Software and Product Development

Search Engine Optimisation: Unlocking your potential web presence

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a combination of practices that can unlock the potential of your website or web page to attract not only more organic traffic from search engines but also of higher quality.

SEO analyses and acts on organic traffic from several forms of web searches, such as picture searches, video searches, academic searches, and news searches. To fully understand how SEO works, first you need to understand the mechanisms behind web page indexing.

Web page indexes are created aided by Bots that gather and analyse a vast amount of information coming from webpages. Once the indexes have been created, algorithms then analyse each website, taking a variety of characteristics into consideration, to determine the order in which they appear on a search results page.

It is here that a combination of SEO factors come into play. And if you are a webmaster, these elements will be key to monitoring how your website pages can rank better after they have been analysed by search engine algorithms.

Start Ranking on Top Positions

If you want to rank high on the list using the algorithms that analyse your page, you must first understand what the basic factors come into play and that you can work on directly when you create your webpage.

On-page SEO

When you hear of on-page SEO, this refers to all factors entirely under the control of the webmaster, such as:

  • Content: Everything starts by creating quality content – so content is king! You need to write original, quality content that will be useful to your readers.
  • Long-tail keywords: Try to include long keywords used by your target audience when browsing the web.
  • Title tag: This tag refers to a possible preview title (be aware that google reserves the right to change the title tag!), shown for the content in the Search Engine Results Page (SERP). This needs to contain the main keyword of the article and have a maximum limit of 60 characters. It has top describe what the content of the webpage is and entice the user to click on it while scrolling the SERP.
  • Meta description: This is the preview text shown among the search engines results and is supposed toi summarise the page content. This shouldn’t be longer any longer than 150 characters. Keep in mind that in this case too google reserves the right to change it.
  • H1 and H2 tags: These are the titles included in the web page (H1, H2) and should include the main keywords of the article, within a length of 70 characters.
  • URL: The page URL should include the H1 title tag or least the main keyword of the article.
  • Alt tag: This is a description text that is inserted under each image in order to explain to the search engines what that image is about. If the image is a house in the middle of a green lawn the alt text should be “House in a green lawn”.
  • HTTPS: Security is a hot topic. Enabling the Secure Sockets Layer will give you a better webpage ranking.
  • Internal Linking: Linking internal, related pages of your website is another good practice.
  • Hierarchy path: At the top of the page, indicate every step that the user followed to get there. Ex: Home>Blog>Industry>Title of the article.

Off-page SEO

The term off-page SEO is used to define actions extraneous to the website, and therefore hypothetically outside the control of the webmaster, executed to create backlinks to the website domain. A domain with many, qualitative backlinks lets the search engine know that this specific website is authoritative in its sector and a source of good information, so search engines would make that domain rank better.

Below you can find some off-page factors:

  • Authority of domains linked: The authority of the website that links back to your site is fundamental. Receiving a backlink from a very well known website specialised in your sector is extremely valuable. Eg. If you are a financial consultant and you receive a backlink from the economist, this link is highly valuable for us because it will bring us a high profiled organic traffic.
  • Number of domains linked: Keep in mind that quality is better than quantity. It’s much better to have a few, high-quality than many low-quality backlinks. In any case even if if this is not an “official” factor it’s good practice to have not only one domain that links back to your website but various.
  • Anchor text: The anchor text is the link clickable text and it has always been a ranking factor. Google tends to penalise the anchor text with exact match keywords. If you link to a specific article you can mention its title and their authors such as “title of the article” written by “authors” or linking the content in long tail keywords, so as to make it seem more natural.
  • Relevance: It’s important to get links from websites that treat similar and connected topics to your own one. This close connection in terms of topics gives the strongest weight to the links and helps to raise your authority in Google’s eyes.

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