have helped numerous client businesses we have met to develop their SEO to an extremely high level, which puts us in an ideal position to give you advice. After all, develop good SEO can be done through many different means. Here are a few of the most straightforward ones.
1. Make sure you regularly add original, quality content to your website.
Because the main focus of search engines (especially Google) is providing their customers with search results which are useful and worthwhile, it’s important to ensure your content is based around what you do and written in an accessible and useful way. This will result not only in your website ranking better in Google but also, the net result is anyone who likes your page enough after visiting it may do so enough to come back time and again and buy some of your products or services.
Tips for good content:
A. Keep posts roughly between 300 and 1500 words.
B. Provide links to reputable sources which back up whatever you claim to be true etc on your website (wikipedia or other ones which are regarded as reliable and accurate). Reputation is very important – it’s a key aspect of why we at Trent & Hanover have continued to do quality work for all our clients, including you, and equally your own reputation will naturally increase if you provide from other reputable sources.
C. Include quality videos or photos. Make sure they are optimised to the web so they load rapidly. No one wants to wait.
2. Shift your focus to marketing your content
One way to do this is through backlinks. A backlink is what happens when another website links back from your site to theirs. Unsurprisingly, this is a huge part of how Google determines the value of your site. A key part of this however is ensuring you always build backlinks which fit naturally, such as ones from sites that fit into what you write about, for example. You don’t want to buy backlinks or try to get sneaky with Google.
An especially good tip is to aim for backlinks from websites which are well established and reputable, and/or fairly old/been around for a while. One single .gov or .edu backlink will do more good for your company than multiple backlinks from smaller, less reputable or established sites. Quite naturally, a backlink (or several backlinks) to other content on your own site is a really good thing as well.
3. Take steps to make sure your website is ready for SEO.
While content comes first and foremost, optimising your site’s themes, design, etc is also extremely important for a simple reason: it informs Google and other search engines that your site is trustworthy and something your customers would benefit from and like. One of the biggest ways we have been successful in what we do at Trent & Hanover is through providing this kind of optimisation for our clients’ businesses.
More tips on improving this, from us:
A. Make your site mobile responsive – this keeps it optimised for everyone who searches on their Smartphones (which is a lot these days).
B. Use images which are optimised; this ensures fast loading times.
C. Add a full map of your pages and posts (otherwise known as a sitemap), which will automatically submit to Google (or other search engines), the result of which is that they will index you.
D. Google also has a tool – ‘PageSpeed’ – which analyses and scores your website, based on if it is following their ‘best practices’. It also offers you suggestions on how you can make improvements. Use it.
4. When you create content, use some SEO plugins to help you.
Any blogging platform such as WordPress makes it easy: plugins can essentially be your ‘SEO expert’, so to speak. A perfect example of this is the ‘All in One SEO Pack’, which automatically does so many little things for you that would otherwise so easily be forgotten. Let’s say you write an exceptionally good blog post, for instance. The plugin will then ask you for the keyword; after which it then informs you if you’ve used it frequently enough. Let’s say you haven’t. It will then offer suggestions on where else you can add it, such as:
A. Your ‘Meta tag’
B. Your headline
C. In any subheadings
D. An Alt tag in the images on your site
And if you’re unsure of what these things actually are, that’s not a problem – the plugin itself will teach you what you need to know!
5. Make real efforts with the social media profiles of your company.
Social media, and particularly having a good social media following for your website, is crucial for a number of reasons. One: your audience in social media is going to be the first and most willing audience to listen to you, to hear you out when things are changing; when you’ve added a new service for your business or fresh content. Two: social media followers are, generally speaking, the most likely to be willing to share any new content you provide with others. Three: Nowadays, search engines actually use how good or big a website’s social media presence is to determine its relevance and rate any new content.
The best way to begin this is by setting up accounts on various social media platforms, such as:
Make it a habit of your business to post regularly to each of the above. One of the best ways to kickstart the process is to upload a mix of content you personally enjoy from other individuals or businesses you like and know, together with some of your own content and news. Always reply to commenters, too; the effort is well worth the payoff.
So, now you know more about SEO, the first step is to use your knowledge of it to build your site’s ranking slowly, bit by bit. It’ll never happen overnight; being consistent and diligent is crucial here. Just keep adding quality content on a regular basis, market it to all your followers, and you’ll see your ranking grow over time.
And if you need any support, advice or help with any of this, come directly to us at Trent & Hanover; we have made it our business to do well at this for the last fifteen years.