SEO: What is it? Why is it important?

SEO is serious business. Turns out meta descriptions, keyword rankings and Search Engine Optimisation Strategy are important when it comes to building a website.

Ranking factors and organic search traffic play a huge role in the success of your website. I’m here to put it in simple terms and tell you what Search Engine Optimisation means. As well as why you should devote some time to it.

SEO: 'Search' Tiled Letters

You might have heard of phrases like ‘organic search’, ‘search engine algorithms’ and ‘search engine optimisation’ (SEO) before and thought ‘what on earth is going on?!’ Well, I’m here to help.

Seriously, the pressure is real. Getting your site to ‘rank on Google’ is not as easy as it sounds.

As a verb, Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) refers to the process of improving the visibility of your website on search engines. (Mainly being, Google).

Ultimately, it’s impossible to know all of the factors that influence Google’s algorithms. Imagine a machine full of billions of tangled wires. Yup, it’s that complicated. But that doesn’t mean we can’t put steps in place to enhance our SEO. I have shaved some hours off the process for you by explaining some SEO tips I have come across since starting this website.

Write for your users, not the search engine…
If you haven’t come across it already: keywords are pretty important when it comes to ranking. However, there’s a fine line. For example if you are writing a post on the best vacation destinations in Summer, then phrases like ‘best Summer holidays’ ‘best vacation spots’ and ‘Summer ideas’ are important to help your readers find what they are looking for.

But you pass that line when you begin ‘keyword stuffing’. That is, putting loads of keywords into your posts that don’t really make sense when read all together.

It’s simple: write for your users. Use keywords to help to navigate your users to and through your article. They should be sign posts that help the user get value from your content.

Spend some time looking into plugins that are going to save you a lot of time…
One of my all-time favourite plugins is Yoast (you can read more about Yoast on their website, here). It saves me a LOT of time and guides me through the SEO process as I’m writing each article. It helps me optimise my meta-descriptions and things like improving my headings and sub-headings.

I’d also recommend focusing heavily on grammar. No one wants to read a poorly written article.

Use Google Analytics and Google Search Console…
The data you can get from Google Analytics and Search Console is fantastic. Maybe you noticed over the last 30-days that users mostly engaged with your health-related content and barely engaged with your home-improvement posts. Follow the sign, write more health-related content.

Google Search Console is awesome for looking at how well your site is doing in terms of SEO. (i.e. how many impressions, clicks etc. you are getting from Search). It’s cool and super motivational to see.

Do your research
I would highly recommend tools like Semrush to help you to determine the competition levels of various keywords. Check out similar articles online – imagine you are the user, what is that article lacking? Then be sure to add that to your article to give yourself richer content.

Realise that SEO is ever-changing
Maintaining a website is a demanding task that requires patience and time. But the rewards will come, persistence is key!

If you enjoyed this post, then you might like my post on how to be productive, you can read it here.

If you have your own SEO tips or thoughts you’d like to share as a blogger/publisher/webmaster, I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

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