Within any type of marketing campaign, the term SEO will undoubtedly pop up. But for anyone working in another industry, the term may not mean a lot. So what is SEO? SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation, and is essentially about getting more quality traffic to your site through organic search engine results.
You want anyone landing on your website to be interested in the products and services you sell, and generally the more quality traffic you have the better. If you’re able to bring in traffic organically, you shouldn’t need to spend as much money on PPC.
Overall, the better your SEO, the higher you should rank in relevant search engine queries. So clearly SEO is important for businesses when it comes to traffic, but what factors actually determine search engine rankings?
how does SEO work?
Each time a search query is entered into Google or any other search engine, there is a lot of stuff going on behind the scenes. While some may call it sorcery, it’s actually a whole load of clever algorithms, making near instant decisions.
Google, Bing, Yahoo! and whichever other search engine you decide to use (do you remember Ask Jeeves? They rebranded as just Ask, which seems a bit sad to us) have ‘crawlers’ that will analyse the content of websites across the internet. This data is compiled into one giant index, which will be used to find the most relevant sites for your search query.
Only the search engine team themselves know exactly what goes into the ranking algorithm, and the weighting of each factor, but we do have a good idea of the areas to work on.
Google Ranking Factors
As mentioned above, there are several search engines you can optimise for, but as Google is undoubtedly the largest, it’s usually best to start there.
When it comes to ranking highly in Google, the three main things to focus on are your content, your trust ranking and the authority of your site. With your content, you need to ensure that everything you include on your site is relevant to your industry. If you sell knitting supplies, for instance, it’s probably best to avoid pages about the latest phones on the market.
Building your trust ranking and site authority is a little more complicated. This is about the quality of your links, such as the link sources and their ranking, as well as the quantity of links, and your overall page ranking.
ways to optimise your site
In all honesty, we’re fairly certain that there is some wizardry involved in search engine rankings, but only a touch. For the most part, you can use Google’s algorithm updates and changes to determine what steps you need to take in order to improve your SEO.
If you’ve not really considered SEO before, there are three areas you should start working on first. These are main site changes, looking at your online content and your use of keywords, as well as link building.
Create an SEO Friendly Site
Whether you are setting up a brand new website or making changes to an existing site, the first step with any SEO strategy is to consider the main components of your site. This will include things like your domain name, meta descriptions, snippets and internal links.
Content and Keywords
Writing SEO friendly copy is mostly a mixture of keeping the content relevant and including keywords for PPC. These can be popular keywords or long tail keywords – for more information, you can read our PPC Guide.
Link building is about other websites linking back to your site, and including links to highly ranking pages in your own copy. When Google decides how a page ranks, it’s not just about the relevance of your content – they also look at the number of links pointing to the page from external websites, and the quality of these sites.
For further advice and guidance on SEO, simply get in touch with The Pineapple Agency, and we can discuss the ways in which we can help your business.