Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is all about the content, semantic structure, and layout of your site that Google and other search engines crawl.
Google and other search engines crawl your site to get an understanding of what it’s about (and how authoritative it is), so the information it finds on your website can have a significant impact in how it ranks pages on your site for relevant search queries.
It is impossible to list every single on-site optimisation factor, but here are some of the important parts of on-site SEO best practices.
- The title tag (per page).
- The meta description (per page).
- Site navigation.
- Internal linking.
- The URL (per page).
- Relevant, unique content (per page).
- Site speed and performance.
- Site security.
Quality content is key
Let’s say you’ve successfully optimised your site by hammering out all of the site wide performance issues you can, and you’ve gone over each page with a fine-tooth comb to improve its relevance, significance, and uniqueness in your competitive landscape. Aside from making updates and adjustments as you add or subtract pages, you might think you’re done with on-site optimisation, but this isn’t exactly true.
The most significant component of your on-site strategy is the ongoing component–the content you continue to produce for the life of your brand, which forms your content strategy. Usually relegated to a blog or newsfeed, this serves a variety of functions for your brand, not just an SEO benefit. Your content shows off your expertise, helping users trust you, and gives you a platform for conversion by including calls to action at the end of your pieces. It can also serve as fuel for your social media or email marketing campaigns.
For SEO, content similarly serves a variety of roles. First, and perhaps most importantly, it increases the number of pages on your site that can be indexed in Google. Every new blog post you publish is more content for Google to index on your site, and another potential search listing leading people to your domain – tat is, as long as your content’s quality is high enough. Having a regular flow of content also looks good to Google, giving you a boost in the search rankings. Finally, if your articles are frequently linked to and shared, they’ll be displayed higher in search engine rankings.
The caveat to all of this is that your content has to be good, original, well-researched, insightful, adequately formatted, appropriately written, free from error, relevant for your audience, and fun or engaging to read. The content market is intimidating for newcomers, but to see the actual benefits of content marketing, you’ll have to rise above the fold.
Off-site authority building
Everything else in your SEO campaign should be focused on off-site authority building, meaning building a presence and relationships on external sites and platforms. The most significant tools Google uses to evaluate this “authoritativeness” are inbound links from such external sources.
The more inbound links you have pointing to your site from high-authority sources, the better your perceived authority, and the higher your website will rank in search engines. However, any links deemed irrelevant, spammy, or unnatural could earn you a penalty rather than a boost–so be careful how and where you acquire your inbound links.
Guest posting, social media syndication, and influencer marketing are all tactics you can use to get your content in front of more people and widen your authoritative reach – but remember, it all starts with good content.
How long does it take?
How long does it take to start ranking better in search results? What is a realistic SEO time frame?
As with a lot of things in SEO, the answer is – it depends. It depends a lot on your industry, what your competitors are up to, what baseline you’re starting from, how much work your site needs done to it.
However, you’ll typically expect SEO to take a 3 to 6 month period to really start working well. And why does SEO take so long? The main reason is that once the changes are made to your site, or once links are acquired, Google doesn’t discover them instantly.
It takes time for Google’s crawlers to find and notice the work that has been done, and then more time for that to flow through to improved rankings. However, once you build momentum and hit “critical mass” with your links and content, the results can really start to ramp up.
Ready to get started?
Get in touch and let’s discuss what we can do for you.