Is your small business aware of the power of search engine optimisation (SEO)? A business that makes good use of SEO across its website, will benefit from getting web pages seen on search engines like Google. This blog looks at some of the terms related to SEO, to help you understand how they can impact the performance of your website.
Search engines use algorithms to ensure websites follow a set of rules that give them the best chance of being ranked. Websites that best tick these boxes will rank better than those that don’t follow best practice guidelines.
Algorithms are regularly updated by search engines, but several times a year Google will release core updates – these updates often implement significant changes and as such Google offers a series of guidelines website owners should follow to maintain or elevate their rankings. Yesterday, September 13th 2022, Google announced their latest algorithm update will roll out over the next 2 weeks. During this period, website owners might notice fluctuations in where their website ranks. Typically, search engines won’t penalise websites, they will simply rank sites that better adhere to their guidelines, for example, provide content that best answers a search query.
A backlink is a link that comes into your website from another site. From an SEO point of view, the more backlinks you have to your website, the greater your domain authority. That means, your site is seen to be highly regarded by other sites, sharing relevant content that answers specific search queries.
Your content is any text or visuals you use to populate your website. Website content should be optimised using best practice on-page SEO optimisation techniques. This includes producing fresh, relevant content that answers the search queries of your intended audience. This content should make use of keywords and phrases to make sure readers and search bots that crawl your site know what your website is all about. But remember, keywords should be used sparingly and in context.
When publishing content it is important not to duplicate content found on other web pages across the internet, including your own website. Duplicate content tends to be considered as content that is worded the same or similar to other content posted online. Posting duplicate content can limit where your page will rank as Google rewards fresh content.
For content to be considered evergreen content, it needs to be relevant to audiences for a long time once it’s been published. Such content remains relevant days, weeks, months later. Evergreen content promotes the validity of your website and as a result, will support your SEO campaign.
Unique content improves the chance of your web pages ranking well in search engines. For your content to be considered unique it must be copy that hasn’t been copied or altered. Instead, it offers a fresh perspective or an alternative way of answering search queries.
Understanding website analytics is important to all SEO campaigns. Being able to track and report on the traffic you are gaining to your website will help you understand visitor and page stats, including the location visitors have accessed your website both geographically and across the web. These stats allow you to build and improve your site to enhance where web pages rank.
Your web pages get indexed based on the information stored across the website. Search bots collect data from your site and list it on their results pages according to the relevance of your content to the search query and target audience.
For your SEO campaign to succeed, you need to conduct keyword research. This means you need to know the search terms your target audience is using to find products/services like yours. There are many free sites you can visit to identify your keywords including Answer the Public and Ubersugggest. Once you have identified your keywords and phrases it is important to optimise your website content with these terms. This will assist you in achieving better rankings on search engines and increased traffic to your website.
Part of the on-page SEO optimisation process is the population of metadata. Both the meta title and meta description should contain your keywords or phrase. Avoid over-optimising though.
The meta title tags your web page with business-relevant keywords, with the meta description offering a snippet of what the web page is about.
Google Search Console provides tools and reports to measure your site’s search traffic and performance. It helps you fix issues and offers ways to maximise your potential to show up on Google search results.
It’s worth noting that there are many free tools available for website owners to view and monitor the status of their website to optimise visibility. These tools can help you understand how search engines view and crawl your site, and whether there are any issues with your website.
A sitemap is a list of the pages that make up your website. This sitemap is submitted to search engines for indexing. It is submitted in an XML file and details each page and any updates and shows how pages are linked across your website.
Hopefully, this topline overview of key criteria related to SEO has offered some understanding of this vast subject. There are many free tools available to you to help you monitor how your website is performing. Of course, as a small business, we understand that time is precious and you have a day job to do. Writeable by Cyber Sushi Design can help push your business forward with our SEO content writing services. To find out more, let’s chat! Call us on 07814 655 438 or drop us an email.