Search Engine Optimization

Search engine optimization, better known as SEO, is the most powerful method of driving leads and sales to a website. SEO appeals to an audience that is already interested in your services and products. Having your website appear on Page 1 of Google will grow your business, as your website will receive leads and sales. However, to rank on Page 1 of Google, your website will need to meet certain Google criteria. This article will discuss the guidelines and provide valuable tips when building a website for SEO. 

 

KEYWORDS

Before investing your time and money into an SEO website, you need to understand the demand and market online. You should use a Keyword Research Tool to find essential keywords for your Google marketing campaigns. You want to rank on Google for specific keywords that will drive targeted traffic to your website.

FOR INSTANCE

Keyword research will identify high-traffic keywords that your SEO specialist should target. Keyword research tells you how many times people have typed in a specific keyword or phrase on Google every month.

EXAMPLE

• The keyword “Plumbing Company” receives 480 searches per month in South Africa.

• The keyword “Plumbing Emergency” receives 560 searches per month in South Africa.

• The keyword “Plumbers Near Me” receives 14,800 searches per month in South Africa.

 

DOMAIN NAME

Purchasing a domain name is the first step of internet marketing. If you have not decided on a domain name, or business name yet, then it’s important to choose a domain name and insert your primary keyword in it. Your primary keyword is the most important keyword that you would want to appear on Page 1 of Google.

FOR INSTANCE

A new plumbing company would want to rank for the keyword “Plumbing” or “Plumbers”. They would use this keyword in the domain name as it’s the most important keyword in their business.

EXAMPLE

• Top Plumbers JHB (top-plumbers.co.za)

• 24 Hour Plumbing Pros (24-hour-plumbing-pros)

 

URL

The Uniform Resource Locator, better known as the “ULR”, is your domain name or your domain name combined with your webpage name.  A website has multiple pages, and each page has its URL.  Each URL needs to match your webpage content and include your primary keyword in it.

FOR INSTANCE

A plumbing company will offer different plumbing services such as “Geyser Repairs” or “Leak Detection”. They would include the primary keyword in the URL to inform Google and website users that these are the services offered. 

EXAMPLE

• top-plumbers-jhb.co.za/geyser-repairs

• 24-hour-plumbing-pros/leak-detection

 

HEADINGS

Your Website Headings (H1, H2, H3, H4, H5, H6) highlight the topic of discussion on different parts of your website. Headings allow website users to read or skip sections of your site which makes it easy for them to find the information that they are looking for. You should include your primary and secondary keywords when writing your headings.

FOR INSTANCE

Your headings should include important keywords and phrases in them, although you should not repeat the same keywords too often. Keyword Spamming will lead to a search engine ban.  Incorporate keywords naturally into your headings.

EXAMPLE

<H1> 24 Hour Plumbing Emergency Company Ready for Assistance </H1>

 

Primary Keyword: 24-Hour Plumbing.

 

Secondary Keywords: Plumbing Company, Plumbing Emergency, Plumbing Emergency Company.

EXAMPLE

<H2> We provide Free Plumbing Quotes and Callouts in Johannesburg </H2>

 

Primary keyword: Plumbing Quotes

 

Secondary Keywords: Free Plumbing Quotes, Free Plumbing Callouts, Plumbing Quotes Johannesburg

 

WEBSITE CONTENT

High-quality content is one of the most vital aspects of a good ranking website. Websites must contain plenty of information and media to perform well on search engines.  High-quality content keeps readers engaged and this positive interaction won’t go unnoticed by Google.

FOR INSTANCE

Google examines each interaction between websites and website users. The more time a user spends on a website and engages with it, the more likely it will appear on Page 1 of Google. When users leave websites out of frustration, the less likely the website will appear in good positions on Google.

EXAMPLE

To understand the interaction between a website and its users, sign up to Google Analytics and examine your website’s Bounce Rate. Bounce Rate indicates the amount of time a user spends on a web page. A Low bounce rate is great and shows your website users find your information useful. A High Bounce rate indicates your website performance and content are poor.

