I regularly get asked by people what they can be doing better to improve traffic to their blog, website or social media page and my answer remains unchanged, improve your Search Engine Optimisation (SEO).
In return I generally get a bewildered look that tells me that not only are they ignoring an incredibly important and vital aspect of their site but I should probably make sure they’re not using Internet Explorer (seriously, please stop using it).
So what does this magical SEO term actually mean? Simply put, SEO is the process of ensuring that the your website and other web content is optimised for search engines (Google, Bing, Yahoo etc) to crawl (find) and index (make a list) to allow your webpage and content to be easily searched and found.
When you break it down, search engines are designed to get an answers for users that are relevant as well as useful and important based on their search query.
The SEO process is meant to influence the search results to ensure that your website and content are seen as relavent, useful, important and reputable in the search engine indexes and thus higher in the search results.
SEO is important to ensure that you you have the greatest possible chance of being found when someone searches for a business, organisation or website similar to yours.
Say you had a website for an Melbourne business that sold wholesale pastry goods, to even compete in the already crowded market you need search engines to rank you higher in their indexes so users to find your website before they find your competitors.
This can be achieved by using SEO practices such as ensuring that your website and content are set out well and that the content on your pages is relevant, timely and of a high standard.
It’s true that it can be a very daunting and technical process to understand and even harder to enact, but even a little knowledge of good SEO practices can help you and your website out.
It can be as simple as looking at how you are presenting the content on your sites. For example, don’t go putting text that you want indexed and associated with your site inside images or making sure that you are using clean (uncluttered) keyword rich URL address for your content for the web crawlers to easily index.
You often see people forking out big bucks for a fancy logo that includes their address or other key auxiliary information that should be getting indexed but isn’t as it’s inside an image (hint: it happens a lot on Facebook pages!)
For anyone who is new to SEO, I strongly suggest that you check out the wonderful and free SEO guide at Moz.com that can guide you through the basics of SEO.
I’ll write more about some actual SEO practices in the near future, but until then check out Moz’s guide to SEO and let me know what your favourite SEO practice is.
Until next time,