What follows is the simplest, most jargon-free explanation of search engine optimization.
Step #1. How do Search Engines Work?
The primary job of a search engine is to constantly find new web pages and organizing them. That’s pretty much it!
Then when people use search engines, they retrieve and display those pages based roughly on a few major characteristics:
Relevance: How closely related is this information to what someone’s looking for?
Authority: Does this page (and entire site) appear to be credible on this topic?
Popularity: Do other people find this source helpful, and would they recommend it?
Step #2. So What is SEO?
SEO is simply a way of improving your odds of showing up when people look for information related to you.
For example, if your site sells hats that look like animals, then you want optimize your site to show up when someone searches for terms like:
Hat that looks like a duck
Whatever your business name is
You probably DON’T want your site to come up when somebody searches things like:
Shoes that look like animals
It’s absolutely critical to understand how people might be looking for your products or services (i.e. what specific phrasing or topics are they looking for), so that you can determine (a) the popularity of these terms and compare that with (b) how competitive they might be (i.e. the pages and websites already showing up for these topics).
Step #3. The Importance of Pages
Once you know how to properly describe what you do (based on how people might be looking for it), then you want to lead these people to a specific page.
For example, if somebody specifically searches for a hat that looks like a duck, the page they land on should feature your duck hat!
On the other hand, if their search is more general (e.g. “Animal hats”) then you can show them a page that has an overview of all of your hats.
The key objective of SEO is to give people easy access to what they want to see (and having many different landing pages make this possible).
Step #4. Optimize!
The next big step is optimizing the website itself. Your site needs to be easy for search engines (and people!) to understand.
That means being as descriptive as possible with your content on each page, creating a better user experience by making the website load quickly, and making your website easy to navigate with little-to-no “dead ends” when people are clicking around.
SEO is an eclectic combination of tactics, tweaks, and best practices. Some of these are pretty quick and easy to implement while some can take a long time.
The best advice – regardless of whether you’re trying to do it yourself or hire someone else – is to become as knowledgeable as possible and stay up-to-date. Because what worked just a few years ago, might get you in trouble today.
Step #5. Think Big Picture
Despite the popularity and effectiveness of SEO, it’s important to keep perspective.
For example, how are your optimization efforts and tactics going to align with your overall marketing strategy? Because SEO is just one part of a complete digital marketing strategy.
So it’s critical that you understand your buyer’s journey (how they’re going to find and buy from you), analyze your entire website’s strengths and weaknesses, and ensure that enough visitors are turning into leads.
The biggest SEO mistakes occur when you treat it as some separate “thing”, and don’t integrate it with the rest of your marketing plan.
Notice the difference in the ‘after’ web design? It uses real staff photos instead of dated stock images. There’s a call to action above the fold and solid reasons to choose Gordon Vet Hospital. And there’s a visual tour of the hospital facilities and staff, which encourages great impressions of a well-functioning medical centre.
Mistake 2: The site doesn’t appeal to the target Audience
Who is your target audience?
Do you sell to consultants, academics or truck drivers?
Now examine your website.
Does it speak to your demographic? Has it been translated into the same vernacular they use? Is it comfortably within their education level? Will the design, images and content appeal to them?
It’s unlikely that a truck driver will willingly read the Financial Review, or an MBA-graduate read a trucking magazine, so don’t try to make them.
Have you ever scrolled to the bottom of a web page to where a copyright date is listed, and found that it’s outdated by a year, or two? It doesn’t offer much confidence that the company who owns the site is doing any recent business.
A website that’s outdated, or looks that way because of an outdated design is an instant turn off to clients. Ensure that your website is current by implementing the latest technology, refreshing existing copy regularly, and adding new, quality copy every week.
The ideal length of a blog post is claimed to be 7 minutes or 1,600 words according to research from Medium. However, this assumes it contains interesting, informative material.
Long stories or page content with rambling copy about how great you are without any proof or examples to back up your claims, tends to have the shelf-life appeal of a month-old cooked prawn left in the sun.
Mistake 4: Under-estimating the importance of the ‘About Us’ and ‘Contact Us’ pages
You’d be surprised at how many users check out your ‘About Us’ page. I used heatmaps to track users’ behaviours on our websites across 10 different industries and found that ‘About Us’ is one of the most visited pages on the website.
The ‘Contact Us’ page ranks almost on the same scale. Even if you run business from home, your website should have a phone number and email address for users to see and call or email. Having a simple web form without any basic contact information looks transient and suspicious.
If you look carefully at this example, you’ll see the tiny little yellow dots on each of the menu items of the Gordon Vet Hospital website. These are heatmaps that show the most visited option is ‘About Us’ and ‘Our Friendly Staff.’
Users do actually want to know more about you so showcase what you’ve got. If you have great staff, tell them. If you have high profile clientele, let them know.
