So what exactly is SEO? You probably already know that it stands for Search Engine Optimisation, which is quite simply a set of best practices for a website to follow to allow it to be effectively indexed in search engines such as Google and Bing. However those set of best practices are always changing, almost every day, and there are different categories of work that can be done to effectively increase a sites ranking on search engines. Read on to learn more!
This element of SEO starts at the first piece of code written to create your website. This is why it can be very hard, or even impossible to apply SEO best practices to an older website. For example Google will rank a mobile responsive site higher than a site that is not mobile responsive but with the way some older sites are designed, it’s not possible to make them mobile responsive – meaning you’ll always be punished in search engine rankings! Every site made buy Australian Web Experts is built to be SEO friendly from the ground up, from the first piece of code. All of our sites are fast, mobile responsive and have code that Google loves. As a result our sites always rank well right out of the box without any other SEO applied.
Changing Goal Posts
The other important thing to keep in mind about SEO is it’s always changing. Google uses literally hundreds of factors to rank a website and they change the ranking factors hundreds of times a year, more than once a day! Also because search is the core of Google’s business, their algorithms and ranking factors are closely guarded corporate secrets. So if anyone claims to know how Google ranks and how to ‘trick’ Google to rank you higher, they are simply wrong. At most, understanding how Google works is simply a best guess. One thing is for certain though, Google is always trying to make search results as relevant as possible. This means that they want your site to be designed for humans, not for Google’s bot that scans your website. This means that many ‘tricks’ SEO providers used in past such as keyword stuffing, spammy text, over-optimisation of links will actually HURT your ranking. And Google is always trying to push search results that have simply used ‘tricks’ to rank higher, and push up sites that are designed for the bot and not for humans! That means that if you write content for your site that is relevant for your clients, this will always help your Google ranking.
One thing people always seem confused by is Keywords. They often think that Keywords are words hidden on their site that only Google can see and that it will help them rank higher for those specific words or phrases. While you might have got away with hidden words in the past, you won’t anymore! As we already discussed Google is on the lookout for tricks and this is a big one. You will definitely be punished in Google rankings for hiding Keywords on your site.
Keywords are simply the CONTENT on your site, all the words that make up the information on your site. The real trick in using Keywords to rank your site is to think about what your customers might be searching for on Google. Let’s say you sell beds in Bankstown. If you think people are going to find your site buy searching “Beds” in Google then you’re dreamin’! It’s more realistic to think that people might be searching “What can I buy a bed in Bankstown?”. This means that when you’re writing the content for your site you might want to write something like “We have the best priced beds in Bankstown.” and “Looking to buy a bed in Bankstown? Look no further than Beds ‘r Us.” …you get the idea. If you mention that phrase throughout your site, but in a way that’s written for humans, then you will rank for that phrase.
So the first step is to think about what YOUR customers are searching for, and then try to integrate these phrases into the content of your site.
This is the aspect of SEO that most site owners don’t think about yet it is the MOST important aspect of SEO. Often people will think that once SEO has been applied to their site it will start ranking number 1 on Google. Unfortunately that’s usually not the case, although the SEO you apply to your site is extremely important before you start thinking about Off-Site SEO as the coding and the information on your site is the solid foundation for any Off-Site SEO that follows.
As we discussed Google ranks sites for relevancy. How does it know if your site is relevant to what people are searching for? Well obviously there is the information on your site but it also looks at how many other sites link back to your site. If there are more sites that link back to your site then the more relevant and important Google thinks your site is. However this is another SEO trap! Some SEO providers will gather a lot of clients and then link all their sites together to create more links towards each individual site, and it used to work… until Google caught on. Google also looks at the relevancy of the site that LINKS to your site. That means if a site that sells beds has a link to a site that sells car tires then Google will see that as link building and again punish your site. That’s because beds and car tires aren’t really relevant to one another and they wouldn’t naturally be linked. You can read more about a client of ours who had an SEO provider embed links on their site to another site selling cheap pills online! Click here.
Because Off-Site SEO is so important to Google, it’s worth putting in some time when your site goes live to help it rank better. Most business owners can do this for FREE. Read how in our next article.