What is Search Engine Optimisation?
The concept itself is not hard to grasp. We can basically define SEO as a group of strategies that you can apply in order to make your website relevant to the users of a search engine, making it easy for people to find what you offer (you can check more about SEO and SEM in the article: SEM / SEO / Paid search advertising – How does it all come together?).
If you are a beginner, take a look at this great video from the guys over @searchengineland:
Key basic elements:
On-Page (or On-Site) factors – In here we are talking about elements that you, as a website owner, have control over. The most important thing to bear in mind is relevant content – one has to worry about providing the best content related to what you offer so that a person that is searching for it can easily find you because you are relevant to them.
- In a nutshell, here are some of the key elements for anyone who wants to do on-site optimisation:
- Header Tags: on the side of the HTML coding of your pages, you can add these tags (h1, h2, h3) as a way to help better understand the content of the page itself.
- Meta Tags: these are other types of tags that are also crucial to define what kind of content your pages describe and how will your organic links appear in the search engine. Important to keep in mind, when it comes to optimisation, are the Title & Description Tags.
- URL structure: it is critical to have it optimised so that people understand what the links are before clicking them and how the different URLs of all the pages connect with each other. Depending on your CMS (content management system), you can define your URL structure in a more keyword-friendly and structured way.
- Image ALT text: think of it as a tool to describe in words what your pictures are. Images are not read by the search engines (only text), so there is a need to explain in words what each image consists of. This is particularly relevant for the Image Search.
Off-Page (or Off-Site) factors – as the title suggests, we are talking about external elements that will help you get relevant traffic to your site by improving your online credibility.
From link building strategies to Social Media, what matters is that you make your website known and recommended by the influencers in your market. Get people to talk about you and make your online social presence remarkably engaging.
Getting more technical…
There are other important aspects to SEO that rely on a more technical approach. This usually requires your IT team and your SEO experts to be aligned and working together. Factors like user site experience, page speed, indexed pages, broken links and others, are elements that need continuous monitoring and improvement.
Lastly, I could not miss to mention the most important tool out there if you are doing SEO for Google (which, let’s face it, is THE search engine to target): Google Webmaster Tools.
For more information on this tool, you can check out a detailed walk through on this comprehensive article done by searchenginewatch.com: Google Webmaster Tools: An Overview.