With 85%* of customers using search engines to find local businesses, Search Engine Optimisation has become a key skill to master for those wanting to attract more traffic to their sites. For those who aim to achieve this goal, yet lack understanding of SEO, fear not! This article is designed to run through the basics of optimising your presence on search engines and secure you the traffic you crave!
What is Search Engine Optimisation?
In basic terms, SEO is the process of getting your site greater recognition within search engine results so that ultimately, you will be noticed by a greater amount of search engine users. Overall, this means that you have a greater chance of increased traffic coming 'organically' to your site over others. Importance is placed upon this due to the fact that generating organic traffic does not cost you the additional expenses associated with other paid methods of securing traffic to your site eg - pay per click advertising.
Now you may ask, how do I increase my recognition on search engine sites? Search engines such as Google, Bing and Yahoo will promote sites based upon their perceived popularity or relevance according to what users will be searching for. Therefore, SEO looks to address any pitfalls which may lead to search engines either overlooking or simply ignoring your website when attempting to make connections between searches and answers.
SEO methods do not have to be major alterations to an existing site or require expertise in using online technology. Here are a few simple but key elements which can be taken into account when attempting SEO that will ultimately help you in your quest to become noticed by search engines and increase your rankings on their sites.
Create your site for users, not search engines – when designing your site and its content, keep your target users as a primary concern. This will help you avoid creating something which satisfies the search engines criteria but leads to user dissatisfaction once they click onto your site.
Ensure all of your site content is linked – for search engines to be able to assess your site effectively, they must be able to access all of your content. Therefore, the link structure of your site is extremely important. If there are any gaps in your page links, the search engines may think the pages don't exist!
Keywords are key! - this is the main way search engines can quickly and effectively assess your sites relevance to user's searches. The best way to utilise keywords effectively is to use them strategically within your site content, title tags, meta data and URLs. Through doing this, search engines will be able to match keywords used in your site with those searched by users. It is worth researching the keywords and phrases your target market will be using then using this to creating a keyword bank for you to use.
Use articles to boost recognition – once you have your keyword bank, it is a good idea to start writing regular articles containing these. This will not only increase the amount of content picked up by search engines, but can also be used alongside social media. Sharing your articles via social media sites eg Facebook, Twitter & Google+ will help to increase the amount of attention brought to your site.
Make sure you use text format – despite search engines being extremely advanced they do hold some limitations; namely their struggle to pick up non-text content, such as rich media images and videos. Because of this it is important to attribute text alongside any media which will allow you to provide a detailed description of the rich media for search engines to interpret.
Here at Pople Media Solutions, we have increased website traffic for a number of our clients using SEO techniques, check out a few of them here.
URL - the specific web address for your site eg www.poplewebdesign.co.uk
Title Tags – a snippet of informative description relating to the content of the site
Meta Data - a summary of the sites content in greater depth