SEO is the abbreviation of search engine optimisation. It is, put simply, the process of optimising your website so it appears in search engines. Most SEO focuses on optimising for Google as it’s the most commonly used search engine in the world. According to Statista, over the last 2 years between 86-90% of people using search engines were using Google. Rather incredulously there are 3.5 billion searches made on Google every single day. There are 3.2 billion people on Earth with internet access, so averaged out every single person uses Google more than once a day.
Figuring out how to optimise your site so that Google ranks it well can seem a bit daunting. There is an abundance of information telling you about all the small, technical tweaks you can make to your site that you may never have heard of. Whilst lots of different components play a role in creating a well-ranked site, its important to focus on the bigger picture.
Quality > Quantity
To get good rankings, your site needs to be serving a purpose. If you are looking to rank for terms in your local area, then your site should have a section dedicated to each topic. When people are Googling things, they are looking for quick and easy answers. If your site delivers that it will put you in good stead to start optimising.
A good quality site, with good quality content that serves its intended purpose is often all that is needed to rank in smaller local areas. Make sure you take full advantage of maps listings as well as they often appear above the organic rankings when people search for location based things.
Things get trickier if you are in a competitive area. The competitiveness makes it harder to get rankings just by doing things onsite. Instead, you need to show that your site is an authority. How exactly do you do that though? Well, by getting other sites and people to reference you. Getting links to your site shows Google you are trusted. Getting links itself is a challenge. Again, if you are in a relatively low competition niche you can get by with directory and social links. But when there’s competition it can be significantly harder. Explaining how to get links goes past the scope of this post but we plan on publishing a comprehensive guide in the future.
Another basic thing to consider with SEO is what you want to rank for. If you are looking to rank for a particular location but don’t mention that location anywhere on your site, then Google will have no idea that that’s where you are based. This is where the importance of keywords comes in. The keywords you want to rank for should form a normal part of your website and shouldn’t just be shoved in as many times as possible. But it is important to make sure you are adding all the relevant words and pages to your site for things you want to rank for.
To summarise, SEO can be a challenge, especially if you are just starting out. Whilst it can be quite simple to get good rankings if the competition is low, it is very difficult if the competition is high. Even if you manage to achieve good rankings, you can’t just set and forget it. The landscape is always changing with new algorithm updates rolled out frequently, so you need to make sure you are keeping on top of everything. If you are looking for where to start, try this: keep your site fresh, update your content (and remember quality is better than quantity) and make sure you are providing a good user experience (technically and by serving an intended purpose.