SEO The Basics

Search engines are not predictable so it is impracticle and perhaps disingenous for an SEO company or consultant to guarantee anything, unless one of course uses Google Adwords, however one does not really have to optimise a site very much at all for Adwords. Splash the cash and receive instant traffic. Of course once someone lands on your site if the content is not rich, engaging or in context with the search there is no point paying for people to view it!

Organic Search Rankings

There is no perfectly magical formula for writing pages with the prospect of good organic search engine ranking however here are some general guidelines.

Google will read and rate all of the content on a web page and together with how many incoming links there are to your website it will rank the worthiness of your site with regards the keywords searched for by the user and their location.

The content google will read is basically:

  • The Meta Title (called SEO Title in Yoast)
  • The pages Meta-Description
  • the content on the page content (Of which the first sentence, the page heading and sub-headings are generally more important, and the focus keywords should appear ideally a few times or more)
  • How fresh the content is.
  • How well the grammar and article read.
Your focus should be on humans reading this content as these are who you are wanting to share your content with! Google actually tries to distinguish between content written for gaming the system as compared with content written for humans to read. The latter will rank higher as Google wish to remain relevant and serve their users pages with rich content (for humans) not pages written for robots!

The two dot points above with the word Meta descriptions is content that appears in Google listings (The name of your page (title) and the page description) The page title also appears in a tab in most browsers and will also be used when a user bookmarks a page.

With the keywords generally the rules are:

Page titles (Or Meta-Title or SEO Title)

  • Maximum of 66 characters including spaces.
  • The first set of keywords are regarded higher than the later keywords but they are all considered.
  • Try to use unique words for each page.
  • Make these inviting to humans as a priority - i.e. a human is who we want to click on the link when it appears in the google search results. Does it read like something you would click on? Yes or No!

Meta descriptions

  • Maximum 144 characters (use the green bar).
  • Make these page descriptions inviting to the end user and sprinkle with keywords.
  • Make these unique to each page - what is the page about?
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