What is SEO?
Search Engine Optimisation or SEO, is a broad term that covers all the techniques used to increase a website’s visibility in organic search results. This can be inclusive of web development techniques incorporating HTML and web design, and digital marketing practices focussing on content and keywords.
Keywords tend to be a more commonly and effectively used method to make your website more searchable, but beyond just the copy, there are a number of content marketing techniques used beyond just writing great content. There are a variety of blog techniques such as backlinking (including links to your other pages on your website, or links to your website from third-party websites), adding meta-data (a short overview of what the page is about), and adding alt-text (titles and captions embedded in the HTML) to images can be used in conjunction with a blog post.
It’s important to also remember that data and analytics also play a huge part in SEO. At OggaDoon we look at readability, domain authority, site speed, and reliability, and bring in reports from various Google tools to look at the wider picture and identify areas we can work to improve on.
How does web design and content affect SEO?
From a practical perspective, you want a website that not only looks good but also has the key information needed to point users in the right direction. But to optimise your website for search engines, you need to follow SEO best practice which combines elements of web development with digital marketing.
You need to ensure your website’s content and design adheres to the latest policies and synergises with search engine algorithms, as well as the obvious need to prioritise the user experience and customer journey through the website’s layout and formatting.
How do I start doing Search Engine Optimisations?
It all starts with a health-check of your website. At OggaDoon we supply a full website audit, looking at your blog, web pages, and on-site SEO. From there we are able to provide our clients with an overview of their website and an action plan for us to implement.
That action plan includes a content and keyword strategy, something that can be done retroactively and progressively. Going beyond the keywords, looking at your website’s design and HTML can provide optimisation from the back-end of the website.
How do I choose and use keywords?
There are a number of ways you can choose keywords for your web copy. Either you can undertake keyword research to identify a keyword that you want to rank for, or choose an overarching keyword from the copy on your web pages on your site.
Choosing a keyword from the copy can be a great way to employ SEO on your website in the short term, but long term you might want to refresh all your copy, using the Google Keyword Planner from Google Ads, or the Search Console – which is also accessible through Google Analytics – to help you choose words that you could or want to rank for.
The volume of searches, trends, and competition are all major considerations when selecting and forming a short or long-term keyword strategy. It takes dedicated research and commitment to your selections and ongoing strategies to maintain good SEO. There isn’t an instant return on investment, and you may not see change straight away, but longer term keyword strategies are more effective and worth the time investment.
What is good keyword practice?
You need to identify a couple of keywords or phrases that really establish who you are. These terms might be more competitive, but with the support of content focussing on more niche keywords – such as your services or products – you’ll be able to rank higher for the main keywords, whilst also capturing the more precise keyword searches.
How do people find my website?
The purpose of the Search Console, a free Google Tool that integrates into Google Analytics, is to track the search terms used to discover and click through to your website from Google’s search engine.
Tracking these will help you see how people are finding you, and how you rank for these terms. It can pull up some interesting insights that you can use to help shape future content and copy – making your website rank higher and easier to find.
How do I do keyword research?
As mentioned, a short-term SEO solution would be to choose the most prominent or important keyword in the text and use this as your focus keyword. For this, you must think more generally rather than using product names.
However, longer-term, you need to be looking at the Search Console, the volume of search results. and the Keyword Planner to get an understanding of the terms that might be used to find your website – and the competition you’ll face trying to compete for ranking on those pages.
How do I put keywords into web copy?
When it comes to writing copy you want it to be organic and natural, using your brand’s tone of voice. Whether the purpose of the web page is to provide insight or to share your story, you must go beyond just communicating to your audience and instead think about how your audience can find you. By having a keyword or phrase in mind at the beginning of your writing you’ll find yourself being more focused on what you are writing about and improving the visibility of your piece.
You can be a niche and exact as you like – as long as what you’re has a focus.
The more keywords you have throughout a web page and the website as a whole will positively affect your search ranking.
There is a caveat in that keyword stuffing – overuse of a keyword or phrase – is something that will damage your search ranking and is identifiable by Google’s search and content algorithms.
How do I know if it’s working?
It’s really easy to be misled by metrics that don’t actually paint an accurate picture of how your website is performing. Things like pages per session and time spent on site can be high, but what it doesn’t show you is that users might be coming to your website and struggling to find the information that they need.
You need to use a combination of Google Analytics reports – looking at metrics and data that go beyond the Audience Overview tab – domain authority, testing, and data from researching your site through an Incognito browser.
Improving your domain authority might be something you’ve never heard of before but you need to familiarise yourself with all the elements that contribute to its score, as domain authority dictates how well your website will rank in search engines. Through evaluations of customer journeys and user experience (UX), and a content marketing plan you’ll see your domain authority improve. Domain authority demonstrates the reliability of your website, considering the authors of your content and the value that content brings. It’s also negatively affected by long load times and bounce rates, but it strongly considers your content and means that only ‘good’ sites appear on the first page of results.
Kelly’s 5 Top Tips for SEO
- Having a good keyword density is important but avoid reams and reams of text on informational or service pages. Long form copy isn’t always right for your audience. You may be pulling people in from the search but you really want users to engage with your copy and brand.
- Tons of information and multiple calls-to-action damages UX on the website, contributing to high bounce rates and time spent on the site that doesn’t convert.
- Your overarching keyword/s or phrase should not be so niche that you miss out on a large volume of traffic from search engines. In some cases, your offering might well be niche, but exploring Google’s available tools might point you to more commonly searched terms.
- SEO isn’t just about copy and keywords – if you don’t take the time to assess the layout and usability of your website, as well as its performance, you’ll be selling yourself short.
- Always use data to help inform your decisions. Take the time to consider your own business goals and the purpose of your website. Assess the customer journey, test copy and constantly look at how your website’s analytics change and improve over time to ensure your website is always working for you.
There are so many elements to search engine optimisation that it can seem overwhelming. But by following this guide, and using the top tips to help you understand basic best practice, you’ll see change in the short term and get into good habits to help you with ongoing SEO in the future.
We understand that keeping up to date with search engine algorithms and SEO best practices can be a headache, as can all the planning and research leading up to formulating and implementing a search engine strategy. At OggaDoon we enjoy auditing our client’s websites and writing a bespoke plan to improve SEO and our clients love to see the results as we start to put our recommendations in motion. If you’re interested to see what we can offer you – at any stage of your website and content journey – then get in touch with us.