14 Aug, 2015 Easy Steps to Improving Your Organic Search Results 27 February 2018 Rachael Hand Digital Marketing Manager A great website is the best foundation to online marketing– but to make your digital presence really count you will need to start by ensuring that users are able to find you online. There are a number of ways users can access your website: Direct – directly entering your company URL straight into a search bar Referral – following a link from another website Paid Search – following a link from an online advertisement Social – following a link from a social media profile Organic – finding you online through targeted search engine results Most of the traffic to any website is obtained organically which is why Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is so important in ensuring your website has visibility online to search engines. In basic terms, SEO is needed to give search engines the clues they need to be able to find your website when generating search results. One of the most important aspects to remember when thinking about SEO is that no matter how advanced technology is, it will always be flawed by the it's lack of human nature. The crawlers that are used to search the web need complex algorithms (or formulas) to be able to decode the clues you leave in your webpage which tell them what your website is all about. Unlike a human who is able to scroll through the page to see if it relevant or not, crawlers need to be able to find the correct messages from your site to ensure they return accurate and relevant information back to the searcher. I know what you are probably thinking. And yes, the inner workings of a search engine are some of the more complex you will come across. But don’t fear, even for a novice there are simple steps you can follow to improve these messages and increase your organic search results: Keywords These are the words or phrases which define the purpose of your website and give the search engine an indication to the content that is on the page. When a user conducts a search within a search engine, they enter keywords associated with the search which allows the engine to generate the most relevant results. Search Engines will look at how the keywords are used within your website to assess how relevant the content is to the search. It will also use algorithms to ask questions such as ‘How many times does the keyword appear on the page’, ‘Are there more than one keyword on the page’, ‘Are the keywords together or separate’ etc. However, this doesn’t mean that you should litter your content with the same keywords in the hope of rising in the ranks. The best way to optimize the use of keywords on your website is to ensure that they appear in the places search engines look first such as Headings, Titles, Metadata and body copy. Make your keywords as specific as possible – if your website is all about cars then ‘cars’ as a keyword will not be enough to drive traffic to your site – adding a brand, location and other more appropriate associated words will help make your website more relevant to search results. It is worth bearing in mind that when a search engine crawls and indexes content within the web it stores information in keyword based indexes. This allows the crawlers to quickly identify search terms relating to that keyword when prompted by a search query – so getting your keywords right is really important. Check your Site Speed If your website has been built properly, then site speed shouldn’t be a huge issue for you to consider. Not only does site speed matter to your users, it has also been highlighted as one of the ranking factors that search engines use when indexing your site. There are online speed tests you can do to check your site speed and if it is very slow, talk to your developer or check your image sizes to make sure they are no too large and slowing down your site. Crawlable Link Structures It is important that the link structure of your website is accurate and consistent so that the search engines crawlers are able to find all the pages on your website. It is an easy, but costly mistake to make – and one that many sites do – if your pages are not discoverable to search engine crawlers they will not be indexed or returned in search results. Engaging Content Regularly updated content which is relevant to the sector of your website has been proved to improve search ranking as search engines preference new content to old. Don’t worry, we are not talking about rewriting all of the content for your website every few weeks but adding news features and blog articles on a regular basis can improve your ranking. You should have clear links to your new content from the homepage – be that in a menu or a through a link embedded within the main content area as this will help crawlers find the information they need. Have engaging content also enables you to create external links to that information on other sources. These are called ‘Referrals’. Referrals are a great way to make your website appear more credible to a search engine – as a general rule the more quality links you have referring to your site, the more popular you site is considered and the higher you will rank in search results. There are lots of options when it comes to improving your sites SEO speak to a member of our team today to see how we can help your site get found online. Or for more infomation on search engines read our blog on How Does Google Work.