The Complete Guide to Getting Your Website Ranked on Search Engines

Introduction: What is Search Engine Optimization?

seo, search engine optimization

Search engine optimisation (SEO) is the process of improving the ranking of a website on an internet search engine (Google).  The higher your website’s SEO ranking, the closer to the top of the search your website will be.

Why is it Important?

why do you need search engine optimization, seo strategy

The ideal place for your website to be is No.1 in organic search for a particular search term. The lower you appear in search, the less visitors you are likely to have.  The first organic result on the first search engine results page (SERP) sees about 32.5% of overall search traffic in terms of clicks. The 2nd domain sees 17.6%, while the 7th only sees 3.5%.  It should be noted that there is a difference between quantity and quality of these clicks, with someone clicking the 7th link likely to be much more interested in your offer than a random visitor to the website in position 1. So as the quantity reduces, the quality of visitors improves.  There is a limit to this however, the Huffington Post joked, “The best place to hide a dead body is page two of Google”.  They weren’t entirely wrong!

With Google constantly tweaking its algorithm, there’s no longer such a thing as a standard SERP for everyone. There is also little point in trying to ‘game’ the system, Google quickly catches on to the latest ‘get ranked quick’ schemes and squashes them out of existence.

For a long term effective SEO strategy you need to understand your customer needs and create and maintain content that satisfies these needs.  Your website designer can help you structure your website and content to maximise the impact of your content.

How to Optimise Your Website for Search Engines & Increase Traffic

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Website optimisation helps your website load faster and provide a better user experience (UX) to your visitors.  This can be achieved by choosing good quality hosting, using caching and content delivery networks (CDNs) to deliver your static content, using next gen image formats such as .webp and minimising your websites code and css files.

A first time website builder should avoid all the above and seek help from someone who knows what they are doing with this as it is quite possible to brick your entire website trying the above.

There are a number of ways to rank higher on Google. The best way is to publish high-quality content on a regular basis. This will help you to improve your website’s domain authority and increase your chances of ranking higher in search engine results pages (SERPs).

Another method is to use keyword research to identify the right keywords to target. You can then use these keywords throughout your website, including in your titles, headings, and meta descriptions.

You can also improve your ranking by optimising your website for mobile devices. Google now uses mobile-friendly criteria as a ranking factor, so making your website mobile friendly can boost your ranking considerably.

A simple way to improve the amount of traffic to your website is to use social media.  Google does use social media activity as a ranking metric, so the more you do in this regard, the better.  You may never gain a new customer from Twitter/Facebook/Linkedin  directly, but your activity on those platforms will boost your ranking on Google that should result in more visitors to your website and more customers for you.

On-Page SEO and Off-Page SEO Strategies 

On page optimization, off page optimization

On page strategies concentrate upon your website content in order to rank well on search engines, a site should have relevant content, a good design, and be easy to navigate.  All of these things will improve the UX and will help Google index your website correctly.

Off page strategies are any activities you undertake outside of your website to help improve your search engine rankings. Any activity that doesn’t involve publishing content on your own website falls under off-page SEO.  This includes social media activity, listings in trade directories, Google Maps listings, Google Reviews, Google Business Listings, answering questions in forums which contain backlinks to your website.

Increasing the number of backlinks pointing to your website will improve your website’s domain authority and help boost your ranking.

The Best Strategies To Improve Your Website’s Rankings

Best seo strategy, google ranking factors

An effective SEO strategy is similar to a successful investment strategy.  Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.  The list below is just a few of the things you could include in your SEO strategy.   Google is fickle, and changes its algorithm frequently, if you diversify your approach to SEO then any changes they make will have a minimal negative affect on your websites ranking.

  • Improve your UX page loading speed, navigation etc
  • Produce high quality content
  • Optimise your site for mobile devices
  • Encourage sharing on social media
  • Research and use appropriate keywords for new content
  • Ensure any new URLs include keywords
  • Get listed in directories, Yell.com, Trade Directories, Tripadvisor
  • Get set up on Google Business, Maps and Get some Google Reviews

Conclusion: Boost Your Website’s Rankings 

Think long term, vary your approaches, avoid spam email offers

If you own or manage a website then you probably receive a few emails every day promising to make you No.1 on Google for a very reasonable fee.  Unfortunately there really are no shortcuts for an effective long term SEO strategy.

You may be able to game the system using Black Hat SEO methods to get a short term advantage, but as soon as Google identifies that you have been using these methods your website and domain will be blacklisted and disappear from Google search for good.

Think long term.  Where do you want your business and website to be in 3 years time?  Build a strategy that gradually adds new content and focuses upon search terms that work for your business.  Don’t be afraid to mix it up.  If you are impatient for results, consider paid advertising on Google or Facebook.  If money is tight, increase your social media activity.  If time is of a premium consider engaging a copy writer to write new focussed content for you.

If you would like to see how Helios Web Design can help you improve your website ranking please get in touch.  Initial advice is freely given and we will be happy to recommend copy writers or social media experts should you require such services.

 

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