Fundamentals
of Search Engine Optimisation Digital Marketing Video Episode 14

 

This video explores the key steps that you need to consider in order to get to the top of Google. We start by exploring the Google algorithm and then move on to the core areas of search optimisation. On-page optimisation involves doing keyword research to find out what it is that people are searching for, an then factoring these words and phrases into your content in the right paces. We then move on to the process of link building and look at how creating social engagement, creates social signals that will help your search engine rankings.

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Transcription:

Hi, I’m Daniel from Target Internet. In this video, we’re going to go through the fundamentals of search engine optimization. I’m going to try and give you a real 101 guide to search optimization but also really try and put a few things in perspective as well.

Search engine optimization is all about getting to the top of the search engines. We’re going to talk about Google because of their market dominance. Thankfully, all the fundamental rules that we’re going to talk about for Google will actually work for most of the other search engines as well, basically because they copy what Google is doing a lot of the time. Let’s go through and look at what the fundamental rules are.

Before we do that, let’s take a step back and think about what we’re trying to do. The search engine optimization world and SEO agencies and companies would lead us to believe that SEO is very, very complicated. The reality is that actually the fundamentals that will get you most of the way there to the top of the search engines are fairly straightforward. We could start to obsess on the Google algorithm. That’s the set of rules that sits behind Google. Admittedly that algorithm is hugely complicated. It’s a massively complicated and advanced piece of computer science.

Really, what we need think about is what is Google trying to achieve. What Google wants to do is when you search for something they want to give you the most relevant search result so that you come back and use Google again in the future. Rather than obsessing on the details of the algorithm, which is constantly changing and being updated anyway, what we need to look at is what’s Google trying to achieve.

Well, it’s trying to give the most relevant content, therefore, we can see if we want to be number one for a particular search term we need to be the most relevant website for that particular search term. We do that through great quality, relevant, targeted content. We need to do a couple of things with that content to make sure we’re getting the full rankings that we deserve in Google.

You can really boil that down to two key things. The first thing is on-page optimization. On-page optimization is getting the right words on your pages in the right places. We need to know what are the right words and what are the right places. Fundamentally, the right words are what are people actually searching for. What are the words and phrases that people are searching for?

There are a number of keyword research tools that we can use to find that out. You can speak to your customers. One of the best things to do is look at one of two Google tools. You look at Google Trends. If you search the word trends, you’ll find it. You don’t need an account or anything to log in. Google Trends will tell you what are people searching for and how that’s changing over time. That’s fine, but it doesn’t actually tell you the numbers of people searching.

The better tool, and probably the most useful tool, is the Keyword Planner. To get into the Keyword Planner you do need a Google account, and you actually need a Google AdWords account. You can go through the process setting up an AdWords account. Once you’ve done that you can then go through. You can put in a search phrase. What you’re able to see from that search phrase is how many people are searching for that particular word or phrase but what other words and phrases people are also searching for. It will start to help you to understand what are the right words.

We’ve started to build our list of the right words. Then, we’ve got to get those words onto our pages in the right places. What are the right places? Well, they’re key bits of the page that Google really gives priority to. In this video, we’re not going to go through into every single part of the page, but actually, you don’t need to obsess on the detail too much like you used to, because, actually, Google has gotten more and more advanced over time. They’re much better at understanding your content.

A couple of key things to think about. The page title. The page title is still probably the single most important part of the page. The page title isn’t what shows up on the heading of a page. It’s what shows up at the top of your browser. If you’re in a browser and it’s got tabs, it won’t show up in that particular tab. That’s the page title. As a user, we don’t really look at it very often, but it is a big indicator to Google of what this content’s all about.

Other important things on the page, the URL, the website address itself. It’s not the www.yourwebsite.com bit that Google really cares about, it’s the bit that comes afterward. It’s the name of the particular page. If I’m going to write about email marketing subject lines, I want the page to be called mywebsite.com/emailsubjectlines, for example. The URL the website address is important.

