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A Beginners Guide to Search Engine Optimisation

Published on 19 November 13
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Simply put, Search Engine Optimisation is a process to try and get a webpage to rank as highly as possible in the search engine rankings for a specific keyword. Basically, this means that if you run a website dedicated to a particular subject, the goal of SEO will be to get your website to appear in the first few results when a person searches for information on that subject.

Nowadays, SEO is all about the Google search rankings, since Google is by far the most used search engine in the world. They use an algorithm to rank sites based on two important criteria - relevance and authority. Relevance refers to the content on the page, that is, how informative and relevant your content is to the specific subject or keywords.

Authority is measured by looking at the quality of the sites which link back to your site, referred to as backlinks. Basically, the higher number of quality backlinks your site has, the more authority it will be assigned by the Google algorithm. Still, this algorithm is constantly changing, and therefore the world of SEO is also changing just as rapidly to try and make use of these changes to the algorithm. This is why most people simply turn to hiring an SEO company or one of the many SEO consultants out there, as it saves them the time to focus on other things. After all, SEO can be a quite tricky business, even if you know exactly what you're doing. If you're just starting out, then good luck.

What Is The Process With SEO?

The SEO process should actually begin long before you ever start designing your site. There are many factors other than your content and site design which will dramatically affect your success, so the process needs to start as soon as you begin to develop your idea for your site. If you have an existing site, it may be necessary to make wholesale changes to your site to more effectively optimise and market it to searchers. The entire process can be long and complicated, but here are a few of the most important steps.

Website Audit

If you have an existing website, this will be where you start. If you have yet to create your site, this step will wait until the end. An SEO audit is a way in which an SEO company goes through your entire site in the way the search engines do, as a way to try and spot any technical issues which will affect your search ranking.

Identifying and fixing any potential issues will be vital to the success of your site. If you have any existing site that is already doing ok in the search rankings, but could still improve, this is usually the first step as it will identify any problems that could be affecting your ranking. Once your site is fully developed, most SEO consultants will again perform an audit just to make sure no issues remain.

Competitor Analysis

Another important step is to analyse the sites of your closest competitors to see what they do well and not so well. You want to make sure your site is better than your competitors if possible, and analysing their site is the easiest way to see exactly what you're up against.

Keyword Research

In order to be successful, you want to target individual pages to specific keywords. This means researching what keywords people are searching for when looking for information on your subject. This will also show you which areas are less competitive, so you can try to target your keywords to these areas that haven't been saturated as of yet. This step is incredibly important, as a number one ranking on Google won't mean much if no one is actually searching for your keywords.

On-Site Optimisation

On-site optimisation is all about developing high quality content that is targeted towards specific keywords, while not being overloaded with them. You need to make sure your site is as relevant and informative as possible to your subject and keywords. If you are trying to attract local customers, a big part of your on-site optimisation should be dedicated to local SEO optimisation, this means ranking as highly as possible for your keywords plus the name of your city, state, etc.

Link Building

Link building means getting high quality websites with a high page rank to link back to your website. As stated earlier, this is one of the most important factors when it comes to determining your site's authority, so it can't be overlooked. There are many different ways to build up backlinks, although many websites simply purchase high authority backlinks to get started with. Building up higher quality backlinks will become easier as your site gains authority.

Ranking Analysis

This final step involves seeing just where your page ranks for your specific keywords after the SEO work has been done. It is also done at the beginning for existing sites, as it gives an idea on things that could be improved.

What Are The Main SEO Ingredients?

All of the elements above are done to maximise your relevance and authority, plus make sure the search engine crawlers are actually able to find your site. Still, the two most important factors have to be-

Quality Content.

The importance of having relevant content simply cannot be overstated. If people can't find what they are looking for on your site and only spend a short amount of time there, your ranking will quickly suffer. So, make sure what you have written is of the highest quality possible. When designing your content, the most important thing to think about is what people who are searching for your keywords are looking for. Try to put yourself in their place and target your content to what you think they want or need to know.

Quality Backlinks.

The quality of your backlinks will go a long way towards determining the success of your site. However, you also need to make sure your backlinks are relevant to your site, if not, then the engines will not put nearly as much weight on them. So, when building backlinks, make sure to remember that quality is much more important than quantity, as nothing will hurt your ranking quicker than linking to hundreds of lousy websites.


Lucas Raby is the owner and author of http://www.searchexpertseo.com.au/ - A SEO and Inbound Marketing company based in Melbourne, Australia. For more information, visit their website.

























