In our first article about SEO – What SEO means to you, we briefly covered how SEO is all about increasing traffic, and how the best way to increase traffic is to write good web content.
That’s true, but as well as looking for relevant websites, Google and co like authoritative sites too. This means they’ve been proven or ‘recommended’ in some way. For example, it likes websites that have been linked to from other ones.
Grow links the right way
Be wary of SEO firms that tell you they can beat Google with cheap tricks – such as paying for links – that will push you to the top.
If you’re a search engine, what’s your goal? It’s to give your visitors the most relevant results possible, or they won’t come back again. That means it’s their job to tell apart the genuinely useful websites from the spammers. So they frequently change their settings for figuring out the search results, in an attempt to weed the bad guys out. If you try to get around Google’s algorithms, it won’t be work because they’ll soon change. It can be frustrating when you’re trying to do some honest promotion.
If you can’t join the spammers, what can you do? It goes back to content. Be the most relevant and eventually search engines will start to recognise that. Other websites will naturally start linking to you, precisely because you’re useful. Users will start sharing your pages on social media, because they feel others can benefit from them too.
Think long-term gains and don’t spoil your website by trying to cheat to get ahead.
Search terms and keywords
Although there’s no easy sure-fire let’s-get-rich-quick way to the top of search engine results, doing your research can pay dividends.
It’s worth finding out what people are looking for online, and what your competition is, because it will help you hone your content for SEO.
Google Adwords is specifically designed for advertising on Google. It allows you to put an advert on Google search result pages. You can target specific search queries so that your ad appears only to users who have looked for that term. They can click straight through to your site from your advert when it appears – and it runs on a pay per click system.
However Adwords is also handy for site owners interested in SEO, because you can use it to research keywords. Go to Adword’s Keyword Planner, put in your URL or some keywords and it will come with a new list of suggested keywords for you, showing their average monthly searches.
You can’t be top of Google for every single keyword that comes up in the list, but it should help you come up with some good ideas. You could focus on a select few to try and ensure that content on your site covers those terms. Don’t go crazy ‘stuffing’ those keywords into the same page over and over though – Google recognises this as a spamming technique. Just use the words naturally and let your content do the rest.
It’s also worth a look at Google Trends, this is a great place to look to see how well searches on your product or business area have done over past years – ideally you want to see a trend that is going up, not down! Play around and see if some searches have been more popular than others. You can add several search terms at once so you can compare and contrast.
Once you’ve looked at Adwords and Trends, you could do a live Google Search for some of those top keywords so you can see who is currently coming up trumps in Google. These people are your competition and you should find out what they’re doing to see how you can do it better!
This is still just the tip of the SEO iceberg. It’s a complicated field which has turned into an entire industry. However we feel that these basic tips should set you off to a good start. If in doubt, just remember that content and natural links are far more important than clever tricks with html.
If you have any questions about SEO, or how it applies to your site – please get in touch with us at 155 Creative. To speak to us today regarding a free consultation or to find out how we can help your business, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01992 275626. We look forward to hearing from you.