Top 10 Sustainable Search Engine Optimisation techniques

There is no such thing as a quick fix in Search Engine Optimisation!

To get consistently good page rankings and optimal search engine results requires a well-planned well researched strategy and a clear understanding of how Google assesses your website in relation to searches.

Here are Strievens Tech’s top 10 Search Engine Optimisation Techniques.Top 10 Sustainable Search Engine Optimisation techniques

 

1. Website content

Web content that is relevant, compelling, engaging and regularly updated is by far the most important search engine optimisation tool you have.

An effective website requires good content that is built around reaching your target market on two levels:

  • Findability with the search engines using the key search terms most likely to be used by your target market
  • Compatibility with what your target market wants to achieve, creating more online engagement with your website content and leading to a higher conversion rate of visitors to customers

Professionally written content will take both the human and search engine perspectives into account, and strike the right balance of compelling content and its compatibility with the metadata.

2. Website design – start with your best foot forward

Believe it or not, the design of your website can affect your search engine optimisation. Although SEO can be applied to an existing website, a poorly designed site or one that puts style above substance can severely limit your options.

Mistakes in your web design can have a detrimental effect on how the search engine spiders evaluate your site. Although most professional web designers will know what is required for meeting the required standards for ensuring a website functions properly with the search engines, there is the temptation to favour the visual impact of a website over ‘minor’ areas of search engine friendliness.

If your web designer ticks all the boxes at the design stage of your website, your ability to optimise your site sustainably in the future is greatly improved.

3. Content marketing

One of the most successful SEO techniques is through online content. This can be through blogging, published online articles, informational forums, e-newsletters, social media sites and other online platforms. The more regular, compelling and relevant content you create online that leads quality visitors to your website, the more beneficial it is to your site’s level of relevancy according to the search engines.

As with the rules of back-links, mass-produced content on single-page URLs created solely as links are deemed as manipulative and schemes offering shady content building packages should be avoided.

4. Site map

The purpose of a site map is to spell out your website’s central content themes and to show both search engine spiders and your visitors where to find information on your site.

A site map displays the inner framework and organisation of your site’s content to the search engines, and should reflect the way visitors intuitively work through your site.

A good site map provides the following:

  • A quick, easy-to-follow overview of your site
  • A pathway for the search engine robots to follow
  • Text links to every page of your site
  • Clear pathways for visitors to get where they need to go
  • Appropriate use of important keyword phrases

A properly constructed sitemap helps your visitors understand and navigate through your site and also gives the search engines more information about your site content.

5. Make the most from online directories

Online directory listings are a positive way of creating a stronger online presence for your business and generating potential enquiries. They are a legitimate backlink to your website, as part of the contact information should logically include the ability for people to click through to your website.

Be aware that these directory listings are a public representation of your online brand. Empty or poorly written descriptions will not help you capture any enquiries should someone come across your business listing.

6. Be selective with your links and back-links

Some SEO ‘experts’ will tell you to get as many links to and from your website as possible. Whilst the number of outgoing links and back-links will be detected by the search engines and used as a way to rank your site, manipulating your rankings with mass link building schemes is fraught with danger.

According to Google:

“Any links intended to manipulate PageRank or a site’s ranking in Google search results may be considered part of a link scheme and a violation of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines. This includes any behavior (sic) that manipulates links to your site or outgoing links from your site.”

To avoid penalty, you need to ensure you are linking to and from legitimate online pages where your content or theirs is considered a natural extension or endorsement of the other, and you are accumulating links at a natural rate. What Google says about ‘Link Schemes’

7. Use metadata wisely

Metadata is the content that does not appear on the page, but gives Google a summary of what your website is about. Now that you have a selection of key search terms that you think your target market will use, you need to ensure they appear in your metadata.

The page title and description text will appear on the search results page to give those browsing online a chance to decide if they want to click on the result and navigate to your web page.

This means the metadata text needs to appeal to your target market as well as the search engines. Be judicious in how often you repeat a key word. Too much and both the viewer and Google will give your site a thumbs down before even visiting it.

8. Check your keywords

Once you think you know what your market is looking for, it is a good idea to test the keywords you have selected to see if you are right. There are three ways you can do this:

  • Start typing a key word or phrase in the Google search window. The fewer the letters you type before your search phrase appears as a suggestion, the more often it is used.
  • Check the results. If the search results show similar businesses with the products or services you are promoting, the more likely the search phrase is relevant to your target market.
  • Review average search results. Using Google’s keyword planner tool you can find out the average monthly search figures for your chosen key words (requires an Adwords account).

9. Know your target market

If you want potential customers to find you in Google searches, you need to know what they are likely to type into the search fields that relate to your products or services.

Discover the most common searches used by people in your target market and you can use these to optimise your website content for the search engines.

10. Play by the rules

Google is constantly working to provide its customers the best possible experience. What you need to realise is that those customers are not businesses with websites, but the people who browse the internet using their search engine.

Every time some online marketing ‘expert’ comes up with a new way to ‘fool the search engines’ into giving a page a higher ranking in search results, Google will hit back with a change in its algorithm to weed out the cheats and pretenders.

To avoid penalty, make sure you understand and play by the rules.

Professionally written content will take both the human and search engine perspectives into account, and strike the right balance of compelling content and its compatibility with the metadata.

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