Thanks to a question asked on a Facebook group I have created this quick SEO 101 in a nutshell post.
The key to success in Search engine optimisation (SEO) is to deliver to search engines and people content that fulfils their search intent (The reason they carried out a search)
E.G. Someone searching for ‘mountain bikes’ has a vague search intent
- Do they want to know about mountain bikes?
- Do they want to see what a mountain bike looks like?
- Do they wish to buy a mountain bike?
The above are just 3 possible search intents, so in this situation the ideal page would have information about how mountain bikes came to be, what you do with a mountain bike, and general info on Mountain bikes with photographs and possibly some links to where you can buy them.
Search term: ‘best mountain bike’
This is an informational intent search, the key here is ‘best’ it tells the search engine that this person is looking for information on quality of bikes, so will go to authoritative pages that can be relied on such as mountain bike magazine and the like, this will also possibly include review sites because they have an aggregated score which helps define ‘best’ .
Search term: ‘buy mountain bike’
This is absolutely clear search intent, the searcher has indicated the intention of buying, as a result, expect to see commercial e-commerce pages cramming the results page.
To optimise a website, therefore, the absolute most important thing you can EVER do is carry out extensive search term research. (Also known as keywords) EVERY SINGLE THING you do on your website should be aimed at delivering to search intent for the correct terms
If you fail to do this correctly, EVERYTHING thereafter is wasted.
Google has only 2 places to work out what your site is about.
1. What YOU say your site is about (on page)
2. What OTHERS say your site is about (Off page)
Armed with your terms you analyse the website, allocate terms to pages or create content to fulfil the search intent needs, then push the user towards whatever it is you want them to do.
The two biggest factors are page title, page content (including image names and Alt Img Attributes), Internal links are and always have been key to internal optimisation.
Backlinks citations and mentions call them what you like, this is about relevance and value. A single link from a prominent page on a highly respected website can sky rocket your rankings and traffic.
The key here is RELEVANT.
on a local basis a link from an educational facility that is local, and your local city or town Council could trump everything else.
Relevance is relative ?
If you only do the minimum in SEO,
- find the best search terms and alter the ‘page meta titles’
- rename the images to make them descriptive but including search terms or related terms
- make sure the terms and closely related terms appear on the targeted page
- Link every page on your site to your homepage,
- Make sure there are links that allow you to get to a page i.e. don’t create a page and not link to it from another page.
Add links from and to relevant pages in the main content area using the search term for the TARGET page.