8 Things to Know About SEO

Control How Search Engines See Your Website

1st November 2017

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SEO - Search Engine Optimisation is becoming more important and more popular these days as search terms get more competitive. With all the information online about what to do and what to avoid when it comes to optimising your website it can get very confusing. So rather than getting caught up in the finer details, here are some things that all websites need to do well - the basics for SEO success...:

  1. Know Your Target Audience

    • Before you begin take time to think about who the page is for, what the aim of the page is, and what you expect people would type in to google if they were to try and find this information. Collect these keywords and phrases for use throughout the page.
  2. The User Experience

  • Before you rush off the to make changes to your website, make sure that what you end up with is a website that visitors will enjoy, understand and navigate easily.
  • People can get too worried about what the search engines think of their sites and forget that the real target is people. So don't stuff your content with keywords if all you need is a sentence.
  1. The Content

  • This is what google, bing, yahoo etc, use to judge what your website is about and whether it is useful to thier patrons. If you only have two sentences per page, there isn't a whole lot to search.
  • As a rule of thumb aim to have around 500 words per page.
  • That's not always possible or optimal for the user experience to a balance is required.
  1.  The HTML

  • Proper use of HTML tags can clarify your message to the search engines. H1 header is your statement of intent, while lower headers H2, H3 etc help flesh out other important points, indicating what the text will be about
  • Protocols like Schema.org and Open Graph add a layer of structure that can convey specific messages to search engines and social media
  1. The Images

  • Images can really slow up a website. The slower websites the less likely search engines will send people to them. Images need to be cut to the correct size and where possible saved as progressive files so the website doesn't have to wait for the entire file to load
  • Use descriptive ALT tags. In the Apricot Management System these can be set when you up load the file. Search engines can't see images and you need to tell them what is there.
  1. The Meta Tags and Descriptions

  • While it's debateable how important meta tags and descriptions are these days, they should still be utilized. (Meta Tags and Descriptions are contained in the code for each webpage and hidden from regular visitors but are used to tell search engines what to expect on the page).
  • In the Apricot Management System they can be set in the Webpage Details page.
  • Summarise what the page is about in the Description - typically under 200 characters.
  • Don't stuff the keywords with random phrases,  make sure they are relevant to the page
  1. The Title

  • What you Title the page is very important. It should be the most concise description of the pages content.
  • In the Apricot Management System the title will automatically be used in the page's URL.
  1. The Links

  • Post a link to the page on your social media pages
  • Ask someone you know with a website to link to your page
  • Google generally crawls through the web, following any new links they find and collecting data for the pages the land on. The more times they get directed to your website, the more relevant they will think the content is.
  • The better quality the links, the higher your webpage will be ranked. For instance if a website that is already powerful and in your industry links to your website, search engines will see this as an important stamp of approval and will then rate this linked page higher.

I'll get in to more detail about SEO in laters posts but if you have any questions put them in the comments section below.

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