SEO Basics For Northern Ireland Businesses
If you want your website to appear for generic searches as well as brand name searches, for free, then it needs to be optimised. For example, it would be beneficial for us to show for terms around “digital marketing” as well as “digital88”, so we need to optimise our website for this. Search Engine Optimisation is tricky for a lot of businesses to get their heads around. The reason it is a tricky process is because of the way Google and other search engines rank websites for terms. The rankings are determined by algorithms and they are constantly evolving. Competition is really high, as the search engines display these results for free, and if you get your SEO right, it will lead to free, quality traffic to your website.
Let’s start by looking at the search engine results page and make it clear exactly what we’re talking about. This search is for a “restoration contractor”, the results in green are appearing because of pay per click (PPC) campaigns which have a cost associated, and the ones in red are appearing organically, for free, because of highly optimised websites and SEO strategy around “restoration” keywords.
Before you can develop a clear SEO strategy, you need to be clear on the keywords and terms you are going to be optimised for. Pick terms that closely fit your business model and that people are using in their searches. You can use a tool called keyword planned to determine what terms people are using in their searches. Make sure and research this extensively – if the keywords are wrong, even the best website optimisation and SEO strategy in the world would be wasted.
Have clear tags and titles
Have clear titles on each page which reference clearly what each page is about.
Clear URLs that describe each page, and a clear URL structure.
Having meta descriptions and tags won’t necessarily improve your ranking on the search engine results page but it can improve your click through rates, so make use of these.
Tag your images clearly.
Sitemaps and Robots.txt
A sitemap is a list of your website pages which is accessible to search engine website crawlers and users. Publish one.
Publish a robots.txt file if you need one. A robots.txt file is a file used to communicate with search engine web crawlers and other web robots. It informs them which areas of the website should and shouldn’t be scanned. You might use this if you have content you want blocked from search engines.
Probably the most important factor
Create content which your users will want to digest
Create content that makes sense to your business model
Create evergreen content that will still work for you in months to come
Website compatible on all devices
Clear internal linking and navigation structure
Low bounce rate (the percentage of users who click onto your website and click straight back off it)
Level of trust search engines place on your website
Links to your website from other websites increases authority
Requires link building strategy
Never purchase links!
Increasing in importance for search engines
Set up Google My Business page
Build links and relationships with local businesses
Those are the basics of SEO, that you should keep in mind when thinking about your website optimisation and SEO strategy. If you have any questions, or you need some help with this, please get in touch.