I need effective SEO for my website
Website owners panic about SEO. How do you make effective SEO for your website? Where do you begin? What happens when you need SEO for your website? Where can you get it?
I think one of the main problems is that SEO has never been particularly transparent.
The old-fashioned ‘black hat’ techniques that have been ousted, thank goodness, are dead. But even the phrase ‘black hat’ links it to wizardry and the dark arts don’t you think? No wonder we are all slightly suspicious of anyone who claims to be an SEO expert. It may also mean we are hesitant when it comes to working out an effective SEO strategy.
So how do you manage effective SEO on your website in 2018?
First of all, imagine a library filled with books. There is no classification system, just volume after volume on shelves in a random order. How would you begin to find the information you need? Your website might be just like that as far as Google and other search engines are concerned. Now, luckily for us Mr Dewey worked out the Dewey library classification system and wherever we go the same highly specific system applies and we know where to go for the information we want.
Search engines need to know where to classify your information
To put it differently, think of the Internet like this.. They don’t have librarians sticking numbers on the outside of books in the old fashioned way. What they need are crawlable and accessible URLs. Or addresses. What happens is when you upload a new piece of content or change some aspect of your website the “spiders” that go sniffing out new content descend on your page. Their aim is to understand just what’s going on and report back so your content can get listed. I apologise to tech heads that will be rolling their eyes at this explanation but it’s not for you so look away now!
So, what do you need to do to keep the spiders happy?
Above all, make sure the text is easily readable or scannable.
Whatever you embed on the site, images, videos or other visuals, they need to be clearly defined. Basically it needs to be indexable. If you don’t do that you’re wasting your time. Maybe even consider hiring a content writer such as ourselves to lend a helping hand? Certainly to create an effective SEO impact, you will need a writer who understands SEO inside out.
A keyword strategy and regular research and updates is an essential part of your content creation
Google, for example, rewards quality content. Obviously a search engine wants to find useful information for its searchers so they continue to use the engine. That makes sense. Therefore they give more credit to websites that create relevant, well-written and detailed content. Relevant is key here. Therefore you need to consider just what your clients and potential customers need to know. What questions are they asking? Do they find certain things difficult? Are their needs specific? You need to solve those queries and the search engines will love you for that.
You need a set of main or primary keywords. These won’t be the only ones that you need. Secondary keywords are useful too. These two sets show what the searcher was looking for. Keyword Explorer will help you. You need to think about their intent and target the searches that had a specific intent. There’s a fabulous and straightforward guide to search intent from the daily telegraph right here. Read it.
SERPs are incredibly useful for your SEO, what are they?
As we delve deeper we need to consider SERPS. For those of you who are beginning to switch off, SERPS is:
A search engine results page (SERP) is the page displayed by a web search engine in response to a query by a searcher. The main component of the SERP is the listing of results that are returned by the search engine in response to a keyword query, although the page may also contain other results such as advertisements.
OK, type in a few searches and see what results you get. You can see what type of thing search engines like Google deem to be relevant. The algorithm is working out what type of content will answer the searcher’s needs. We can get super technical at this point as this can become very complex. If you are desperate to know more about this topic (steady now) click here and don’t say I didn’t warn you.
It’s time to use your own Internet knowhow to explore search
When you are looking at SERPS (there now doesn’t it feel good to know what that means?) you will be searching for the intent behind the search. What kind of thing is Google serving up to solve the query? What is missing from this? Can you create something that will knock other competition out of the water? Don’t forget to look at images and video too… This may be a golden opportunity for you to rise up the ranks and become the ‘go to’ solution. Don’t waste this opportunity and ensure that your content creator is the very best you can find. This type of content is important for your SEO development so don’t accept the mundane. Create content that gets noticed and find a content creator that understands SEO. When a search engine discovers you’re a fraud you’ll get dumped from page 1. It makes perfect sense doesn’t it?
Meta descriptions, title tags. Do not underestimate these critters when aiming for effective SEO on your website.
Go and check out SERPS for something you know you rank for. Or do a search for something random. Check out what Google serves up. It uses the tile, it gives a snippet or meta description. The URL crops up too in one shape or form. So you can see all these aspects are very important. Consider how excited you are by your search. Do you punch the air and shout ‘Yes! Just what I need!” or are you yawning and thinking “booooring!”?
Don’t ignore snippets in your quest for effective SEO
Well, how you display in search results is down to your own efforts. The snippet is your shop window. It’s full of excitement enticing shoppers to come in. Your snippet needs to do the same. So imagine how good a content writer needs to be to exploit that minuscule but highly important opportunity. Not only do they need to be George RR Martin and more they need to understand SEO. They will need to carefully squeeze in the keywords and still look engaging and not spammy. See? I told you it was difficult.
Semantics. This is why you should have listened more carefully in class.
Although you may have thought that semantics, parsing and lexicography belonged in English language class. It belongs in the reel of effective SEO too.
So what is semantic search? Cue Wikipedia
Rather than using ranking algorithms such as Google’s PageRank to predict relevancy, semantic search uses semantics, or the science of meaning in language, to produce highly relevant search results. In most cases, the goal is to deliver the information queried by a user rather than have a user sort through a list of loosely related keyword results.
So consider a lexical set (yes I was listening, in fact I used to teach grammar before I became a digital marketer) So, a lexical set is:
a group of words with the same topic, function or form.
Example gleaned from the BBC:
‘Cat, dog, tortoise, goldfish, gerbil’ is part of the topical lexical set pets, and ‘quickly, happily, completely, dramatically, angrily’ is part of the syntactic lexical set adverbs.
You can see why these words need to be grouped together for search purposes too.
This helps Google algorithms (and yes they do have their own semantic project too) to see if your content fits within a lexical set. This is particularly relevant to the text you write rather than images, videos etc. Their aim is to parse your text when they go text mining. What happens here is that a search engine is structuring the input by parsing. That means they look for certain words or phrases and ignore others. They derive patterns from this and finally evaluate and interpret the output. That’s why you cannot leave your choice of language to chance! If text mining sounds like a great bedtime read then try this.
Check your page speed and optimise for this.
Of course, you may well have created a beautiful website. Your visuals might well be orgasmic but does the bloody thing load quickly on a mobile? You need to check. Can a visitor do everything they need to do on my website without waiting, without fuss and without a ton of frustration or the threat of a security breach? If you are not using HTTPS then you need to seriously feel your bumps; here’s why.
The days of commissioning a blog and thinking that’s enough are well gone.
Finally, SEO is about on page tasks. We will write another article shortly when we’ve recovered from this one. But once you have created relevant content you need to make sure people are aware of what you have written. This is all about link building. You have to create a strategy where you have a group of people who will help you (and you help them too) to increase your amplification. There are all kinds of things you can do.
I really hope this simple guide removes some of the spook from SEO. I hope you manage your SEO effectively on your website. However, if you feel there’s no time for this kind of work then we would be happy to undertake effective SEO work on an ongoing basis. At least now you know what kind of thing you need to do and when you talk to the SEO Wizard you’ll have a few spells of your own to throw back.
Vivienne Neale is the Director of VKN Digital Ltd. She has been working in digital marketing since 2009 and has watched SEO’s development. She combines high quality content writing with a deep understanding of SEO considerations. Vivienne has been instrumental in helping construct the web maintenance package with the in house development team and is confident it represents an easy fix for poorly performing websites. Find out more right now and imagine just what our website maintenance package can do to improve your business,
If you can’t get enough of educating yourself on SEO, why not check the eBook on the subject? It’s free!