With Google having indexed over a trillion website pages worldwide, and there being over 18 million internet users in South Africa alone, the chances of a prospective customer finding you on the internet simply because you invested in a great website are slim indeed. Let’s face it, there isn’t really much chance unless the internet user actually types in your website address, is there?

doodle of a google search bar

Think about your own searching patterns. When you’re on Google, which results do you normally click on? First 5 results maybe. I’m sure you wouldn’t get searching on pages 2, 3 or 4 though would you? But why not, your perfect website page might be there.

The reason we don’t click on these results is because they simply don’t seem as credible to us as those that come up high on the first page of the Search Engine Results Page (Known as the SERP’s.) Plus we’re all really busy, so why should we bother to search and search for the right result. Surely if the company is worth anything at all, they’d be found at the top. Right?

Well, maybe not. Let’s have a look at some of the factors that influence Search Engine Optimisation. We’d just like to take a quick minute to thank moz.com and Yellow Head Inc for the stats below.

It’s like building a house. If your foundation is wrong then your house is gonna fall down. Basically On page work is optimising your website and it’s pages to make sure that everything on them targets particular keywords or phrases and is easier for the Search Engines to find the relevant content. Your site needs to be easily viewable on phones, needs to be user friendly and should try not to have any extra code on the backend that might just slow down the Search Engines from finding the info you want them to find.

So ask yourself this. If you’ve spent all this money on your amazing website, why on earth would you scrimp and save on having it properly optimised so it can be found on Search Engines?

But this isn’t the only thing about SEO. Unfortunately companies are often sold websites on the basis that the developer will also do their SEO. Great you say! But then all they do is the very basic version of the above. This won’t help you. Sorry to say.

So what else is there? It’s called Off Page optimsation. This is what really makes your website pages more relevant to the Search Engines.

Off page basically makes your website page put its hand up, shout up and down to teacher Google and say “HEY, LISTEN UP, I’m more relevant than all these other pages.” When it’s done properly of course.

The problem is that this is something that you can’t really see, so it’s not like you’re buying something you can see or feel. You kinda have to trust your SEO company. So what’s involved with it?

  • Content – yip, you need loads of this. Good quality, relevant content added on a regular basis.
  • Links – Those pesky backlinks are still here. It’s like networking for your business. The more high quality websites out there that have a page with info about your business on them that then link back to your website page the better. Every time someone clicks on one of those links it’s like giving a gold star to your website, so the Search Engines take notice.
  • Social Signals – How many links are there on Social Media that people are seeing and clicking on to come to your website?
  • Review Signals – How many reviews, ratings and such do you have about your company online. Wouldn’t it be better to have more – to get more credibility?

These are just some of the off page factors. But they all help you to gain that elusive top ranking that you so dearly want!

So, what are the various factors that people talk about then? Yellow Head Inc says that every company should focus on a 7 main areas in 2017. These being:

  • Content – good quality and enough of it. Not just 300 words guys!
  • Links – Backlinks, not just a link to another page of yours. The more high quality backlinks you have the better
  • Mobile – If your site isn’t mobile friendly then pack it in now. You’re wasting your SEO companies valuable resources already.
  • Page Speed – Kinda makes sense if more people are searching on their phones. If your site is too slow who’s going to wait for it to load?
  • Schema – These codes in the right places can help the Search Engines find the necessary more often
  • Branded Searches and Social Signals – branded searches for a product and people raving about you on social media can really have an impact
  • Domain Authority – being old and grey isn’t that bad in the online world. Means you have some authority. Or at least that’s part of it anyway.

So there you go then. No nonsense info on Search Engine Optimisation. Hopefully this will show you that it’s not as easy as some people make it out to be, it’s something that can’t be guaranteed or bought. And most importantly it something that should be done by ALL companies. No matter how big or small they are, whether you’re targeting the whole country or just your local area. You should want to dominate the search pages.

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