This is a poor example of an ‘About Us’ page. It does not provide any ‘personable’ information. It doesn’t say who they are. It doesn’t say how they operate. If there was a heatmap indicating trust levels, and wouldn’t that be handy, this page would be colorless.
Mistake 5: The shopping cart doesn’t work properly
Have you ever personally bought something from your website?
How many steps were involved? If it was more than one, then it was too many.
In other words, your checkout should be a one pager. Requiring guests to sign up before they can check out, or even view the home page, is another turn-off. You need to facilitate a checkout option for guests.
See below an example of a better way to do this – one page checkout process. It’s a website that Result Driven SEO built for Bean Offroad Camping.
When users first land on your website, they don’t know you, they don’t trust you, they might not even like you, so how can you expect them to buy products from you?
Missing contact information, bad reviews, and a lack of social proof can damage a user’s confidence in your brand.
Prior to doing business with your company most clients will cast their eyes over online reviews from third-party sites such as Trip Advisors, Google Plus Local or other local directories. These independent reviews carry a lot of weight on the ‘trust’ scales. It’s important to generate them, and to ensure they are positive. Set up Google Alerts to monitor what other people are saying about your business and address their comments immediately to manage your online reputation.
According to research on Trust and Mistrust of Online Health Sites participants mistrusted websites because of these elements.
55% of respondents agreed, “A frustrating experience on a website hurts my opinion of the brand overall.”
So what, exactly, are consumers looking for in a website accessed from a mobile device?
Site speed—loading time of 5 seconds or less
Big, finger-friendly buttons
Limited scrolling and pinching
Quick access to business contact information
“Click to call” access to phone the business
One-direction scrolling, either horizontal or vertical, but not both.
In April this year Google’s MobileGeddon started penalising mobile-unfriendly websites. To examine if an individual page is mobile-friendly, go here or to check the status of your entire site, go here .
If your site’s pages aren’t mobile-friendly, Google warns there ‘may be’ (read ‘will be’) a significant decrease in mobile traffic from Google Search. But once your site becomes mobile-friendly, it will automatically re-process (i.e., crawl and index) your pages.
Mistake 9: Not having video to illustrate products
If a picture is worth a thousand words, a video is said to be worth a thousand pictures, or a million words.
Either way, video is powerful and provides a quick and easy way to impart a lot of information effectively and in a digestible format.
If I’m seeking a sales report extension for a Magento website, I am more likely to consider a provider offering a video that demonstrates how the extension works. See this blue ribbon example of an aheadWorks landing page for their Sales Report Extension. It offers video, demonstrations and plenty of reviews.
This landing page itself appeals to small-business owners by highlighting the benefits of using their product, namely being able to accept credit cards for transactions – something that was previously out of reach for many merchants before Square came along.
The call to action itself uses simple language that can be successful for many types of business. The word “get” is often highly motivating. The fact that Square doesn’t charge for its product is likely to be genuinely surprising to many prospects, which reinforces the value of the offer and makes it more tempting.
Between the minimal form (just three fields), the strong indicator of potential benefit (“Start accepting credit cards today”) and the great offer (the free Square card reader), this landing page/call to action combo is a winner.
If you created a website for your business, the very thing you don’t want to forget is to optimize it. Search Engine Optimization or SEO is the process of optimizing and improving your business website’s page rank in search engine results pages on Google, Yahoo or Ask.
Search Engine Optimization is divided into two basic areas: the off-page and on-page optimization. Off-page optimization is all about creating links pointing to the site you’re optimizing, which in your case is your website. On-page optimization, on the other hand, refers to the website elements such as your web page’s HTML code, images, and textual content.
To help you with your on-page and off-page optimization, you can use SEO Tools which Google offers to help you optimize your page by providing helpful data. You can use these tools to pump-up your digital managing and marketing efforts.
Some of the Google tools you should check out are:
1. Google Webmaster. Considered to be one of the best tools Google offers, this tool is used to identify problems, spot bigger issues quickly, and it also helps your site run smoothly. This free Google service allows you to identify broken links and crawling issues. It can also let you see all your indexed pages and download links.
2. Google Trends. You can freely use this tool if you need to compare traffic for different terms, including geographic, historic and related data. This tool can help you understand the rise and fall of each topic under your site’s niche which can be a great help for creating and writing an enticing content for your website.
3. Google Consumer Surveys. We understand that your future customers or your website’s audience is what matters most to your website. That’s why it’s crucial to understand and fulfill their needs. This tool can help you with that. Google Consumer Surveys have free options which you can use for gathering the most important data for your website’s design testing and also for your content category.
Other SEO Google Tools you can take advantage of are Google Alerts, Google Analytics, Tag Manger, Google Adwords Keyword Planner, PageSpeed Insights, Content Experiments and Google Places for Business.
