Written by Chipo Mapungwana
Search engine optimization (SEO) refers to techniques that help your website rank higher in organic search results on the internet, thus making your website more visible to people who are looking for your product or service via search engines such as Google, Bing etc.
Why is it important for your business’ website to be listed on search engines?
On Google alone, there are over 700,000 searches conducted every second. Every second that your website is not indexed on Google, your company is missing out on hundreds, if not thousands of opportunities for someone to visit your website, read your content, and potentially buy your product or service. Practicing SEO basics can drastically improve your website’ ability to rank in the search engines and get found by your potential customers.
Because the sole purpose of a search engine is to provide your customers with relevant and useful information, it is in your best interest to ensure that your website is listed in the organic search listings where it can be found by potential customers.
Outbound Marketing as we know is dead!
Before the internet and the growth of digital marketing, companies’ marketing budgets went to newspapers, and radio advertisements, posters etc. What we call out bound marketing. In order for a company to get any business, marketers had to buy advertising space and place advertisements in various media for prospects to see or hear. Well, not anymore. The age of the Internet has made it so that consumers are now in control of what they see and hear and they can shut out annoying adverts if they want to.
Since you can no longer get their attention with outbound marketing, you have to switch your approach to inbound marketing and make sure your company is easy to find on the internet when consumers are looking for you.
How Do Internet Search Engines Work?
Search engines have one objective – to provide you with the most relevant results possible in relation to your search query on the internet. If the search engine is successful in providing you with information that meets your needs, then you are a happy searcher. And happy searchers are more likely to come back to the same search engine time and time again because they are getting the results they need.
In order for a search engine to be able to display results when a user types in a query, they need to have an archive of available information to choose from. Every search engine has proprietary methods for gathering and prioritizing website content. Regardless of the specific tactics or methods used, this process is called indexing. Search engines actually attempt to scan the entire online universe and index all the information so they can show it to you when you enter a search query.
A few factors that a search engine algorithm may consider when deciding what information to show in the Search Engine Report Page (SERP) include
- Geographic location of the searcher
- Historical performance of a listing (clicks, bounce rates, etc.)
- Link quality (reciprocal vs. one-way)
- Webpage content (keywords, tags, pictures)
- Back end code or HTML of webpage
- Link type (social media sharing, link from media outlet, blog, etc.
How to get your Website to rank on Internet Search Engine Result Pages
Use long tail key words.
Eg Instead of “Truck for Hire” use “Five Tonne Closed Trucks For Hire”
Long Tail Key Words are so effective because they target people who are looking to perform a specific action, like buy something, or looking for a specific piece of information, like a how-to or a service that can solve their problem.
Create Great Content.
Without rich content, you will find it difficult to rank for specific keywords and drive traffic to your website. If your website does not have content that provides value or engages users, you will be far less likely to drive leads and customers. The only way to combat this is to generate content and lots of it. The more content and webpages you publish, the more chances you have at ranking on the search engines.
“Think of a lottery ticket, the more tickets you , the better the chance of winning.”
How Does Your Website Affect Your Search Engine Optimisation?
- Create Value adding website content
- Format your webpages with key words to influence search engines
- Edit your URL to include the title of your webpage
- Create a URL that contains key words
Create interest with pictures
- Break up boring text with pictures
- Pictures carry file names which are recognised by search engines(save your pictures using relevant key words)
Beware of your Title and Meta tags
- The title tag is the blue link that the search engines show when they list your webpage on the SERP. Title tags max out at 75 characters, so choose your words wisely.
- The meta description is a text snippet that describes what your specific webpage is about and this is the first place a search engine will look to find text to put under your blue link when they list your website on the SERP.
Use Head Line Tags
- Key words that are treated differently on your page show the search engine that the words are more important than others.
Use Headline tags within your page to show what is important on your page
Use website references
- Reference other pages on your website by inserting a link to them.
Use anchor text when linking to another webpage or even another website. When anchor text is used, it implies that the page you are linking to is about the keyword or phrase you use as your anchor.
Who is linking to your site?
- The more authoritative the websites that are linked to your site, the better your website will be ranked by search engines.
Link your Website to social media sites
- The amount of social activity that a webpage has on social networks (shares, recommendations, likes, links, etc is an important factor in that page’s ability to rank on the SERP. Simply put, search engines have realized that content shared on social networks is extremely influential, and should therefore rank higher. So link your website to social networks such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter increases your website ranking.
For Social Media Consulting and Training, contact Chipo on email@example.com