Reach the right audience by working with, not against, search engine algorithms
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is broadly defined as a set of techniques that helps potential clients find a website through search engines without paid promotion. More specifically, SEO involves strategically designing content that will help tools like Google analyse your site, compare it to other sites, and then rank it as more relevant to certain searches.
Over the past few decades, SEO has not only become a mainstream marketing activity, but has also become easier to implement in honest and effective ways. Some key elements of SEO to consider when building your online presence include:
1. Using keywords naturally
Using words relevant to your product or service throughout your content helps ensure that your business shows up on the first page of search results.
However, looking at articles on Business.gov.au and Search Engine Land, we can see that search engines like Google are increasingly prioritising organic phrasing over keyword “spamming.” Repeating the same keyword over and over again in the hope that the repetition will boost results can actually damage the SEO of a site.
Rather, current best practice suggests that each page of your site should have a good range of keywords directly related to the specific theme of that page, naturally worked into both the headlines of the page and the phrasing of the main content.
If you do include keywords in your headings, then you should also make sure to use header tags. In addition to providing structure to your site and improving readability, using header tags can also strengthen the impact of keywords on SEO. Tagging parts of your content as headings tells search engines like Google that that content should be given a higher-priority than other parts of your content.
2. Using meta-titles and meta-descriptions
The proper use of meta-titles and meta-descriptions doesn’t just give potential clients a sneak-peak of who you are and what you do – they can also boost SEO!
In terms of SEO, meta-titles and meta-descriptions validate keyword use in the content on the website, provide an opportunity to use more keywords in a way that reads as natural, and gives searchers an idea of what your site could contain. This combination of functions boosts SEO and improves your click-through rate.
Plus, meta-titles and meta-descriptions just look nice. If a potential customer searches for a term used in your meta-description, that word will show up as bolded. For example, if you search for “helium marketing agency” the term marketing is bolded in the meta-description:
3. Keeping content short and sweet
Optimal content length for SEO can be a tricky thing to determine. We can, for example, say quite confidently that good headlines should be under 55 characters; we know that meta-descriptions should be about 150 characters in length.
In terms of content beyond headlines and meta-descriptions, there’s a lot more variation to consider. The word count of a home page and an about page are all going to differ radically, for example. A home page should come in at around 350 words; longer pages like about pages or blogs can stretch up to 500 words at minimum. There’s a lot of room for variation, however – longer content has benefits in terms of giving more opportunities for other SEO tactics to be used, and shorter content can be more memorable and easier for Google to scan and rate.
Above all else, though, content should be unique, designed for your audience, and factual – length comes after these factors.
4. Including internal and external links
External links from reputable websites – that is, other websites including links to your site in their content – is the gold standard of SEO, as these links represent a vote of confidence in the accuracy and relevancy of your content.
That said, proper internal linking and a good site map can also boost your search engine position, as it makes it easier for Google to “crawl” your site and verify your content. Internal linking can also help potential client’s better find further information.
Including multiple pages on your site, under the same domain, with well-written URLs, that all point to one another, can drastically improve SEO results.
There are some fantastic resources out there that can help you better understand the basics of what SEO is and how to work best SEO practice into your content.
However, if you’d like in-person and personalised help, Helium offers a wide range of SEO services that align with these best-practice guidelines. For more information, reach out and say hello to us, and we’ll help you figure out which of our Marketing Essentials services is right for you.