A successfully search engine optimised website is one which ranks highly in search results for relevant, popular keywords. Being in the highest ranking sites makes it far more likely that search engine users will follow your link and visit your site, as around 90% of people don’t look beyond the first page of results when they search. Making it to the first page, and even the top place, search engines can be achieved for free with a little time, effort and patience and is the key to creating a valuable web presence for your business.
The rules of SEO: using keywords and balancing your content
For search engine success, it is important to optimise features of your website such as the keywords you use in your content, your off-page meta data and your alt tags, your site’s structure and the web links that drive people towards your website. It is also important not to undermine your site’s chances by employing negative SEO techniques such as overusing keywords or trying to rank for popular but irrelevant keyword phrases.
The golden rule: keep your web content natural
With all these rules to follow, it can be easy to fall into the trap of writing your website content for the search engine and forgetting the goal driving your SEO campaign – to get visitors to your website who like and enjoy the site and become your customers. Your website needs to be written for people, not for robots, and your web content must always reflect this.
Quality content: writing for people equals search engine success
Be careful not to ‘over-optimise’ your website. If your website is keyword heavy or the inclusion of keywords sounds forced, it will be off-putting to customers. It might also be flagged up as potential spam by the search engines, which would severely harm your website’s search rank. Google’s recent Panda update was designed to reflect the need for natural sounding, user friendly and good quality content: not only will writing for people make your site appealing to customers and engage them more effectively, but it will also improve your website’s search rank. Successful and highly placed websites keep to the rules of SEO, but don’t draw the reader’s attention to their techniques.