What is SEO?
Introduction to SEO
Search Engine Optimisation, or SEO, is one of the best tools that companies have in terms of gaining visibility online because it allows them to bring in more visitors through free, organic search results.
The major search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo rank websites based on specific parameters they deem most important, and they do so at no cost to the website owners. In optimising your website and increasing your ranking in search engines results, you will gain more visibility and will, in turn, see an increase in visitor traffic to your website.
In this post, you will be introduced to the basic SEO principles and how SEO is heavily dependant on the search engine algorithms.
Technical search engine optimisation (SEO) describes the efforts of a webmaster to ensure his/her website is compatible with search engine guidelines or algorithms, and can be indexed and ranked for keyphrase searches accordingly.
The most appropriate time to consider technical SEO is during a website’s construction. If this doesn’t happen at that time, lengthy and involved technical SEO audits may be needed to identify and fix problems, with possible periods of uncertainty as changes are made.
However, technical SEO is not just about site build; updates by search engines and changes in your own business direction or customer behaviour may necessitate change, too.
- Open Graph tags and Twitter Cards
- Language tags
- Page Site Speed – CDN or cached website.
- Structured data markup e.g. to show rich snippets in search
Preview of some enhanced SEO techniques with structured data.
On-site SEO involves making sure your website pages, titles, tags, content and overall structure are optimised for your target keywords. We can then monitor and create website audits to track keywords positions on the search engines.
Basic On-site SEO examples include:
- SEO-friendly URLs
- Modifiers in title “reviews”, “guides”, “2017” and so on
- Headline/Title H1, Subheadings H2 and H3
- Keyword density up to 2.5%
- Usage of Internal and Outbound links within content
- Latent Semantic Indexing Keywords
Basic SEO Auditing and KPIs examples:
- Organic Traffic CTR – Google Analytics/Webmaster tools
- Increased Domain or URL Authority Benchmarking
- Rank for main converting keywords (local/organic)
- Rank for long tail and benchmark keywords
- Increase of organic traffic for geographical locations
Off-site SEO refers to all of the activities that you and others do externally to your website to raise the ranking of a page with search engines. Off-site SEO can be associated with:
- Social Media Engagement
- Press Releases
- Guest Posting
- Local Citations
- Advertising and Promotions
On-page search engine optimisation happens within the site, while off-page SEO happens outside the site.
A website’s ranking is highly based on SEO authority, and that authority is not established simply by your website content alone. It involves a combination of inbound links, outbound links and how many of those sites linking to you also have established SEO authority.
Google Algorithm Timeline 2016-2017
- Google is steadily moving to a mobile-only world. Mobile-first indexing seems like the inevitable consequence of a year (or more) almost exclusively dedicated to evangelising and forcing a change of mindset from desktop to mobile.
- Albeit links are still essential for rankings (see Penguin 4.1), Google’s investigative efforts seem almost fully devoted to entity, predictive and personalised search. Again, quite logical if we consider deeply personal devices like mobile and home assistants.
- For the same reason, voice search seems to be the next frontier of search, partly because Bing using a different business strategy than Google may represent a big competitor in this arena.
- Since John Giannandrea has become the Senior Vice President of Search at Google, machine and deep learning have begun to be used by default in every facet of Google Search. Thus, we should expect them to be used even more in 2017, perhaps with specific algorithms improving Hummingbird at every phase.
- In a mobile-only world, the relevance of local search is even higher. This seems to be the strategic reason both for an update like Possum and all the tests we see in local, and also of the acquisition of a company like Urban Engines, whose purpose is to analyse the “Internet of Moving Things”.
6. The acquisition of start-ups like MoodStock and EyeFluence (but also Anvato and Famebit) seems to suggest that video/images and video/images marketing will be a central focus for Google, perhaps also because YouTube is struggling against Facebook and not just Facebook when it comes to videos/images and their monetisation.
You should always keep SEO in the forefront of your mind, and always follow best practices. Skipping the basics of SEO will only leave your site’s foundation a mess and prevent you from fully maximising revenue opportunities.
It is important for SEO experts to understand how search engines evolve with algorithms and update SEO standards as required.
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