December 2017: Internet World Stats reported that South Africa has 30.8 million internet users and some 16 million Facebook subscribers. How do these users find a needle in a haystack?
The short answer? SEO
What exactly is SEO? Search Engine Optimisation is a process that identifies and uses words and phrases people use when searching for your products and/or services. Strategically embedding these words in the most relevant and important places on your website pages, and using the right links to alert Google to the information and importance of your website pages, is just one of the elements involved in optimising page content.
As a start, we need to figure out what words and phrases people use when ‘Googling’ or searching for your products and/or services. But how do we ‘know’ what words they’ll use?
Over time, Search Engines such as Google, Bing and Yahoo have built databases of words and phrases, which they make available to use in order to help guide people in their searches.
The more often a search term is used the bigger the chances are of sending traffic to your website. Next, we check the strength of the sites that already use these phrases: Why? If these sites are well-established, for you to rank above them in the search process becomes a challenge; but at least we now know how to position and phrase ourselves relative to them.
With insight of which words and phrases we want to be discovered; when building your web pages, we can make sure that these words are used in the important parts of your web pages.
How does Google decide which pages using the same keywords come out tops in peoples’ searching endeavours? It uses in-excess-of 200 different ranking signals, but the below play quite an important role:
- Reputation: How long the site has been around.
- On-page quality: Keywords; content; code; speed; mobile responsiveness and links.
- Off-page reputation: Links; reviews; mentions; social signals; forums; online discussions; blogs, and articles.
- Content: Relevant keywords and key phrases, quality & unique website content.
The more appropriate sites and pages that naturally link to your site to support your content, the more Google deems your site as a relevant, important and valuable source of information! It’s like being recommended or referred.
Long story short? We use the words people search for and put them in important places on your pages to make sure they’re optimally linked for Google to rank your pages as important.
Is your website a needle in a haystack? We can help you be found!