SEO Basics

May 18, 2018
SEO is the abbreviation of ‘Search Engine Optimisation’. Search Engine Optimisation put simply is how well a website ranks when certain keywords or phrases are entered into a major search engine such as Yahoo or Google.

The keywords which you want to get found for are usually the services you offer followed by the area you service.

Lets speak hypothetically for a minute, I like hypotheticals… they’re fun.

Fred owns a plumbing business and he services the Mornington Peninsula area. When a potential customers searches for ‘Plumbing Mornington Peninsula’ in Google, he wants his website to rank on the first page. Fred also specialises in Air Conditioning Installation and has had quite a few jobs in Frankston lately, therefore he also wants to target the keywords ‘Air Conditioning Installation Frankston’.

Now that Fred knows what keywords he wants to target he needs to optimise his website so that it is listed on Google when a potential customer searches them. That’s SEO in a nutshell.

How do you write keywords into your website?

Naming your website pages and writing headline and paragraph copy which targets your keywords is what you need to do to get your website picked up by search engines. For example Fred might name his home page ‘Fred’s Plumbing Mornington Peninsula’ and then his opening paragraph might start with “Hi, my name’s Fred and I have been plumbing in the Mornington Peninsula area for 15 years…”

The trick is to write naturally and not to overdo it. Mentioning your keywords as many times as possible won’t bump you up the Google ladder, but you need to have a consistent amount.

So how does Google decide which website it ranks the highest?

It’s a good question and one that’s not that easy to answer. Googles algorithms are constantly changing and evolving and one day it may favour a certain criteria and the next day it may favour another. But there are some things you can do to help boost your site up the ranks and get your business found!

  • Fresh Content – Search Engines like sites that are constantly changing, so write some blog posts or add some new images, don’t let your website get stale!
  • Don’t overdo it –  Write your content naturally don’t mention your target keywords every second sentence. Write like you want a human to read it.
  • Speed – Optimise your images and content as Google likes a fast loading website. You can use Pingdom’s free testing tool to see how your website stacks up and where you could potentially make improvements.
  • Responsive – Your website should be mobile friendly, if not you will be punished by Google. I’ve written a small post on the benefits of responsive websites here
  • Backlinks – A backlink is a URL hyperlink which points to your website from another website. For example, Fred has a page on True Local which is a small business directory. On his True Local page he has his contact details which includes his website URL, that’s a backlink. The trick to backlinks is to have them coming from quality sites and make sure they are coming from sites which are relevant to your business.
  • SEO Tools – If your website is built with a CMS such as WordPress make sure you take advantage of free SEO tools such as the Yoast Plugin to help you write quality content.
  • Update! – Again if you are running WordPress or a similar CMS make sure you keep your website and plugins up to date and be sure everything is functioning correctly

At Snake Oil Studio we’re targeting the keywords ‘Website Design Dandenong Ranges’ and by following the tips above we are ranking 1st in Google for this search term. There are currently only 6 or so other businesses targeting these keywords so it’s not majorly competitive. If for example we started targeting ‘Website Design Melbourne’ we would need to increase the amount of work we put into our website to even get on the first page as it’s much more competitive.

The truth is most people don’t bother going past the first page of search results so good SEO really comes down to finding the right keywords for your business, developing your website to rank highly for those keywords and then maintaining your position with consistency.

I hope this has been helpful to you and thanks for reading!

Christian

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