Search engine optimisation or SEO, is a set of techniques and practises that you use to influence ranking of your pages within the Search Engine Result Page (SERP). Search engines use many different set of rules and principles to rank your pages. When optimising your pages, you should mostly focus on Google since it’s the biggest search engine that can send you the highest amount of visitors to your site and help you to take your online business to the next level.
SEO is quite complicated subject. But the principles that you need to understand are quite simple, and common sense. So pay attention because the principles I’m going to share with you can influence your site’s ranking dramatically. But first, you should get familiar with basics of how search engine works.
How to Think About Search Engine Optimisation
As a small business owner, you may not have the available finances to ask specialist SEO firm for help. Quite frankly there is no need spend tons of cash on something that you could do yourself. SEO professional have extensive knowledge of the subject, but you may not. So you need a way to think about SEO subject when optimising your pages. Wikipedia has a great article which you should read to learn more about search engine optimisation.
There are 3 aspects to SEO:
Let’s now talk about each of these in turn…
On-Page Search Engine Optimisation
On-page optimisation refers to how you can influence, modify and set factors that search engines use to analyse your pages. On-page factors can be further divided into two sets:
Those factors/elements that are only visible to searchs engine but not visible to human visitor
Those that are visible to human reader (headings, body copy, links…)
Search Engine Journal has a great article where you can learn more about on-page optimisation.
Remember that on-page optimisation revolves around keywords that you chose to rank for. There are 2 types of keywords: short tail and long-tail. Short tail keywords are mostly keywords that consist of only 2 words such as: buy shoes. These types of keywords have high monthly search volume but the problem is that the competition is also very high. Another problem with short-tail keywords is that they are too general and the searcher’s intent is unclear.
Having clearly described pages with specific keywords is not enough in today’s competitive search engine landscape. In highly competitive markets, good on-page optimisation is only 20% of success.
When search engine (especially Google) looks at your pages it wants to know how is your page and your site in general connected to the rest of the world wide web. Such analysis is called link analysis. Link analysis can be though of as a voting. Each page that points to your page (inbound link) casts a vote. But not all votes are equal. Search engine looks at the quality and authority of the page that is linking to you. The more popular and authoritive the site linking to you is, the more weight that inbound link caries.
Another important concept related to link analysis is Page Rank (PR). It’s Google’s invention and it’s simply a measurement of authority and popularity. Page rank is distributed amongst the hyperlink structure of the web pages. Every page on your site has a certain amount of page rank. If you link to other pages then that page rank will be divided equally and it will flow to each page that you’re linking to. Now you can see the importance of acquiring high-quality backlinks from other pages that have higher page rank than your site.
You should have clear strategy on how you’re going to build backlinks. Make sure you’re absolutely clear about for what keywords are you trying to rank. Use these keywords in the anchor text in your backlinks.
Search engine optimisation is really a great subject to learn and it can help you to sky rocket the number of visitors that visit your site. Most people believe that to make more money online, all they have to do is to optimise their pages well. This is not quite truth and there is more to it than just optimising your pages.
SEO will only help you to get visitors to your site. But what happens on your site once visitor arrives it’s up to your conversion strategy. What is the most wanted response (MWR) that you’re after? Do you want people to buy something? Do you want them to subscribe to your mailing list? Is your site’s purpose solely lead generation? This is something that you must be absolutely clear about.
Conversion optimisation is never ending process. You should track your conversions and you should constantly think of ways how to improve your conversion rates.
If you’re able to generate enough traffic to your pages, and your conversion is very low, then there are only 3 basic reasons for why your conversion rate sucks:
Visitors don’t like you or don’t trust you
Visitors were misled – black-hat search engine optimisation techniques
You’re trying to sell wrong product to wrong people – visitors simply don’t need or want what you’re offering
Look at your site trough visitor’s perspective. Would you buy something of you site? Would you subscribe to your mailing list? If you answer NO to any of these questions then you shouldn’t expect visitor to take action you want them to take.
5 Tips to Boost Your Search Engine Ranking:
Make sure you’re targeting right keywords
Make sure your pages are well optimised and you don’t have duplicate content issues
Never stop building backlinks
Make sure you have usable site (well structured content, easy to use navigation and so on…)
Make sure you have clean mark-up and CSS. Your site should be loading fast. If your site takes too long to load then this is compromising search engine user’s experience