A beginner’s guide to SEO
Search engine optimisation is an essential part of modern marketing, helping you to boost your brand and stand out from the competition.
In today’s digital world, search engine optimisation (SEO) should be a priority for any business with an online presence. Done well, it can be an invaluable marketing tool, helping to boost brand visibility and getting your goods and services in front of a larger number of potential customers. Without it, you could find yourself losing out to more digitally-savvy competitors
But what exactly does SEO involve and how can you make it work for your business? We spoke to a SEO Essex agency to find out.
Define your keywords
Keywords are the backbone of any SEO strategy, so it makes sense to start here. Simply speaking, keywords are words or phrases that people are entering into search engines in order to find your products or services. Populating your online content with the ‘right’ keywords is crucial to SEO success, and carrying out some research into your industry sector, competitors and customer behaviour will help you to identify the best keywords for your business. If you’re struggling, there are number of online tools which can help to simplify this process. Don’t rush this step as the keywords you choose will inform the rest of your SEO activities.
Optimise onsite content and images
Once you have decided upon your keywords, you can start to optimise your onsite content. To optimise all the pages on your website, populate the meta-titles, descriptions and headings with unique, tailored, keyword-rich content. Similarly, you need to optimise any images by making sure that alt-text fields are completed, taking care to include those all-important keywords. This can seem like an overwhelming task, especially if you have a large website, so start by prioritising those pages which will have the biggest impact.
You may have heard the phrase ‘content is King’, and there is good reason for that. Every piece of content you produce gives search engines an additional page to index, so creating regular content is essential for effective SEO. Blog posts, news articles, videos, and how-to guides can all provide you with a steady stream of content. Just be sure that anything you produce is engaging and relevant to your visitors. Creating irrelevant or bad quality content that is stuffed with keywords is frowned upon by the search engine bots – and it doesn’t go down too well with customers either!
So far, we have talked primarily about onsite optimisation, but there are also some offsite activities which can help to boost your rankings. Alongside content, google also prioritises links, and having a selection of quality inbound links can make all the difference to your SEO performance. To get these links you will need to build relationships with bloggers and website owners. This isn’t always easy to do but the pay-off certainly makes it worth the effort. Just make sure to choose reputable referral sources – lots of links from low-quality sites could see you being penalised by the major search engines.
Measure and evaluate
Measurement and evaluation are essential to any marketing activity – and SEO is no exception. By understanding what is and isn’t working, you can make tweaks to your SEO activity to ensure that it is providing the best possible benefit to your business. Analysing your search engine position and web traffic figures is a great starting point to help you determine whether your SEO strategy is effective and how it could be improved.
SEO may seem complicated, but a few simple steps is all it takes to make a significant difference to your business.