Top 5 SEO Tips and Concepts You Need to Know
SEO has grown into such a vast, hairy beast over the last few years that it’s tricky to know where to begin. To simplify matters and enable everyone to join in the fun, check out our 5 essential concepts of SEO and get your own knowledge off to the best possible start.
What is the importance of SEO?
SEO is integral for any business wanting an online presence. 93% of people use search engines to find what they’re looking for online, and 90% click on the results found on the first page. Given that there are only ten spots to take up on page one, any site ranking on page two or below is seriously missing out.
Look at it this way – a failure to optimise your site for SEO is akin to opening a bricks n’ mortar store, then building a high wall in front of it so no one can see it. It’s with good reason that 64% of professional marketers actively invest in SEO.
What are the 5 essential concepts of SEO?
When looking at core concepts of SEO, the debate regarding what to include could rage until the next century. An SEO specialist working in tech could quite reasonably name five points upon which every other SEO tactic depends. And the same argument could be found within the creative SEO arena or those focused on user experience.
To shortlist our own essential concepts of SEO, we’ve taken an overview of the whole process and categorised this into five manageable chunks. Get to know the following, and you’ll have everything covered.
When it comes to SEO concepts and techniques, tech is the foundation of any managed SEO campaign. You can have the shiniest, happiest site with the greatest content found on God’s Earth, but if it’s not set up technically, it simply won’t perform.
Good technical SEO enables Google’s bots to find your site and rank it accurately. If the bots can’t find your fabulous, earth-shattering content, then your rankings will suffer as a result.
Furthermore, technical encompasses a range of optimisations geared towards usability. Tech fixes include increasing site speed, mobile optimisation, how your content is structured, your meta info and structured data.
Top tip: Ensure your site is mobile-friendly.
If tech is your foundation, then on-page is the, ahem, walls. On-page includes anything visible to the user. So think content. Think keyword research. Think images. Think videos, infographics, and that terrible pseudo-jazz tune you’ve got playing once your homepage loads.
Most people are likely to find your site through on-page factors. Content is your means of providing answers to the questions that users are typing into Google. Thin and/or poorly-structured content won’t have the info that people are looking for, so you’ll stand little chance of appearing on the search results – even if you’re a nice person prone to helping old ladies cross the road.
Top tip: Track keywords and topics for each page.
So, we’ve got the foundations and the walls up. Next up, we’ll put the windows in. Off-page SEO relates to less-visible SEO tactics, and it’s not in-your-face like content, but it’s no less important.
Ever heard of backlinks? This is the bread-and-butter of off-page SEO. A backlink occurs when another website links to your own. Alongside providing quality content, your backlink profile plays a massive part in how Google ranks your site.
It’s important to note that not all backlinks are equal. Getting backlinks from low-quality or downright dodgy sites have a detrimental effect on your SEO score. Whereas links from high-quality, reputable sites can send your site sky-high.
Beyond the world of backlinks, off-page SEO includes anything else that’s PR-related. Or, in other words, gives you a presence beyond the walls of your website. This may include social media activity, competitions, surveys or industry forum involvement.
Top tips: Build and chase quality links.
User experience (UX)
User experience (or UX) is self-explanatory as a term but a veritable can-of-worms when it comes to specifics. This concept looks at making the experience of every visitor to your site as painless and positive as possible.
In most cases, a great UX goes unnoticed – a user lands on your site finds what they’re looking for immediately, and is able to make a purchase in a click or two. Whereas poor UX often sticks out like a sore thumb and results in potential customers dropping out sharpish.
Clear navigation is a big part of the user experience. Even if your site is well set up tech-wise and full to the brim with creamy content, humans need to be able to find what they’re looking for fast. Site design is another consideration – few users want to be bombarded with a million pop-ups.
Good UX should also consider online ‘helpers’ such as chatbots and simplify the checkout process. For example, if you have to sign-up to a mailing list in order to make a purchase, many will simply buy elsewhere. The key with UX is to make the customer journey as simple and helpful as walking into your favourite clothes store and buying a favoured pair of briefs.
Top tip: Prioritise accessibility.
Fifth in our essential concepts of SEO list – but by no means less important – is analysis. This will tell you how well your optimisation process is going. You’ll discover your successes, failures, and nuggets in-between. An SEO project without analysis is like trying to find a lost beret in a field full of cow-pats.
Through the use of Google Analytics, Search Console, or our very own DIY SEO Software, you’ll be able to see how users are finding your site, their location, devices used, your most popular pages, the path of the customer journey and much more. Why fumble around in the dark when you can put the bedroom light on?
Top tip: Evaluate Incoming Links.
Looking to improve your own site’s SEO and keen to find out more? ROAR is a full-service SEO management company with a range of packages available to assist businesses of all shapes and sizes.