Search engine optimisation (SEO) makes up a key part of every business’s marketing strategy. It’s the main way for a company to market its website and ensure you’re seen by as many people as possible. Basically, SEO refers to how well your website is set up for search engines. A site with good SEO will rank highly in the search results and be seen by more people than one with bad SEO that lingers in the pages lower down the rankings.
As such, it’s become very important for businesses to work on improving the search engine optimisation of their site. In fact, pretty much every marketing strategy guide out there will include a section on improving your SEO. However, there’s a lot of information out there revolving around this topic. So much so that it can be hard to figure out what info is the right info – particularly if you’re a beginner and don’t really know where to begin.
Well, to help you out, we’ve devised a guide that’s packed full of all the SEO facts you need to know:
There Is A List Of SEO Ranking Factors
Most people have a vague idea that SEO helps improve your ranking. The trouble is, beginners don’t really know what to do. Thankfully, life is made a lot easier for anyone with a website as there is a list of SEO ranking factors. This list includes all the little things that Google looks for in a good website. Tick all the things off this list, and you will improve your ranking almost instantly.
Where can you find this list? Well, many sites and blogs post this list as part of their content, all you have to do is search for it. Some sites list all the different ranking factors, while others list them in order of importance. Speaking of which, it’s crucial that your business puts the majority of its focus on ranking factors with the most influence on how you perform in search engines.
Ranking Factors Can Change Over Time
It’s imperative that your business understands SEO ranking factors don’t stay the same over time. This is because they’re pretty much decided based on an algorithm created by Google. As such, they change and tweak this algorithm from time to time, meaning certain ranking factors become obsolete, and others take on more importance.
So, everyone out there that’s looking for a list of ranking factors, make sure you find one that’s dated as recently as possible. Also, try and stay in the loop with algorithm updates, so you know when changes happen. A good example of a recent change came in an update in 2017 where Google now placed more emphasis on quality website content. Essentially, if your site doesn’t provide good and engaging content, then it won’t rank as highly as can be.
There’s Offsite & Onsite SEO
This fact is very important because you need to know which types of SEO to focus on for your website. You’ll be surprised how many businesses don’t realise there’s both onsite and offsite SEO to contend with. How do they differ? With onsite SEO, you’re dealing with all the factors on your site that affect its ranking. This includes things like keywords, website structure, page loading rate, and the general content on every single page. This is arguably the most complex part of SEO as it’s all about making your site easy for search engine bots to crawl. If you don’t know what these are, then don’t worry. Basically, think about search engines sending out loads of workers to find the best web pages so they can rank them accordingly. Some pages are easier for the bots to find than others, which is why they rank higher.
Now, with offsite SEO you have things that aren’t on your actual website itself. The main thing here is link building. Websites need to generate lots of backlinks to their site for it become optimised for search engines. Plenty of companies offer off-site SEO services to help businesses get as many backlinks as possible. Google sees all these links, and it makes them think you must be an authoritative site because so many people are linking to you. Therefore, they push you up the rankings!
You Can Get Ranking Penalties
The next fact may come as a shock to you, but it’s possible to get ranking penalties if you’re not doing things correctly. Remember how we mentioned ranking factors and the Google algorithm earlier on? Well, they’re not just there as a recommendation to help you improve your SEO, they’re more of a guide to SEO best practices. Essentially, Google lists all the things that improve your ranking, but also some of the things that can damage it too. For example, if your website isn’t mobile-friendly, then you will suffer a severe ranking penalty in mobile search results. Likewise, if you constantly steal content or just don’t produce any at all, then your site will be hit with a penalty, and you’ll fall down the rankings.
Again, this just makes it more important that you focus on the SEO ranking factor guidelines to ensure you’re doing everything by the book.
SEO Revolves Around Keywords
We’ll end things with possibly the most important fact of all; SEO is dependent on keywords. When we talk about improving your search ranking, we’re talking about your ranking for certain keyword searches. So, before you start doing anything, make sure your business does keyword research to figure out which ones you should target.
For example, if you run a marketing business, then you’ll be targeting searches that include keywords like ‘marketing’ ‘SEO’ ‘link building’ ‘digital marketing’ and so on. This helps ensure your site finds the right web traffic, which can be converted into leads and sales.
There you have it; some SEO facts for beginners – though I’m sure some intermediates will benefit from these facts too! Search engine optimisation is essential, so it pays to have a little bit of knowledge built up before you start improving your website.
*This is a contributed post