A Super Simple Guide To SEO Success Factors
SEO is often seen as a dark and mysterious magic, but it is actually very straightforward when you learn about it.
I’m so passionate about SEO, especially on-page SEO, and really believe that every business owner should have at least a basic understanding of SEO best practice.
Even a small amount of knowledge can go a long way in helping improve your business’s visibility.
Before I go into all the different factors of SEO, let’s go back to basics.
What is SEO?
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation and it involves getting website traffic through organic search results on search engines.
Search engines like Google and Bing have a list of primary search results which are ranked by how relevant they are to the search term.
With the increase in paid search engine marketing taking up real estate on the first page of Google, these organic results are more important than ever because around 80% of people won’t click on a paid search result.
Why is SEO important for your business?
There’s a saying that I love which goes “The best place to hide a dead body? The second page of Google”.
And it’s so true.
Organic traffic is most often the primary source of website traffic.
Being on that first page, or even better, the first few results, means your website is being placed in front of thousands of people that are searching for something related to your business.
And these people will have a high buyer intent that someone who visits your website after stumbling across your Instagram page.
It also builds trust and brand authority as websites at the top of search results are seen as more relevant and authorative.
SEO doesn’t just focus on ranking higher on Google, it has a lot to do with the user experience and usability of your website.
A website that is easy to use is going to help your customers convert.
What does SEO best practice mean?
Like every strategy to improve your business, there is best practice and bad practice.
Best practice means following the guidelines set out by Google to ethically increase your rankings.
Bad practice using “black hat tactics” involves using unethical tactics that go against Google guidelines to “cheat” your way to the top of rankings.
These tactics include:
Keyword stuffing – adding an excessive number of keywords into your copy to manipulate your page rankings, making your content unreadable.
Cloaking – Presenting a different site for Google to crawl than the one presented to the user.
Poor quality content – Content that has been copied from another website or has been made invisible (keeping it the same colour as the background).
Baiting & Switching – Creating content around a topic you want to rank for and then changing the content once you’re highly ranked.
Using black hat tactics will result in your website being penalised because you or your SEO agency may think you’re smart, but Google is smarter.
They can smell that shit a mile away.
So, stay ethical guys, you’ll be rewarded.
Understanding SEO success factors
Now that you understand a little bit more about the basics of SEO, you can learn about SEO success factors.
These are the factors of a successful SEO strategy that will all work together to help improve your rankings.
They are divided into two parts – On-Page SEO and Off-Page SEO
On page SEO involves the optimisation of individual web pages to rank higher in Google. It covers both the content on the page and the HTML source code of the page.
On-Page SEO success factors
Quality – Ensuring that the content on your web pages are valuable and relevant to your audience.
Research – Using the right keywords and language that your audience is searching in.
Keyword Use – Using relevant keywords in your copy - Read my blog about finding the right keywords here.
Freshness – Updating your content and producing new content.
Type – Creating different types of content so it is picked up by “vertical” search engines.
Direct Answers – Having content that will be picked up by Google’s direct answers section.
Crawlable – Ensuring your site can be crawled by Google without issues.
Mobile-Friendly – Making sure your site is still usable and visually appealing when viewed on a mobile device.
Non-duplicated – Your site should have no duplicate pages
Speed – Make sure your site loads quickly.
URLs – Include descriptive words in your URL’s that relate to the keywords on the page.
Security – Make sure your website is running HTTPS servers and has an SSL certificate.
Title tags – Make sure every page a has a title tag that includes keywords related to the page.
Meta Description – Make sure every page has a meta description that includes relevant keywords and a call to action.
Structure – Using specific markups (code) to make it easy for Google to understand the page content.
Header tags – Ensure every page has an H1 tag (Heading) that includes a relevant keyword and use H2 tags for subheadings and so forth.
Off-Page SEO involves factors that are outside the control of the publisher. It covers everything from your social accounts to how trustworthy your site is.
Authority – No one knows exactly how Google determines if a site has authority, but your links and content are important factors.
Engagement – How engaged your audience is with your website i.e. if they are staying on webpages for a long time or bouncing off it to go back to the search results.
History – How your website has behaved over time.
Quality – The quality of the website that links back to your website. Better quality websites with more authority have more weight i.e a major news site linking to your site is better than a random blog.
Link Text/Anchor text – Words within a link that describe your website to Google.
Number of Links – The quantity of backlinks you have to your site form other websites.
Country – Your site needs to be relevant to the country you want to target.
Local – If you want to target a local audience, your site needs to be relevant to that city/suburb.
Personal History – This has more to do with brand loyalty. If a person has been regularly clicking on you, Google will think you are more relevant and should be shown more to that user.
Reputation – Have a good social presence with a real, authentic social accounts.
Shares – Get people to share your content.
As you can see, there isn’t just one way to improve your rankings in Google.
Each of these factors work together to determine how high up you’ll be in search results.
However, you can still dramatically improve your rankings by focusing on a few key factors and doing them well.
That’s where I come in.
As an SEO Copywriter I can
Create SEO optimised content for your page
Perform keyword research to find relevant keywords for your business
Monitor your rankings in Google and make recommendations to improve them
Perform SEO content audits
If you understand the importance of SEO but don’t know where to start, check out my Copywriting Services.
I’m a Melbourne SEO Copywriter who combines engaging and customer-centric copy with SEO knowledge to create content with purpose.