You have a website and you are wondering just how to show up on the front page of Google while there are more than 2.2 million searches on any given day. You have probably done your own research on Google and found about our SEO company which provides SEO for WordPress, other SEO agencies which provide professional SEO services or affordable SEO and SEO tips and tricks; But what does SEO really mean. By now you know it means search engine optimisation but what do you need to optimise? Is it your website performance? Is it the website copy? Is it creating a network of backlinks? Is it publishing new and fresh content regularly? YES! Yes and much more.
Definition of Search engine optimisation
Search engine optimisation is the art of optimising various aspects of your online content to rank higher in an organic manner on Google and other search engines. When we say ‘your content’ this means the specific keywords you have carefully chosen to optimise your content with after doing your keyword research. There are many ways to optimise your content and we will take a look at several of them in this article.
Why is search engine optimisation important?
You have a business website and you want it to succeed. This means that you will need to have a solid online marketing strategy. Your strategy is what will bridge the gap between you, your content and your audience. Most users on Google will only look at the first page of results and only click on the first 5 organic links. So, making sure your links show up at the top of the first page is what will make or break your chances of success.
In fact, even if you do appear on the second or third page of Google, it is almost the same as if you were not ranking at all as most people don’t even bother clicking on the second results page.
Different types of SEO
Google updates its algorithm regularly and even though most of the determining factors t rank organically are not released t the public, some of these factors have been identified and listed by backlinko. While having this list is pretty helpful, there are 2 main types of Search engine optimisation set of techniques which you may choose from. It’s like choosing between the light and the dark.
Black hat SEO
Google has many rules and there will always be many ways to bend or walk around these rules. Black Hat SEO focuses on the ‘machine efficiency’ and does not factor in the human interaction. This technique can show very quick results and you will probably be able to earn some money but the strategy is not only focused on short term results, it also has a very short lifetime.
Black Hat search engine optimisation is basically creating a lot of backlinks from relevant or irrelevant sources and spam the web with links to your content. Google algorithm is always updated to penalise these websites and the black hat SEO specialist then has to find new ways of going around the rules. This results in constant massive efforts to avoid penalisation and continue ranking.
Using this technique will, in most cases, lead to penalisation with all chances to build anything sustainable ruined for the marketer and the business.
White Hat SEO
White Hat search engine optimisation focuses on the sustainable way of ranking organically on Google. Instead of focusing on the ‘machine efficiency’, it takes the human interaction into account and favours enhanced human experience.
White Hat search engine optimisation techniques focus on the quality of the content being delivered, how easy it is to access, properly labelled images, proper grammar and vocabulary etc.
Grey Hat SEO
Now, you don’t have t choose one side. Obviously, as an agency, AB Designs will always favour White Hat strategies but the world is not always black or white. For example, Google said that they did not like seeing backlinks creation through guest posting. However, having backlinks from high DA websites will increase your chances of ranking organically. These same backlinks are also often gained through guest posting.
Google can be quite controversial at times and this is where there is room for Grey Hat SEO techniques. While we avoid using strategies which Google penalises, we can analyse Google algorithm and see how to stay relevant, provide value and stay in a ‘safe zone’ while marketing our content aggressively online.
Search engine optimisation is a game with ever changing rules and you need to play along, try new strategies, improvise sometimes and keep watching out for upcoming change in algorithms.
On page and Off page Search engine optimisation
There are two main places to start working on your SEO strategy. You must first look at your website and everything is contains and how well it performs and then only you may start looking at ways to market it. What good would it be to market a product which is unpolished, unfinished and underperforming. Let’s take a look at the different aspects of each strategy.
On page SEO
On page search engine optimisation is the process of making sure that all your content is optimised for search engines, that it is structured in a SEO-efficient way and that all this content can be accessed easily and fast.
Before even starting to look at optimising your website or your copy, you need to know what you want to rank for. Choosing keywords for your search engine optimisation strategy is the foundation of any SEO exercise. It used to be easy to rank for any specific keyword by adding it a few times in our content and tricking Google in displaying this content whenever this keyword was queried. Nowadays, there is a fierce competition and each keyword has their own SEO difficulty according to specific countries.
You can use a tool such as Ubersuggest to query keywords and find out the volume of searches carried out for these specific ones and also conveniently find related keywords. The reason you need to research your keywords is that the most obvious keywords are often already saturated. For example, if you look up a keyword such as “Digital marketing”, chances are that a lot of companies are using it and already rank for it either organically or through paid ads. However, using your keyword research tool, you might discover related long tail keywords such as “Digital Marketing Strategy” or ” “Digital Marketing for small businesses”.
The advantage of using keyword research is that it gives you a chance of ranking for a search term which has a decent volume of queries, long tail keywords also allow you to better target your niche and you will be able to rank much faster than if you were trying to compete for a very widely used keyword.
