SEO (or its full title, search engine optimization). In basic terms, it means the procedures of improving your website to grow its visibility in search engine results. The more prominent your pages are in search results, the more likely you are to get attention. Attention which attracts potential and current customers to your business. For your SEO strategy to be effective, it should be split into two categories. On-page SEO and Off-Page SEO.
But what is the difference between the two?
On-page SEO are factors which are completely within your control. They are factors which are focused on optimising your website from the inside out. On-page SEO tells search engines what your pages are about and how easy they are to use and follow.
On-page SEO takes into factors such as links, page speed, content, mobile responsiveness and navigation.
Core Web Vitals and Page Speed
Core web vitals and page speed are important to search engines. Search engines want to provide their users with high-quality, relevant information based on their search. They want their users to be able to access websites which will provide them with the information they need quickly while providing them with a positive experience. Google (the most used search engine globally) will rank websites higher based on speed and Core Vitals’ overall experience.
Around 62% of all website traffic these days comes from a mobile phone. So it makes sense that if you do have a website, it has been fully optimised for mobile users. Otherwise that is a potential 62% of people alienated from accessing your webpages. A well-optimised website for mobile users will show the content fully without the user having to zoom in and out. It will have appropriately sized tap targets (think buttons and menu) to allow users to navigate your site easily.
Title tags, or ‘page titles’ as they’re sometimes known, tell the search engine and the user what content to expect on that page. The keyword (or keyphrase) should also be in this title. Don’t be tempted to make the page title too short (or indeed too long). A well-written title tag should be around 70 characters in length.
You know when you search for something on Google and search results come up with a page, there is usually a description attached to it. This is a meta description. Meta Descriptions should be no more than 160 characters but also no less than 150. Your meta description should be concise yet indicate the page’s content and contain your keyword or key phrase.
Above all, the content on your website is the most important part of it. After all, this is the information that your customers and website visitors are ultimately visiting your website for. Your content should be useful for the user, unique to your website, and relevant to the user’s query. When setting your keyword or keyphrase for a web page, you should bear in mind what a user might be searching for to get to your webpage. Your content needs to be easy to read to make it accessible to the majority of website visitors. Your content should also contain your keyword or keyphrase at least 4-5 times.
Image Alt Text
Whilst most users will be able to view a picture and know what the picture contains, there are people who would not. Accessibility is a key component in Core Web Vitals. There will be people accessing your content using screen readers due to visual impairments. These users will need the alt text to be able to describe the image to them. In addition to this, search engine crawl bots cannot view images in the same way humans can. They rely on the alt text to inform them of its content and its relevance of it to your webpage. Where possible, ensure that the keyword or keyphrase is included in the alt text of the images.
Search engine crawl bots will enter your website on one page and will rely on valuable links to other pages in your website to properly enter the site into the index. By using internal links and building up a site structure on all pages on your website, you can ensure that new content added to your website is found quickly and easily and indexed correctly, ready to be put in front of the users searching for your content.
Off-page SEO is where your digital marketing strategy comes in. While backlinks are still one of the most important factors in building your off-page SEO, as social media and digital marketing move forward, so does the need to be active across any third-party sites you use.
Backlinks should be plentiful and high quality to be noticed by search engine algorithms and not marked as link spam. Aim for your backlinks to be from high-ranking and authoritative websites. This helps the search engines determine your authority and relevance when making decisions on where your website will rank in search engine results.
Social media shares, comments and reactions will not directly influence your SEO. However, it is an incredible marketing tool to get your name out there and to help existing and potential customers engage with you and your business. Search engines will also index pages on all of the major social networking platforms, if you’re active consistently, you will be more likely to be found.
Google My Business (GMB)
Ever wondered how you can find businesses on Google Maps? This is largely populated by content found on a business’s Google My Business profile. It is information that you can control and provide directly to Google to be indexed in the maps. Google My Business is possibly one of the most vital parts of off-page SEO for local searches (meaning searches from people looking for you in the local area).
A good SEO strategy does not just focus on working on either off-page or on-page SEO. A good SEO strategy recognises the importance of working on both of them and ensuring that your search engine optimisation on your website is set up and maintained for success. If you would like to learn more about how Social+ can streamline and boost your organic SEO both on your website and off it, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us.