Why is Search Engine Optimisation important?
You can have the greatest website ever, but not much good if nobody sees it.
Also you could have hundreds of people seeing your website but none of them are your buyers.
So the aim is to get the right people in the right place.
Google is notoriously secretive about its algorithms and continually changes them to provide us with the most relevant results, and if you believe its critics, to generate the most revenue!
So how do we play the Search Engine Optimisation game?
Years ago this would be keyword stuffing, cram as many keywords into your copy as possible. Now the advice is a much more measured approach combining the best copy for your target audience whilst helping Google find the best place for your company to sit within its algorithm.
One thing to remember is that Google is a question engine, we all ask it hundreds of questions a day - where do I find XYZ? What is XYZ? Where is XYZ? How do I do XYZ?
How do we begin to get a website found in the search engines?
Firstly you need to identify the keyword phrases that people might type into Google to find you. They are usually three or four words long. If I typed in “software” the search results would be very unlikely to provide me with the right answers I was looking for. Even if I typed in “CRM software” I am still unlikely to get the right results. So what about “School CRM software”? I might be starting to get closer to my requirements, even better if I further refine my request to “Senior School CRM software.”
It is probably best to find 15 to 20 keyword phrases that you are comfortable with. If you are looking at a new website, try to plan your pages of content around those keyword phrases to ensure you have pages of copy that cover each one. If you have a website already, go over each page and check you actually do have written copy that mentions those full keyword phrases.
The challenge is always to make your copy great marketing copy whilst mentioning these keyword phrases naturally, it’s sadly a compromise! In an SEO ideal world your keyword phrases would be in page headings and subheadings, but this is not always possible. One easy route to ensure some of those more obscure keyword phrases are covered is to write a blog article with that keyword phrase as the H1 heading - google loves current-dated content!
How does Google look at a web page to understand the search engine optimisation?
In addition to H1 headings and actual keyword phrases on a page, Google uses many other factors to determine where your page will rank. One particularly important (and easily updated) element is your browser title or ‘Title Tag’.
Browser titles are the words that appear in the tab at the top of your browser window and they are used to tell the visitor and search engines what your page is about but in a very concise way.
When you search for something in Google and you are presented with a list of results, the clickable words highlighted in blue are the Title Tags of the pages you can visit. Searching for your own website is an easy way to find out what Title Tags have been used on your pages.
Title tags should be no longer than 60 characters, they should just use normal sentence case and crucially they should all be unique whilst describing the content on the page.
Also worth mentioning at this stage is your page’s meta description tag. This is the small amount of copy that appears in the Google search results below the title of the page.
Meta descriptions don’t actually influence search engine rankings, but they do influence users! A well written meta description can determine whether users click through to your web page even if there are other results higher than yours.
A meta description should be no longer than 160 characters and whilst using keyword phrases should primarily be marketing copy. This is your chance to inspire your audience.
Search Engine Optimisation is not a quick fix!
Once you have cracked the keyword phrases, written amazing web copy and created great title tags and meta descriptions, you’d expect instant results; a number one position for your prime keyword phrase! Sadly this rarely happens. Firstly, it can take weeks for a new website to be properly indexed by Google and secondly you are competing with all the other companies that want to be found using the same keyword phrases.
Optimising your website for launch is only the beginning
As mentioned earlier, you need to keep adding current, dated content, to build your pages naturally with excellent information that people want to read. If you create good content, other websites will link to it and that also builds your credibility in the eyes of Google, especially if you can get links from other well used, credible websites.
If you need help with Search Engine Optimisation or in creating good content for your website, get in touch, we can help with a package of support that works for you.