Search Engine Optimisation
Having a great website is only half of the battle. It has to rank on Page 1 of a Google Search for the term that matter to your business. Getting your website to the top of the search results is called Search Engine Optimisation.
Do you know what people people type into the search bar when they are looking for a business like your’s?
Do you have a list a keywords and search terms that bring customers to your door?
What position in the rankings do you hold for these terms and in what locations?
Do you have a good idea of how the websites of your competition perform?
Learn About SEO
SEO, or search engine optimisation, has two goals; the first is to attract more traffic to a web page via the organic search results (un-paid). The second is to increase the quality of that traffic by attracting visits from high value, potential customers. This is done by first identifying what search terms will bring in the largest number of these high value customers, and second by optimising a page on a website to give it the best chance of ranking on page 1, preferably in the first 3 positions, for that term.
There are a number of practices that encompass what we know as SEO, and they all play an important role. The three that matter the most, and they are all linked are…
- Technical SEO – crawlability, indexability and site speed. Your website and it’s pages must meet certain criteria in order to be crawled (inspected by the search engines, predominantly Google), then indexed (put on a list of terms for which a page can appear). Loading time is also of vital importance. A website must load fast, not just because users expect it, but because Google punishes slow websites.
- Content Marketing – First make a list of all the words and phrases your potential customers might type into Google when they are looking for a business like yours. Once you have this list, and it can be added to over time as your business evolves, you need to write and optimise content specifically designed to rank for each term. It must then attract and inform those searching, and ultimately convert them into customers.
- A Backlink is a link on another website that leads to yours. Link building takes the high quality content produced above and promotes it, in an attempt to get other websites, and social media accounts, to share it and link to it. Where content marketing attempts to convert users into customers, link building offers valuable content that other web creators want to share with their user base.
The Moz Beginners Guide to SEO, an invaluable resource for anyone starting the job of optimizing their website, lists 7 key steps to SEO success…
- Crawl accessibility so engines can read your website.
- Compelling content that answers the searcher’s query.
- Keyword optimized to attract searchers & engines.
- Great user experience including a fast load speed and compelling UX.
- Share-worthy content that earns links, citations, and amplification.
- Title, URL, & description to draw high CTR in the rankings.
- Snippet/schema mark-up to stand out in SERPs.
All of these will be covered below.
Search engines organise the internet. They answer the questions we all ask; I’m looking for this. I need to buy one of these. What is the answer to this question? Search engines, Google being the one that most people use, perform 3 functions…
- They crawl the internet looking at the code and content of websites and the pages they contain.
- They take the information they find and index web pages.
- Lastly they rank these indexed pages by order of most relevant to least relevant for each search query.
Googlebot, the Google web-crawler, starts with just a few, high profile, seed web pages, the BBC or the New York Times for example. Then it follows the links on those webpages to find new URLs, find new content and add it to their index. The index is a database of discovered URLs, that is then used to populate the search results.
When someone performs a search Google displays what it deems to be the most relevant web pages, in order from most relevant to least relevant, this is known as ranking. Search Engine Optimisation seeks to improve ranking, to make the page more relevant to the search term, and to influence the ranking algorithm. The Google ranking algorithm applies a number of tests to determine relevance, these are known as Google ranking factors, we’ll look at those next.
*the reason we prioritise Google above the other search engines is that when you include Google Maps, Google Images and YouTube, Alphabet properties account for more than 90% of web searches.
Posts Featuring Search Engine Optimisation
I love Appointment Booking Apps, they really are great. So why does the title of this post tell you that they’re a bad idea? Well, there are many different types of bookings apps, and many different types of business that use them. Some businesses are using the wrong app, some businesses are using appointment booking and they shouldn’t be.
In this post I’ll explain appointment bookings apps and the differences between them, I’ll also explain the implications these apps have for a business, for a website, and for my expertise, SEO. Finally I’ll lay out what bookings should look like in a few key business sectors that would most commonly use booking apps to manage their appointments.
I recently completed a website for Pauline Tully TD, and it got me thinking. Prior to her new website, Pauline’s assistant was using wordpress.com to publish the content of her Dail contributions, and share them on social media. He will continue to create this Political Website Content on her new website. Another TD recently told me that they think a website is a great idea (they’re right, it is) but the reason they didn’t want one is because of the added workload.
By using “the Pauline Tully” method, or employing FutureProof Digital to take care of this for you, the workload can be greatly reduced, and for the TD themselves there doesn’t need to be any extra at all. It’s simple; get someone like me to build a website, then, using the Oireachtas website, publish each speech or contribution as a post. This can be done either by staff or by keeping the web design agency on to do it. Let’s take a closer look…
We’ll get to Service Page SEO in just a moment, but first, let’s talk about your business.
If you run a business that provides services and you think about your website, and how it advertises your business, you need to do 3 things; first, think about each individual service you provide, for example, a beauty salon might do facial treatments, nail treatments and tanning, these are all distinct services. Then, think about what people type into the search engines when they are looking for a business like yours.. And lastly… match the two together.
We’ll get to Rank Math SEO in a moment, first a WordPress & FutureProof little history.
My first website, more than 10 years ago now, was pretty simple, by today’s standards. It was small, only a few pages, and a blog. It was, or course, a WordPress site, and it had very few plugins installed (to this day, I only install what is absolutely necessary, preferring to design and develop from scratch). I can’t remember exactly what all of those plugins were today, except one… Yoast SEO. When I discovered it, it was a real lightbulb moment for me, and started a passion for learning all things search engine… and all things optimisation.
How long has it been since you had a really good look through your website? Not just at the pages, but at the detail. The things that make it tick. All the nuts and bolts that make it rank, or not, in Google Search. All the things that convert traffic into leads and customers. The guts of what generates success online. This is called a SEO Audit & Website Review.
All website owner should do this every year. (the only exception to this rule is if you are employing an outside agency to manage your online presence, including your website. In this case they will be performing constant monitoring).
So you’ve decided to go for it. First up, congratulations! You’ve taken a massive step, a big high five for being brave and starting a small business. But now the hard work starts. Make a list of every item covered in this post that applies to your business (most will apply to every business). When you have ticked them all off your new business will be ready to take on the competition in the battle for rankings, likes, shares and ultimately customers.
Thank you for reading about Search Engine Optimisation @ FutureProof.
If you run a business and you need help with your Google Ads, or your current Google Ads campaign doesn’t look the way you want it to, function the way it should or perform how you need it to, get in touch. I don’t charge a penny for consultation, so finding out about what your business needs and what can be achieved for your budget is completely free. Use this form… we can meet in person, have a phone or Skype call or use email.