SEO – A Non-Techy Explanation

SEO, What does it stand for?

Let’s start at the beginning…always a good place to start.

SEO is an acronym for Search Engine Optimisation.  An acronym is a word formed by combining the initial letters of a multipart name, such as NATO from North Atlantic Treaty Organization or by combining the initial letters or parts of a series of words, such as radar from radio detecting and ranging.

So, What does SEO actually mean?

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is a phrase which refers to the practice or method of optimising content for search engines such as Google, Bing, Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Safari etc.

Ok, so what do you mean by optimising content?

Optimising content means, that when you write content such as a blog post, an article, a webpage such as your Home page, About Us page, a product description and so forth, you are writing with the objective to get as many potential viewers to see it as possible. Or, in other words, you want to reach as many people on the Internet as you possibly can within your target audience.

Example:

Up until recently I owned an e-commerce store, which sold medicinal herbs and teas online around Australia. So, upon establishing the website, the home page, about us page, our story etc, content/copy was carefully written with that niche target audience in mind.

A very important part of the process was to understand what type of people I wanted to attract.

Targeting Your Audience

Ok, so the obvious would be to target people who were interested in herbal remedies, alternative or natural medicines, organic or pesticide free herbs, also perhaps the alternative hippy type of person, or people who believe Big Pharma manufactures medicines to keep people sick rather than for the purpose of healing, but that’s a whole different can of worms, which we won’t be opening today!

Now, that was the general interests of people for this particular niche and was only the starting point!

I needed to narrow things down.

While the website was to be a source of great information (which is a great step to build Trust and Authority – see Point No: 7 of linked article) I also needed to make sure that I was attracting the right people, not just “tyre-kickers” looking for free information, but people who would become buyers of the products I had to offer.

So, next I needed to understand when these potential customers typed into their search, what they would actually be searching for. This meant that I needed to define particular search phrases or “keywords or keyword phrases”.

Examples:

Very General keyword phrases: medicinal herbs, alternative remedies, herbal remedies, Chamomile, Peppermint, Ashwagandha

OK. So, that would get people to the website, but it would likely only attract people who wanted to read-up about the benefits of different herbs etc. So, likely a lot of visitors, but not so many buyers.

I needed to be more specific…since I was selling products. So, moving from general to specific we get something like this:

Buy Chamomile Online Australia, Buy Peppermint Tea Ease Digestion, Buy Ashwagandha Root for stress and anxiety.

These “keywords or keyword phrases” would be included within the Product Titles, as well as the Product Descriptions and Meta Descriptions for each product. Meta What???, Stick with me, the explanation is just a few headings below.

Use of Compelling Titles to draw attention

When writing content whether it’s for a webpage, a blog, an article, a production description, you need to ensure that you begin with choosing a strong and compelling title. This is of great importance, as it is the first point to interacting with your audience. Titles are also a direct factor in ranking on search engines, so they should be a short phrase that incorporates targeted keywords and should be less than 65 to 70 characters long.

For example: “Dried Organic Ashwagandha Root Online”. This title tells a person searching specifically what the product is and that it is available Online; Great, just what they were looking for. Upon clicking on the title they will be taken directly to the product, which is ready to buy in the matter of a few clicks. Job done!

Description or Body Text

So, when I wrote product description for the example above , I would not only write about the benefits, uses, applications and warnings, I also included “keywords or keyword phrases” logically spaced and reader-friendly throughout the content of the description, like the ones below:

Buy Ashwagandha Root for stress and anxiety, Dried Organic Ashwagandha in Australia, Ashwagandha is an adaptogen…all keywords researched to attract the right person to that website.

What’s a Meta Description?

A meta description is a short description, previously limited to 126 characters, but now up to 320 characters. You are able to use this short description to help your product, content or article to be found through the Search Engines, by your target audience. See the example below:

buy dried Ashwagandha online (Search Phrase entered into Search Engine by someone who wants to know where they can purchase Ashwagandha Online) the result is below:

Dried Organic Ashwagandha Root Australia, Ashwagandha Tea (PRODUCT TITLE)

https://theherbshed.com.au/products/ashwagandha-root (tells them the website details, that it’s in Australia, and the product name)
$7.50 – ‎In stock (it’s in stock)

Buy dried Ashwagandha roots onlineAshwagandha tea can be used to reduce daily stress and as a general tonic for improving thinking ability. (META DESCRIPTION)

There you go. This means that the person searching is looking to “buy”, as they entered the search phrase “buy dried Ashwagandha online”. BOOM!!!, the right type of person has just arrived at your website looking to spend money, Woop! Woop!

