What is SEO?
Do you want to know how to drive a consistent stream of free traffic to your website? SEO is short for Search Engine Optimisation. Most websites rely on search engines like Google as a primary driver of traffic. I’m sure you know from first-hand experience as an internet user that the difference between appearing on page 1 and page 2 is significant. It can mean a variance of hundreds of thousands or even millions of impressions, page views and potential leads and sales. It’s even competitive on page 1. A study by Chitika, a search-targeted advertising company, found that the number one result on page 1 on Google gets a whopping 32.5% of the traffic, with the second result getting 17.6%. From there on, it declines even further. When you get down to the 10th result, you are looking at 2.4% of the traffic for that particular search term. So, it’s easy to see why SEO is such a hot topic. Suppose you want to maximise your exposure in the search results. In that case, you must ensure your site follows all of the best practices that Google and other search engines have come to expect.
There are lots of shady SEO tactics out there. My philosophy is of long-term value, not just in SEO but in all digital marketing aspects. You’ll gain a lot more by playing the long game and focusing on the quality of your content than by employing spammy, short-term tactics that may come back to haunt you in the future. Google will get wise and penalise you, and it will end up negatively impacting your search rankings.
In the business, we talk about on-site SEO. This optimises your site’s code and content to maximise your visibility on Google and other search engines. A wide variety of factors influence your search rankings, and you can’t control all of them. Still, it’s essential to optimise the things you can manage to put yourself in a position to succeed.
If you want your content to rank highly in search engines, it helps to look at things from their perspective and understand what exactly they’re looking for. What exactly do search engines want, and how can you leverage that? The main goal of every search engine is to serve its users by delivering the most relevant, high-quality results for any search query. This covers the two most important aspects of SEO – relevance and quality. You must ensure your site’s content is relevant to your target audience and better than your competitors offer.
Quality isn’t always about content. Your website itself has to offer a positive user experience. It should be mobile-friendly, load as quickly as possible, and not be littered with intrusive ads.
Search engines create an index of the web using a web crawler program. It uses a specific algorithm to determine which pages are worth ranking for particular keywords.
Backlinks are the currency of SEO. Backlinks are when one website links to another. Backlinks to your website from another reputable site are a positive sign that others trust your website and give credence to your content. You can get plenty of backlinks by earning them over time and doing many legitimate promotions. The more links that point to a particular page, the more valuable it appears to the algorithm.
Another factor that affects the algorithm is how often a website is updated. This is why it’s essential to ensure you regularly publish a fresh stream of quality and relevant content to your site.
How WordPress Helps SEO
A Content Management System (CMS) such as WordPress can help you with SEO. It is very search-friendly by default, as it provides top SEO plug-ins. It makes it easy by focusing on keywords. It has a limitless supply of SEO-friendly themes and several built-in tools that dynamically enhance your SEO strategy.
Stay tuned if you’re interested in learning more about how all of this works. I’ll be publishing more content on SEO in the coming weeks, including basic site set-up for SEO, titles and meta descriptions, themes and template settings, image optimisation, how to select the right keywords and how to create high-ranking content.
In the New Year, I’ll also be launching an exclusive SEO webinar, offering you a complete guide to SEO strategy and helping you take your business to the next level. If you would like to sign up for this webinar then register here.
If you think you’d benefit from a WordPress and SEO expert to help improve your site’s exposure, or if you have any questions about the world of SEO, then get in touch today.