Some 73 per cent of Google searchers don’t look beyond the first page of results. No wonder an entire industry – SEO – has sprung up around the means by which a company grabs a bigger share of the 40,000 search queries the web giant processes every second. Director asks the experts how to make search engines work for you
Back in that antediluvian era when people advertised goods for sale on the classified pages of their local newspaper, vendors’ determination to get their ad to the top of the page meant that the first column’s entries tended to read along the lines of: “AAAAAAAAAAAA gentleman’s bicycle for sale.”
Things have moved on – but the basic principle remains. With so much commercial activity having now emigrated to the vast swathes of cyberspace, constructing your company website in such a way that search engine algorithms will launch it to the loftier echelons of internet search results has become a highly sophisticated enterprise and an industry in its own right: hence, the emergence of the initialism SEO, which refers to both the concept of Search Engine Optimisation and those who professionally execute it (Search Engine Optimisers).
According to US digital marketing giant Fusion 360, an estimated 73 per cent of searchers never venture beyond the first page of results. Studies vary, but it seems likely that organic search results – those thrown up naturally by Google’s ever-evolving algorithms (the computer formulae that drive the search engine) – glean about 90 per cent of clicks, compared to 10 per cent for paid-for results, despite the latter being more prominently placed.
Complicating matters, in April, Google enforced a game-changer: in response to the rising use of mobile devices for accessing the internet, it began to consign websites that are not optimised for smartphones or tablets to lower page rankings for any searches made using these handheld devices.
In short, more than at any other time, any company that hasn’t already got SEO on its radar needs to sit up and take notice, or miss out on swathes of invaluable web traffic. Here are 10 things UK business leaders need to know, according to the experts…
Whatever you are an SEO company, SEO agency, single SEO expert or site owner you still have to be familiar with SEO to improve your site’s positions. To make your life easier and make your campaign more effective you certainly need the SEO tracking and ranking tool, and a good one, surely. A thought-out SEO tool will save your precious time, give you insights of strengths and weaknesses of the site, help you to make a right decisions about your promotion. But SEO software quantity grows day by day, and it is quite hard to find the right one without wasting time on the trials.
Allow me to introduce you to an SEO ranking software that is one of the best on the market – RankSonic.com.
With RankSonic, you can get extended website analytics, track changes in your daily rankings and browse advanced information about your competitor’s activity. This SEO software allows you to track your ranking in any selected country or city.
One of the most excellent possibility every SEO company will appreciate is a RankSonic White Label feature.
White Label allows users to connect their own domain (or subdomain) and label the RankSonic SEO tool with company’s logo and custom design. On the same domain, users also can make fully customized reports and send it to their clients or share with the coworkers. Handy thing, isn’t it?
One more mod feature that RankSonic have is a Site Auditor Module. It’s a crawl tool that analyze the structure of your website. Site Auditor will find the most critical issues on your site that can cost you rankings – missing titles, descriptions, broken links, non-existing pages and more. It definitely is a lot of help then you working with the content of your site. This tool will be useful for web developers and content managers or during the SEO expertise.
It’s so easy to work with RankSonic. Just a couple minutes to spend and you will get all the information at once. Let’s see how to create a project there, socialbarrel.com will be used as an example.
Search engine optimisation Or Social media marketing, which one would you Believe is best? Time and money are valuable for people who own a small business. Here, a crucial question arises – if a business has limited resources then what it should choose between SEO and social media marketing?
A quick and clear answer for this question would be – both (SEO as well as Social Media Marketing).
Check out a handful of facets of SEO and social media – exactly how they perform alongside one another, and occasionally versus each other. Like that, you’ll be able to take better decisions for your online busine ss’s marketing campaign.
Social websites optimising or Search engine optimisation for Your Headlines
Headlines are crucial for both SEO and social media marketing. So, how to figure out that which one will be getting more priority than the other? On one hand you want your headline to have the targeted keywords and it becomes visible on search engines, whereas on the other side you also want to attract social media audience with quality content. So, which way you’re willing to go?
The solution for this problem is the same as before – use both of them together. Although optimising the headline concurrently for social media marketing and search engines like Google is not great, it undoubtedly makes you Imaginative and creative. And when you’re definitely experiencing confusion caught, use the headline as a listicle. Of course, there’s a motive why lots of enterprises are making use of them besides it just being a trend!
Spammers and Fake Accounts
The organization environment can regrettably get rather unattractive. And if you’re willing to shed extra money, there isn’t a lack of individuals who are inclined to struggle at their extreme capabilities to suit your needs. What does this implies for your search engine optimisation campaign? The money, effort and time you’ve put into promoting your site’s rankings may possibly end up with being zero if your competitors are working against your SEO campaign outside your knowledge.