Simply put, Search Engine Optimisation is a process to try and get a webpage to rank as highly as possible in the search engine rankings for a specific keyword. Basically, this means that if you run a website dedicated to a particular subject, the goal of SEO will be to get your website to appear in the first few results when a person searches for information on that subject.

Nowadays, SEO is all about the Google search rankings, since Google is by far the most used search engine in the world. They use an algorithm to rank sites based on two important criteria - relevance and authority. Relevance refers to the content on the page, that is, how informative and relevant your content is to the specific subject or keywords.

Authority is measured by looking at the quality of the sites which link back to your site, referred to as backlinks. Basically, the higher number of quality backlinks your site has, the more authority it will be assigned by the Google algorithm. Still, this algorithm is constantly changing, and therefore the world of SEO is also changing just as rapidly to try and make use of these changes to the algorithm. This is why most people simply turn to hiring an SEO company or one of the many SEO consultants out there, as it saves them the time to focus on other things. After all, SEO can be a quite tricky business, even if you know exactly what you're doing. If you're just starting out, then good luck.

What Is The Process With SEO?

The SEO process should actually begin long before you ever start designing your site. There are many factors other than your content and site design which will dramatically affect your success, so the process needs to start as soon as you begin to develop your idea for your site. If you have an existing site, it may be necessary to make wholesale changes to your site to more effectively optimise and market it to searchers. The entire process can be long and complicated, but here are a few of the most important steps.

Website Audit

If you have an existing website, this will be where you start. If you have yet to create your site, this step will wait until the end. An SEO audit is a way in which an SEO company goes through your entire site in the way the search engines do, as a way to try and spot any technical issues which will affect your search ranking.

Identifying and fixing any potential issues will be vital to the success of your site. If you have any existing site that is already doing ok in the search rankings, but could still improve, this is usually the first step as it will identify any problems that could be affecting your ranking. Once your site is fully developed, most SEO consultants will again perform an audit just to make sure no issues remain.

Competitor Analysis

Another important step is to analyse the sites of your closest competitors to see what they do well and not so well. You want to make sure your site is better than your competitors if possible, and analysing their site is the easiest way to see exactly what you're up against.

Keyword Research

In order to be successful, you want to target individual pages to specific keywords. This means researching what keywords people are searching for when looking for information on your subject. This will also show you which areas are less competitive, so you can try to target your keywords to these areas that haven't been saturated as of yet. This step is incredibly important, as a number one ranking on Google won't mean much if no one is actually searching for your keywords.

On-Site Optimisation

On-site optimisation is all about developing high quality content that is targeted towards specific keywords, while not being overloaded with them. You need to make sure your site is as relevant and informative as possible to your subject and keywords. If you are trying to attract local customers, a big part of your on-site optimisation should be dedicated to local SEO optimisation, this means ranking as highly as possible for your keywords plus the name of your city, state, etc.

Link Building

Link building means getting high quality websites with a high page rank to link back to your website. As stated earlier, this is one of the most important factors when it comes to determining your site's authority, so it can't be overlooked. There are many different ways to build up backlinks, although many websites simply purchase high authority backlinks to get started with. Building up higher quality backlinks will become easier as your site gains authority.

Ranking Analysis

This final step involves seeing just where your page ranks for your specific keywords after the SEO work has been done. It is also done at the beginning for existing sites, as it gives an idea on things that could be improved.

What Are The Main SEO Ingredients?

All of the elements above are done to maximise your relevance and authority, plus make sure the search engine crawlers are actually able to find your site. Still, the two most important factors have to be-

Quality Content.

The importance of having relevant content simply cannot be overstated. If people can't find what they are looking for on your site and only spend a short amount of time there, your ranking will quickly suffer. So, make sure what you have written is of the highest quality possible. When designing your content, the most important thing to think about is what people who are searching for your keywords are looking for. Try to put yourself in their place and target your content to what you think they want or need to know.

Quality Backlinks.

The quality of your backlinks will go a long way towards determining the success of your site. However, you also need to make sure your backlinks are relevant to your site, if not, then the engines will not put nearly as much weight on them. So, when building backlinks, make sure to remember that quality is much more important than quantity, as nothing will hurt your ranking quicker than linking to hundreds of lousy websites.

Lucas Raby is the owner and author of http://www.searchexpertseo.com.au/ - A SEO and Inbound Marketing company based in Melbourne, Australia. For more information, visit their website.

This blog is listed under Development & Implementations and E-Commerce Community

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