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SEO – Search Engine Optimisation
SERP – Search Engine Results Page
URL – Uniform Resource Locator
SEO, an abbreviation for search engine optimisation is the process of improving ranking of a website on SERPs to get more organic traffic. Gudivada, Rao & Paris (2015) discuss how securing a high spot in the first SERP not only increases sales but also helps build user’s trust, leading to better brand development.
Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales once reportedly said: “If it isn’t on Google, it doesn’t exist”.
Google processes an average of over 40,000 global search queries every second, 3.5bn searches per day and 1.2tn searches per year worldwide (Guardian, 2015).
Google’s uses many algorithms, to determine the importance of website pages, it’s most well-known is called PageRank. In theory, Google algorithms including PageRank, create a level playing field where SMEs and corporate giants can compete fairly.
If you want to expand your knowledge of how search has evolved watch Google’s Evolution of Search video here.
SEO and digital marketing has changed in the last year and will continue to change in 2016. Bringing together your SEO and digital marketing strategies is critical to driving more traffic to your brand’s website .
Continue reading our top five tips for climbing up the Google Rankings and learn how to make a success out of your SEO in 2016.
As Bill Gates famously said, “Content is King”, creating quality and original content is critical as it’s what your users will judge your brand by. It’s important that your users enjoy reading what you’ve written, as interesting content increases engagement, and also helps to build credibility within the industry. Once this is established users are likely to use your website as a trusted source of information and regularly visit, which may also have an effect on your brand’s sales.
Although Google’s algorithms no longer just look for specific words but instead look for meaning, it’s still important to choose relevant keywords when implementing your SEO strategy. Google Adwords, is a tool that allows you to understand which keywords are driving the most traffic to your site, and how users are searching for your services. However, BEWARE of ‘keyword spamming’ cramming your page full of keywords will be a sure way of you and your page getting banned, instead don’t target more than a couple of keywords per page.
3.Optimise titles, URLs & Descriptions
URLs, titles and descriptions are some of the most important components for on-page optimisation. Firstly your URL, mostly commonly recognised as webpages (http) must be as descriptive as possible, yet brief. A clear concise URL is likely to reassure searchers that a page is genuine increasing click through rates. It’s important that titles are also just as clear, along with Meta tags. Meta tags are the small descriptions that feature just below the URL on a SERP, they are only visible on the search page, and provide the search engine about information on the website.
Do not ignore the relationship between SEO and social media, the rise of sharing content on social media or blogging/vlogging will have a huge impact on website visitors. Like the example below, if you type in a brand name like No7, notice the second search result is a link to the brands official Facebook page. Social media pages usually rank high in results, and are often favoured over the main websites as users feel they are more authentic and show the brand’s personality.
It would be recommended to regularly update your social media accounts giving your consumers the opportunity to comment, like or share posts, linking content between the different sites and driving traffic to the main website. The more interaction your brand received on social media will not go unnoticed by Google, who will reward you with a higher ranking, you’re welcome!
Google have incorporated website speed as one of their factors for impacting search ranking. Microsoft (2015) stated that the attention span of individuals has fallen from 12 seconds to 8 seconds and continues to fall, so those critical loading seconds may put off users and stop them from waiting for the page to load. One of the easiest ways to speed up loading is editing your images. Images slow down pages, and as Google-bots are unable to read them, they have no impact on search results, so scale them down or throw them away.
Helpful? I hope so, and remember…
Crawley (2014) argues that organic search traffic is the most important source of traffic to a website. It means that users are searching for you with intent. The more that users search for you and visit your website means that the information you hold is relevant to searchers and is likely to convert into potential clients.
If you’re interested in finding out how to further improve your brand’s SEO strategy follow the links below:
Econsultancy – SEO – Search Engine Optimisation: Best Practice Guide
Mashable – SEO Rules in a Content Marketing World
Crowley, M. (2014,) “Optimize Keywords to Improve SEO”,Journal of Financial Planning, vol. 27, no. 1, pp. 17
Guardian (2015) Master SEO and rise up the Google rankings [Online] <http://bit.ly/1DIxnsT> [accessed 13 April 2016]
Gudivada, V. N., Rao, D. & Paris, J. (2015) “Understanding Search-Engine Optimization”, Computer, Vol. 48, no. 10, pp. 43-52
Microsoft (2015) Attention Spans: Consumer Insights. Canada: Microsoft