You may or may not have heard about SEO, either way it can be a confusing subject to understand and even more confusing to apply. However, if you have a website then you need to be sure that you are utilising your SEO potential. But don’t worry, it’s not as complicated or as confusing as it may seem on the outside but rather pretty straight forward and easy to apply once you know what you’re doing. To help you out with utilising SEO; we’ve written a guide for you covering the basics of SEO, how it can help you and how you can apply them.
What is SEO?
The acronym SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, which as it sounds is all to do with optimizing your website for search engines such as Google. Through the use of SEO you can increase both the quality and quantity of your website traffic through organic searches. Organic searches: Search results that are not paid for and come up naturally when something is typed into a search engine. Through efficient SEO you can better connect to those people how are searching for the answers that you could provide. For example, if you have a website that is all about different types of locks, and someone asks a search engine “What is a mortice lock?”, if your SEO is maximised then your site will appear in the search results.
Why is SEO important?
The amount of traffic your website receives is driven by search engine results, it is suggested that up to 90% of people searching on the web don’t go past the first page of results. This means that if your website doesn’t appear on the first page you are unlikely to get much traffic through to your site. Traffic: The visitors to a website, who arrive by clicking the link on the search engine results Don’t let this scare you though as it is often the best pieces of solid content with lots of keywords (we will talk about this later) that determine ranking on a search engine and the greatest thing about SEO is that it can snowball traffic overtime without cost whereas continual advertising needs investment and funding.
As mentioned before SEO is essentially a free way of getting your website liked by a search engine so that it appears more relevant to users and therefore appears higher in searches.
How does SEO work?
When content is uploaded onto the internet, search engines will ‘crawl’ the pages so that it can be indexed into categories by the content that is on it, this is how search engines provide relevant search results. Crawling: The process where search engines discover updated content on the internet, for example: new sites and pages, changes to existing sites and pages, and dead links. Indexing: When a search engine processes the pages that it has crawled and creates a list of the words, locations and content of the pages so it can categorise the website correctly. Search engines, such as Google, will scan millions of content whilst taking into account thousands of different factors to determine what content will answer the question that someone has just asked. These factors include things such as content length, content relevance, keywords and site traffic.
What comes up in search engines?
When someone uses a search engine, it produces SERPs (Search Engine Result Pages) which are the links to the pages that the search engine believes to be relevant to the question asked. Search engine result pages: The pages displayed by the search engines in response to a question being asked by a user. Alongside links to pages you can find other things such as: featured snippets, answer boxes, image carousels and people also ask boxes, all of which the search engine has deemed relevant to the search. The top results are often advertisements where they have paid to be there, these can be identified by the AD logo that sits beside the URL of the link within the search page. Although search engines do make money from paid advertisements their main goal is to solve users’ queries and provide them with relevant content; which means that the user will keep coming back to use the search engine.
Keywords; what are they and how can I use them?
Keywords are ideas and topics that define your content, they mirror words and phrases that are often used by users when searching a particular topic. For example, if someone was searching for lemon cakes the potential keywords surrounding that phrase could be; lemon drizzle cake, lemon cake recipe, lemon drizzle cake recipe.
How do I know what they are?
A great free tool that you can use is Google Keyword Planner, where you can type in a phrase and it will generate all the possible keywords surrounding the subject and also tell you how many searches they get a month. To use this tool you will have to create a Google Ads account but this is free to set up.
How can I use them?
By making sure that your content contains the keywords that are relevant to your subject matter, it better helps a search engine to classify your content so that when a user searches for an answer you could provide, your content will appear in their search results. Subject matter: The topic discussed or represented in a piece of work. The better your keyword usage, the more relevant the search engine sees your page and this will potentially give you a higher listing on the search engine results page.
Content: Information that is on a website or the internet. This could be pictures, writing or videos. The most important thing to remember about content for your website is that you want to answer the questions that people have and understanding what people search online, the answers they want, the words they are using and the content they are searching for, will help you to better create the content that fit’s their needs.
Content can be anything from writing a paragraph about your business to creating an informational graphic with tips. The most common content you will have to produce would be an introductory paragraph about your business on your website and information about any services that you provide. Your main goal when creating content is to produce relevant information for what people are searching for whilst using keywords, so that you have a better chance of users finding your content on the results page. For example; you are a locksmith in the Brighton area with a professional website. A potential customer goes online to look for a locksmith typing into the search engine “Local Brighton Locksmith”. For this search, you would want your content to focus on your business but also include the phrase ‘Local Brighton Locksmith’ or ‘Local Locksmith’ in order to be classed as a relevant page for the users search.
|Make your content first and foremost for users of the internet||Have automatically created content|
|Create reliable and truthful content – don’t deceive users||Have little or copied content (Not original)|
|When creating content think “will this help my website users?”||Have hidden links or text|
|Make your content unique and engaging||Overload your content with Keywords unnecessarily|
|Have clear and relevant titles|
|Use H1 and H2 tags to your advantage|
H1 and H2 tags
H1, otherwise referred as Heading 1, is similar to the title of your content piece. This title summaries all of the ideas and the topic of your piece, and will usually contain keywords that are related to both your content specifically and the subject. For example, in this blog the H1 tag is ‘The Locksmith’s Guide to SEO’. H2, or Heading 2, is used to break up your paragraphs within your page into relevant sections, with the H2 containing keywords related to the specific topic of the section, For example, in this blog the H2 tags have been ‘What is SEO?’ and ‘SEO basics’.
How can they be useful?
Search engines, such as Google, look for keywords in both H1 and H2 tags, alongside the keyword density in the content whilst crawling and indexing your page content. There’s no necessity for an exact keyword match but having the right keywords in your H1 and H2 tags will give the perception to the search engine that your content will be more relevant for the user’s search which will improve your potential search engine rankings. Search engine rankings: The position that your web page appears in the search results
How can I use them?
You can best utilize H1 and H2 tags by doing research on the keywords that surrounds the topic you are talking about and trying to use them in your heading tags. For example, looking again at Brighton Locksmith;
Usually when creating a web page the most common tool that is used is WordPress , to find out more about it click here.
The H1 tag clearly displays what you are and what your content is going to be about; it contains the three most important keywords: Local, Brighton and Locksmith. This means that for whatever variation of wording that a user might type in, for example Local Locksmith Brighton, your content should appear as relevant to a search engine and then appear in the seach results.
Very similarly, the first H2 tag is using the same pattern as the H1 tag so that it seems more relevant to the search engine. However, a good tip for H2 tags is to use keywords but also to phrase them in questions. As said before, in search results you often see ‘people also ask’ boxes with drop down anwers. By phrasing some of your H2 tags as questions, when they are index they could appear as an answer box for a users’ question if they have asked a smiliar or related question.
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If you found our guide to SEO useful why not check out our other blogs including Understanding Lock Prices and 10 Easy Home Security Check you can do today!