The world of SEO can be a scary place. It doesn’t help that there are a lot of “SEO gurus” out there shrouding what they do in smoke and mirrors, making you think that SEO is something that only tech experts can understand. The fundamentals of SEO are actually quite straightforward, and by learning about them you can help ensure that your online content is seen by your future customers.
What is SEO?
SEO stands for search engine optimisation and it covers all of the things that help search engines find, understand, and rank your website. The trickiest thing about SEO is that search engine algorithms are constantly changing and developing, but there are certain elements that remain constant champions of good SEO.
Keywords are the words people type into search engines when looking for something. Start by figuring out the relevant keywords for your website. For example, if you own a bakery in London, your potential customers could be searching for terms such as “best croissants in London” or “cupcake delivery near me”. Once you know your target keywords, you can then begin creating content around them.
Fill your website with great content
Content is at the heart of SEO. Create content that answers questions your audience might have and make sure that you update it often. Informative, engaging content keeps visitors on your site longer and signals to search engines that your site is valuable.
Title tags and meta descriptions
If you’re not familiar with these you’re not alone. many of our new clients haven’t added these details to any of their pages, but search engines love them. Title tags are like book titles; they tell search engines what your page is about. They need to be short, descriptive and include a keyword. Meta descriptions are brief summaries that show up in search results. It’s a little sneak peek to convince people to click on your link.
Search engines take a look at your website addresses for indicators of what they’re about. Sometimes your CMS may generate random addresses, but this is of no use to search engines. Instead, you should update them to reflect your content. Keep them simple, short, and relevant. Avoid using numbers and symbols; instead, use words that give a clue about the content on the page.
Search engines can use a helping hand to understand the images on your website. Use descriptive filenames and add “alt text” to images, which is a short description that tells search engines what the image is about.
Links come in two types: internal and external. Internal links connect different pages on your website, helping visitors navigate and hopefully spend longer there. External links are connections to other trustworthy websites that act as references that lend credibility to your content.
Users and search engines have no patience with slow websites. Page speed is an important factor in SEO. Compress images and choose a good hosting provider to ensure your site loads quickly.
SEO isn’t about tricking search engines; it’s about making sure your website is user-friendly and valuable. Start your SEO journey with the basics of SEO in mind and you’re on the right path.