Search Engine Optimisation

The Internet contains millions of websites and there’s a webpage on nearly every subject you can think of. If we need to find information on a particular topic, we just need to go to a search engine (Google/Yahoo/Bing) and type in what we’re looking for and it will list those websites which have the most accurate/relevant info for us. It’s a great thing which helps lots and lots of people everyday with their queries. For a business, that internet traffic is really valuable as it can increase sales and make you more profit.

What is SEO?

The term SEO is a shorthand form of Search Engine Optimisation. It basically means optimising your website/webpages for increased exposure in the search engines. When someone searches for a keyword or key phrases in say, Google, it will try to find a list of websites which matches that query and rank them in order of relevance and importance. To be relevant for a query, you need to be talking about the keywords in question and to be important in the eyes of a search engine, your website need to display characteristics of being an authority on the subject.

First thing first – what’s authority all about? If your TV breaks down, you call in an electrician who is a professional in repairing those types of electronic circuitry. Similarly, if your website is focused on football, you wouldn’t be a good match for a query on insurance. Now just because you’ve written many articles on football does not make you a football expert. You could have recycled material which was already available – eg you’ve read a nice story on the Champions League and made your own article by writing in your own words. Essentially it’s the same thing that was on some other website but you’ve made it look unique without adding any real value to it. You’re not going to be called an expert as you’ve got passed on knowledge, nothing of your own. That really makes the difference when writing and a lot of people make that mistake thinking the search engines are stupid. Well that’s going to be your first encounter with the famous Panda update.

On Page SEO factors

Once you have great content (not only unique but original as well), there are a couple of things you should do which can dramatically improve your rankings in Google. A basic understanding of html is required though.

Title : The phrase that goes in between the title tags is undoubtedly the most important thing you should optimise for. You should make sure you have your keywords in there. Don’t try to stuff keywords otherwise you’ll get penalised.

eg <title>Increase your Google rankings with Search Engine Optimisation</title>

Header tags : H1, H2, H3 tags are those tags which gives formatting to topics/sub topics. The title tag is not displayed on the webpage, so it’s best to have either the same phrase as the title in a H1 tag or a variation of it because that’s what visitors are going to see when they land on your website.

eg <h1>How to increase rankings in Google through Search Engine Optimisation</h1>

Keyword in URL : Having your keyword appearing in the url of your webpage gives you a little boost.

eg http://nenoufar.com/search-engine-optimisation

Italics & Bold : Use the <strong> and <em> tags to emphasise points.

Alt text : Whenever you insert an image, make sure you add an alternate text which describes accurately your picture. This helps a lot with image search and seo as a whole.

eg <img src=”” alt=”my birthday picture” />

Off Page SEO

Most people believe off page seo is just about backlinks. That’s not entirely true. Links play a vital role in boosting your organic rankings but that’s not the only off page factor. Citation play a great role too and so do branded searches.

Citation is where you company/name has been cited on a piece of content. For example, if the name Nenoufar was used on a page talking about SEO, then that would benefit us a lot. Now the more important (popular) that website which cited us is, the better it will be for us.

Branded searches are queries on search engines which include your brand. For instance, people might go on Google and search for “nenoufar seo tips”. This gives Google a strong indication that our website is a great resource for seo.

Now coming to link building, there are different ways to get inbound links to your site. You can drop comments, insert signatures in your forum posts, do article marketing or press releases or guest posts on blogs in your niche. Actually there are tons of ways to create  links to your website but what matters most is the relevancy of those links and the trust factor of the websites which contain your inbound links. Before Google launched the Penguin Update, it was easy to rank by employing all sorts of spamming techniques to get backlinks. This is no longer the case and although anchor text is still a strong signal, you need to vary it to prevent being penalised by the algorithmic update of over optimisation. A varied link profile and anchor text is better.

Tips to achieve better organic rankings

Focus on your users because they are the reason your website exists. If you concentrate on delivering a nice user experience and great content that truly and honestly helps your visitors, then you definitely would be rewarded with higher rankings in the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs).

Duplicate content on your site will lower your rankings, therefore it is important you check for dupes and remove them before they come to bite you.

Page Speed is important too because no one likes a slow website. So instead of having people bounce back, work on reducing the amount of time it takes for your webpages to load.