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.



    Social Media & SEO Tips for Small Business

    Social Media & SEO Tips for Small Business

    Welcome to the first in a series of blog posts about using social media and ethical SEO to improve your online presence.

    In this blog post we are going to talk about the relationship between the major search engines (Google, Bing, Yahoo) and social media and how an active and regularly used social media account can improve the rankings of your website.

    The relationship between the search engines and social media can often be overlooked or underestimated by those practicing online or offline SEO, however, SMM (Social Media Marketing), SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) and SEM (Search Engine Marketing) all work together to build your web presence in a positive, rewarding way.

    Linking your Website to Social Media

    For those hoping to boost their website in the search engine rankings, the very first thing I would recommend is to link each and every account to your domain name. You can do this in a number of ways: plugins, social share buttons, blog posts, social media buttons that link directly from your site via hyperlink, social proof plugins, live feeds from Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Goodreads etc.

    Use your Social Media Accounts Regularly & Link to your Website

    It’s all very well having dozens of social media accounts, but if you’re not updating them on a regular basis it can prove to be a worthless operation. I would recommend posting at least twice a week on all accounts and linking back to your website with each post. You can do this by simply typing the URL of any page of your website into the status bar on Facebook or Twitter and the platform will automatically direct viewers there when they click the link. Pinterest, Instagram and Youtube all provide similar features. Remember, this should work both ways! You want to build up a network of links between your website, social media and fans of your product/service.

    Offer something of Value

    When I say offer something of value, I’m talking about providing an incentive for your followers or fans to share these posts and links. Whether it’s an informative article, a competition or a well designed infographic, providing value to your readers will encourage sharing, interaction and more links back to your website. The more credible links you have (from ethical sources), the more Google will recognise your site and brand.

    Get Blogging

    Every website should have an integrated blog page to assist with onsite SEO, these blog posts should contain the keywords you would most like to be found with on Google and are perfect for sharing on social media. To get the most from your blog posts, I would recommend writing a minimum of 400 words and incorporating headings and meta data that include your chosen keywords.

    Tag all Images

    Make sure to tag all the images on your website with keywords, descriptions and captions (include your keywords) and go about sharing those images and their respective links on your social media accounts.

    Check back for my next blog post where I will be recommending a number of free plugins, widgets and resources to help you integrate your social media accounts.

    Author Note: Joanne at JB Writing Services offers a range of ethical onsite SEO and Social Media Management packages for those who need some assistance with marketing their brand online. Brand creation, website design and content marketing are all available at affordable prices for small businesses, bloggers and trainers.