SEO or search engine optimisation are the things you do to help your website get found and ranked highly in search results. SEO is often something website owners put into the too hard basket because it seems too complicated. The good news is though, that SEO is something we can all do at some level on our websites, and the way to get started is to understand what is SEO and how it works. Today we're going to share with you just that!
What is SEO?
As mentioned above, SEO (or search engine optimisation) are the things you do for and on your website with the goal of increasing your traffic from search engines. There are three main types of SEO, each with their own individual components.
- Off page SEO - these are the things you do which are not directly on your website. A large component are links or backlinks from other websites to your website. Obviously you can't add a link to someone else's website; they need to do that themselves. But you can publish a piece of content so great on your website that they will want to share a link to it from their site. You can also add your business details to a free business directory too. The theory regarding backlinks is that Google sees a link as a recommendation for a website. If someone links to your site from their's, then they must think your site is worth sharing. In the past though, people have overused this SEO strategy and brought thousands of links from other sites, hoping that the more links they have to their site, the better Google will think their website is. While this did work years ago, nowadays Google sees it as spammy and will rank your website lower. Another thing to consider with a backlink is the quality of the website the link is from. You only want a link to be from a reputable and high quality website, as that is the sort of traffic you would want to receive.
- On Page SEO - this refers to all of the things you do on your website to improve its results in search engine rankings. That means on page SEO is the content you write for your site's visitors, the file names you give your pages and images, image alt tags, title tags, page headings, page sub headings, anchor text, meta descriptions, keywords and internal links. You can learn more about many of these on page SEO tasks by reading our article on optimising your meta tags. On page SEO is the easiest of the three SEO types to do, as you have complete control over what you add to your site. It does take time and effort to learn how to do, and the results are never instant. It's also something you need to keep doing and for every page on your website too!
- Technical SEO - technical SEO is best left to the experts. It involves the usability of your website through both the design and the technical things which keep it going. Because of this, it's not often something individual owners can edit, unless they are web developers. When a website has great technical SEO, it is easy for the search engine spiders to crawl and index content within a site. The elements of a website which technical SEO is concerned with include it's speed, if it is mobile friendly and how it has been built.
Getting Started with Your Website's SEO
The next question is, where should you start with your SEO? The answer is, with your website content; your on page SEO. By this we mean the things that a visitor would see when looking through your site. The content on your website is one very important factor search engines analyse when deciding where they are going to rank your website in their search results.
To help you get started with your web content, take a read of our article Your Guide On How to Write Product Descriptions. It explains the key things a product description needs to be found by search engines and sell your products! Next read How to Write a Meta Description to learn how to entice visitors to click on your link within a search engine result. Finally, our Guide to Using Images on Your Website will explain how to use photos to assist with your on page SEO too!