What is SEO? Search Engine Optimisation
The action of search engine optimisation (SEO) leads to a better adjustment of a website according to specific needs. This mainly involves adapting the website to the rules set by search engine algorithms and the expectations of those using it. Ultimately, this is intended to improve the position in the organic search results, increase loading speed and improve the overall user experience (UX) and click-through-rate (CTR).
The process of optimising a page itself consists of many elements and is rarely a one-off activity. More often than not, optimisation is a topic that deals with improving a page that is online and its performance is unsatisfactory or does not meet expectations. Optimisation activities are most easily divided into those relating to technical matters and on-page content.
SEO – definition
The acronym SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation. This type of activity involves a series of complex processes concerning the optimisation of a website for readability by indexing robots. An increasingly important aspect of SEO is also concerned with how a website is perceived by its visitors.
In general, SEO activities can be divided into two types: on-site and off-site. In order to be able to provide the best results, both types of optimisation must be carried out simultaneously, and the specialists themselves should have skills not only in online marketing, but also in web development, graphic design or client relations.
Why is search engine optimisation (SEO) important?
If a website is properly optimised, it simultaneously supports search engines both in terms of navigating the site and in correctly interpreting the content there. It is worth mentioning that this also benefits the average user, as he or she will be able to analyse the concept and content of the page of interest more efficiently.
A website that is well optimised in terms of SEO will help the search engine to understand the impression and value that would accompany a human visitor. This allows the major search engines to display the pages they understand in the search engine results pages (SERPs). What’s more, they are able to determine whether a particular page can be found to provide information that is relevant to the keyword in the query, which will help elevate it to a higher position in the organic search results.
It seems to be crucial to understand the expectations of potential users regarding what they are looking for on the Internet. This will require knowledge of the responses they expect, the keywords they use and the content they consume on a daily basis. The consequence of this will be to better connect with users who may be interested in the services or products offered by the site – e.g. by answering questions from the industry.
When should you opt for search engine optimisation?
First of all, let’s check whether the website you are interested in is displayed on Google. For this, use the “site:” command and enter in the search field:
The moment a search engine is able to return search results leading to a site, this will indicate its chance of visibility. The Google Search Console tool, on the other hand, will allow the verification of indexed (visible in the search engine) addresses. This is fundamental when it comes to optimising a website. Assuming the website is not included in Google’s index, there is no basis for work on editing it. Potential indexing problems will be displayed in Google Search Console (“Status” tab). Of course, the process of optimising the website also includes the area of its correct indexation – this is the starting point.
When deciding to build a website yourself, designing it as soon as possible according to user needs and Google guidelines will be at a premium. If you have commissioned the design of your website, there is nothing stopping you from optimising it yourself. This is assuming, of course, that we have the necessary skills to do so. In places, comprehensive optimisation of a page is implemented at the start of positioning activities, which are a key element of SEO, along with link building and content marketing. The optimal solution, however, is to send a development version of the site to SEO specialists to make optimisation recommendations, the implementation of which will also be verified by them at a later stage. Once the ‘green light’ has been given, the website will be ready for publication on the target domain.
What is included in SEO optimisation?
In order to really be able to make sense of the number and meaning of the elements involved in search engine optimisation, it is essential to first understand how search engines, including of course Google, work. The complexity of this process presupposes frequent and regular exploration of the web and management of the content found there using tools. This is because Google’s bots constantly review the resources found on the web and store them in a huge database of URLs, which are ranked for a given keyword.
Website optimisation for SEO is divided into 3 stages:
1. Technical web optimisation (On-site)
The technical stage involves the correction of errors currently found on the website and the modernisation of its more important elements. This includes, for example, optimisation of meta data and URLs, implementation of redirects, prevention of duplicate content or better search engine indexing. All of this is intended to ensure that the website is ranked in the top ten of organic search results for keywords relevant to the client’s business.
The basic activities included in the broadly defined optimisation are:
- Google index analysis – allows verification that the sub-pages are indexed correctly. There may be a situation where Google Search Console displays an error or warning message leading to the removal of a URL. In order to counteract this, it is important to keep an eye on the site and react efficiently to changes,
- Landing pages – does the client’s website contain content about products, categories, articles or services? These are essential for implementing keyword-based activities,
- Load time – the time it takes for a website to fully load is one of the most important ranking factors for Google. Moreover, loading too long equals a high rejection rate. It is worth using PageSpeed Insights to check your site’s speed,
- Meta data – this includes the page title and description. It is important to be aware that URLs must have different meta data in relation to each other. Google’s robots look closely at this, and proper optimisation of the data has its impact on the CTR,
- Alt attribute – this action is related to describing the content of the graphics used on the website. If alt attributes are completed correctly, they affect SEO and visibility among users,
- Responsiveness – here we come to one of the fundamentals of optimisation. A responsive website is supposed to play easily on both desktop and mobile devices. Low responsiveness not only does not look good in terms of Google ranking, but is also unattractive to potential users,
- Internal linking – non-intrusive linking in internal content will allow users to browse the site more freely. They are usually redirected from the blog to individual sub-pages where products, services or their categories can be found. This should not be underestimated as it can have a positive perception among Google’s robots,
- Friendly URLs – every URL should be as readable for the user as possible. The removal of characters such as # and % and the abandonment of the underscore in favour of the dash are therefore useful,
- Structured data – this aspect requires more familiarity with HTML/CSS. Such data serves to make the meaning of a given piece of content clearer. This gives Google’s robots a better insight into what can be found at a particular URL, thus increasing the chance of higher search engine ranking. However, it is worth addressing as much as possible, as Google itself is trying to convince people to use this method,
- Category structure – categories, subcategories and sub-pages are all used to make it easier for the user to navigate the site and find what they want more quickly. The key is to rely on a simple and clear structure.
