Did you know that 70% of online marketers say that SEO is better than PPC for generating sales? This method of driving traffic has grown in popularity over the years, but there’s more to it than you think!
Myles is our SEO guru here at Trellis, and we’ve asked him to answer a few questions to further your understanding of what SEO is and how it could be key to your business’s success.
What Is Website SEO?
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation. This is the process of carefully optimising your website to drive more traffic to it and increase the visibility of your products or services on search engines.
People usually optimise with Google in mind, however, SEO is also really effective for Bing, Yahoo and even YouTube!
The better you optimise your website, the higher the chance that your business will appear in the top search engine results, meaning you’ll have higher visibility and therefore receive more clicks.
Why Is SEO Important For Your Website?
The main purpose of SEO is to drive more traffic to your website or online store by appearing higher on search engine result pages.
In a nutshell, this creates more opportunities for your business to convert potential leads into paying customers, by generating more sales of your product or service, which in turn helps your business to grow.
There are some best practices for SEO, and it is really important that you try to follow these. The goal is to ensure that your competitors don't outrank you.
The way you'll be found online is through relevant keywords and search queries, and your competitors will be trying to do the same. So, make sure you optimise your website to ensure potential customers don’t go elsewhere.
How Do You Optimise Your Website?
- Create A Strategy
Start with the basics - you can’t expect to dive in straight away. An effective SEO strategy is a key to success as it can help you keep on track of your progress and ensure you’re sticking to best practices.
You can use tools like SEMrush to carry out a full SEO audit of your website to see what your main focus should be.
- Start With Some Quick Wins
One of the first tasks we always recommend is ensuring that each web page has a unique and gripping title, as this is the text that will show up on search engine result pages.
In addition to this, you should produce a unique meta description for each page too. This is a short description of what is on the page and appears right below the main web page title in the results.
- Optimise For Accessibility
Another thing you can do is to make sure that any images within your web pages have ‘alt tags’. Alt tags are designed for accessibility and are mostly used for visually impaired people, to help describe what the image contains, giving a better user experience.
However, alt tags also help search engines to read what each image is when they crawl your website, meaning they have a better understanding of the context of your pages.
- Content Is Key
Lastly, make sure you are publishing new content regularly on your website. Google loves new, unique, keyword-rich content like blog posts and so will tend to favour websites that post regularly in search engine results.
It’s also important to make sure that you’re posting content via marketing channels, such as emails or social media posts. You can even link to your website to generate more traffic.
Posting content regularly constantly reminds customers of your business and keeps them up to date with the latest news.
How Do You Optimise Content For Search Engines?
If you’re planning to write some blog posts for your website, great! But what are some optimisation techniques you should be using?
- Include Target Keywords
The first thing you should pay attention to is the titles and subheadings you use. They should include target keywords to ensure your content is relevant to the topic you’re writing about and search engines show your blog post higher in results for those queries.
Try to include your target keywords throughout your article, but especially in the opening and closing paragraphs. You can use SEMrush to find related and recommended keywords, and implement those too.
- Write About What You Know
The topics you write about should be related to your business or industry. Search engines favour content that is of value and written by an expert in the field - so show what you know!
- Add Internal And External Links
Internal linking is a good way to boost search engine rankings. This is where you link parts of your writing to other pages on your website, which helps Google to more effectively crawl your site and gather information on how pages relate to one another.
You can also add external links from your blog post to another website, to utilise their information and back up any statistics you’re presenting, for example. In terms of SEO, this also helps your website to rank higher as if you link to a site which has high-quality content, then Google will look upon yours more favourably.
- Remember SEO Best Practices
Don’t forget that a relevant page title and a good meta description are required to show search engines and their users what your article is about.
How Do You Improve Your Search Engine Rankings?
When it comes to improving search engine rankings using SEO techniques, the first step is to look at your top-level pages or any pages you particularly want to improve your ranking for and assign primary keywords to each one.
Then, look at which websites are ranking highly for those keywords (they will probably be similar businesses to yours or your competitors). See what they’re doing well and what they could improve upon. Use this information to help inform how you can optimise your own site.
Some things to look at might be a schema, keyword usage, or simply just the layout of their content.
Does Changing Your Website Host Affect Search Engine Rankings?
The simple answer to this is yes. The majority of the time, switching website hosts or launching a new website can negatively affect SEO performance if you don't follow best practices.
Depending on the size of the site and how many pages you have, it can have a rather dramatic impact on your rankings. A website that only has a few pages probably won't suffer as much of a negative impact as a website with loads of pages, as there’s less for Google to re-index.
The best way to avoid this is to migrate all existing URLs to their new location ahead of time.
Also, ensure that you have backed up all of the metadata on your websites, such as page titles and meta descriptions. This is important as you will need to transfer it all over once the new site has gone live.
We Offer Free SEO Website Reviews!
As a small business, we understand the challenges and needs of small business owners. Helping SMEs to grow is our passion, and we offer a no-strings-attached, free website review to help you pinpoint what’s harming your SEO efforts (and what you can do to improve them).
Our free SEO website review includes:
- A site security review
- A site speed test
- An on-page SEO review (page titles, metadata, content)
- A backlink profile audit
Get in touch to find out more.