Lets get to the fun stuff right away and why don’t you head over to our Search Engine Optimisation audit page first and get your free site audit for your website. No funny business here, just enter your details, wait 45 seconds and voila you will have a detailed report on the health of your site. This is a pretty important step since you need to know the base score for your site, and from there you can start to improve!
For the next couple of months I will be walking you through the basic components of your Search Engine Optimisation as well as the importance of having a solid SEO strategy. By no means do I want to give you the impression that I will make a SEO specialists out of you but at the very least you will have a better understanding of what Search Engine Optimisation is about and what steps you need to take as a business owner to ensure that you will have a solid digital marketing plan.
So far so good! You have done the SEO audit and hopefully scored well – let’s carry on….
How do Google and other search engines work
Like any other company the search engines are selling a product to you, the consumer, and to be market leaders they have to ensure that they deliver a relevant search results on your keywords quickly to make them competitive in their industry. With about 40 000 searches on Google every second you can get an idea of this huge challenge! So how do they do this?
For a search engine to be able to deliver search results they need to create an index of every website, image, movie etc on the web. They do this by “crawling” through all the websites made available for indexing. Software called “crawlers”, “bots” and “spiders” continually scan the web and keep indexing existing and new websites around the globe to ensure that the search results served to you are as current and relevant as possible. The links that we create on our websites make it possible for the crawlers to move from one link to another and crawl the entire web.
Once the crawlers have collected all this information it is stored on huge servers which are able to deliver relevant information on the keyword searches that the user is looking for immediately.
Like I said earlier, the challenge for search engines is to deliver the search result that you, the client, is actually looking for. Intricate mathematical equations called algorithms are developed to try and deliver the perfect results which are relevant to the users search. These algorithms are the holy grail of the search companies and is what makes them so successful. If we would know what the algorithms were, it would make our job as SEO marketing specialists very easy. The SEO fraternity is continually working on trying to figure out what the algorithms are to get their clients to the top of the ‘Search Engine Results Pages’ (SERPS). Over an above the fact that we have had more than 15 years to figure this out and get a good idea on what the key components for better rankings are, the industry has also developed a host of tools that we use to achieve the best results. Semrush, Moz, Majestic, Google analytics, Google Search Console, GTMetrix to name just a few.
“The Good, The Bad and The Ugly”
In 2014 the world exceeded one billion websites, let me say that again “one billion” and Google processes about 1.2 trillion searches per year! Its a fairly daunting task to think that your website needs to feature under the first 5 places in order to get some decent exposure. Luckily the search engines don’t leave us completely in the dark and give their clients best practice guidelines on how to structure their website. Since the market is becoming more and more competitive search marketers are continually working on cracking the algorithms and better understanding the basic operations of search engines and creating websites that earn these high rankings. Like with any industry there are the bad apples that try and fool the system and develop techniques that are not according to the search engine guidelines. This method of SEO is called “black hat” SEO and can cause a severe penalty, to the point that your website will be completely ignored. Even though it is important to understand these techniques for any goodSearch Engine Optimisation specialist, I would suggest sticking to “white hat” SEO for a long term strategy that will create an environment for online growth.
Where to from here
In my next article I will be having a look at keyword research, it’s relevance and why I say that it is the foundation of any Search Engine Optimisation strategy and probably one of the most important aspects of your whole SEO campaign.