Introducing SEO – Improving your search engine ranking

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Having an amazing website is no good if nobody can find it when they search online for you. Managing your position in search engine rankings is both an art and a science and it is achieved through a process known as Search Engine Optimisation (SEO).

What is SEO?

Just putting a website online is not enough to make sure that you will get the traffic you need to make it cost effective. To drive traffic to your site you need to get an understanding of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) a set of techniques used to increase numbers of visitors to a website by ensuring the page has a high-ranking in the main search engine results. To understand how to ensure your website is seen by as many people as possible you need to understand how a search engine operates.

How do Search Engines Operate?

Search engines use tools to ‘crawl’ the web, basically opening and exploring every page they encounter ‘indexing’ the content that they find within those pages.

When the internet was new this was all that search engines did and your ranking within the search results was purely based on the simple indexing. Today search engines use highly complex algorithms to provide information to users based on ‘relevance’ and ‘popularity’ to ensure that the search rankings are highly relevant for users.

Once a page could be considered relevant for a search if the word was contained many times within the content. This lead to abuses with people could ‘tricking’ the system, by embedding hidden keywords to manipulate the results or using spurious links between sites. Now the search engines use artificial intelligence and a wide variety of techniques to establish the relevance of the content.

Why is SEO important?

Most web users will select one of the top search results when they complete a search, if your website is not correctly optimised it will not be within this crucial set of high ranking results and the traffic you require will go to your competitors.

The exact details of the ranking algorithms are highly confidential and not released by the search engine providers, however experience shows that there are some simple techniques you can use to make the most of SEO.

1. Know your audience…

Google recommends you make your content primarily for human users and not for search engines. Useful, relevant and well written content is vital as this will develop your popularity and relevance.

Don’t think of your website as a set of static pages, create regular articles, blog posts and videos on the subjects relevant to your brand. There is evidence that the major search engines are moving more towards the review of longer content and away from simple keywords. It is important to remember that search engines are more ‘answer engines’ and will use complex systems to find answers to the questions which users are entering. The more relevant and well written content you have available the higher your ranking will likely be.

2. Make it simple to navigate

There should be a clear site hierarchy and text links allowing both human users and the search engines to find the content easily. This is great for search engines but also great to improve user experience for your users. Consider how your users navigate your website and find the information they need.  Major search engines including Google are now considering user experience such as part of their search algorithms. So your content must be easy to navigate, have a clean interface and excellent response times.

3. Ensure it works on any device

Compatibility across various devices is becoming vitally important not just for user experience but also for search engine ranking. Numbers of mobile internet users overtook PC’s in 2014 and there are now over 2 Billion mobile users worldwide, if you site cannot be easily viewed on a phone screen or tablet you will be letting yourself down. Ensure there are clear buttons and links and clean layouts, whatever the platform.

4. Ignore the ‘old’ tricks

Gone are the days when you could increase search engine rankings by peppering your content with visible and hidden keywords or buying links from web pages just to massage your rankings. The search engines are considerably more advanced than they were a few years ago.

5. Get socially connected

Don’t overlook social media marketing. Make sure that you have a connected presence on the major social media platforms and importantly ensure you keep them updated and well maintained.  Understand these are different to your main website, use them to communicate directly with your customers and provide a two-way communication. Be approachable and fun, you can relax the more corporate mantle and create friendly content more likely to be shared!

6.  Don’t stop there…

This is a good start for simple SEO, but you need to keep maintaining and updating your SEO to maintain high search engine rankings. You can employ the services of an SEO specialist who can provide you with an ongoing review of your content and finesse the content to ensure you keep the traffic you deserve!

Ask MM Group to Support Your SEO.

SEO is a highly specialised area and you are best calling upon the services of experts in the field. MM Group are full-service agency who provide professional design, web development, SEO and eCommerce provision. Their team of experienced consultants have created online provision for many businesses. They take time to understand your requirements following their Proven Process to achieve MM Group results for your organisation. As a full-service agency, they have professionals who can manage every part of your online business, from branding and marketing to data provision, web development, SEO and eCommerce.

Websites developed by MM Group come with a simple to use content management system, an admin site which will allow your own team to update and manage your site as simply as using a word processor. It means you can keep your site up to date quickly and easily without having to refer to developers.

Get in touch with MM Group today for a free, no obligation proposal.