What is SEO (Search Engine Optimisation)

By Sek Lam on October 13, 2020

Getting a website is the first thing you will need to show your online presence. The website, for example a corporate website displays some of the information that they would like to share to the public such as their product or services and in what way that they could be reached.

However, does it mean that setting up a website by throwing in all the information available will attract visitors to pay your website a visit? 

The answer is NO.

The reason is that no one knows the presence of your website, not even the famous search engine, Google. So how to make your website known to Google and other visitors? This is where Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) takes place.

SEO is a process of optimising your website to get more traffic, in other words more visitors directed to your website from the Search Engine Result Page (SERP). However first, you must need to let Google know that you have a website in the first place.

Search engines like Google use crawlers to crawl websites all over the world everyday. The data from the website are collected and sent back to Google to be indexed. The websites are then displayed onto SERP based on how Google has ranked them to provide the best and reliable result to users. The ranking however, is based on the algorithm used by Google and this will determine which page of the SERP your website will be shown.

Over the years, marketeers have tried to demystify the algorithm that used by Google to score higher rankings for their pages in Google SERP. No one has been able to do that but there are some tips to follow to boost your overall rankings.

1. XML Sitemap

You can help to optimize Google’s crawling and indexing of your website by submitting an XML sitemap of your website to Google Search Console. An XML Sitemap speeds up the crawling and indexing of the website by telling Google the architecture of your website and what pages are there in your website.

This is especially important if you have a large or complex structure site with thousands of pages as crawling these pages may take up some time. If you are changing or updating website content quite frequent, it is advisable to consistently update your sitemap as well.

You can create the sitemap by using an online sitemap generator or if you have a WordPress website, there are some of the popular plugins used by developers are WordPress Seo by Yoast and Google XML Sitemaps can easily do the work for you. Just inform your web developer if you plan to do so. 

It is every website owner dream to appear on the first page of the Google Search Result Page as study have shown that most people won

2. Optimize Page Speed

It is a known factor in the industry that web pages loading speed will be another factor to be considered by Google when ranking the search results. In 2018, Google even announced that the loading speed of mobile pages will be considered as a factor as well when performing a search query using mobile devices. 

Therefore loading speed is one of the solid factors for Google to rank your website. According to a statistic shown here, the ideal page load speed is 2 to 5 seconds. The longer the pages take to load, the higher is the bouncing rate of your website. Most people will get impatient and leave your website if it fails to load within the ideal period.

There are some free tools you can use to check your website loading speed. Google Page Speed Insights is one of the free and reliable tools to check your website loading speed and it also provides suggestions on how to improve your overall website.

3. Mobile Friendly

The increasing number of smartphone users throughout the years has changed the way users search in search engines. In 2015, Google has confirmed that the mobile search queries exceeded the desktop search queries and there is no doubt the number is increasing. 

Therefore Google has made changes to its search engine algorithm to keep up with the new trend and Google is now focusing on mobile searches besides desktop searches. 

One of the criteria Google is looking at is the responsive web design. A responsive web page can adjust the layout to better suit with the screen size of the mobile devices. The content of the website is being rearranged to provide a better viewing and a more engaging experience for the users. Users can view the web page content without scrolling the mobile phone screen left and right making them stay longer inside the website and reduce bounce rate of the website. 

4. Title tag and meta description

A title tag is the title shown on the search result page. It summarizes the content that is shown in a webpage. 

One of the examples of title tag are shown below:

The title tag is important as it is the first element to catch the prospects’ eyeball when going through the search result and it can be a chance to turn them into leads. So be sure to provide an accurate and concise title tag to help audiences to understand what your page is about and what information you are providing. 

The title tag is also shown at top of the tab open in the internet browser. The name acts as a reminder for those who open multiple tabs in browser and very often title tag is used to identify the pages opened.

It is advisable to input some relevant keywords into your title tag as suggested by the SEO Guru Neil Pattel and to place them as close to the beginning of the title tag as possible. 

Meta description is the line of text appearing directly below the title tag. Its major functionality is to provide descriptions and explanations for the title tag of the pages. 

While it is not recommended to put too many characters in the title tag due to visibility issue, users can have the freedom of adding more words in meta description and provide a chance of provoking users to click into the link. You can put in some catchy phrases to bring up the  curiosity of the searchers and entice them to click through the website.

5. Keyword Research and Content Creation

Keyword research plays a vital role in SEO. The primary objective of SEO is to rank higher on the search result page with the correct keywords. The aim is to research for suitable keywords that match with the nature of content. The result may vary depends on the competitiveness and the keyword that you are choosing.  

For starting, it is recommend to try to avoid the popular and higher rank keywords due to those keywords being highly competitive. Instead do some research and choose the potential keywords which are not ranked currently and try to work them up to the first page on the search result. 

There are many tools available to perform keyword research for SEO. One of the commonly known free tools is Google Ads Manager. The tool initially was created for users to set up the advertisement campaign and run online advertisements with Google. Users can take the opportunity of using the keywords planner function to perform keyword research.

SEO is A Long Journey

As the title suggested, SEO is a long and consistent process to actually bring up your website in the search result.

Getting the webpage ranked for certain keywords definitely not the end of the process as maintaining the result is the key to long term SEO success.

Article written by Sek Lam
Co-founder of Specflux Solution, he helps business increase their marketing ROI. He is also running Ipoh based digital marketing agency with his partner.

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