The Principles of SEO: Without The Confusing Techy Language
Let’s face it… SEO is too technical for the average person.
What a load of rubbish, that’s just a myth some agencies and “experts” like to claim.
Yeah sure, there are some complex bits, some a bit techy than others and some that baffle the best of us, but we’re here to share some guiding principles that are fundamental to doing SEO well.
It’s time to consume some organic goodness, because Wednesday’s are about to get GIANT.
Hello, my name is Luke and welcome to Giant Wednesday, the only place to be to discover the wonderful world of digital marketing. Don’t forget to subscribe to our channel and post your comments below.
SEO, one of the many three letter acronyms in the digital marketing world, is all about getting free, organic traffic to your website from a search engine.
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation.
The clue is in the name really, you’re going to have to optimise your website to appear in search engines.
All with the aim of increasing the quantity of quality traffic to your site.
Before we get into the nuts and bolts, it is really important to understand what Google’s mission is.
Google provides a service to its users. If Google provides a bad service, people would simply Google “Bing” and start using Bing as their primary search engine. But what is a good service and why should you care?
Let me frame this slightly differently. If you were looking to buy a product from a company, what values or attributes do you want from that company?
You would want them to be a “good” company and that would be expressed with values like; knowledgeable, passionate, up to date and trustworthy. Right?
If they were, and provided a solution to your problem, you are more likely to part with your cash.
Google is no different. Ultimately, it is trying to match you, the searcher, with “good” companies in order for you to have a good experience.
So, the secret to SEO and ranking well…. Show Google you’re a “good” company.
How to do that can be done on focusing on a few key areas. There are lots of technical areas that could either be helping or hindering your site from ranking well.
So, without further ado, here are a few of the basics to look out for:
1.) Meta data or sign posts
When we talk about metadata, we are talking about; page titles, meta descriptions, H1’s, H2’s etc…
Ok, oops, we got a bit techie didn’t we? Let’s bring this back to reality for a second.
What’s the first thing you see? And the second? And the third?
As humans we have to prioritise the information around us otherwise if we considered it all equal it would just be overwhelming.
Well, Google is no different. It reads pretty much every element of every page on every site on the web. It too needs to prioritise the information on the page to help make sense of it.
Meta data is a way Google can do just that, and is also an opportunity for us to sign post to Google the most important thing on the page to help it. That’s right, we’re still in control of the robots… kind of.
Page titles, meta description, H1 (heading 1 tags) are all areas to optimise with relevant keywords and explain to Google what it will find on the page.
All without spamming it full of keywords, of course.
Of course there’s loads more detail around this, so if you want to find out more subscribe, ring the bell and be alerted to when we post more content on this topic.
Moving on to,
2.) Keyword focus
So now I’ve said to write descriptive meta data on the page, you are probably wondering where to start with building it out.
Well, the best place to start is with keyword research.
People search for a wide variety of things online, but some phrases are used more than others.
By conducting some keyword research, it will help you understand what people are looking for and, subsequently, should help you with lots of aspects of your marketing, not just your digital!
Once you know what keywords people search for, look at how you can update your meta data, content and site structure to include these terms. The most important terms identified should have their own page and a good amount of relevant content that focus on the term and variations of it.
Again guys, remember this is not 1998 – do not spam the page with keywords. Use them naturally in sentences so users can read and love it, but also so Google knows what you’re offering.
3.) Links and outreach
Links, a classic area of controversy in the SEO world.
Firstly, when we are talking links we are talking about the ones that come from other sites to yours. Otherwise known as inbound links.
Every link back to your site passes some value to your site from the originator site. Essentially each link a signal of trust from their site to yours.
So based on that, you might think the more links the better, right? Well you’re wrong!
Not all links are equally valuable. Once upon a time in a galaxy far far away, about six years ago, any link was good. The more the merrier in fact.
However, this lead to some companies buying lots of links or getting links from link farm sites – the type of sites set up with the sole purpose to link back to other sites.
Going back to our initial point about Google trying to rank “good” companies, and this sort of activity isn’t the kinda thing a “good” company would do. Or at least, it wouldn’t help Google identify good from bad.
The key now is to get high quality links from trustworthy, relevant sources. To do this you need to deliver something of interest and value in order to get people to link back to it.
Again, this is a topic we’ll go into more detail in during another episode of Giant Wednesday. Hit the subscribe button! You know you want to.
4.) Load speed
This one’s pretty straight forward, but super important.
How many of you have visited a website only to sit there staring blankly at the page whilst it struggles to load?
How annoying is that? And certainly not a good customer experience…
Well Google hears you, and load speed is something they build into their ranking factors.
A key point is also that mobile speed is more important than desktop load speed due to more people using the web on mobile nowadays.
Check the description below for some links to some mobile testing sites you can use to check how fast your site loads, as well as information on what’s causing it to potentially be loading slowly.
Spoiler alert! 9 times out of 10, it is probably a MASSIVE image on your homepage carousel.
Moral of the story, get optimising for load speed.
5.) HTTPs secure certificate
Keeping this one nice and simple because it’s quite a techie sounding thing.
But get a secure certificate for your site. If you have “https” then you are fine.
If you don’t, get a secure certificate!
Remember, Google wants to trust you, and what better way than to show you’re trustworthy than with something that brands your site as secure?
And that’s me done with a brief overview of the principles of SEO and some “techie” style things you can do to make sure you’re appearing first when a customer comes looking.
We’ll go into more detail on the points mentioned in this video in future Giant Wednesdays, so make sure to hit the subscribe button for their release.
Got any questions or need any help? Comment below. We’ll be in touch!