SEO (search engine optimisation) is a methodology of strategies, techniques and tactics used to increase the number of visitors to a website by obtaining a high-ranking placement in the search results page of search engines like Google.
SEO strategies vary from what firms can do to their website (on-page SEO) to improve its ranking, to promotional ‘off-page’ approaches firms can use to raise their website’s visibility (social media marketing, link building, etc).
A website’s ‘visibility’ refers to how high it appears for certain search terms on a search engine’s result page.
Here are just a few elements search engines look for in a website that firms should consider in their online marketing strategies to improve their website’s visibility.
Search engines serve to provide the most relevant results to a searcher’s query. Firms, therefore, need to make sure their website’s content is as relevant as possible to what clients and prospective clients type into Google’s search bar.
- The quality of content
Firms need to focus more on user experience than how many keywords they need to have on their website. Regularly publishing helpful, useful articles for human beings, not search engines, should be part of every firm’s online marketing strategy. Search engines are now ranking websites based on a visitor’s intention as a whole, instead of the number of keywords in content.
- User experience
Providing a good user experience carries many SEO benefits. Firms need an easily navigable, clearly searchable site with relevant internal linking and related content; all the website elements that keep visitors there, and entice them to find out more.
- Site speed
How quickly a website and its pages load is fast becoming a differentiating factor for search engines.
- Internal linking
Internal linking is a practice that firms can use when publishing articles to help move traffic around their website that comes with many advantages. It provides a firm’s audience with further reading options which can help reduce the website’s bounce rate.
It also contributes to improve a firm’s website ranking for keywords e.g. if firms want an article to rank for the term ‘SMSF basics’, then they can begin linking to it from other posts using variations of similar anchor text. This practice tells Google that the post is relevant to people searching for ‘SMSF basics’.
- Local SEO
Google has started serving results to users based on their location. This practice is particularly important for firms in the real world who want to catch a searcher’s attention just at the right moment. Firms should ensure that all of their contact information is accurate and up-to-date, such as opening times, contact information and client reviews.
Firms can raise their website’s visibility through non-technical SEO methods, such as social media marketing. Firms should be present on all relevant social channels (wherever their audience is) and be broadcasting helpful content and genuinely interacting with people in a friendly, helpful manner.