Search Engine Optimisation is a series of actions that you can take to make your website perform better in search engine results (be found on Google, Bing or Yahoo or any other search engine – there are a few you might not have considered).
These actions can be On-Page for example adding meta data to the website or Off-Page for example engaging audiences across the web with shareable content.
What is basic SEO?
Google uses over 200 Ranking Factors – ranking factors are the signals that Google uses in its algorithm to rank your website above or below others. No-one, no matter what they tell you, knows what all those factors are (except maybe Google employees) but many experts have made educated guesses.
There are a number of larger categories of ranking factors that make up basic SEO. These include Links, Content, Meta Data, User Experience and Mobile first.
What are backlinks?
Backlinks are pretty much what they say on the tin. Links that bring visitors back to your websites from other websites. They are important as they establish what industry you are in and your level of expertise within that industry. Having said that, who links back to you is as important as how many people link back to you.
Why are keywords important to SEO?
Two of the main categories of ranking factors are Content and Meta Data and both depend on keyword research. Keywords are words and phrases that your customers use to find your website so getting them right is critical otherwise you won’t be found in searches. Hint: keywords are often quite different to what you think they will be.
What is meta data?
Meta data is made up of a Meta Title (not to be confused with your page title) that sits at the top of the browser window and is shown in search engine results, and a Meta Description. This snippet of text is sometimes shown in the search engine result below the title, but at other times the search engine chooses to use another piece of text from the page that is more relevant to the search that was performed. For now, I am going to ignore Meta Keywords. Both the Meta Title and the Meta Description have character limits.
User Experience and Mobile First
While the main focus of SEO is on search engine robots, it is just as important to make sure that the real visitors to your website enjoy the experience and find what they are looking for, otherwise they will leave. The speed of your website is one of the most important, no-one enjoys a slow website! Everyone knows that mobile traffic is growing, so making a website that works on mobile is key to pleasing both search engines and visitors to your website.