Understanding Website Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
Businesses that succeed in SEO are businesses that understand it; so what is SEO?
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is the process of effecting the visibility of your website in the major search engines such as Google, Bing and Yahoo. SEO is what’s known as maximising the “organic” rank of your website. If you are unsure of the difference between organic and paid rankings please click here.
How does it work?
When you create a page on your website, Google will send a robot to analyse the content on that page to determine what it is. Take a look at one of your website pages, ask yourself if you are giving Google a clear indication of what that page is actually about?
What’s important here is that Google is only a robot and may struggle to determine what some of your content is, even if it’s obvious to us mere humans. This is why all web pages have something called “Meta Data”.
Stay with me;
Meta Data is not complicated; it’s simply a mark up tool to tell Google what something is.
All of the websites we design are set up with simple Meta Data boxes you can just fill out like you would with an application form, the website will then covert that into computer code for you.
That’s pretty neat, and certainly not difficult! Some of the most important Meta Data fields on every web page are as follows.
This is your page title; what is your page about? What do you think best describes this page being added to the Internet? It’s like writing an essay; you usually have a title that describes what it’s about. As you can see from image fig.1, Apple have labeled their UK Homepage “Apple (United Kingdom)”
A Meta Description is a little bit more information about the page and is usually two sentences; this is actually then displayed by Google in its search results. As you can see from image fig.2, Apple has used their Meta Description to describe what products they design and what’s for sale on their website
Image Alt Tags
Google can only see there is an image on your page but it has no idea what that image is, it’s a robot and it doesn’t actually have eyes! If you don’t tell Google what that image is it will crawl away and consider it unknown. Fortunately you can add “Image Tags”, where you tell Google what the image is. Once again, with our sites this is just a box where you type in the relevant information.
There are other Meta Data fields that need to be populated but I’m sure you get the idea! Meta Data is used to tell Google what your page is actually about.
Now here is the really important part.
Make sure you fill out all of the Meta Data with consistency relating to keywords within your industry!
Badly Populated Meta Data Example:
Meta Title – Laptops for Sale
Meta Description – We have some really great products in our showroom at great prices. Check them out.
Image Alt Title – Apple Computer
This is not consistent enough and is not keyword targeted. It mentions Laptops for sale in the Meta Title but not in the Meta Description or the Image Alt title. Here is a much better example.
Correct Meta Data Example:
Meta Title – Laptops for Sale
Meta Description – We have some really great Laptops for Sale in our showroom at great prices. Check them out.
Image Alt Title – Apple model of Laptops for Sale
All of the pages on your website should have focused and consistent Meta Data so Google is perfectly clear on what your page is about. It’s clear from the above that this page would have “laptops for sale” as it’s mentioned in every field.
This leads us onto the next section, how to rank higher on Google.