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How to optimise for search engines

The term for this is SEO and it stands for search engine optimisation.

It is the key to getting organic traffic to your website over google or any other search engine and it can be split into 2 categories.
  • On-Page SEO
  • Off-Page SEO

On-Page SEO

On-Page SEO involves all of the methods of optimisation that can be carried out on the website internally. I will list and explain the methods included with on-page SEO below.

Site content

Create content that is as useful as possible to your target audience. 
Organise it well to make everything easy to find.
Break up the text and keep it clean to make readability as clear as possible.

Keywords

Include keywords specific to your industry in your content so that your website is listed when people use search engines. Blog titles are a common way of doing this.

Title tags

A title tag gives people an idea of what the page is about before they click on it by summarising its contents into one short sentence. This will also help search engines understand the overarching theme to a page and when it should suggest your page to people.

Meta descriptions

These descriptions are the short paragraphs below every website title that further explains what a webpage is about in 50 - 160 characters.

Headers

These make your website more readable by creating a hierarchy of importance, explaining the topic of a specific section. It is both useful for people and a search engine’s bot to read and understand.

URLs

Urls should be clean and easy to read, accurately reflecting the content of the page using keywords.

Internal linking

This is when you link to other pages in your website to create a smooth user experience where people dont have to use the menu all the time.

External linking

Linking to external pages helps give context to your content and further explain it, sometimes from a different perspective. Search engines recognise this and encourage it as it improves the user experience for people who are wanting to find out more about a topic.

Images

Optimising your images so that they are in the right format (nowadays, the best format is usually WebP but it can also depend on the image) and compressed well will ensure that, while keeping the quality, they have the smallest file size possible so that they can load as quickly as possible.

User engagement

Search engines notice when and how a visitor is interacting with a website and staying on it for longer which can only have positive effects for your SEO.

Page speed

This is crucial to make sure users can actually access your content but also because search engines track how fast your website is being loaded and rating it as a result of how well it score it. This means websites that load faster will be ranked higher and have a higher chance of getting more traffic.

Featured Snippets

A featured snippet is when a piece of content on your website, that a search engine thinks will address the users search query perfectly, is taken and put right at the top (position 0) of the search results so a user gets the information they need as quickly as possible wihtout clicking on any link. This can improve your website’s authority and visibility dramatically.

Schema Markup

This is code that gives context to your website so people can better understand what it is about before clicking on anything. It shows up with your site title and description in search engine listings and can come in many formats such as reviews, products, articles and business info.

Off-Page SEO

Off-Page SEO covers all of the things you can do to improve optimisation that is external to your website.

Link Building

This is a strategy whereby you get other websites to link to yours so that search engines like Google will recognise your website as authoritative and rank it higher. These are called “backlinks” and work best when they are websites, relevant to your content, that already have authority and traffic.

Content Marketing

This is where you distribute and share valuable information and content that is useful to your target audience for free so that they then notice and are interested in what you do and have to offer so that they might visit your website.
This can involve:
    social media marketing
    influencer marketing
    guest posting
    brand mentions

Local SEO

This is a strategy that relies on the location of your website’s business so that it ranks well for those who are in the vicinity to you. For example, using keywords specific to your location is one way of doing this.

Public Relations

How the public perceives your brand and website will also impact your traffic and success.