Search engine optimisation (SEO) describes the activity involved in improving a website's performance so that it appears higher in organic search engine results.
It involves the consideration of many factors, much of which a web developer can implement correctly and many of which a content author will need to have an awareness and understanding of.
Why is SEO important?
Work to improve your website search engine ranking is never an exact science as each website is competing for a position in search results based on the performance of other websites.
So, if your website falls within a search result of competitors who have invested significant time and resource into SEO, your site may not automatically appear high up (even where you have invested considerable time and resource).
However, trust in organic search results remains higher than paid search results, so it is of the utmost importance that your website be optimised to show in searches made for relevant keyword phrases.
A combination of factors
We work with our clients to review their existing sites and implement best practice so that new sites perform well from launch onwards.
From our extensive experience, we focus our effort on 8 key factors to ensure that a site performs well in search engine results:
Content The most important factor in ensuring the performance of your website in relevant search engine results is the content. A search engine’s job is to provide the user with relevant search results. Therefore, it is crucial that in order to show in search engine results for a given keyword or phrase, those keywords or phrases must show within the copy on your website.
Frequency Search engines are looking to judge the quality of a website not only by the words written, but also by how often sites are updated. Two similar sites with similar content could get very different search engine rankings if one has been updated daily for the last year and the other has not been updated at all.
Collaboration Search engine ranking is also judged based on where traffic to your site comes from. Building relationships with other reputable websites and driving traffic to yours from theirs assists with the credibility of your site. It also brings in additional traffic, so how can you afford not to collaborate with others?
Social Social media is now ingrained in the culture of societies across the globe. To disregard it as irrelevant is close minded. Search engines look to see that you are integrated into social networks when judging the credibility of your website and your brand.
Responsive Search engines view websites that are not optimised for multiple device sizes as websites that provide a poor experience. Their ranking formulae takes into consideration responsive layout as an indicator of quality. All sites created by Serenity Digital are responsive and as best practice changes, so do our client sites.
Speed A fast website provides the user with a positive experience. Search engines wish to show results which provide the user with a positive experience, so the speed of the site also affects your search engine ranking position.
Security Most internet browsers are now communicating messages to users where sites are deemed as insecure. In this case, secure sites are those which encrypt the information sent between a user's device and the website server, therefore protecting the privacy of the data shared by the user. Some search engines boost the search engine ranking of sites that have SSL certificates installed and operate over an https connection (as opposed to an http connection).
Semantic It’s important that the code that is written behind the scenes (either by your web developers or by the content management system) is semantic. This means that it's easy to understand by other systems. Search engines look for your content and try to index it and they all do it in a very similar way. As a result, it’s imperative that your content is rendered into the correct HTML format for search engines. This includes both on page and off page (Meta) content.
If you have an existing site that you would like reviewed or a new SEO-related project that you’d like to discuss, please get in touch with our experts.