What is Search Engine Optimisation?

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is basically the process to improve search engine rankings. The search results in Google displays links to pages it thinks are relevant to the search. This is measured by analysing the number and quality of links from other web pages. In simple terms, your website has the potential to rank in higher in Google, as long as other web pages link to them.

You will need to create online content that will engage people and influence the algorithms used to order search engine results pages.  It is important to know that search engine optimisation isn’t all about content. The actual construction of your site is very important, from page structure to a responsive design that resizes on smaller screens.

There are some components of a website that are invisible but important for algorithms. A robots.txt file provides search engines with a valuable overview of your site, while static and expressive URLs deliver concise explanations of the content on each page.

Page Loading… 76%

Page loading times play a big factor in modern ranking results, while receptive websites remove the need to duplicate the main website with a mobile version.  With page abandonment typically taking place within five seconds of loading, try to avoid unnecessary stylesheets or multimedia files.

Menus

Uncomplicated navigation menus at the top or side of the page are easier for the web crawlers to navigate than drop-down menus, an XML sitemap allows effective indexing of available pages, and well-chosen image captions can strengthen your brand with every published photo.

Images

Effective use of images is important since pictures should be rescaled to a minimum size before being uploaded. Never rely on a plugin or source code to do this, as it can significantly increase page loading times. Even free software like Windows Paint can decrease a JPEG by 90% without changing the picture quality too much on a typical web page. Also, never allow video content to automatically play – as well as carrying unwelcome implications of advertising on media sites, it slows down page loading times.

Keywords

This is the most challenging aspect of building a website with SEO in mind – written content. It’s essential to balance between making content readable and appealing to search engines with long tail keywords and shorter search terms. Keywords are the focus of any search strategy since results are organised on everything from word ordering and capitalisation through to spelling and punctuation. The popularity of keywords also changes over time.

To optimise the value of keywords, use them carefully and naturally – search engines have become more intelligent to the trick of stuffing keywords into every sentence, and they now punish sites that do so. By using particular keywords a couple of times on each page and ensure they’re noticeable in page titles and tags, image captions, and the opening lines of body text. Analytics tools know what phrases people are searching for, and these can be used as the base for content. Incorporating geographic terms is an easy way to improve keyword optimisation; if you run a business in a specific location, you should make sure the town and county names appear on most pages to distinguish your brand from rivals elsewhere.

Top pages of Google

In 2013, one study showed the top Google result earned 33% of all traffic, while 18% of all traffic went to the second search result.

As an example, if 1,000 people search for something you sell on your website, and you made a single sale of £40 for every 50 visitors to your site, you’d make around £264 if your website was in the top spot. But if your website was in spot two, you’d only earn £144. That’s nearly double the amount of revenue just by being one spot higher in Google search results.

If you dominate the Google rankings, you’ve got a significant advantage over other websites in the same search results. And if you’re on page two or three? Your website is akin to being non-existent to the average Google user. Only 4.8% of people even look at page two.