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What is SEO?
SEO / 17 Dec 2021
According to Chris, our Head of SEO and renowned ‘SEO Demystifier’, Google is like a Librarian that oversees a massive collection of information.
Search engines index websites and catalogue their contents using internal and external links. They use search engine spiders to ‘crawl’ webpages for data, which they then add to their database for storage and reference.
Once indexed, Google consults its records to see which of its results match your criteria. It ranks them using several factors, including how many people read that result, how many refer to it in their content, and how often it’s shared.
The activities of Google’s Librarian and its arachnid underlings provide the most comprehensive search results and the best possible experience for searchers.
Now the visions of a Librarian Overlord casting out thousands of tiny spider minions to consume and catalogue our websites from within are out of the way. Let’s consider 2 types of SEO (on-page and off-page) and the importance of maintaining your site’s health.
On-page SEO is search engine optimisation from within your website. In a nutshell, it’s all about quality.
Create Valuable, Structured Content
Google prioritises content that demonstrates expertise, authority, and trustworthiness. Its core updates over the last few years show that it values outstanding user experience.
There’s nothing better than finding a golden nugget of an article online that logically takes you through the process of answering your question and associated questions quickly, easily, and thoughtfully.
It’s like the writer crawled inside your head and understood you completely.
Natural language processing within Google’s algorithm means that keyword stuffing is a thing of the past (thank goodness). You don’t need to stuff keywords into your content left, right, and centre. If you do, it reflects poorly on your brand, and Google will penalise you for it. Instead, think content topics that are:
- Comprehensive (ensure your prospects find all the answers they need in one place)
- Engaging (make people want to shout about and share what you’re creating),
- Unique (adds value to what’s already out there, rather than merely restating it) and
- Visually appealing (easy to read and engage with).
Use Structured Pages
Well-structured pages are easy to read. They guide a prospect’s eye down a clear path, all the way to a defined destination – the call to action.
Incorporate the following elements into your on-site structure, and you’ll see SEO results:
Headings and subheadings break up the text. They assist readers who scan a page rather than read it in full and help people skip to the relevant section. Search engines use them to understand what a page is about. Headers are categorised from H1 to H6. Use headings in sequence, but always ensure there’s only 1 H1 – that’s your title. More than that, and you’ll confuse Google.
2. Anchor text
Anchor text is the blue text that describes a hyperlink on a web page. Instead of click here, use a relevant keyword or keyphrase to anchor your content to the topic. For example, when we want prospects to view our copywriting services page, we’d use relevant anchor text like SEO copywriting.
Alt-text describes an image. It improves the accessibility of your content because it’s what screen readers use to describe images to those with visual impairment. It also shows when an image doesn’t display correctly. Your alt-text is another opportunity to include relevant keywords on your topic
Meta-data is the title and description that appears on a SERP that describe your webpage. Prime website real-estate. Ensure you summarise the essential information on every webpage with a 150-160 character summary of what to expect. Any longer, and Google will cut you off mid-sentence.
On-site SEO is only part of the optimisation puzzle. Once you’ve structured your pages for success, the next thing to consider in your SEO strategy is the impact of outside sources.
What is Off-Page SEO?
This is search engine optimisation from outside your website. Popular content ranks because the algorithm views it as trustworthy, so off-page SEO is about increasing your content’s popularity.
Simple steps like adding share buttons to your blog can impact your site’s off-page SEO. But what you really need is an effective backlink strategy.
A backlink is a link to your content from another website. They’re a big deal because it means that someone views your content as valuable enough to share.
Natural backlinks occur when someone reads your content, finds it valuable, and decides to share it organically. Site owners create backlinks when they add their website details to a directory or social media accounts. They can also ask colleagues, contacts, and clients to reference their content on their websites or reach out to influencers in their niche.
Always remember, the key to an effective backlink strategy isn’t quantity. One high-quality backlink is far more beneficial than lots that are low quality. When seeking backlinks, consider the relevance of your content to the linking site, the domain authority of the linking site (the higher, the better), and the significance of the anchor text.
Site Health Factors
Often overlooked in a DIY SEO strategy is site health. Still, a neglected and poorly maintained site can negatively affect your SEO.
Keep your CMS updated. Review your analytics for high bounce rates on individual pages. They often indicate that something isn’t working as it should, like a broken link (a no-no as far as Google is concerned).
Regularly audit your site’s content for relevance and efficiency. Google loves fresh content. Periodically update what you’ve already created or put a new spin on an old favourite.
Want Some SEO Support?
At Beesting Digital, we’re all about demystifying SEO. Our strategies are bespoke, and our methods transparent.
Book your discovery call to see how you can put our SEO copywriting and white label SEO services to good use.
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