To understand Search Engine Optimisation it’s good to know how the search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo actually work.
When you build and launch your website it’s best practice to add tools such as Google Analytics, Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster Tools. The excellent webmaster tools ensure that you can submit your website pages to the search engines and in turn they will crawl your website and ultimately give individual pages a score which determines their rank.
Search engine crawlers, or search bots, are really important because they quickly and quietly look at your website, page by page, in great detail. The crawl looks at a large number of factors including how fast your website is, how well it works on mobile as well as desktop devices, and whether you’ve built it using best practice methods. The crawlers look at your content too, analysing everything from the headings and body copy to whether you’ve labelled your images.
In 2009 Google spokesperson Matt Cutts revealed that their search algorithm took into account over 200 factors when ranking a website. There’s been no official update on that quote since, but if you take into account security, mobile-friendliness and natural language processing, there are a lot of positive things to be taken into account when ranking your pages.
Search engines employ professionals to manually check webpages in the results. Google’s own Search Quality Raters have a very specific set of guidelines (Search Quality Raters’ Guidelines) and they may manually assess your site for three extremely important factors – Your Expertise, Authority and Trust (E-A-T). Manual evaluation ensures that your site reaches content quality standards and could help to improve your presence in the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) if your content is particularly excellent. For clarity, E-A-T is not widely regarded in the SEM industry as a direct ranking factor. However, it cold be an indirect benefit. Put it this way, if you continually create quality content for your website, providing value for your visitors and fulfilling user intent, then you stand a good chance of being positively evaluated.
Once the details of your site and pages have been crawled, the data is stored and, when a search engine query relates to your content, your website will show up in the results. Where you rank depends on how relevant the search engine thinks your website relates to the search query. If you rank in the top ten, that’s very good. Approximately 95% of clicks are made on the first page of the search results so that’s where you want to appear.
Better still, you’ll want to be at the very top or at least in the first three positions, as these take the biggest share of the clicks. According to Advanced Web Ranking’s Click Through Rate study, in the UK a number one position result will get nearly 35% of the clicks with the number two result taking 15% of clicks. Between the top two positions that’s already half of the clicks on the first page. Positions 3 to 10 will take the other 50% of the clicks.
SEO is both an art and a science and by “doing SEO” you’re giving your website and individual web pages the best chance to be seen by the right people.
How you approach your SEO very much depends on whether you have an existing website or are planning a new presence. In a nutshell, you will need to choose the primary keywords that best reflect your products and services and create a quality website with the correct structure and content.
You’ll want to show off your products, services and information in the best manner possible, with a fast, good-looking website that works well on both desktop and mobile. The content within your website will need to demonstrate those previously mentioned qualities of expertise, authority and trust – after all, you want to recognised as the best at what you do.
Creating your website and content, you will be building around the core products and services, which the search engines will recognise by your use of keywords. You will need to create web pages with meaningful URLs, strong, relevant headings and appealing copy to inform and perhaps entertain your audience.
In addition you’ll be creating a great experience so that your website can be used easily and effectively. Making your page easy to read, easy to share, making the buying process clear and simple, all help with the experience.
On a technical level, you must have a fast webserver, it’s important that the HTML of your webpages is marked up correctly with the right title tag, meta description, heading tags, an appropriate word count, image tags with the right alt attributes, schema markup and so on. Internal linking is incredibly important too, so that needs to be considered.
Launching your website, you will want to see how your optimisation endeavours have worked and so tools such as Google Analytics combined with Search Console are an absolute must. With these two crucial tools you’ll see the volume of your traffic, what you rank for and how highly you rank.
The next step is to make small adjustments to existing content and create useful new content on a regular basis. Look at the data, monitor performance and make the changes that will increase your rankings and Click Through Rates (CTR).
There is always a lot of optimisation to do, and it does take time, but do it right and the effort is well worth it. Here at Clever Marketing, we took site built by web developers and had to SEO it from scratch. The developers designed the site in such a way that the traffic dipped by 25% after the launch but within 11 months we managed to restore that traffic and further increase visit by another 25%.
Why wait? Here’s your opportunity to work with the digital marketing agency who truly understands you and your future strategy… Enquire Now and discover why we are the number one choice for local, national and global businesses.
“ They have done excellent work in helping us develop and deliver direct digital campaigns, optimise our website and keep our rankings very high on Google and other search engines without having to resort to highly expensive alternative options. ”
Business Development Manager | RHW
60% year-on-year organic traffic increase.
500% increase in goal conversion rate.
Nearly 500% increase in goal completions.