Having an effective website is a critical component of any great digital marketing strategy. And setting up a website involves so many various processes from researching the best hosting options to creating high quality SEO friendly content. Not many people have the ability to master every individual element of the end-to-end process, so if you are taking it all on yourself, take some time to learn the basics.
If one of the areas that you are struggling with is SEO then you may benefit from a quick overview of the key principles of SEO and the benefits of using them. To start at the very beginning, SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation. This ultimately means how to get the best ranking results from search engines. There are loads of different ways and approaches of doing this but let’s first look at why you should make it a priority to understand as much as you can about SEO:
The main reason people invest time in SEO is to increase the amount of organic traffic to their website. What is the point in having a website if people are not visiting it? If you are using your website for business then it will be a key tool in attracting new customers and generating business leads. There are other ways of increasing traffic to your site such as paid traffic methods like Pay Per Click. Some companies prefer to put all of their efforts into gaining organic traffic and some do both.
So it really depends on your budget and whether your conversion rates will make it worth your while. You could spend loads of money on getting paid traffic onto your website but your content isn’t up to scratch and you don’t make the conversions. So most people would only start investing in PPC if they are confident that their content and website set up will generate sales.
Going back to SEO, as we said before, there are lots of different elements to it. It is also worth mentioning that there are two categories of SEO known as ‘White Hat SEO’ and ‘Black Hat SEO’. White Hat is basically revolved around creating high quality content, website optimisation and good use of keywords and acquiring links. Back Hat SEO involves taking advantage of weaknesses in search engine algorithms such as keyword stuffing (before the algorithm was updated to combat this).
Most businesses will want to see long-term results and therefore invest only in White Hat SEO but you will find that some SEO companies use a mix of the two, known as Grey Hat. Okay, we will stop talking about different coloured hats now and concentrate on how you can master the art of SEO.
Having a clear navigation and page structure is a very good starting point. Search engines will be able to index your site easily if this principle is followed. The user experience is a big priority for Google and other engines and their algorithms reflect this.
Another big area you should concentrate efforts on is making sure your content is of high quality. To achieve this, you should create articles or other forms of content that users will get a lot of value from. So helpful guidance on problems that they may search for, basically content that is USEFUL.
Performance is another big determiner used by search engines in ranking a website. If performance indicators like page speed are poor then the site will effectively be marked down.
Linking can be used in different ways and particularly internal linking within your website to take users from page to page helps in terms of SEO. For example, ‘you can find out more about our products here’ with a link to a products page.