SEO, short for Search Engine Optimization, simply refers to the process of increasing and improving the amount and quality of traffic directed to your website through organic search results in search engines.
To better understand this process, it’s important to know the basic factors that SEO consists of:
- URL structure - a URL structure can be as complex as it is simple, and getting it right will simplify the process of directing and guiding your website visitors. For smaller websites with fewer pages, URL structures will be more generic, example (www.webpartner.co.za/services; www.webpartner.co.za/about; www.webpartner.co.za/contact).
Bigger websites with many pages, products or categories may require more specific and unique URL structures. (www.webpartner.co.za/services/website-design)
Top tip: Make sure you properly plan your URL structures in advance.
- Meta descriptions - in layman’s terms, a meta description is a brief description below the search term heading that helps describe a page, and contains keywords that will help with your ranking.
- Keyword density - the number of times a specific or range of keywords appear relative to the total number of words a piece of copy, like a website page or blog post consists of. Its purpose is to determine the relevance of a particular keyword or keyword phrase. Using keywords or phrases too many times (keyword stuffing) will negatively affect your rankings and makes for poorly composed content.
- High quality backlinks - backlinks are links from one website to another that are used as ranking factors and play a crucial role in your SEO strategy.
- Meta tags - are hidden pieces of text in a page’s source code that describes the content of a page and helps tell search engines what pages are about.
- Page load speed - the time it takes for content on a page to completely display. When pages take too long to load, visitors will leave your website. This results in an increase in your website’s bounce rate and negatively impacts your rankings.
- Quality traffic - many people strive to get traffic to their website, but quality trumps quantity. The better the quality of the traffic, the better it will convert.
- Alt text - also known as image tags provide descriptions to better understand what an image and page is all about. It is especially helpful for the visually impaired and makes for a greater overall user experience.
- Engaging content - meaningful, engaging and relevant content will keep your website interested for longer and has a positive impact on your bounce rate.
- No broken links - broken links are harmful to your website and make for a negative user experience when visitors browse your website. It impacts your ranking within search engines and can make you lose out on potential customers.
It’s important to note that while SEO can greatly improve and increase your visibility and ranking, it won’t yield results overnight. It’s an investment that takes time but benefits your business in the long-run.
With an estimated 5 million searches conducted on Google daily, implementing an SEO strategy will help you be at the top of search engines when people search for your product or service. This will also have a direct impact on your conversion rate.