Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is the task of optimising your website, it’s content and it’s overall visibility so that it ranks better on search engines.
What are Search Engines?
A search engine is an online platform used to search for certain keywords, questions or queries such as Google, YouTube, Bing or Yahoo.
In order for your website to rank well on these platforms, you need to invest time in search engine optimisation.
Search engine optimisation is a complex task with many grey areas when it comes to best practice and what works best.
This is because each search engine has its own ranking factors and these guidelines and factors are constantly changing.
Some of the ways how to optimise your website for search engines are simple and easy, but others are technical and complicated.
In this short article, we’ll walk you through some of the basics of SEO to help you understand how it works in simple non-technical terms.
SEO Ranking Factors
There are more than 200 ranking factors used by Google and other search engines to decide where a website should rank in its results.
The purpose of this is to make the web as user-friendly and accessible as possible for every single user of the internet.
It’s also because it makes it easier for search engine robots to crawl your website, understand the content and report it back to the search rankings.
These ranking factors can be separated into what’s called on-page and off-page search engine optimisation.
On-page SEO (also known as on-site) relates to the optimisation of elements on your website and it’s pages as opposed to off-page signals.
These on-page factors include optimising elements such:
- Responsive design and mobile-friendly menus
- Length and quality of content on your pages
- Relevant content including optimised images
- Website and page loading speeds
- Keyword integration throughout content
- User-friendly and keyword optimised URLs (website addresses)
Off-page SEO (also known as off-site) related to the optimisation of elements external to your website which affect its ranking.
These external off-page elements generally relate to things such as links to your website from other sites such as blogs, social media platforms, news articles and business directories.
Off-page SEO basically tells Google what others think about your site so you could say it’s a bit like online word-of-mouth.
So, if you’ve got some quality websites linking to your website this signals to search engines that you have good content on your site.
Technical SEO Ranking Factors
There’s also a range of on and off-page technical ranking factors that usually go past the skills and ability of your everyday web design amateur and require skilled and experienced experts to implement.
These factors include areas such as SSL certificates, optimising CSS code, implementing website snippets and a few others.
Search engine optimisation (SEO) is critical if you want your website to rank higher in organic search results.
A website that is search engine optimised can be the most cost-effective long-term internet marketing investment you ever make.
Many on-page and off-page SEO factors are easy but time-consuming to implement, but you should never really start implementing them until you have created an SEO strategy to avoid any major errors.
If you’d like to learn more about SEO and how to improve your search rankings then read our recent article about why websites don’t rank well on Google or why not even consider our affordable SEO services.