So here I was diving into adding value by blogging about SEO, when I was politely reminded that I haven't actually explained what SEO is - pretty presumptuous of me! So let me (try) and define SEO, and why you should be keeping it front of mind for your business.
So essentially SEO (or search engine optimisation) is about improving the ranking of your site for certain search terms in Google. Let's be honest, Google is pretty much the only search engine we use, so it should be called GO. Basically: Google assesses how legit your site is, and more legit sites = higher ranking.
Google bots are scanning websites all the time, and in all honesty the secret recipe for improving that the bots are using to report back on the legitness of your site is as well known as KFC's 11 herbs and spices. That being said, there's way smarter people than me who have some tried and true things that they do.
Side note: making up words like "legitness" and putting them in a blog about SEO will not help your SEO. Do as I say and not as I do.
So, word on the street (and on LinkedIn, the blogs and the podcasts), is that the Google bots "crawl" your site and give it a ranking based on the following;
- Security certificates
- Keywords in your content
- Page titles, meta descriptions and URLs
- Site loading speed
- Links (internal, external and backlinks)
Google is like Big Brother, and it is also watching who is searching for your site, what words they are using to find your site, who is clicking on your site when it comes up in a search, how long they are spending on your site, how many pages they are clicking on etc etc. This is called UX or user experience, and Google likes it when visitors go to your site and have a good look around!
In a nutshell, your website should be https://yourwebsite.com
. The s after the http signals to Google and your web visitors that your site is secure. Secure sites load faster, encrypt user data, and ensures that any files downloaded aren’t corrupt. Most platforms are offering SSL certificates to their users for free but it pays to check before you commit, or look into purchasing your own.
Site Loading Speed
The faster a site loads, the better Google determines the UX to be, and the better the UX the more points you get on your Google Bot Legitness Chart (probs not it’s actual name). You can improve the loading speed of your site by ensure it’s secure and by optimising images, graphics and videos for the world wide web (ie: making them nice and small).
Not only are the bots super speed readers, they are artificially intelligent, so they read and understand all the words on your website, and check your spelling and grammar at the same time. To get maximum points for your chart, ensure that the content on your site is worth reading, that your spelling and grammar is correct and that you are using the words that your target market is typing in to Google to try and find you (you can read more about using keywords here
Page Titles, Meta Descriptions, Alt Text and URLs
Platforms like Shopify and WordPress allow you to really easily edit all of these things on every single page of your website. And that my friends, is why I will always recommend clients pick one of those two options when deciding who should build their site. I know that Squarespace allows edits on at least some pages. In my personal experience Wix and Rocketspark have limited (and less user friendly) options when it comes to this.
Once again, I’m speaking for Shopify and WordPress here (blatantly playing favourites) when I say that you can optimise the links within and outside your website for SEO. Adding links to different products or content on your website makes the Googles bots happy, but also encourages users to look around (more possible points for the chart), linking to legit websites will also get you some bonus points, and you can read about backlinks here.
I think that’s enough jargon for one post, but remind me to come back and chat about UX, because in my humble opinion, it’s such an important part of any website, and something that can usually be changed with a few quick tweaks!
If you think that your website could be on better terms with Google, then get in touch
, we’ll have a chat, I’ll stalk your site, and give you some straight up advice about what I’d be doing differently and why.