Four Types of SEO Found on Every Website
Optimising your online business doesn’t have to be expensive or time-consuming. Check out these basic techniques.
The term ‘Search Engine Optimisation’ is used a lot in the modern world of digital marketing. Sometimes referred to as Search Engine Marketing and commonly abbreviated to SEO, this simple term was in fact in use before the creation of Google in the late 1900s. However, the internet has come a long way since then, and in the modern age of digital technology, SEO has dramatically expanded.
Now more of an umbrella term than a specific technique, Search Engine Optimisation is the jewel in the digital marketing campaign’s crown. With many businesses hugely reliant on their ability to be found on search engines, the importance of being ranked highly on sites such as Google cannot be overstated.
However, for many small and medium-sized businesses, the term SEO can be quite daunting. Beliefs that it is complicated and expensive can stop companies from attempting SEO at all. The truth is, though, that optimisation can be really simple, as every website has some form of SEO on it that can be optimised with very little time and effort! Here are some simple types of Search Engine Optimisation that are quick and easy to do, which could help your website stand out.
First of all, it’s important to understand what search engines, such as Google, are doing when they arrive at your site. Simply put, their data-catchers, often referred to as spiders, crawl your page to try and understand what it is about in the simplest way possible. Search engines are looking for key indicators that explain your website’s point of focus, and one of the first things it will look at is the page title.
It’s important to note here that the page title isn’t always the biggest piece of writing on the page – search engines look for code, not sizes or colours. The title is often the writing that appears at the top of the web browser, usually in the webpage ‘tab’. The title informs search engines, in the bluntest way possible, what is on the page, and is key towards optimising your site.
Make sure that what you are offering or promoting features in every relevant title page, so Google knows where people should look if they’re searching for that service. Like most things in SEO, you must find a balance between pleasing the search engine spiders and also making it clear and easily readable for your users.
This point applies particularly to companies with a lot of text on their pages but is also found on many shopping sites. H Tags is the term commonly used for headings on a webpage. While, as we mentioned previously, search engines cannot tell headings based on size, they can discover them through coding, and they use these headings to understand your page in more detail.
Like with the page titles, this is about making it crystal clear to Google everything that your page is offering. While it might look engaging for consumers to put a personal message or slogan in this space on a page, this does very little to help your standing in the eyes of search engines. Again, you need to make a compromise between pleasing potential consumers and appealing to search engine spiders, so more people can reach your site.
Using images in SEO is a lesser-used concept that can, at times, divide opinion. This is also a good time to introduce that key point once more – search engine spiders cannot ‘look’ at your website in the traditional sense. They can only understand the site’s code and will not pick up on colours or other visuals. That is why almost all images on the internet now have alt text, a phrase that accompanies the picture’s code which search engines can use to understand the picture’s contents. Alt tags can be freely modified, which makes this another website feature that can help with SEO. However, the way it is used is important.
Image optimisation steps into the realm of white and black hat SEO. Put simply, white hat SEO is slow but lasting ethical optimisation, and black hat is unethical, with quick but wavering results. It is possible to use image tags as a way of forcing your products and services through the search engine machine repeatedly. However, we would always recommend being honest with Google about the content of your images. Not only does this help with long-term ranking, but it will also show a human side to your site that search engines are increasingly looking for.
The meta description often separates those companies that know SEO from those that do not. In reality, though, it is straightforward and uses a lot of the techniques and practices previously mentioned. Meta descriptions are what appear under the title of the page on search engines, usually in grey font, and is there to explain to users what is on your page. The meta often has to be entered manually, or search engines will randomly pull text from the top of the page to use. While search engine spiders may also use meta descriptions to understand the page further, this small passage plays a larger role in getting search users onto your site, making it something worth completing.
These are just a few simple ways of making your site more search engine friendly. While this will give you a good foundation to build on, SEO is a long process, and genuine improvements take a lot of commitment and effort. A blog is often the next step towards search engine improvement – take a look at our post on tips for creating a successful business blog for some quick and easy pointers on this. However, if you are looking to take your business’ SEO to the next level, why not get in contact with us today?