12 Days of Social Media Christmas: Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
When setting up a new business up in the 21st Century, building a website is as normal as registering with Companies House or getting business cards printed. What doesn’t seem to be as commonplace is optimising that website for search engines. We explain how to get started with SEO and how social media has a part to play.
It’s great to have a state of the art website representing your business, but what if search engines don’t know how to find it? This is where search engine optimisation comes in.
When optimising a website it’s important that it adheres to the search engine’s guidelines. You could look over Google and Bing’s webmaster guidelines but don’t worry! No one expects you to become an expert in optimisation. That’s why SEO companies like us exist, to get your website ranking while you get on with running the business.
You may have heard the term ‘content is king’ and though that’s certainly true, it relates to quality rather than quantity. Search engines regularly check for fresh content but that doesn’t mean posting just anything every day will automatically help you rank higher. Search engines are now clever enough to understand new, original content and rate its quality.
Quality content is relevant to the business, clearly laid out and well written and doesn’t include links to questionable external websites.
If you don’t have time to create content for your website, consider hiring a content writer. Having someone who understands your industry is an advantage but most content writers will research as well as come to you with questions about your business and industry to better understand what content should be on your website. A good content writer will also understand SEO and will make sure keywords and outbound links comply with webmaster guidelines.
Having links on other websites pointing to your website goes a long way to improving and holding your ranking in search engines. However, back links come with their own risks.
You may have seen adverts or websites claiming to be able to get hundreds of back links to your website for a price. The links you get tend to be poor quality and considered spam by search engines. It’s known in SEO terms as a ‘black hat’ practice. This can seriously harm your website’s reputation and ranking.
Genuine back links can be organically gathered by building relationships with other websites and businesses within your industry, contacting them directly and offering unique content for them to link to or publish on their website.
Guest blogging is also an effective way to gain back links by creating content other websites will want to publish and include a link back to your website. If you have a digital marketing team working for you then let them know you want to explore a guest blogging strategy. Most marketing companies will already have a blogging outreach strategy in mind for your business.
Due to the secretive nature of how search engines work, we can only refer to what we see for ourselves, but the likes of Google appear to be giving social media channels more value when it comes to collecting information on your business and its online presence.
To help this process, verifying your social channels and registering with Google Business can certainly help the link between your business website, its location and your social media presence.
Social media also enables your content to be shared across networks of people who may be interested in the products, services or information you provide. Having an active social media strategy goes hand in hand with any SEO efforts you have planned for your website.
Are you new to the world of SEO? We can give provide a free review of your website and a report of what we could do to help you rank better in search.