The 5 Pillars of SEO Methodology
When developing an SEO strategy you need to consider the five fundamental factors in this post to be successful. Every website needs to achieve high marks on the following factors to rank highly across all search engines. The 5 factors required are:
– A healthy and error free website
– A website that has no issues with functionality and is seamlessly responsive across all devices
– A Solid content marketing strategy used on-page, off-page and across all social platforms
– An understanding of what to do to optimise the content on your website
– Drive to push your business to high authority sites through backlinking, citations and other methods
– Presence on social media platforms, keeping your social media up to date with applicable posts
The health of your website is important regardless of whether you’re implementing a successful SEO strategy or not. When developing and maintaining a website you need to make sure that the site is checked frequently and comprehensively to reduce the chance of malicious scripts, malicious plugins & hidden links. The speed of the website also needs to be considered and evaluated. To make sure you aren’t losing traffic & visitors due to slow page load times. Ideally, you want to make sure your website loads in under 2 seconds. As this can affect the rate at which Google can crawl your website for new information. However, when it comes to a normal user loading your site the maximum suitable time for it to load is considered as 4 seconds; after 4 seconds the bounce rate increases exponentially to nearly 70%.
When it comes to the health of your website there is a number of ways in which you can show your audience that it is secure and safe for them to use. Whilst keeping your load times under the recommended 4 seconds. If you would like a free website analysis please complete the form at the bottom of this blog post and we’ll help you speed up your website & make it more secure for everyone.
The functionality of your website needs to be approachable, simple and clean. This is so that anyone can come to your website and navigate to the section they need to see with ease. Everyone likes to look at a flashy site with sliders, hover effects, CSS transitions and the rest of the bells and whistles that come with high-end websites. But if you don’t optimise your website’s core features and make sure that it can be used simply by everyone a lot of time and effort will be wasted. As your visitors will navigate away to another website where they can easily pick up the information that they need quickly and easily.
As with the website health section, speed is a huge factor. Except when we are looking at speed in terms of functionality you need to consider the amount of time it takes for your visitor to complete the funnel process on your website.
Creating a funnel and optimising your website so that the funnel is achievable and easy to navigate for everyone is an essential part of creating a website that converts visitors to leads successfully and frequently. A funnel is a set path you would like your visitor to navigate through. This is in order toget your website to convert the visitor into a lead or client. This can be something as simple as the visitors lands on the homepage of your website, using a CTA you trigger the user to navigate to the contact form and get in touch regarding the services that they require.
This is a broad area and encompasses the 3 sections below, without the on-page SEO, off-page SEO & social media marketing functioning and being managed correctly the content marketing won’t be anywhere near as effective as it potentially could be. We will touch on this section in a lot more detail in the sections below. But in basic terms, you need to make sure that you are following these guidelines set out in the on-page SEO, off-page SEO and social media marketing.
On-page SEO is one of the most important parts of the Search engine optimisation process, there are a number of variables that you need to consider when trying to optimise the content & pages of your website.
When analysing the content you need to check your images for alt text. A search engine uses alt text to determine what the image is about. For now, search engines are unable to process what an image is exactly with enough accuracy. (Although leaps and bounds are being made in the AI of search engines to improve this).
Image compression is the process of reducing the file size of an image in bytes. Without reducing the image quality too much. Compressing images used on your website will greatly reduce its loading time. This is great for search engines. Having a quick loading page reduces the chances of somebody leaving your page before its had chance to load. There are tools that can do this for you online (some free) to help reduce image sizes. This will, in turn, reduce the pages total size and therefore increase page loading speeds.
Using keywords in your content is another key part of an effective SEO campaign. It is important to know what search terms your target audience use to search for your business. Competitor analysis is a great way to gain insight into what terms people use to search for your industry. There are lots of tools available (some free) that can be used to find this information out.
Make use of your keywords in headings and image alt tags. Use keywords relevant to the topic you’re writing about to make it easier for search engines to know what the content focuses on. Using keywords in headings signifies the section below is focused on that topic and that the words in larger print have more relevance/weight?. Although it is important to not keyword stuff your work, it should be useful, easily understandable and read naturally.
Many different meta tags can be used to give information to search engines as well as users. Some useful, some not so much. If you are doing SEO on your own website adding a meta title tag. (Used to show the title of your webpage in search engines.) As well as meta description tag (The short description that appears below your websites name and title on search engines.) should be sufficient.
Off-page SEO is anything you can do outside of your website to help increase its position within search engines. If your website contains useful or helpful information. Or has a great product, people will tell their friends and social circle. This can be in different ways such as backlinks to your website or social signals directing to your pages or website.
These are when another website links back to yours. Backlinks are an important way to show that the site linking to yours trusts and values the information it links to. With backlinks always aim for quality over quantity. Having a link from an expert in your industry or high authority website is much better than one thousand links from spam-like or low authority sites. There are tools available online to analyse your own (as well as competitors) backlinks to develop a strong backlink strategy.
This is when somebody links back to your content via social media platforms (such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn etc.) This is also a form of link building. Almost all links from social media class as no follow but they still do hold value. Links and mentions from social media are increasing as a ranking factor although not the be all end all. This is because more and more people use these services than ever before. If lots of people are linking to your website this shows search engines your content is useful and relevant.
Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing is becoming more and more popular. There are many different social media platforms, each with its own functions, features and user base. In this information age, people expect instant responses. With more people than ever using various social media platforms to create and share content with their audience. People now expect a prompt response time to questions and complaints they may have. This shows your customers or followers you are trustworthy, respond to criticisms, address their concerns and provide answers which are visible for all to see. This is why many larger companies have a person (or even team) dedicated to creating, posting and responding to people on social media. To keep up with the high demand for online interactions from followers.
Creating a social media presence for your business is important. It allows you to develop and raise awareness of your brand, create leads and show off your excellent customer service to millions of people.
When developing a strong online SEO strategy there is a lot to take in. But done correctly will give great results and returns on investment. Using all the information here will give you a head start but there are hundreds of articles and resources across the net that can help. SEO is an ever-changing industry and new search engine algorithms and updates happen constantly. It’s vital to keep up to date with the latest tools and methods available. Try to stay ahead of the pack and keep your site ranking well and your site will flourish.