2. On-site content optimisation
However, it is important to realise that even the complete elimination of errors is not enough. Content is essential for the desired effect of optimisation. In the long term, it is beneficial to develop the content on the individual pages. These should be prepared with the appropriate volume, structure and subject matter in mind. After all, it is the content that communicates to Google what we actually do and what industry we are in.
3. Off-site link optimisation
Off-site optimisation refers to external link building. It can certainly be said that this is an elementary action within SEO. Ideally, such an action should focus on diversity, an element of security for the site in question and effectiveness. This also includes links between categories, sub-pages, etc. It is advisable to focus on the internal linking structure so that the website can be better read by Google’s robots.
Page optimisation tools
There are a number of components regarding optimisation that you should be aware of. For a better understanding of the topic, it is good to have a thorough strategy in place. Use a checklist and list the points to analyse and improve. Of course, an SEO audit is essential at the outset.
Use the following tools for this purpose:
- Screaming Frog,
- SEO Surfer,
- Google Search Console,
- Google Speed Insight,
- Google Mobile Friendly.
Website optimisation on WordPress
With its plug-ins (plug-ins), WordPress allows you to optimise your website without any programming knowledge. They are also able to assess the correctness and quality of elements such as article content and meta data. Of course, this does not mean that such a site is able to position itself. Developers and site owners must make their own efforts to reach their audience, i.e. rely on SEO optimisation and auditing.
WordPress offers thousands of plug-ins, such as those designed to aid SEO. The most commonly used are SEO Yoast, Rank Math and All in One SEO Pack.
These will allow you to more easily perform actions such as:
- optimising title and description tags regardless of content type,
- generating a sitemap,
- integration of the website with Google Analytics,
- content indexing management.
The next steps to optimise pages on WordPress are almost identical, even when using a different CMS. The subtle difference comes from the way optimisation changes are implemented. WordPress allows changes to be implemented excluding the need to interfere with the site code, creating an easy entry threshold for those without programming skills.
How long does SEO optimisation take?
Once we start optimisation, the first results should be visible between 2 and 4 weeks. This time depends on the size of the site itself, the number of keywords or the sheer speed of implementation of the optimisation recommendations.
SEO experts do not always agree and many seem to downplay the importance of several elements involved in optimising a site. True, there is no unified single method to maximise SEO performance to meet all of Gooogle’s search engine requirements. All the more so in an industry where recommendations, algorithm behaviour or market standards can change daily. Nevertheless, it is the knowledge, experience and flexibility of industry specialists, together with the ability to react quickly to new realities, that allows us to find the right method for the high positioning of a specific portal.
Verification of optimisation implementation
In order to verify that a page has been correctly optimised, we can use Google Serach Console or dedicated tools for this purpose. One of the more popular ones is seoptimer.com. Using them allows us to suggest actions to be implemented for the purpose of eliminating errors occurring during optimisation. Keep in mind that they are primarily aimed at people who already have some understanding of the topic under discussion.
Why? The activities proposed through the programme would not always be approved by internet marketing specialists. This is because their implementation may prove too labour-intensive and their effect will be minimal. The best solution would be to partner with a reputable SEO agency, as doing it yourself will at best not hinder and at worst harm your website.
FAQ – frequently asked questions
Why optimise a website with an SEO agency?
The aspect of SEO is inextricably linked to numerous technical issues, requiring experience and direct insight into SEO tools. After all, it is impossible to imagine promoting a website without carrying out analyses and creating a working structure. After all, the website has to be modernised, good SEO-optimised content has to be prepared and links have to be acquired. This process is capable of producing a great deal, but at the same time involves a great deal of work on the part of qualified employees.
What is required to start SEO optimisation?
In order to start optimisation, you need a website that has been placed at the address of your domain. The whole process will be all the easier if the website offers the possibility to introduce full optimisation, both through the administrator panel and by modifying the website code. Most often, the client provides the agency with access data (FTP service) or a CMS panel. It is also possible to bet on cooperation based on guidelines, where SEO specialists create recommendations which, in their opinion, should be implemented on the website.
How much does website optimisation cost?
The fee for optimising a website depends on the scope of the activities undertaken. A smaller website will similarly generate lower costs, compared to the operational costs associated with larger clients.
When should I perform search engine optimisation?
Firstly, as early as possible, and secondly, such action cannot be a one-off. Successful website optimisation requires regularity in making changes due to constant algorithm changes and increasing competitiveness.
By optimising a website in terms of SEO, we will contribute to its better visibility for Google’s search engine and thus allow it to appear in the TOP10 search results. Of course, the areas discussed in this text are by no means exhaustive of the elements to be considered in this process, as there are many, many more. However, it has certainly been possible to point out that optimisation will not take place without specific data about the website, and these can only be accessed through tools. These will help to simultaneously make further changes, analyse specific areas and report on the results.
At the same time, even precise information about the website will be of no use without a concrete assessment. This is because SEO takes into account Google’s algorithms, the circumstances affecting the search engine, the level of competition, link structure and so on. The activities involved are labour-intensive and it is by no means sufficient to rely on one-off implementations.
Do you want to optimise your website? Trust the specialists at SEOgroup!
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