We all know that getting your website listed on the first page of Google search results is the holy grail of search engine optimisation (SEO). But how do you get it there – and how can you make sure it stays there?
In the (not too distant) past it was simple: pack every page with as many keywords as possible, and repeat them as often as possible, irrespective of whether the text made sense to the hapless reader.
Nowadays, thing are different. Search engine companies have developed complex algorithms designed to weed out the results to leave the searcher with only the most appropriate responses. This means better results for users, and a more sophisticated approach to SEO for website owners.
Here are some examples of what the latest search engine algorithms are looking for…
Content that is appropriate, well written and correctly formatted. Images and videos will also help to boost the site’s credibility. High quality links. One link from a reputable sight is worth much more than many links from low quality sites.
Fresh content. Search engines respond favourably to updated sites, where content has been refreshed on a regular basis. One way to do this is to write a blog. This is also an opportunity to expand your website to cover issues beyond what is covered in the typical business pages, therefore stimulating more visitors to your site.
Social media. Although simply including social media buttons is unlikely to boost your site up the rankings, incorporating feeds from Twitter, videos from YouTube etc. is a great way to continually add fresh content to your site.
Meta tags. These pieces of text are kept out of sight within your site’s source code. The text given in the Description tag displays in the search engine’s results, telling the prospective visitor what your site is about. The principal meta tag is the Title. About 60 characters long, the Title text is what is shown in the tab at the top of the web page. If this text matches the search terms used by your intended visitors, Bingo! you’ve cracked it.
Nowadays, the trick to success in the search engine is not to focus too narrowly on one particular aspect of SEO. Instead, take a broad-based approach, including all of the above, and a few of the many other methods that I have not had room to discuss here. We use a 20 point checklist in our SEO audit which may uncover anything from a tiny – but vital – tweak to a whole can of worms in the form of spammy backlinks that could make all the difference. If you would like us to evaluate your site from an SEO perspective please let me know.