Basic SEO

Posted in Digital.
Basic SEO

First off, what does SEO even stand for? Silent elephant oscillations? Silky egg omelettes? No… It actually stands for Search engine optimisation- but what even is that?

In practise, SEO is centred on the concept of increasing the quantity of traffic to your site and improving exposure through non-paid (or “organic”) search engine results. Despite the acronym, it is as much about web-users and their search habits than search engines alone. Understanding what people are searching for online by tracking trending products, styles and brands and ultimately knowing exactly what people want to consume.

Initially finding the answers to all of these questions can be challenging, but fundamentally once you have achieved this; you will find connecting to the people who are searching for the solutions you offer, much easier.

If knowing your audience’s intent is one side of the SEO coin, delivering it in a way search engine can find and understand is the other.

Looks are (almost) everything

Well, not exactly, but the on page SEO looks at what your site (or page) is about. Search engines look at what is actually written on the page, mimicking a human. Therefore good quality, clear copy is absolutely essential for success. Additionally certain aspects of your site such as title tags, headings and URL structure are also included in this on-page SEO.

Off-page, or technical SEO, focuses on increasing the authority of your site through appearing as a link on other websites.  A good analogy for how authority works is this. If you have a bathtub with rubber ducks in it (the ducks are your pages), and you start filling the tub with water (links), your ducks are all going to rise to the top.  This is how a site like Wikipedia ranks for pretty much everything under the sun.  It has so much water in its bathtub that if you throw another rubber duck in it, it’s going to float straight to the top. So what’s the best way to add more water to your bathtub?

  • Creating relevant content that people want to link to because it is valuable.
  • Social media shares of your content that generate links.
  • Outreach e-mails to influencers in your industry that link back to you.
  • Guest blogging on sites related to yours.  These guest posts will have links back to your site.

Whilst paid advertising, social media, and other online platforms can generate traffic to your site, search engines drive the majority of online traffic, almost exclusively.

SEO is also one of the only online marketing channels that, when set up correctly, can continue to pay dividends over time. If you create great content content that deserves to rank for the right keywords, your traffic can snowball over time, whereas advertising needs continuous funding to send traffic to your site.

Search engines are getting smarter, but they still need our help!

Optimising your site will help deliver better information to search engines so that your content can be properly displayed within search results.

Basic principles:

  • Make pages for users, not search engines.
  • Don’t deceive your users – attract the right people for the right reasons.
  • Avoid tricks intended to improve search engine rankings. Ask yourself, will this help real people! New and existing clients?
  • Think about what makes your business and website unique, valuable, or engaging.

Things to avoid:

  • Automatically generated content of any kind. Copywriting does take time – but it worth doing properly in the long run.
  • Participating in link schemes, even if legitimate these schemes can actually decrease your Google rank.
  • Creating pages whole pages with no original content – simply copied and pasted from competitors and contemporaries. Again… Copywriting matters!
  • Hidden text and links
  • Doorway pages — pages created to rank well for specific searches to funnel traffic to your website – this is dishonest and can

Here at Hughes, we offer some the more technical aspects of SEO as part of our website hosting and maintenance packages. Alternatively we can quote independently for other SEO work if you’ve already got your hosting, maintenance and SSL covered. So whether you’re looking for an audit or a re-write of your on page copy, get in touch here.