What is SEO and why should I do it?

How do I do SEO for my website?

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation. It is the process of optimising and improving your natural (organic) ranking, not adverts/AdWords, in the search engine results pages (Google, Bing, Yahoo etc.) and – in so doing – increasing the number of visitors to your website. Simple.

Internet users seldom click through pages and pages of search results. So, the closer your site comes to the top of page one, the greater is the likelihood it will be visited.

It is fair to say, however, that although we are able to direct you in some of the DIY tasks, for a full-blown SEO project you will need to engage the help of a professional in order to really cover all that is needed for the job. Especially if you are in a highly competitive industry such as an accountant, lawyer or the wellness industry, for example.

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Getting your website pages “indexed”

We thought it would be a good idea to just explain what indexing is because this is a question we get asked a lot when discussing SEO with a client

Indexing is when the search engines have found your page and content and they put it into their ‘index’ or directory. They make it ‘visible’ and able to be found.

If your page is NOT indexed, then it cannot be found and displayed in the search results.

But you can set pages to deliberately not be indexed. This option might be useful if you have a ‘thank you’ page, for example, which is only displayed after someone has signed up for something. You wouldn’t want this page to be found before the action.

Indexing How long does it take to get indexed?

Google doesn’t, for one, index anyone immediately. It takes a while (typically anywhere between 4 days and 4 weeks), and even when they do find and get around to indexing your website they don’t necessarily index all your pages, and even then, you will be way down the pecking order until you have earned your position as numero uno! Number one! And I stress EARNED.

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Some Useful Stats

I just want to share some useful statistics with you that will serve a couple of purposes, not just stats for stats sake. These stats will, hopefully, help you persevere when you are about to give up because you feel it all just too complicated a task to do this SEO stuff.

The list below is useful as some of these statistics will also give you target benchmarks (these are the ones in red):

  • The average Google first page result contains 1,890 words.
  • 50% of search queries are four words or longer.
  • 47% of consumers view 3-5 pieces of content created by a company before talking to a salesman from that company.
  • 72% of marketers say relevant content creation is the most effective SEO tactic.
  • 75% of people never scroll past the first page of search engines.
  • 93% of online experiences begin with a search engine.
  • Google currently holds 80.5% of total search engine market share (up from 65.5% in January 2016).
  • Leads from search engines have a 14.6% close rate, while outbound leads (ex. cold-calling, direct mail, etc.) have a 1.7% close rate.

The 4 Key Factors of SEO

  1. CONTENT
    1. Copy
    2. Images
    3. Video
    4. Audio
  2. BACKLINKS
  3. GOOD CODE
  4. MOBILE-FRIENDLY
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Content

  1. For good SEO, indeed for excellent SEO, the content on your website must be rich in relevant keywords and phrases and related terms which are targeted and regularly updated. It’s an ongoing process.Great, clear and easy to read content is how you get known for what you do. Use the right keywords and phrases in that content to get known by the search engines for the right services and products you have.IMPORTANT: An in-depth examination of one topic in easy-to-understand language will always beat unreadable keyword-dense badly written copy.By content we refer to:
  2. Copy
  3. Images
  4. Video
  5. Audio

Images

Three of the most important things to do for SEO in images is to

  1. Name Images correctly with a keyword in the name.
    DO NOT just upload an image with the name, or number, your camera gave it – or someone else gave it. Rename the image with the right keyword for the page you are placing it on and for the topic on the page.In Google’s own words: Tell us as much as you can about the image. Give your images detailed, informative filenames. The filename can give Google clues about the subject matter of the image. Try to make your filename a good description of the subject matter of the image. For example, my-new-black-kitten.jpg is a lot more informative than IMG00023.JPG. Descriptive filenames can also be useful to users: If we’re unable to find suitable text in the page on which we found the image, we’ll use the filename as the image’s snippet in our search results.

Okay – time for a bit of technical image stuff which I will try to explain as easily as I can. It’s all about pixels, bytes and resolution. Reduce images in size so they are optimised for the area they are to occupy on your website.

To find the size of your image on your computer simply check its properties. On a PC right click on a mac Ctrl-click and go to properties then details. (or open the image up in an image programme)

An image from a camera, any camera, is made up of pixels. These are little tiny squares of colour that the image is made up of. As you can see in fig 1.

