SEO 101 - it's not about wizadry, it's all about content
So, you’ve built a website and need to make sure that Search Engines are going to like it (let’s go with the example of Google for this blog).
Who are you trying to please with SEO?
Google has made huge investments in creating a number of algorithms which try to cleverly mimic a person’s Search journey. So it’s not about trying to please a machine. To match what the algorithms are looking for you need to focus on making sure your prospective customers know they’ve come to the right place when they’ve found you.
But how do you achieve this?
SEO: Make it relevant
Prioritise your content. Your website copy. Ask yourself, ‘how can I make my website look relevant to the people searching for things I can provide answers to?’
This is what Google will look at first and foremost.
When someone arrives at your website are they easily able to understand what it is you do / provide / sell and therefore know that you’re relevant to them?
Adopt your own Search filters
It's worth taking a step back and thinking about what we do when searching for something online. Time is precious, we need the right result fast.
So we adopt our own filters, and as soon as something doesn’t meet our filter criteria we quickly move on.
Keeping these filters in mind when judging our own website content can therefore hit quite a few SEO requirements...
The Search journey - and how to tick SEO boxes
Filter one: We've run a Search and we're scanning the results on Google's results page; looking at site 'descriptions' to see if they match what we’re looking for before we click through and ignoring those that don’t.
Ticking this box - Although you can help Google determine what your description should be in a Search page by creating a meta description and/or title tag , Google doesn’t rely on these exclusively. In fact, websites that don’t have these still have descriptions generated by Google. Google relies on the actual content in your website. So we’re back to what is put on the page, not behind it.
Look carefully at your homepage and other pages. Is the description of your business and its services or products really clear?
Filter two: We've found a site that matches our criteria, so we click through and immediately the next filter kicks in: does this person / company specifically offer what we're looking for?
Ticking this box - If it’s not immediately obvious we’re back to the search results; so on your own site, make sure it is obvious. This is ultimately your strapline. What do you do, sell / provide?
Filter three: We’re happy enough with the business description, but we're also looking to see if they're in the right place: does this person / company offer what I’m looking for in the location I need it?
Ticking this box - Where are you based? Consider putting this in the first sentence on the homepage, it can honestly help small and independent businesses be found by local customers - and if it’s early on in the copy Google will easily spot it, and potentially use it.
Filter four: The last criteria we want to match is that the business is relevant specifically to us: does this person / company provide what I’m looking for to people like me?
Ticking this box - Consider including the type of customers you already have or believe your services to be most relevant to. Is your business most relevant to the domestic or commercial market? Or do you exist to help new mothers? Gardeners? Busy people?
Include your core customer demographic early on. And if possible, have testimonials on your website, pulling quotes onto your homepage
By ticking just these four boxes you’re already on the way to making yourself relevant to the Search terms you want to be linked to, which will help retain visitors to your website long enough that they might decide to convert into customers... and in turn, with its clever algorithms, you've pleased Google.
We hope this helps - please do read our other blogs in our SEO 101 series. And if you’re a Smart Little Web customer, just contact us via your site’s workshop if you have any specific questions on this!