A website kickstarts a winning online presence for your business. But it doesn’t stop there. You’ll need your website to be accessible to your target audience.
We know what you’re thinking: “I already have a website. Surely, it will come up on Google when a user does a relevant search, right?” Well, not quite.
We’re talking about millions of web pages around the world coveting for that first search engine results page (SERP). Businesses will have to step up to get noticed by Google.
How? Cue in search engine optimisation or SEO.
In this article, you’ll learn how search engines work and how you can make your website work for search engines.
How do search engines work?
Google a keyword and you get a ton of results in multiple pages. And admit it — you rarely browse beyond the first page.
This leads us to wonder: how does Google choose which webpages to rank? Basically, search engines function in three steps:
- Crawl – Search engines scour the web, through bots called “spiders”, for every new web page they can find.
- Index – All content found will be stored and organised in the index, where they’ll be in the running to showing up in the SERPs.
- Rank – Google orders the results by most to least relevant to a searcher’s query.
Ultimately, the goal of SEO is to get Google to index your website and rank it on the first page.
5 Effective Ways to Perform SEO
SEO is crucial in launching a successful online presence for your small business. Now, let’s get to work.
Learn these surefire SEO methods to help you ace the top search rankings.
Before you start producing content, you’ll need to do keyword research. This helps you identify what keywords users are looking that’re related to your product or service.
If you’re a marketing consultant, key in “marketing consultant Indonesia” and find related search results.
You can use free keyword research tools to do the job. Or utilise Google’s autocomplete feature to discover relevant keywords or titles.
Once you know what keywords people are searching, you’ll then be able to optimise for searcher intent. Why are users searching for this keyword? Knowing the intent will help you create more targeted content.
It’s a common catchphrase in the SEO industry: content is king.
Users expect to find relevant content when they perform a Google search — which is Google’s main goal. If the content you produce isn’t at par, don’t expect it to show up in the SERPs.
The question is — what’s a Google-approved content?
Here are vital tips to follow:
- Get your goals straight. What’s the purpose of your website? Is it to drive sales or simply reel traffic in? Knowing your goals helps you identify the type of content that’ll be valuable to your readers.
- Know your audience. If you’re catering to a younger audience, you might want to skip writing long-form sentences riddled with jargons.
- Set up an editorial calendar. Plan which topics and content types you’re publishing over the next few months. This will give you enough time to create the content and publish it on time.
- Localise your content. If you’re an Indonesian small business, it’s best to create content using the local language. Also, use images with Indonesian models to connect with your audience.
Having great content is no use if it isn’t optimised for search engines.
Before putting your content live, make sure you perform on-page SEO. This involves techniques that help Google to index and rank your web pages correctly.
Some effective on-page SEO methods include:
- Page URLs – As much as possible, insert your target keyword in your webpage’s slug.
- Page titles – Use the H1 tag for your page titles. Give Google a hint by putting your target keywords in.
- Meta titles descriptions – These appear on the SERPs, so make sure to shorten them and include target keywords.
- Media – When adding images and videos to a webpage, don’t skip on adding alt-text. This will help search engines to better understand the context of these files.
Here is where we get to the nitty-gritty of SEO. Technical SEO methods focus on optimising the infrastructure of a webpage.
This has nothing to do with your content, but everything to do with helping search engines to access and index your website.
Common technical SEO techniques include:
- Website navigation – Archive webpages properly to guide both search engine and users through your content. Even better, you can leave breadcrumb trails.
- Canonical URL – You may have duplicate content within your site for paging purposes. To avoid plagiarism errors, tell Google which page to index and skip using canonical URLs.
- HTTPS website – Installing an SSL secures any information transferred between your server and website, such as personal data and passwords. It’s a known Google ranking factor, so make sure your website has one.
Trustworthy sites link to each other. If you include external links to authority sites and they link back to you, you’re bound to land on the top spots of the SERPs.
In a real-life setting, it’s like having other businesses refer their clients to you for a certain service. Clients trust these businesses, so they trust their recommendations too.
But before linking to other websites, make sure they’re high-quality. Check for an HTTPS connection. More importantly, only link to pages that are relevant to your content.
But how do you get other websites to link to you?
First, create unique, compelling content that people will want to share and reference. Guest post on other reputable websites. Promote your content on social media. Partner with relevant organisations.
Being out there and building networks will earn you the backlinks you want.
Keep your audience in mind
Google only wants the best experience for its users. Put in the work by giving your audience valuable content and you’re sure to get on the good side of search engines.
Ready to create a website that’s first-page-worthy? Get started with Sitebeat.