Now that you have done your homework and found your keywords, its time to write your website copy. Ideally, you may use a combination of 3-5 keywords per page for your website with one of them as the main keyword. Search engine optimisation reports tend to show that the keyword density (amount of times your keyword appears compared to the volume of words in your content) should be around 2.5% – 5%. You should also use some related keywords in your copy as this will indicate to Google that your content is relevant.
One mistake to avoid is to copy content from a website and slightly modify it thinking that Google won’t notice. Google’s AI gets updated regularly and you will get penalised. Take your time, write a copy which is a minimum of 600 words (I would recommend 1200-1500 words) and make sure you stay within the appropriate keyword density. You don’t want to be seen as stuffing keywords (act of inserting the keyword multiple times in a non natural way to trick search engines). This is another way to get penalised.
Regular fresh informative content
Now, your website copy is done. However, for best search engine optimisation results, you need to keep producing quality fresh content for Google to start “liking” you. How do you do that? Simple! Write informative blogs. Use the same optimisation technique as for your web pages. Research keywords and use them in the body, heading and subheadings of your article. Ubersuggest also allows you to find related questions and the volume of queries. This might be useful in determining the title of your articles.
If you are using wordpress, you can use plugins such as Yoast SEO or Rankmath which will give you indications regarding keyword density and overall guidance to write optimised content for your blogs. These plugins make SEO for wordpress much easier to understand as they provide a lot of guidance as you are adding your content.
A useful tip would be to carry out some competitive analysis, see what your competitors are ranking for, analyse their keywords, read their articles and then produce something better, more informative, more in detail. There are many ways to make your content more attractive to Google. We prefer Rankmath plugin to optimise our blogs as it is easier to create rich descriptions.
You might consider inserting a table of contents in your articles as the longer they get you need to think of ways for your audience to navigate easily through the content. Table os contents are also very useful for search engine optimisation as they provide a way to Google to better understand your content and thus you get a better indexing.
ALt-text and meta descriptions
Professional SEO services must include optimisation of Alt-text and meta descriptions. Alt-text is the text which you add to an image to help Google better understand what it is. You must have seen images show up while you were performing some Google search; These images appear because they have your query keyword in their alt-text.
The meta descriptions are also very important for search engine optimisation and this is what shows up as text under the title in a google search. This not only tells Google what is in your content but it also tells your potential audience what they can expect to find on your website or in your article.
Setting up a CDN
If you are targeting international customers then you need to have a look at CDN options. A CDN is a content delivery network. Basically, it implies making copies of your content on multiple servers worldwide so that this same content can be accessible to people fast. Google will favour fast loading content and if your website is hosted in Europe and someone wants to access it from the United States, this person would have to download the whole content from your server in Europe with all the lag and delay.
To avoid that, fins a SEO company which offers CDN setup in their professional SEO service or package and ask them to set this up for you. If you want to do it by yourself, there are plenty of resources available on the net. We use Nitropack as it has given us incredible results on GTMetrix and Google pagespeed so far.
Page speed optimisation
Page speed optimisation is something you do along setting up your CDN. There are free tools to check your page loading speeds (see above screenshots) and some of them will give you a detailed list of what you need to address. Some issues can be dealt with by anyone with a minimum of technical knowledge and some issues will require you to contact a SEO company. These ones provide a professional SEO service and you will be able to offload all this technical junk into their professional hands while you focus on building your empire.
Mobile SEO – responsiveness and AMP
The internet is going mobile and Google will penalise your website if it is not fully responsive and loads fast on mobile devices. Your SEO company will often work with your website design company as they will test the mobile version of your website and verify that no critical issue are left unsolved.
Make sure that you use appropriate font sizes for mobile so that the content is easy to read, keep a decent space between clickable elements (most people have 10 thumbs like me) and make sure that the page speed of your site is as fast on mobile as it is on desktop. You can use the same tools as in the pagespeed optimisation to test your mobile loading speed and see the list of issues found.
If you are looking into SEO for wordpress, an affordable SEO tool is the AMP plugin. AMP means accelerated mobile pages – the wordpress plugin will create a mobile version of your content automatically ans serve this when it detects that the website visitor is using a mobile device.
Inbound and outbound links
Google crawls websites and also links. A way to show Google how relevant your articles are to your website content is to create inbound links. For example, in this article you will find inbound links for search engine optimisation which link to our page dedicated to our professional SEO services.
Outbound links to high DA websites which are relevant to your content is a way of showing to Google that your content is relevant as it references trusted websites. For example, in this article we have referenced ubersuggest which is extremely popular in the field of search engine optimisation and SEO for wordpress.
Call to action
When you are done working on your content and structure for your On page Search engine optimisation, you need to insert your CTAs or call to action buttons. These are buttons which will encourage visitors to take any action on your website. For example on your services page you could have a button saying “get a quote” linking to a form to be filled. Sometimes all it takes to convert a lead is a little encouragement to your website visitors to take action.
