Take One’s Guide to SEO
What is SEO?
SEO, Search Engine Optimization is the process you go through to gain more visitors and views to a particular website/ channel by getting higher in the organic search results provided by a search engine.
What is a search engine?
A search engine is “a program that searches for and identifies items in a database that correspond to keywords or characters specified by the user, used especially for finding particular sites on the World Wide Web”. For example, Google, Firefox, Opera and Internet Explorer are all search engines; they allow you to look things up on the internet.
Why Does SEO Matter?
It is important that you optimize your website for search engines because when someone searches for a product like yours, you want to show up in the search results. With around 3.5 billion searches on Google per day it can be hard for your website to get seen, so ideally you want to be on the first page of the search results because around 75% of click-throughs happen on the first page. Think about it, how often do you go past the first page of search results?
There are a few things you can do to get your website higher on the search rankings...
Keywords are one of the key elements of SEO, they are keywords/phrases in your web content that allow you to be found by search engines. Your keywords should be words/phrases that your target audience might search when looking for products/services like yours. A broad keyword may get you more clicks on your website, but they won’t all be potential customers.
Say you run a women’s clothing shop, you might start off with a basic keyword like “Women’s clothing” but then start to break it down into the different categories of items you sell. For example, “Women’s clothing”, break it down to “Women’s shoes”, then break it down even further to the types of shoes you sell e.g. “High heel shoes” or “Women’s trainers”. This way you know that the people who will click through to your website are looking for your products.
Before picking your keywords you should do some keyword research. ‘Keywords Everywhere’, ‘Google Keyword Planner Tool’, ‘Answer the Public’ and ‘Search Volume.io’ are all free keyword tools you can use to do your keyword research. As you type in a keyword, it will tell you how many searches it gets a month, what the competition is like and how much it would cost if you ran an advert with that keyword.
A title tag is a good place for you to put keywords, the title tag defines what that page on your website is about but doesn’t appear on the page itself, as seen below.
The title tag will also be what appears when someone does a search, so it can be, make or break as to whether or not someone clicks on your website.
An image tag defines what the image is in the HTML of your website. The tag can help the search engine to understand what your website is about. For example, say you have images of jumpers on your website and you tag each image with an tag saying it’s a black jumper. The search engine will now know that it is an image of a black jumper, and if someone does a search for jumpers or black jumpers, your website is more likely to show up in the search results.
Meta description also good to use. Your meta description can be up to 155 characters and it too helps to define what your website is about. This is where your meta description will show up.
It just needs to be a little snippet into what your website is about to help your customers determine whether it’s right for them, or not.
The way search engines find websites is through links, so it is important to check that every link on your website works. The search engines spiders that search the web go through links, and if you have a broken link on your website this will have a bad impact on your SEO.
In addition to this, if you put trusted links on your website this can make search engines trust you more. Putting links to your social media and YouTube channel are a good place to start, as these are well-known sites and are highly trusted. The same applies if you can get a trusted website to put a link to your website on theirs. Many people have been doing this recently by writing blogs, you can write a blog about something within your industry and send it to an industry influencer or a news website. If they then post it and credit you with a link to your website, it can improve your SEO and brand visibility.
User engagement may not impact your SEO directly, however, if for some reason high numbers of people are clicking off your website, the search engine will notice and may assume that your website is not relevant or there is something wrong with your site; this is when you could drop down the search rankings. Also, if your site is slow, has glitches or has any broken links, the customer is likely to click off your site and not come back, meaning they won’t buy from you.
Another way to make your website more user-friendly is to make sure that your website is mobile friendly. More than 50% of Google searches are made on mobile devices, so it’s important for you to make sure that your customers can access your website whenever they want, and on whatever device they want to. There is an online test you can do to check this quickly, just Google “Mobile optimisation test”.
How Does Video Help?
By having a well-made video on your website, you are 53 times more likely to be on the first page of Google... Why is this?
Firstly, if you have a good immersive video on your website, you are likely to increase the amount of time people are spending on your site. Not only can this improve conversion rate, but it also improves your SEO because the search engine will start to recognise your website as valuable and useful.
Secondly, coming back to what I said earlier, YouTube is a trustworthy site with billions of users so using YouTube to host the video on your website will make your website seem more trustworthy.
Finally, videos on social media are incredibly popular; 82% of Twitter users watch videos on Twitter, and 45% of people watch more than an hour of video content on Facebook per week. So by sharing a link to the video on your website, you are likely to drive more traffic to your website.
Search Engine Optimization is crucial for every business that has a website. The more you can help a search engine to understand your website and what’s on it the better and, the higher they will put you in the rankings because they can match you with search requests more easily.
If you would like some help using video to boost your SEO please feel free to get in touch.