What is SEO?
SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is the process of improving the quality and quantity of website traffic to your website from search engines such as Google. It includes certain best practices to ensure that Google favours your website when users search certain keywords. You can think of it as a person crawling your website to see what information on your website is relevant to the query a user has just searched on Google, and whether they should suggest your website to find the answer. This is why SEO is so important. It makes sure Google understands the content on your website/web page and what queries it can answer.
Just like with Google Ads, where you pay your way into the search results and Google My Business (GMB), where you can freely display all your important business details in the search results page. SEO is another “free” way to appear on the search results page. We say “free” because it’s not so free when you have to pay someone to do it for you.
SEO best practices
SEO requires a lot of time and effort to ensure the best practices are used in your website. Old school SEO practices used to include keyword stuffing, which is placing a bunch of keywords in the back of your website to try rank for them on Google. Nowadays, these forms spam won’t help you, and can actually harm your page. Google’s algorithm has improved drastically since then. Google is even able to crawl your social media pages to further understand and rank your business according to the best practices.
Currently, the best practices include:
- Updating your website regularly.
- Specifically, through SEO-friendly content like blogs and the actual technology your website is built on.
- Having a mobile-friendly website.
- Over 80% of web browsing is being consumed on mobile devices.
- Having a fast-loading website.
- Having a secure website (HTTPS certificate).
- A website secured by an SSL certificate, will have the acronym HTTPS (HyperText Transfer Protocol Secure) in the URL. Without an SSL certificate, only the letters HTTP (without the S for Secure) will appear. A padlock icon will also display in the URL address bar.
- Making use of internal linking on your website.
- Improving User Experience.
- Creating compelling Title Tags and Meta Descriptions.
- These help more for click through rates from the search results page.
These best practices are in place for good reasons. Google wants to continuously optimize its users’ search experience. Following these will help improve your ranking.
Keeping up with Google’s algorithm changes
Google’s algorithm changes all the time. In fact, they say it changes up to 8 times a day with minor changes and up to once a year with major changes. In order to keep up with these changes, you have to continuously test and measure to figure out what Google wants to see on your website and what improves your SEO. These algorithm changes can very quickly take you from number one on the results page to the second page.
These constant algorithm changes just mean that Google is getting smarter each day, which is great for users. For example, it’s the reason why Google knows that when you search “how to make chocolate brownies” it will show you blogs with recipes, as opposed to when you search “chocolate brownies for sale” it will show you ecommerce sites or businesses that sell chocolate brownies.
SEO is very complex. One thing to note when you are buying a website or having a website developed for you and the developers say that they’re doing basic SEO, all they’re really doing is ticking some boxes. So don’t expect your website to just appear on Google unless you’re running Google ads or have GMB set up properly. Especially if it’s new because age is another factor that can come into play.
There are plenty of best practices to follow. We suggest having a look at your website to see which best practices you need to implement. Otherwise, come talk to us to assist and advise you. Implementing SEO best practices is a slow long process, where you only start seeing results after about six months. But it’s certainly worth it when you do start seeing those results.