Image Resolution
An image has a resolution and, funnily enough, resolution uses old fashioned inches and not modern centimetres.

If you are using an image for print you need it to be at least 300dpi. This is 300 dots per inch. So, for printing you need lots of dots per inch so the image is ‘tight’ and prints sharp and clear.

For the screen, however, we only need it to be 72dpi (dots per inch) it can be ‘looser’ and still display well. This means that the ‘weight’ of the image is reduced as well because it doesn’t need to be so tight and have so many pixels in that inch.

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Video

As with images, you need to give your videos the right title and descriptions and tags – all with the keywords you want that video to be found for. This is not JUST the name of the file.

If you go into the properties of the video file then you will see where you can add the details.

On a PC, within windows explorer just hold your alt key down and hit enter or right click on the file and click on properties, this will display the properties window, select details and there you can enter all the necessary. On a Mac this is slightly more complicated, and you will need a piece of software to do this – I have done some research and they say that “kid3.sourceforge.io/” is a good tool.

Audio

Before you upload an audio file to your website, make sure that you name it correctly with keywords where relevant.

Transcribe the audio and post it below the audio file. You will have unique content and more data for the search engines to fetch more traffic to the site.

Use services like Fiverr to get the audio transcribed. This is a very good method for boosting copy and long-term SEO.

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BACK LINKS

Back links have always been and still are a top consideration with Google when ranking your website. It’s one of the main ways the search engines determine human intervention.

Google are always looking for ways to understand human intervention in creating their algorithms – the mathematics behind ranking – and one of the best ways to know if your site is great is if someone has put a link on their ‘valued’ and highly ranked site back to yours. This is because if someone has identified your website, or a page on your website and has linked to it from theirs, then yours must be good! Google robots can tell this.

  1. Because You’re Worth It
    Backlinks show Google that people think you are worth linking to and, therefore, will place a higher value on your site.This does make sense if you think about it. So, you have to go about proving that you are worth it and you know your stuff.

It’s fair to say, that the more relevant high page-ranked sites that link to your website the better. For example, if your website sells dog houses, a link from the Society of Dog Breeders matters much more than one from a site about roller skating!

When your content earns a lot of these high-quality backlinks, you hit three important ranking signals:

 

  • number of backlinks
  • link authority
  • link diversity

GOOD CODE

This might be something where it would be good to get an expert to take a look at your site.

You can check some of the elements here on our SEO checker www.socialseo.marketing

Good coding ensures that your ‘keyword rich copy’ features in those areas where it has the greatest SEO value.

For example the headers (those title tags we spoke about earlier) as well as bulleted lists, introduction copy, links and meta tags). All this is part of the hierarchy as well.

Other factors where code can affect your SEO are:

Site Speed – The overall speed of your website is a major factor. If your site is suffering from speed there are many things that could be affecting it.
Images are too big
Code is not laid out correctly – browsers are not able to deliver the content efficiently when the site is brought up.

HTTPS Security
Change your website to HTTPS from HTTP by getting an SSL (JB) certificate in place – don’t worry if you don’t know what that is, ask your hosting company and they should do it. A very inexpensive yet highly important feature for your website.

PLEASE NOTE: Sites that have not switched to HTTPS are now marked as ‘unsafe’ by Google Chrome.

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MOBILE FRIENDLY

Today more than ever it is important that your website looks great on a mobile phone or a tablet.

Back in early 2016 Google announced this clearly to the world. If your website shrinks down to a totally illegible format when viewed on a mobile phone, then this is not a mobile-friendly website.

Make sure that your website is adjusted for mobile even before desktop.

You are going to hear more about Google’s latest gizmo: RankBrain. This is not, actually a ranking factor. It is an Artificial Intelligence tool that Google has created to try and learn the context of copy.

Humans can understand context. Computers cannot.

By using Artificial Intelligence, Google aim to make tracks into helping their algorithms understand context when writing copy.

What does this mean for us? It means that we can write more ‘fluently’ and, more importantly, simply (I like writing simply!) without worrying about ramming keywords or making things complicated in order to get the robots to understand what we have written.

In a nutshell, Google wants its robots to understand how to read more like a human and give us credit accordingly.

This article “How do I do SEO for my website” is available as a full e-Book, “How To Think Like a Search Engine” – Download it FREE here!