What is SEO?
SEO, or search engine optimization, is the practice of optimizing your website for the purpose of ranking higher organically (without paying for ad space) on search engines like Google. The goal is for your website to show at or near the top of the page when people search for your product, service or brand.
Optimising your website to rank organically on search engines involves ensuring that your website content is relevant to your product/service. The best way to ensure that you’re on top of your SEO is developing an SEO strategy to implement over time.
Align Your SEO with Your Business Goals
Before creating and carrying out your SEO strategy, you must first define what your business goals are and align your strategy to those goals. The best way to start your SEO strategy is to perform an SEO audit on your website.
Some of the activities you should include in your SEO audit are:
- Ensuring meta descriptions, tags and images are on each webpage
- Checking image descriptions on every image on the website and image quality
- Checking content quality – blogs, copy, etc.
- Checking that all page names and URLs are organized
- Making sure there are no duplicate pages
- Using keywords in SEO descriptions, page titles and content
- Checking for quality inbound links
After the SEO audit is completed and you’ve implemented any changes resulting from it, you can check its performance by checking the search engine results page (SERP) to see if your page is ranking higher organically. You can also check for organic website visitors and see if there has been an increase.
Keyword research is a very important part of your SEO strategy. Keywords help attract traffic to your website based on their search intent – that is, bringing people to your site who are searching for what you provide.
Keyword research tools are a great way to find the best keywords to use on your website. Keyword research tools give you information including the search volume on the specific keyword you were investigating and similar keywords. Knowing the search volume of keywords is an important deciding factor in whether to use them or not. For example, if you are a furniture shop in Tuam, Galway you may find that the search volume for ‘furniture shop Galway’ is higher than ‘furniture shop Tuam,’ leading you to focus on ‘furniture shop Galway’ instead.
Google’s Suggested Searches and Filter
When doing keyword research, make use of Google’s suggested searches and filters. For example, if you are a revenue software company, you’ll search ‘revenue software’ and use the examples filter. This can help you to discover what keywords you should be using and see competitors than you could be analysing.
Decide on who your top competitors are and analyse their websites. If you don’t already have a list of your competitors, you can search for the keywords that you have decided to use and see which websites rank first on Google for those keywords.
Review their websites and see what your competitors are doing. Competitor analysis is a great way to learn more about what people in your industry are doing and a good starting point for brainstorming ways that you can differentiate your own business from similar businesses.
Check the search engine results pages for your most important keywords and see where your website is ranked organically. This is a good way to see how your website is ranking in comparison to your competitors. You can then compare your website to theirs and see if you’re missing anything. After performing your SEO audit, you can then re-examine your SERP and see if you are ranking higher.
Technical SEO and User Experience
If your website is not user-friendly or is having technical issues, this can cause it to rank below others on search engines. When people click on to your website, you need to make sure that they can easily take the actions you’d like them to take, such as buying a product, calling a number or filling out a form.
It’s also important to ensure that your content is relevant to users and engaging for them so that they stay on the website. It is important to constantly be testing and trying to improve the functionality of your website.
In conclusion, having a good SEO strategy is extremely important in today’s digital landscape. Search engines are continuously testing and trying out new algorithms, so it is important to stay on top of your SEO activities. One note: Search engine algorithms are very complex and use dozens and dozens of pieces of information, called ‘ranking signals’, to decide where websites should rank. These can’t all be affected by you directly, but the checklist above will set you on the right path.
If you are looking to improve your website’s SEO, we offer SEO packages for our clients here at Sprint Digital. Contact us to find out more on how you can improve your website’s SEO.