As web developers and content creators we’re always being asked about SEO and we’re always banging on about it. So what exactly is it?
SEO (or Search Engine Optimization for the uninitiated) is what enables your website to be found – and ranked – by Google (other search engines are available) when someone “Googles” a question.
It is driven by a complex set of mathematical algorithms that look for various elements associated with content and then work out which of the thousands of pages it has found are most relevant to the question or topic that has been put into the search engine.
Websites or website pages with good SEO come higher in the rankings than those that have poor SEO.
So how do you get good SEO?
This is a perennial head scratcher and, if you Google it, you’ll get – quite literally – thousands of experts who essentially offer up often conflicting opinions that may or may not work.
In addition to this, the algorithms are constantly changing and being improved upon, so what may have worked before won’t necessarily help today.
Although we don’t profess to be experts, we do understand how websites work, and we do understand good writing.
It can be utterly demoralising posting new blogs on a website that receive no views or comments for months on end. Banging you head against a brick wall might be more fun.
But there are a few things that are agreed on.
Here’s what to do
Get your basics right
This is easy, because if we build your website, we do that for you! We make sure all your pages are named correctly and all relevant SEO sites are filled in.
Use your Yoast
At Individualise, all websites we build use WordPress and Yoast is the most popular WordPress SEO plugin. It’s user-friendly, and gives you clear tips, using a red,amber and green light system, on what you’re doing right and wrong with your web copy. It analyses key words, readability, images, meta descriptions – everything that might affect your SEO.
Try to get backlinks
Google loves sites that lots of people refer to in their own copy. So if you get a link back to your website from someone else, you get a leg up the Google ladder. By positioning yourself as an authority in your field and creating content that people find useful and would like to share, you are more likely to generate backlinks.
Use your Snippets
A snippet is the piece of text that comes up when your content is listed by Google, otherwise known as a meta description. It should be the perfect, compelling summary of your new post and lets a reader know instantly what it’s about. Yoast will tell you when you’ve written the right amount.
Use internal links
Internal links are links that point to another page within the same website. Link using key words rather than inserting “click here…” into the text as linking key words helps search engine robots navigate their way through your site and work out what it’s about.
Just when you think you’ve got the hang of SEO, they introduce LSI!
Latent Semantic Indexing is a fancy term for a more advanced form of SEO which means that the algorithms driving the search engines can look at the underlying theme of a page rather than just scan for key words.
They get content, not quite like humans do, but they get it.
Or at least that’s the theory.
So while once upon a time (ooh, perhaps a couple of years ago), good SEO practice would be to stuff your content with the relevant key words, these days that simply won’t do.
Now you have to produce great content which has enough of your key words in, but not too many (Google doesn’t like that). And they all have to be in context.
Ultimately it’s all about writing engaging copy that is good for humans as well SEO.
At Individualise we love crafting brilliant content for your website. Want some of our sparkle? Get in touch!