SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation and refers to the process of gaining traffic from search engines in a free, natural or organic way. Each of the major search engines, such as Google, Yahoo and Bing, have primary search results whereby web pages and other content are shown and ranked based on which the search engines consider to be the most relevant to the user search. Proper SEO is an integral part of any marketing strategy as it drives customers to your business via online platforms.
Understandably, a site that appears further up in the search results will get more traffic and thus, expectedly, more business. Ideally, the end SEO goal will be to get your website to position one of the first page, but this can depend largely on the product or service that you’re offering and how competitive the industry is. For example, if you’re offering something that’s niche, the more likely you are to get to the first page. Following these principles should give you a better chance.
White Hat Techniques
SEO terminology defines white hat techniques as those that put their focus on a human audience rather than following the strict rules and policies of search engines. Alongside creating content for real readers, white hat techniques include using keywords, keyword analysis, link building and backlinking that will work together to improve the popularity of links. This is sometimes known as ethical SEO marketing as it is a fair way of doing things rather than black hat techniques that involve hidden content, link farming and including keywords in an unnatural way for no other purpose than to improve site rankings.
Content that is keyword rich
One thing that all search engines do is use “spiders” to determine your rankings. This is a type of software that crawls the web, including your website, to identify sites that are most relevant to potential search engine users; essentially, which sites have copy that is written well and references particular phrases common in their industry. The software will then determine how relevant your site is if someone searches these keywords or phrases and, amongst other factors, rank your site on the search engine results pages (SERPs).
This means that you always need to consider the habits of your target audience. Which search terms are they most likely to use to find your business online? For example, if you offer therapy services in London your clients may search for phrases such as “local therapy services” or “therapy in London.” Knowing how to choose which keywords would work best for your company is an in-depth task that should be handled by an experienced professional. Once you’ve identified your keyword phrases, it’s important to include them in your web copy in the most natural way. Metadata is important for some search engines, but for Google it’s primarily for convincing searchers to click through to your website from the SERPs. What is metadata? It’s the unseen data that will give the ‘spiders’ key information about that page, and this can be done by yourself if you have knowledge of HTML, but often it’s best to leave such a task to your chosen SEO expert and web developer.
The necessity of linking
Another necessary SEO technique you need to consider for success is to focus on high-quality inbound and outbound links. With PageRank, your website will be scored a number out of 10 to help search engines know how trustworthy it is and linking between sites allows “link equity” or ‘link juice’ to be carried between sites which will ultimately improve your ranking. Although PageRank is good to know, the most important figure to keep an eye on is Domain Authority – this is what Google rates your website at out of 100; it’s also important to know for websites that you’re aiming to get links back from – the higher the domain authority the site linking back to you has, the better it will be for your SEO efforts.
One of the most common black hat techniques is link farming, which means that links are created through automated programs rather than in an organic (white hat) way. Search engines tend to disapprove of these. Instead, you should ensure that your site is linked to your content on social media and you should try to become listed on open directories that are synonymous with your service.
Inbound and outbound links are just as important as each other so whenever you mention an external source make sure to include the relevant hyperlink. Remember that the more meticulous you link your internal links, the more time spiders will spend on your site so you may want to make sure that each page of the site has a link to all other pages. The easiest way to explain how to do this is to think like a visitor to your site; how can you make their journey as easy as possible? What pages on your site would help them?
The algorithms used by search engines to determine the order of results will depend on regular tweaks. This means that SEO is a marketing technique that is constantly evolving to stay up to date with what search engines deliver. It’s imperative that your SEO agency stays up to date with the regular algorithm updates to ensure your SEO campaign achieves the best possible results. At Boson Web, we know exactly how to set and monitor your website’s expectations by providing you with an SEO strategy that is tailored to you, even improving your visibility for a specific city or county.