Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is the on-going process of making sure that your website performs as well as possible on specific search engine searches.
All major search engines, like Google, Yahoo and Bing, have primary search results where web pages and other pieces of content are shown and ranked based on what the search engine thinks is most relevant to users.
So, how do you rank higher in search engines? Here are our ten top tips…
1. Meta Descriptions – Meta description tags, while not important to search engine rankings, are extremely important in gaining user click-through from SERPs (search engine results pages). These short paragraphs are a webmaster’s opportunity to advertise content to searchers and to let them know exactly whether the given page contains the information they're looking for.
2. Relevant & Unique Content – Your SEO strategy should be content-driven. As technology develops it’s essential that your content is not only relevant and unique but also accessible across platforms with a particular focus on mobile and other handheld devices.
3. URLs - These are preferred by people, and it just so happens that search engines prefer them as well. The idea is to deliver enhanced usability to help users remember and share your URLs more easily. At the same time, clean URLs also facilitate a search engine’s ability to identify the relevance of page content to a particular search query, in order to choose what to display in search results.
4. Keywords - Choosing the right words helps build a foundation for your entire SEO campaign. Google Analytics, Google Advanced Keywords Tool and Rank Checker should all make the process easier.
5. Sitemaps – Sitemaps are an easy way for webmasters to inform search engines about pages on their sites that are available for crawling. In its simplest form, a sitemap is a list of URLs for a site along with additional metadata about each URL so that search engines can crawl the site more intelligently.
6. Alternative Tags – If your website contains images then adding ‘alt’ tags to the image is vital for SEO purposes. Images aren’t often picked up by search engine crawlers so ‘alt' tags provide a text based equivalent to the images so that people can locate the information provided by the images.
7. Social Media – Your content should inform the audience and the best way to “get it out there” is through social media. For example, Google uses Twitter to discover new content. It should also help boost your online authority and assist with link building (section on this to follow).
8. Link Building – If you are looking to compete and thrive online then you need to understand the benefits of link building. Simply put, building links is the process of acquiring hyperlinks from other websites back to your own. Link building techniques vary.
9. Avoid Broken Links – A broken link is basically a website that no longer works or is dead. Ultimately, it will affect your search engine ranking if there are dead links and it has been known to put people off returning to a site.
10. Monitoring – There are different tools that you can use to monitor performance in line with SEO (some we have mentioned). Once a month keep an eye on each traffic source for your site. These should include; direct navigation, referral traffic and search traffic.