A Guide to Search Engine Optimisation

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By Kurt Buttress - May 23, 2017

Did you know that 70% of the links that search users click on are organic? 

In our webinar we'll be covering all the basics of SEO:

  • An introduction to SEO and Search Engine Marketing
  • The advantages, myths and misconceptions of SEO
  • The latest trends in SEO 2017 (and what to expect)
  • Beginner and intermediate advice on how to get SEO to work for you 

Watch our "An Introduction to the World of Search" webinar here:

The webinar looks at the very basics of SEO, takes you through some of the most common myths and misconceptions, and finally explores some trends to be aware of for 2017 and beyond.

7 Surefire Ways to Strengthen Your Organic Search Results

1. Cover Timeless topics

Write strong fundamental building blocks of classic content topics that will remain timeless and bring in organic searches over the years. Content that is consumed in a short matter of time has a short shelf life (much like junk food!), but well-crafted content that contains substance and remains relevant may be built upon over the years is like a fine wine, getting better with age. 

By writing classic content, you'll ultimately achieve higher search results that will reflect a beneficial boost to your desired inbound strategy long term. After all, great content will continue getting clicks and generating traffic over days, weeks, months and even years!

2. Help Google Answer Questions

Google is the modern day equivalent of the Great and Powerful Oz - everyone asks it questions, from the mundane details of everyday life to critical work-related and support questions. We trust in Google. Google does its utmost to repay our trust by serving up the most relevant answers for our queries. 

You can boost your position in organic search results by helping Google provide answers. Naturally you'll want to provide answers to questions posed by your target buyer personas, or surrounding their needs and pain points. Do this succinctly, and you'll get a nice ranking and traffic boost.

3. Harness the Power of On-page SEO

It's a sad day when websites have little to no on-page SEO. On-page SEO helps boost your pages and makes your site more "crawlable" for Google's bots.

There are a couple of basic elements to consider when ensuring your on-page SEO is up to scratch:

  • Make sure your primary keyword is in the first few words of your title
  • Align your URL to your keyword and topic
  • Build high-quality natural and internal links 
  • Utilise your keywords throughout your copy
  • Insert image alt text where you can
  • Use smart heading tags that outline your topic
  • Focus on long tail keywords that are easier to rank for and more specific

On-page SEO helps Google determine how well your content answers those questions we referred to before, so don't neglect it - embrace the opportunity to showcase your site's pages and content.

4. Optimise for Mobile

We can't state it enough - you've got to make your site mobile-responsive. Society's obsession with using mobile devices isn't a trend anymore; it's simply a fact of life. People like using their mobile devices. So much so that Google sat up and paid attention, and earlier in 2015 cracked down on sites that weren't mobile-friendly, removing them from their mobile search results entirely!

It's not just about boosting site traffic. Making sure your site is mobile-responsive provides your visitors with a better UX overall, so if you're still toting a non-responsive site, now's the time to get cracking and transform it!

5. Be Social

Google's search algorithms have been paying special attention to social signals when ranking sites, making your social reach a critical area of focus when it comes to your position in organic search results.

Everytime a post is shared or retweeted, your site gets a boost in credibility and authority. Over time this constant resharing of your content could see you being billed as an expert on a subject (and Google loves experts, they're great at answering questions!).

A few social media pointers to consider are:

  • Implementing a compelling CTA that encourages sharing
  • Showcasing social media share buttons on your pages that make your content easy to distribute
  • Staying active on social media, whether it's by engaging with your audience or socialising your content

6. Make Your Site a Visual Delight

Going hand in hand with social sharing is creating content and a website people want to share. We're visual creatures, and nothing beats landing on a website and thinking "Wow!"

Make sure your site is sleek, speedy and well-designed. You need to provide your users with a phenomenal user experience from start to finish, so they'll want to share your pages or content. If you nail this, there's a much higher probability that you'll see longer, deeper and more engaged visits, all signals to Google that your site is worthy of better rankings. 

7. Go Local

Another area often overlooked by sites is the opportunity to localise. If you're targeting a specific city, consider creating pages with unique content that focuses on this area. Google tends to showcase companies based on a searcher's location, so creating localised content can bring you a boost in organic search traffic. Just remember, this content should be high-quality and super specific (avoid any spammy blackhat SEO techniques).

The 3 SEO Trends to Watch in 2017

1. AMP

With AMP, page speed loads at an average of 4X faster with 10X less data.

AMP stands for Accelerated Mobile Pages. It's a Google-backed project that was designed to help standard pages from any publisher load quickly for mobile devices. 

It makes your internet experience on mobile fast and seamless... because Google believes mobile is the future. It's really a stripped-down form of HTML, which is why it can load so much faster. But the important fact is that users will be able acess AMP optimised webpages much faster and easier than other webpages. 

Seeing as this is a Google-backed project, we're guessing that pages optimised for AMP will be given preference by Google in search results. So, if not only for UX, do it for your organic reach and search ranking.

2. Voice Search

Voice search has grown 35x in 9 years. If it can sustain its current growth, at least 50% of all searches will use either speech or images by 2020.

It's quite self-explanatory what voice search is. You perform normal search functions, but using your voice. That's it. 

Voice search is seeing enormous growth, and with the rise of personal assistant devices, it makes sense that it will only increase. The potential is that voice search will be the next major search medium... which should set a fire in your pants to do something about it. 

Voice search helps customers use the internet and discover your content without the use of their hands... thus eliminating a huge barrier to search engines at the moment. As smartphone users will know, if you have sticky fingers or find yourself with a cup of tea in hand, it's far easier to ask Siri to help than to type in Google's search bar. It seems to satisfy several unique needs of today's users, which makes us think that this medium will only grow.

3. Instant Answers

The occurrence of instant answers has doubled since December 2014.

An instant answer occurs when you type a question or a statement into a search engine that’s seeking an answer… and the search engine supplies what it thinks is the most relevant answer to you, pulled from its best ranked webpage on the topic. Instant answers are being used by almost all search engines today, such as Google, DuckDuckGo, Bing, and AOL.

Of course, the reason for their rise in popularity and occurrence is obvious. Instant answers save time. Sometimes, they can save a lot of it. For individuals and businesses, this means saving money, happier work lives (as it helps avoid frustrations), and… boosted SEO juice. Why the boosted SEO juice? Because, the webpage that the search engine pulls the instant answer from is given position 0 in search results, which means it’s most likely to be clicked on. This aids organic visibility, and hopefully increases your page and domain authority.

Keep an eye on these trends during this year and, if you can, prepare your business for them. Or you may just find yourself left in the dust of your competitors. 

In the slides, you get a background look at "how search engines work" and why keywords and optimisation is such a crucial practice for your business. We also offer you an optimisation checklist to go through and look at the most popular technical errors you should avoid.  We've got these accompanying slides for you to refer back to as you go through the video. Click here to download the webinar slides.

If you're looking for some Super Simple SEO tricks to implement, check out this blog. We also have a blog detailing why long-tail keywords are the way to success, here

If you're looking for help on where to begin with on-page SEO, this blog is your best-bet. And if you're ready to start measuring your SEO metrics, this is the blog for you

Great SEO could definitely be the differentiating factor between you and your competitors, so aim to get your campaigns spot on. For more detailed differentiation techniques, check out our guide to getting your business to stand out from the rest.

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...my two cents worth

Teamwork.

It's a lot more rewarding when you work with like-minded individuals who keep you in-the-loop, are keen to share knowledge and who are passionate about turning-out a kick-ass product.

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