SEO 101: What it is and how can you use it?

SEO 101: What it is and how can you use it?

So, what exactly is SEO?

SEO (search engine optimisation) is the process of enhancing the visibility of a website on a search engine's (e.g: Google) results page. The results are shown in order of what is considered most relevant to users. Typically, the aim is to appear on the first page of results (ideally at the top). Because let's face it, who clicks through to the second or third page?

How does it work?

Search engines use "crawlers" or "spiders" that crawl the web to identify the most relevant content to a user’s search. These crawlers use algorithms to identify relevancy based on four key areas:

  1. Content - the topics, themes and keywords
  2. Authority - is the information on your site of quality and do others link to it
  3. Overall performance and speed of the site
  4. The quality of user experience including ease of navigation, bounce rate and security

How can you improve the SEO of your webpage?

SEO can seem complicated, but there are some non-daunting things you can do to boost your online visibility and help your webpages generate more traffic. Here’s a list of simple SEO strategies that will get you started:

1. Identify your target audience and create content for them

The first step is creating quality content that is specifically designed to engage your target audience. Develop a clear understanding of who your target audience is and ask yourself what it is that your ideal website visitors are searching for. Think about what they care about and what they find appealing. You want to be creating high quality and engaging content that will help the right people to find you.

2. Identify relevant keywords

Once you have decided on your content strategy, identify the keywords and phrases that will attract people to your content. Use these keywords in the body of your content for a higher SEO score. However, it is important that you keep the keywords relevant to your content topic (don't just throw in popular keywords to try and boost your ranking) and be careful not to overuse a keyword.

3. Be relevant

Keep an eye on what is happening in your industry and create original thought leadership content that aligns with top trends, events and news. This will help your content to appear in searches for popular trending keyword searches.

4: Use basic SEO content best practices:

  • Create links in your content back to other relevant content on your own website or other authoritative websites. This will boost the quality of your website in the eyes of search engines.
  • Use clear and concise headings that are relevant to your content and are attractive to searchers making it easier for them to consume your content.
  • Use keywords in your page title, meta description, ALT tags, picture titles, headings and sub-headings. This will help boost your SEO as long as you are not spammy.

Definitions:

Page Title –  specifies the title of a web page.

Meta description – a snippet that summarises a page's content. Search engines show the meta description in search results when a searched keyword or phrase is contained in the description.

ALT tags – is an attribute added to an image to helps search engines understand what an image is about.

Picture titles – are used to provide a title for your image and also improve accessibility of your website for those with poor vision or screen reader devices.

Headings and sub-headings –  these are important anchors that guide readers through a text. Your focus keyword should be included in subheadings where relevant.

Be sure to keep these SEO best practices in mind when adding content to your website. We want the University to be visible and appear when people are searching online.

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