 

MOBILE FRIENDLY

Most website visits are done by mobile devices today. Websites that fail to provide a mobile-friendly interface will experience poor user interactions. As we mentioned before, Google examines every interaction between your site and its users, and if your website users are finding it difficult to navigate, your website will lose ranking points.

FOR INSTANCE

Navigating a website that does not provide a mobile-friendly interface is challenging. The user spends most of their time zooming in-and-out of the page. The user ends up being frustrated as reading and researching information becomes time-consuming and complicated.

 

SSL CERTIFICATE

The internet is swarming with hackers attempting to steal people’s personal and private information. An SSL Certificate protects website users by encrypting the interaction between the user and the website. Websites that do not install an SSL certificate will not do well on Google.

FOR INSTANCE

When a website user completes a purchase on a site, the SSL certificate will ensure the user’s credit card details will not be intercepted by hackers.  An SSL certificate offers encryption methods to ensure safe exchanges of information on websites.

 

VIRUS PROTECTION

Unfortunately, the internet is full of viruses and malware. Protecting your website is one of the most important things you can do. Viruses can destroy your website, intercept your leads, and even land you in the bad books with Google. If Google detects viruses on your website, you will temporarily lose your website rankings.

FOR INSTANCE

Google uses spiders which are digital programs that crawl websites on the internet. If these spiders detect your website has a virus, it will be placed on Google’s blacklist. Google will remove your website from Google’s search engine until you have removed the virus threat. Use Google Search Console to view the health and performance of your site.

 

WEBSITE SPEED

Website download speeds have become a major factor in search engine optimization. Websites are expected to load within 3 seconds after a link has been clicked. Slow loading sites leads to frustrated users and low Google rankings. Speed is more important than appearance in SEO.

FOR INSTANCE

When a website takes long to load, the website user will become impatient and exit the website. Slow loading sites activate negative emotions in website users, which leads to low conversion rates (Sales, Leads). There are many ways to speed up your website, you can reduce the size of images, remove unnecessary CSS scripts and even remove unused plugins off your WordPress site.

 

META TAGS

There are two important meta tags for SEO websites. The most important is known as the Meta Title. The Meta Title is the title of your website displayed on search engines. If you do not update your Meta Title on your site, Google will display your default Page Title. 

 

Meta Description is a description of your website displayed on search engines. If you do not update your Meta Description, Google will display the first sentence of your website. It’s important to optimize your Meta Title and Meta Description for high-ranking positions.

FOR INSTANCE

META TITLE

• The Meta Title should not exceed 60 characters long (spaces included).

• The Meta Title should contain your Primary keyword in it.

• The Meta title should contain your Business Name.

META DESCRIPTION

• The Meta Title should not exceed 160 characters long, spaces included.

• The Meta Description should contain your secondary keywords in it.

• The Meta Description should appear naturally and not be stuffed with keywords.

EXAMPLE
META TITLE

• A plumbing company named “Top Plumbers” should write its Meta Title as follows:

“ Top Plumbers –  Top Plumbing Services in Johannesburg”

 

• 52 characters long

• Used plumbing services as their primary keyword.

 

META DESCRIPTION

• A plumbing company named “Top Plumbers” should write their Meta Description as follows:

“Our Plumbing Company provides professional and affordable plumbing solutions such as geyser repairs, toilet repairs, faucet replacements…”  

 

• Less than 160 characters long

  Used Plumbing Company, Plumbing Solutions, Geyser Repairs, toilet repairs, and faucet replacements as their secondary keywords.

 

INTERNAL LINKING STRUCTURE

Websites should have a traditional design and a simple navigational structure. Websites must include a horizontal menu, as well as footer links at the bottom of the website. Websites should also have internal text links that lead to other web pages on your website. Internal text links improve user engagement and allow search engine spiders to crawl your website information more easily. The quicker a user finds the information he is looking for, the higher the website will rank on Google.

FOR INSTANCE

If a plumbing company mentioned in their content (on their home page) that they provide leak detection services, a hyperlink can be inserted in that text linking to their leak detection services web page.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *