Understanding SEO for Beginners

Understanding SEO for Beginners

What is SEO?


Search Engine Optimisation is the practice of optimising your website so that it can be easily found by the search engines.

In this blog post I am going to address some basic questions about SEO, how it works and why it’s important for your website.

How does the Google search engine work?

When a searcher enters a keyword or phrase into the search box on Google.com, Google searches their indexes for those keywords or phrases.

Google then presents the searcher with what it deems to be the most relevant results.
How does Google do this?
Google does this by:
Crawling: Crawling is the process by which ‘Googlebot’ discovers new and updated pages to be added to the Google index. Your website must have a robots.txt file that indicates your permission to Google and other search engines to crawl and index your site.
From the desk of Google:
“Googlebot processes each of the pages it crawls in order to compile a massive list of all the words it sees and their location on each page. In addition, we process information in key content tags and attributes, such as titles tags and alt attributes. Googlebot can process many, but not all, content types. For example, we cannot process the content of some rich media files or dynamic pages”
Serving up the Results: When a searcher enters a keyword or phrase in the search bar, Google searches the existing index of matching pages and returns them in what they deem to be the most relevant order.
How can I encourage Google to show my website in the search results?
There are a number of ways in which you can organically improve your rankings:
  • Use keywords and key phrases in the main body of your content/blog posts/articles.
  • Use keywords and key phrases in all headings and titles.
  • Tag all blog posts with keywords.
  • Use categories that contain keywords.
  • Use ALT tags and descriptions for all images (include keywords).
  • Use keywords and phrases in page descriptions and titles.

Is it possible to over-optimise?

Yes, Google is very clear about the conditions for optimisation. They require well-written content that is informative and relevant. Over optimisation may be seen as spamming and this could result in your website being penalised and dropped from the Google index entirely.

Avoid the following:

  • Keyword stuffing - keep your keywords below 3% of the total content.
  • Duplicate content - publish only original content on your website.
  • Cloaking - hiding information from the user that is not hidden from the search engines.
  • Link farms - never purchase links.

Should you have any questions about SEO or how it can work for your business, please get in touch by filling out the contact form below and I’ll be in touch as soon as I receive your message.



    Writing for the Web

    Writing for the Web

    In this blog post, I am going to share some useful information that should help you to create informative, engaging content for your online reader. For those of you who write content for both online and offline publication, it’s important to remember that the two mediums are very different. When we search for information online, we normally do so when on the move. This means the most engaging content is provided by websites that understand the importance of accessible, informative content.

    Engage your Audience Immediately:

    Give the reader the information they’re searching for immediately. There’s no need for extensive intro paragraphs, background information or procrastination. If you have promised your reader an answer to a question, provide that information immediately. You can be assured that your reader will appreciate this approach and will return to your site when they next need expert advice or guidance.

    Keep your Articles Short:

    In general, we can assume that the reader is either on the move, searching for quick information or has a short amount of time to spend reading online. When we sit down to read offline, whether that’s a book, newspaper or magazine, we have already committed to dedicating some considerable time to the task. Online readers tend to hop from site to site, building upon their original search by clicking links for further information. Keep non-topical, non-political and non-opinion pieces under 500 words and build your audience by providing quick, easy to understand information.

    Easy to Scan Information:

    Use bullet points, short paragraphs and infographics to lead your reader through from the beginning to the end of your article. Articles that are easier to scan for information tend to get shared more on social media and reach a larger audience.

    Identify the Reader and use their Voice:

    Identify the demographic of your reader and tailor your articles to suit their voice. It’s vitally important that you never speak down to your reader, preach to them or alienate them in any way. Use a conversational tone that sets you on the same level as your reader and simply converse and provide them with the information they require.

    Use Bullet Points and Lists:

    By using bullet points and lists, we can provide easy to read information in a way that is accessible for people on the move. Articles that contain lists, tips, advice and answers will attract more traffic. Consider articles that focus on ‘Top Ten Ways to….’, ‘5 Steps to a Perfect…’, ‘How too…’.

    Author Note: Joanne is a Digital Media lecturer at Griffith College and specialises in blogging, SEO and writing for the web. As a freelance writer and SEO consultant, she provides a range of copywriting and online marketing services that will greatly improve your online presence. You can contact Joanne by filling out the form below or by emailing joanne@jbwritingservices.com.

      Simple SEO Tips for your Website

      Simple SEO Tips for your Website

      In this blog post we are going to look at some simple SEO tips that you can implement on your website. By adhering to these basic rules, you will begin to see your website go from strength to strength in the search engine rankings.

      Keyword Research Audits, Cork, Ireland

      1. Conduct in-depth keyword research

      Keyword research is vitally important to ensure your website is targeting the correct keywords. Audit those competitors who are outranking you and discover the keywords that are driving traffic to their site. Combine your keyword research with the use of Google’s keyword planning tool for the perfect SEO strategy.

      2. Place keywords in headings

      Use headings throughout your blog post or page content and take care to mark them as headings in your CMS. Within these headings you should place your most important keywords.

      Optimised website content, Cork, Ireland

      3. Place longtail keywords in subheadings

      Using longtail keywords in your subheadings will let the search engines know that you are serious about providing important information. Long tail keywords will be very specific to your niche and will generally be three or four word phrases or questions.

      4. Place keywords in ALT tags

      Every image on your website should have an ALT tag and an image description. When the ALT tags contain your keywords, these will show up in Google image search, providing more kudos to your website.

      SEO Writer, Cork, Ireland

      5. Place keywords in the meta title

      Every page and post on your website will contain a meta title. It is important that you create a title that includes your most important keywords and phrases.

      6. Place keywords in the page description

      The page description is displayed to readers on the Google search results page, directly below the meta title. If you do not manually enter a page description, Google will generate one based on your home page content. This is the perfect place to insert your keywords and will ensure Google recognises your website as relevant when a user makes that all-important search.

      To learn more about keyword audits, meta data, search engine optimisation and ways to improve your online presence, please feel free to email me at: joanne@jbwritingservices.com.

      Joanne offers comprehensive SEO packages, optimised website content and consultancy services for clients right across Ireland.