CTAs also help reducing your bounce rate which is a factor which Google looks at to see how useful your content is. If someone looks at one page of your website and then goes away, this counts as a bounced connection. This might indicate that there was nothing worth digging into or that it could be a spammy website which explains the very short interaction with your audience. However, if your audience see at least 1 other page, it does not add to your bounces and shows meaningful interaction with your content.
Off Page SEO
One way for Google to know that your business is legitimate is through the quality of backlinks you have. Our SEO company offers these professional SEO services. You can get in touch with us if you need assistance.
One way if gaining backlinks is to write long informative quality articles containing dofollow links to your website or the URL you wish to point website visitors to. Then, contact a few high DA websites or blogs and apply with them to publish your articles. If they like what you have written, they might publish it on their website and you will gain 1 high quality backlink (which is worth more that 1000 low quality ones)
Almost like guest posting, a press release is an a media article which contains official statements meant to be shared as an announcement or providing information. These are usually posted on media channels which usually have a high DA and thus great juice for your search engine optimisation. It is easier for you to contact a professional SEO services provides for this type of article as it will save you a lot of time. You will not have to go through the immense research and growing your trusted network with media people.
Google stacking is a Grey Hat technique based on the fact that Google will not penalise its own services and products. It involves creating content relevant to your offer on as many Google products available (Youtube, blog, Google sites etc) and then linking them all together. Then you link the Google site to your own website and Voila!, you passed on the juice of multiple DA90 entities to your own website.
sitemap registration on search console
When your website is ready, you must connect it to Google services and make sure that it gets crawled. This is a must have for any search engine optimisation strategy. If you are doing SEO for WordPress and are using a tool like Rank Math or Yoast SEO, you can find the link to your sitemap in the plugin’s settings and paste it on Google Console.
First head to Google Console and start claiming your website by inserting the URL in the URL prefix box.
Then you will copy the HTML tag and paste it in the header of your website. A convenient tool for SEO for wordpress is Headers & footers which is available on the WordPress repository.
When you are done, you can now add the sitemap address which you have in Yoast or Rank Math in your search console. Now google will periodically crawl your website.
Want a bonus tip? Use Rank Math Pro! They have an incredible addon – Instant indexing. That way, if you edit any part of your website, you don’t need to wait until Google crawls your website again, you can instantly index your new content.
Local SEO with Google my business
Probably one of the most important search engine optimisation steps, you must make sure that your brand is seen in your local area as many buyers are more favourable to purchasing from someone or a company which is nearby them. So, don’t wait and head to Google my business and claim your listing. Even if you do not yet rank organically for a keyword, you might show up in the first search results if you are on Google my business.
Social media marketing
Each industry has a definite type of audience. Some are visual, some read informative posts, others both or none. However, 99% of them use a mobile phone and are on at least 1 social media platform. The most important thing to know for efficient search engine optimisation is where is your audience. For example, if you sell jewellery for young adults between the age of 20-27, you might want to explore using Instagram to showcase your products in lifestyle photos. However, if you sell coaching lessons in finance, you might want to be active on LinkedIn and grow your network to reach professionals in your target industry through well written posts and sharing articles.
Social media marketing is only a part of your marketing effort and add on to your search engine optimisation strategy. When you do social media marketing, don’t think ROI. ROI is for your sales strategy and SEO strategy. While you might get sales from social media marketing, these private platforms might just stop working for you at anytime for various reasons. For example, it is more difficult no to target users on IOS devices in facebook ads because of the updated privacy settings in these devices. Social media is mainly for awareness and must be backed by strong professional SEO services which is a more sustainable way of building authority.
Keywords research and monitoring
While you did your initial research and are done with your On page Search engine optimisation, you still have to monitor your keywords and new keywords which are trending. Your competitors will do this and will outrank you if they keep optimising their blogs with new trending keywords. Monitor your keywords and make sure you keep pushing content which people are looking for.
Competitive analysis and monitoring
You might have missed some juicy keywords or some very relevant high DA websites to guest post your content. Your competitors could have an edge over you. Keep track of your competition, see which new keywords they are ranking for, see where they are acquiring new backlinks and don’t give any slack. It is easier to reach the top than to stay at the top but with the right search engine optimisation strategy your rank will be safe.
BONUS tip: Tap into the new extremely fast growing visual search engine Pinterest
Yes! Pinterest is a search engine and not a social media platform. If you want to boost your search engine optimisation results, Pinterest is definitely the platform for you. Jut like Google, it favours new fresh content but the competition is much much less important than on Google and you have a much much greater chance to reach people.
You can have a look at our recent article to learn more about how you can use Pinterest for your business.
Search engine optimisation is a very wide subject and to be able to optimise your website you must go for it from multiple different angles. It requires a compound effort with a complex strategy comprising of multiple actions on diverse platforms to see results. The success of these actions often depend on the strategy mix. For example, you could write killer blogs but without keyword research they will not rank; Or you can research the right keywords and write killer blogs but if you do not have some Domain authority Google will not favour your content.
If you are overwhelmed with your CORE business and need a SEO company to take care of all this backend stuff for you, schedule a free call with us or drop us a message.