The headings and sub-headings on the page are important but also the words in the copy itself. What you don’t want to do is go through and just repeat a word again and again for the sake of search optimization. Actually, if you’ve got the word as many times as it naturally occurs in it, that’s enough. Actually, if you repeat a word again and again for the sake of search optimization, that can actually be a negative thing. Only repeat a word as much as you naturally would anyway. You don’t need to jam it into the copy, because if you’ve got it in the title and you’ve got it in the URL and you’ve got it in the headings, you don’t need to obsess about putting it into the copy again and again as well

There are other parts of the page that are important as well, things like the words that you’re linking on. Not using click here or read more but actually using relevant words within your links. The alt text, the words that you use to describe images within your web pages, is going to be important as well. So making sure you’ve got all those different things covered. Fundamentally, you need it in the title. You need it in the URL. You need it in the heading. If you’ve got it in those three places, you’re most of the way there.

We’ve got the right words on the pages in the right places. That’s the on-page optimization piece. The next part is the link building part. Fundamentally, on-page optimization has told Google what your web page is all about. What we then need to look at is actually giving that page some authority. It’s okay that Google understands your content, but you need to show it this is important content.

How Google works out what’s important content and what isn’t is by looking at how many people are pointing at that content, that is linking from other websites and pointing through to your website. The reason for that is a link is basically seen as a vote of confidence. If somebody’s talking about your content and they’re linking from their blog or their website or their news website, that indicates your content must be useful or interesting.

The other increasing part of this that’s part of this whole link building kind of area is actually social signals. That’s how many people are talking about your content, whether that’s in Twitter, or LinkedIn, or any other social website as well. There’s some debate about how much of the Google algorithm is really concerned about how many people are talking about you, but fundamentally it’s a growing part of what Google looks at.

You’ve worked out what people are searching for, and you’ve put those words into your pages. You’ve then gone through and you’ve created interesting and useful content, so hopefully people are going to link through and talk about that content. What you need to do is get that content out there. You need to be tweeting about it, talking about it in LinkedIn, Facebook, and all the other social platforms so that that creates the social signals. The more people that are talking about your content, sharing it, retweeting it and so on, the more that’s creating indication to Google that this is important content.

By going through those couple of fundamental steps, the on-page optimization, the right words, that is what people are searching for on your pages in the right places, and then getting your content out there and getting people linking to it and talking about it, is actually going to push you up to the top of the search engines. It depends how competitive a particular search term is how likely it is you’re going to get to the top of the rankings. Fundamentally, if you want to be number one for a particular word or phrase, you have to have the best and most useful content for that particular word or phrase. If you pick something extraordinarily competitive, like the word jobs where there are billions and billions of web pages trying to rank for that search term, it’s going to be pretty tough.

In fact, actually, people don’t always search for single words. They’re actually searching for phrases. The more likely they are to be doing something, actually carry out an action, the more specific the search term is going to become. These very specific search terms are what we’d refer to as long tail search. If I go and search for jobs, maybe I’m kind of browsing around. If I go in and search for digital marketing jobs SEO Brighton, that’s a much more specific word or phrase or set of words. Therefore, I’m a lot more likely to carry out an action afterwards. Also, you’re likely to be competing against a lot less people. Actually, it’s probably a lot more sensible to think about those more precise and niche phrases that people might be searching for.

Every time you create content on your site and you optimize it appropriately, you’re actually indicating to the search engines what your website is all about, and you’re more likely to pick up that traffic. Make sure you’re ticking the fundamental boxes of search optimization. It’s not actually rocket science, but it’s missed quite a lot as well, particularly the on-page optimization and really thinking about what words you should have on your pages. We tend to talk about solutions and have these generic terms that really don’t mean anything. What do people search for? Get those words on the pages. Get people talking about your content, and you’ll be well on your way to improving your search optimization.

 

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