Purpose of This Article is:
- Understand basic SEO
- Discover How SEO works at a high level
- Consider the main elements of SEO
- Review types good and bad SEO
- Set realistic expectations of SEO
- Why its a good idea to have carry out an SEO Audit
What Is SEO
SEO stands for search engine optimisation and it encompasses the actions we would take to make sure our website is optimised for our users and in turn the search engines too.
Search Engines (like Google and Bing) like to see certain things either on your web pages (Onsite SEO) or to see information about your web pages elsewhere (offsite SEO). They use formulas (algorithms) to look through huge amounts of data about all the web pages they can find in order to determine which web pages they should present when someone searches for a keyword (search term), and in what order they should present them.
How SEO Works
Although the Search Engines are continuously refining how they rank web pages, there remains two main elements that are the foundation to aim for the best results.
Onsite – your content and website structure
- Targeting the best keywords for your industry
- Matching existing content to target specific keyword clusters
- Creating new content to target specific keyword clusters
- having the best website structure and architecture
Offsite – how your website is referred to by other online sources
- developing a profile of high quality, on-theme incoming links
- having a relevant and active social media presence
- creating mentions (non-linking references) about you
Successful Basic SEO Elements
- Extensive Keyword Research
- Matching Keywords – Existing and New Website Content
- Ensuring Your Web Structure, Images & Web Code is Right
- Offsite Link Profile
- Offsite Social Profile
Common Good and Bad SEO Techniques
Its important to only follow good SEO techniques. Search engines are not stupid and if you use bad SEO techniques your website could really suffer.
Bad SEO (DO not use)
- Duplicate Content
- Keyword Stuffing
- Guest posting for links (if done cheaply and irrelevantly)
- Accepting low quality guest posts
- Cloaking / Invisible Text
- Too many ads above the fold
- Paid links (of all kinds)
- Not using Google Webmaster Tools
- Having a lot of outgoing links
- Slow or unavailable websites
Good SEO Techniques
- Unique Content
- Unique and Focused Keywords
- Quality Guest posting for links
- Accepting high quality guest posts
- Visible relevant anchor text
- Ads below the fold if possible
- No Paid links (of all kinds) – need to be organic
- Regularly review Google Webmaster Tools
- Having a balance of outgoing links
- Keep website fast and available
Managing SEO Expectations
- SEO is a long term strategy, you do not get instant results like other efforts like pay per click
- SEO requires a commitment of planning, consistency and bench marking
- At least half of your SEO outcomes are influenced by elements outside your direct control – off site profile
- Search engines do not release their formulas (algorithms) to anyone. No one can guarantee page one position one. All they can do is follow best practice.
Why its a good idea to have carry out an SEO Audit?
If you are already in business, have a website and it’s not performing very well in the search engine results (SERP) then it is time to carry out an SEO audit. An SEO Audit gets you clarity on what’s working and where you can make improvements to your SEO efforts.