As you can see here above, with a little thought and some research, you can narrow-down the right type of person that you want to attract to your website by using SEO effectively.

Using SEO in an effective manner is not really that difficult. It just takes some time, research and planning to fit all the pieces together.

But Wait There’s More!!!

Isn’t there always!

Ok, that’s the basic idea of SEO stuff out of the way. Let’s look into this a bit further.

Content Quality

Each time you write content for your website make sure that it’s absolute top-quality. Nothing else but Quality. I can’t stress that enough!

Quality content makes you look smart and also credible, it shows people you are the authority in your niche. As mentioned earlier, a huge part of your business is built around your ability to create Trust and Authority. That’s all I’m going to say about that.

Content Quantity

Any time you write, your content should be a minimum of 400-600 words. Numerous studies show that there is a high correlation that exists between long content and higher rankings.

To get a better idea about how much to write, research your keywords to see how much content your top competitors are creating and base your volume around that.

Image Attributes

Your images on your website can increase reader engagement and help with the search engines and rankings. Search engines read “Alt Text” and image file names. If images are properly named and optimised, images will show up in “Image Searches”. Note that when you do a search on anything, that at the top of your search page will be clickable tabs such as; ALL, IMAGES, VIDEOS, MAPS, NEWS, MY SAVES.

Title: Buy Ashwagandha Root Online

Alt Text: Ashwagandha Root (because you’ve entered details here the image will appear under the IMAGES tab)

Description: Buy Ashwagandha Root Online Australia, Ashwagandha helps to relieve stress and anxiety

Links – Internal and External

Including internal links to other content, or relevant other products on your website has the positive benefits of providing further information to visitors and also helps to keep your visitors on your website for longer.

External Links (to other websites) can assist with providing more in-depth information to your visitors. Choose wisely though which website to link to. Make sure they are a well- trusted and well-known, and importantly not your direct competition. After all, you don’t want people to leave your site and purchase elsewhere from your competitor.

Another great way to get external links, is to be a guest writer on another website within your niche and include links back to your own website.

URL Structures

Everything on the Internet has a URL, which is an abbreviation for uniform (or universal) resource locator. Put simply, it’s an address to locate a website such as: webcontentwriting.com.au, which just happens to be the URL of this particular website that I write on at this very moment.

A URL doesn’t just relate to a website main page; a URL is also applicable to get people to other pages on your website, e.g. webcontentwriting.com.au/contact or to products webcontentwriting.com.au/product/8-great-benefits-of-smart-content-marketing-a-guide-for-aussie-small-business-free-eBook . (This URL can be re-written to make it a lot shorter with just the most important text used and also by removing stop words such as (of, a, for), for instance webcontentwriting,com,au/content-marketing-free-ebook.

There is no longer any need to type the prefix www. or http:// or https:// which in the old days was required, and if you didn’t type the prefix you returned zero results in your search. “Thumbs Up” for improvements in this area.

Anyway, back to URL best practices:

  • URL’s should reflect the main topic of the webpage but doesn’t need to be the same as the title
  • URL’s should be a short as possible but consider the person doing a search on your niche
  • Use hyphens instead of underscores to separate words
  • All URL’s should be in lowercase
  • Avoid use of special characters ($, %, &…)
  • URL’s should use relevant keywords but avoid stop words (of, on, the, but, or…)

That’s About It Really without getting too complicated…hopefully!

If you are looking for more helpful information such as tips and tricks, then we suggest you take a look at some of our other blog posts.

These posts may be of help to you along the way as you create great content for your website, or products, or if you are looking at starting your own blog, or if you want your readers to dive a little deeper into your content.

Finally! If you’re thinking “This still sounds all a bit too hard to get my head around”, or you feel like throwing your hands in the air and giving up…Don’t.

Or, if you’d prefer the help of a Professional…

Then why not contact us to see how we can assist you to create great SEO-friendly content for your project.

We don’t bite and we’re happy to answer questions. Or how about an obligation free quote for your project?

 

 

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