The Fundamentals of SEO
SEO strategies are constantly changing and evolving in the fast pace of the digital world, however there are some core elements of SEO that you can learn to help you understand how it all works.
It’s all well and good to have a functional, good looking website, but that’s barely any use if no one can find it! SEO is a common term in the web and content world, which stands for Search Engine Optimisation. SEO is your key to getting rankings in all the most popular search engines.
The strategies and tactics behind SEO are always changing. If you are going to maintain your SEO yourself, you need to be keeping up to date with all the latest Google algorithms and recommended strategies to keep your content ranking high. It is always worth being informed on these as you are in the process of creating content.
While it can be hard to keep up with all the latest strategies around SEO, there are some fundamental elements of SEO that remain constant. Learning these will help you interpret new strategies as they pop up, or help you understand what work you need to ask for when getting professional help.
Crawling is the process that Google uses to find new sites and pages to add to its index. Your website needs to be ready to receive the Googlebot in all areas of your website that you want to be seen and ranked.
Are search engines able to easily access your content? For Google to be able to rank your website, it needs to be able to look through what is written on your website and pick out what it is about, as reference for people using search terms that match your content.
The crawlability of your website often falls under more technical specifications, you may need to adjust the coding (or have your provider do this for you) in order to make sure that Googlebot can see and read your content. Without having your site crawled, it will never appear in search engine results.
Your website needs hierarchies to be able to prioritise and organise the content on it. The more a page appears on your site, the more importance it is perceived to have with search engines. Google creates its hierarchies by first going to your homepage and then clicking on every link that leads from there. This establishes an order of importance for the pages on your site, the more links they have leading to them, the more important they appear. The structure of your website should make it very clear which pages are the most important.
Keywords are important to establish what your content is about. They don’t need to be overused, but it is essential to establish a specific direction for your content, keywords make it clear what you are talking about. When you have a clear direction for your content, your keywords will be obvious and it will be easy for search engines to distinguish one piece of content from another.
As long as Googlebot has access to your site’s content (which it will after you update its crawlability) it will be able to read your content, scanning for keywords to work out what you are talking about on each page. The strategy of how keywords are used is something that has changed a number of times over the years, but the concept of using keywords in your work remains strong and constant.
Backlinks give your content credibility. Google and other search engines use backlinks as a form of reference that you are a true representative of your industry. Links to your website from established and trusted names in your industry give your work credibility that you do in fact know what you’re talking about.
Often, setting up the SEO for your website can be a daunting process, especially when you start Googling (oh the irony) the best practices for this. Results will be different depending on the month you’re looking at them. As with anything in the digital sphere, techniques are constantly evolving, it’s a fast paced environment to be involved in. Educating yourself on the fundamentals of each concept is a good place to start. Once you learn the core values of SEO, you can see the similarities in the changing strategies and understand how they are applied and their functionality within your website.