On the Internet, visibility is everything. If people cannot find your website easily, it will not only underperform, but you will also never realise the expected returns. Worse still, if people cannot find your site in the first page of results returned by search engines, your site is likely to remain largely undiscovered.
However, there are a collection of tools and techniques known as Search Engine Optimisation (SEO for short) that are intended to help your site become more ‘attractive’ to Google and others, encouraging them to promote it in their rankings. Here’s a quick summary of why SEO is important to your business’ online impact.
Keywords use in web content
Keywords are the terms typed into Google when searching. You can think of them as your entire business distilled into a few words. The keywords for a plumber could include:
- Plumbing services in London
- Fix burst pipes
- Leaking sink
These keywords then need to be inserted strategically into key pages of your site so that the search engines’ indexing algorithms ‘see’ and note these words, helping them to understand what the pages are about. But it is important to get the balance of keywords right: keyword ‘stuffing’ (artificially forcing in keywords too often) lowers the quality of the written content, and Google will penalise your site for this in their search results. Use keywords organically – as they arise naturally in the content and as they are of interest to your audience – and this will raise your ranking.
Duplication of content
One of the biggest sins you can commit online is to duplicate content. Whether you copy text from other sites onto your own, or duplicate text across pages on your site, the search engines take a dim view. SEO includes checking your site (and the wider web) for duplicate content and creating new content where necessary to ensure that everything is unique.
A recent change to Google’s algorithms saw mobile-friendly websites get a boost over their desktop-focused counterparts, because most people are now surfing the web from their smartphones and tablets. As a result, mobile-friendly web design is now a business requirement, and your SEO strategy needs to consider what your content prioritises on small screens.
Keywords need to be present in virtually every aspect of your website to boost your ranking. From your website’s URL address through to the titles and sub-headings of specific pages, all are indexable by search engines and so all need to be engineered to include business-specific keyword search terms or topics. Also don’t forget to use keyword alt tags where relevant for blog pieces and all images on your site.
The speed with which your webpages load is also an important ranking factor. If a page takes two seconds to load, almost all of your visitors will leave immediately, which raises your bounce rate and correspondingly lowers your search ranking.
As part of your SEO exercises you will need to ensure your webhost is capable of serving webpages consistently fast, as well as optimising page elements, like pictures, to ensure they load as fast as possible.
So much to do – get some help!
Unfortunately there are thought to be 200+ factors used by Google’s algorithms used to rank a site’s importance. With a full-time job or company to run, most businesspeople cannot afford the time required to keep up with Google’s requirements and manage SEO – almost a full-time role in itself.
Worry not – help is at hand! You’ll find it is cost-effective and easy to outsource SEO responsibilities to an expert, like BCS’ partner NS Design – our SEO services range from keyword research and SEO copywriting, to a technical SEO audit for your online content. Find out more by contacting us today.
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