One of several means by which your competitors may attack is through social network websites. They produce faux accounts on social media sites symbolizing your business and then post your site content with huge amount of negative feedback, and as a result you’re flagged as spam. Due to the extensive authority of social media pages, they’re more likely to represent your business on search engine results pages. Such cases are quite common and it would be a bit difficult for you to face such situations.
Search for you business on a regular basis by using social media platforms and search engines. If you come across an account declaring to represent your enterprise, flag/report it straightaway. Many social media platforms such as Facebook is notably strict about implementing its “no fake accounts” rule, so don’t hesitate in flagging/reporting such pages. Observe the feedback on your own blog posts also. In the event you don’t have enough time to check the feedback, try to avoid such option on your website first of all. Though it’s not a good option, but having no comments section is way better than getting marked as a spam site.
Social Media Search engines surpassing Regular Search engines
Taking into account that a large number of people are utilising their phones today as an alternative to their computer systems, there are various occasions when your Search engine optimisation wouldn’t be useful – until you apply a local search strategy. Men and women also seek for issues in Facebook, they look for video in YouTube’s search engine and click on Twitter and Instagram hash-tags.
Men and women also seek for issues in Facebook, search for video in YouTube’s search engine and click on Twitter and Instagram hash-tags. This implies that if your website isn’t optimised for search engines and social networking then it won’t appear in the results.
An additional risk is definitely from the pretty big sites that have a lot of website page authority and have much space in the SERPs. For instance, if you search for “SEO Gold Coast’ then you will notice such sites. Experts have stated that this development will proceed to increase.
Be more social than ever! Companies don’t need to be on every social networking site to be optimised for social media marketing. The truth is that a method like that could be unnecessary, time intensive, and expensive. Having said that, you might want to be mindful with regard to the SERPs, examine what your competitors are doing, and create profiles on each competitor’s website. Conduct a personal research about your targeted consumers. Find out that where are they most likely to look for your company? Decide exactly where your viewers are hunting for the products your company offers, and join those platforms immediately.
Last week, we reported that Google is hiring an SEO to work as an employee in their Google Cloud Platform division.
This weekend, I was forwarded an email from an SEO I know that shows Google is now hiring SEOs on a 12-month contract basis to work on the Google Store website at store.google.com.
The contract job means Google will not be hiring you directly, but instead, a third-party company will be your employer. You will, however, be working on-site in Google’s offices at Mountain View, California. The job title is “SEO Specialist/Project Manager II,” and the SEO contractor will be responsible for marketing Google’s devices, i.e., Nexus phones, tablets, Android Wear watches, Chromebooks, Nest, Chromecast, accessories, etc., through Google’s e-commerce storefront at store.google.com.
I do not want to reveal too much information here, but the job requires at least 3 years of SEO experience, technical know how when it comes to schema, and managing large-scale SEO efforts.
I don’t see a way to apply for this job, rather, the agency is reaching out to SEOs they think would be good at the job. I believe it pays around $60 per hour, which I am told is low for the Silicon Valley region.
On Google’s list of philosophies, the very first one is “focus on the user and all else will follow.” But in the past, many SEO professionals have ignored this advice, crafting web pages designed primarily for Web crawlers, and crammed with keywords.
While such an SEO-only strategy worked well 10 years ago, Google and other search engines have since come a long way. In particular, Google’s sophistication is such that designing for UX (user experience) is much more valuable than designing just for SEO (search engine optimization).
That said, totally abandoning SEO in favor of a UX-focused approach is misguided. While it is true that SEO and UX have become more and more complementary — and that designing for UX does often result in improved SEO — there are some UX elements that affect Google’s ability to crawl a website, and some areas in which they benefit each other.
Social media is an integral part of search engine optimization. Aside from gaining social signals necessary for ranking, platforms like Facebook and Twitter are great places to find hot leads. Nothing is as satisfying as seeing your number of Fans or Followers increase as days pass. Even better? Seeing them engage with your posts through comments, Likes, and reTweets.
However, not everyone is who they seem to be on social media. There are companies and/or individuals who get a kick from creating fake accounts. These can be used for several purposes, but mainly to a) attract audiences, b) get clicks to their website, and c) increase ranking. If you’ve seen some users without profile pictures or those with suspiciously low number of Tweets – beware!
Your business page could be suffering from fake fans or followers.
DIY website creator Wix wants to make starting a career in web design as easy as it’s made building your own site.
Today, the company is launching WixEd, a free online education program that teaches Wix users everything they need to know to launch their own website design business.
The course consists of three parts: Wix Webmaster, which teaches web design with the tools Wix provides, and two business and marketing classes that cover all aspects of running a small business with intros to SEO, e-commerce, accounting, and photography. (read more)