Learning the Basics of Search Engine Optimisation for Business Success
Search engine optimisation (SEO) is the process of configuring your website so that it is found on search engines such as Google and Bing. You will want your site to rank high on the search engine results page (SERP) for search terms relevant to your business.
Optimising your website for search is vital if you wish your business to feature on page one of search results and increase the amount of organic traffic to your pages.
There are many factors that search engines consider when ranking your pages – and top-level search engine optimisation requires a level of skill and knowledge reserved for specialists.
However, learning and implementing the basics of search engine optimisation will increase your chances of being found online considerably. So let's take a look at the foundations of SEO and how your business will benefit from mastering the essentials.
Choosing your keywords
The first step towards SEO success is choosing your keywords.
Keywords are the words and phrases that you want your website to rank for in search engine results. They must be relevant to your business and specific in terms of industry, services and locality.
The more focused your keywords are the better. Don’t be too broad, or try to compete for popular search terms.
For example; the phrase ‘web design companies’ is highly competitive, so instead try ‘‘web design companies in Bristol’ – or get even more niche with ‘web design for Bristol restaurants.’
This will help your business appear in local search results, which is pivotal for small businesses – and the number of competitors will be reduced dramatically.
Be sure to do some keyword research beforehand and build your SEO strategy around phrases and search terms that are relevant to your target audience.
Placing your keywords on your webpages
Once you’ve decided upon the relevant keywords you wish to rank for; it’s time to place them strategically throughout your website – being careful not to overdo it.
Include your keywords naturally in the copy of your web pages, ensuring that sentences flow and paragraphs are structured. Keyword stuffing will affect readability and negatively impact your SEO efforts.
The content on your site helps search engines, like Google, understand what your website is about and how it is relevant to a given search enquiry. Thus, including your key phrases within your copy is essential – however, Google considers quality of content over the number of times a keyword appears, so use them sensibly.
Adding keywords to titles and meta descriptions
Having included your keywords in your on-page content, your next task is to add them into your page titles and meta descriptions. This is the information that is shown to users when your pages appear in search results.
It’s important to give each page of your website a unique title and description. Not only is this fundamental for search engines to ensure content is relevant to a query; it also convinces the searcher that your website has the answers they are looking for.
This will often be the first time a potential customer has come across your company. The quality of the information provided within these snippets will be the difference between a user entering your website, or opting for one of the many other sites that appear in response to their query.
Local search results
We touched upon local search results very briefly earlier on in this post. So let’s look a little closer at what they are and how they benefit your business.
Local results are those that appear when a user makes a search query with local intent, such as our earlier example of ‘web design companies in Bristol.’
With almost half of all Google searches looking for location-specific content, it’s clear that optimising your site for local level search is key to increased visibility for small businesses.
So how do I optimise for local search?
To optimise your site for local search, you need to include up to date business and contact information on each page of your website. This includes your business name, address and telephone number.
It’s important to note that these details need to be displayed in text format, in order for search engines to be able to read and index them.
Also, be sure to include location-based phrases within your page copy e.g. titles such as “web design Bristol” and meta descriptions. Don’t be spammy with your placements; but do include your location anywhere that it makes sense to.
For businesses that operate from multiple locations, it is appropriate to create separate pages for each, ensuring that they are optimised for the relevant area.
Make your website mobile-friendly
The latest statistics show that more than 50% of internet traffic comes from smartphones.
Add in the fact that Google has introduced mobile-first indexing, and it is clear that having a mobile-friendly website is crucial for your business in 2021.
Fortunately, optimising your site for mobile does not require a separate SEO strategy. It is primarily a case of adapting the content to fit a smaller screen.
Do, however, pay attention to page loading times, as connectivity varies on mobile devices depending on model, network and other variables.
Page speed is a ranking factor, but slow loading times on mobile can be avoided with a few simple tweaks. Follow the three steps below as a starting point:
Reduce page size by removing ‘filler’ content.
Avoid using pop-ups, as they increase loading times and can be difficult to close on smartphones, which negatively impacts the user experience.
Optimise your images by reducing file size with tinyjpg.
Website design with SEO in mind
Search engine optimisation is not an overnight process, but it is an essential one. Your SEO efforts are an ongoing commitment, due to ever-changing algorithms and new competition launching daily.
However, by following the SEO basics outlined above, your business will make great strides towards increased discoverability.
Here at it’seeze Web Design Bristol, our expert web designers build websites with SEO in mind from the get-go, ensuring your business is given the best possible start from the moment your site is launched.
If you are in need of a professional, search optimised website, get in touch with our friendly team to discuss our affordable website packages.
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