Many site owners think that once they have built their website, the visitors will start flowing and that they will soon start ranking in Google for their main search terms.
Unfortunately, this couldn’t be further from the truth. There are many factors that influence how well a website works and simply having a website is only half the story. In order for your website to be ranking well in Google, you are going to need to properly optimize it.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process in which work is carried out to increase the visibility of your site and the quality of traffic coming to it through the search engines.
SEO is a complicated process and there are many things that go into creating an SEO campaign for a specific website. The work for website optimization can take place on the website itself, which is referred to as on-page SEO, as well as off-page elements such as backlinks to the site.
All websites are different and as such, will require different levels of SEO. An SEO expert will usually perform a detailed audit of a website before doing any SEO work. The audit will look at various things such as the on-page elements like meta titles and descriptions, content, image optimization, page load speed and other aspects specific to that website.
Once an on-page audit is carried out, an SEO expert such as Digitrio may then decide to perform a backlink audit of the website, to check the backlink profile. There are many times when a website has been poorly optimized and as a result, there are hundreds if not thousands of poor quality backlinks to the website.
It is only after a thorough audit has taken place that an SEO can decide what work needs to be carried out. It is usual to first start with any on-page issues that have been detected.
Depending on the size of the website, the on-page work can be completed within a week on a small website of about 10 pages, But may take months on large websites such as an eCommerce store which may have hundreds of pages.
Most of the on-page work will involve rewriting the page meta titles and descriptions, as well as fixing up the content, using appropriate headers and H1 and H2 tags where required.
The amount of content and its quality, is also a very important factor when it comes to how Google ranks your pages. If all of your competition have at least 1500 words of content on a page and your website has 350 words, then clearly, you are going to need to add a lot more content to get your website on par with your rivals.
A good SEO will look at your competition and see how their website and pages are constructed and what amount of content and optimization has been done to those sites. They will then look to bring your website up to speed so that you are competing with them on an equal platform.
Image optimization may also need to be carried out, as sometimes, websites are made with enormous images measuring thousands of pixels in height and width, which can cause pages to load slowly. Image files should also be properly named and the alt tags used where possible.
Schema is another on-page factor that will be taken into consideration and added by the SEO who is undertaking the work on the website. Schema is markup code, also known as structured data, that is added into your web pages which can help the search engines understand what the pages are about.
In addition to on-page SEO that is carried out, there is often a need to perform some technical SEO. This will usually include things such as improving the speed of a website by making configurations to the server, in order to make sure that Google and the other search engines are able to crawl your website and then index the pages accordingly.
Other technical aspects of SEO include the creation of XML sitemaps, caching (which helps with improving the loading speed of web pages), database optimization and other such things.
This type of SEO is certainly not for a beginner, so if you discover that your website is in need of technical SEO to fix various issues, it is advisable to speak to an expert about undertaking such work.
Off-page SEO is work that is carried out away from your website. This will usually involve the creation of backlinks to your website. With backlinks, you need to be careful. For effective off-page SEO, it’s important to place emphasis on quality, rather than quantity.
Gone are the days when you could create 5000 backlinks to your website in 24 hours and rank well on Google. Poor quality backlinks, from places such as link farms or public blog networks, are going to cause you more damage than they will do you good.
You will need to get backlinks from high-quality websites that are in a similar niche to your website. Relevancy is very important and having backlinks from websites that operate in a similar niche or industry to your own are going to be much more effective than having backlinks from completely random and unrelated websites.
Guest posts are an effective method to create quality links to your own website. There are a number of companies that offer guest post services and who have relationships with hundreds of websites in a multitude of niches who are open to publishing guest posts with a link back to your site. These will involve a once-off payment, usually starting at about $100 each, depending on the website.
SEO is very important to the success of a website. There are some basic SEO elements that anyone can do themselves, but when it comes to the more advanced and technical aspects, it is advisable to contact an SEO agency. They will have the knowledge and experience needed to provide you with a comprehensive SEO strategy that will get your website ranking for your desired keywords and search terms.