September 14, 2022

Search Engine Optimisation Priority List: The 6 Most Important SEO Tips To Help Boost Your Website

Search Engine Optimisation Priority List: The 6 Most Important SEO Tips To Help Boost Your Website

At Orca Online Marketing, we are blessed to work with fantastic clients whose companies cover a broad spectrum of industries.

When it comes to helping them boost organic traffic to their sites, Search Engine Optimisation – SEO – is one of the key weapons in our arsenal.

Done correctly, it can help improve a web page’s visibility in search engine results pages (SERPS).

But are there any key components of SEO that should be prioritised above all others? Are there any ‘white hat’ techniques that can impact more than others?

Let’s take a look.

What Is SEO?

SEO stands for search engine optimisation.

The term encompasses several on and off-page practices that can be used to improve a website’s visibility on search engines like Google.

The greater visibility a site has (the higher its ranking on search engine result pages - SERPs), the more organic traffic it is likely to attract; therefore, the opportunities to convert those visitors into customers increases.

On-Page & Off-Page SEO

We’ll get to the SEO priority list shortly.

First, it's good to acknowledge that there are two main types of SEO work: On-page and Off-page.

On-page SEO refers to actions that predominantly affect the page content. These can include:

  • Keywords
  • The creation of unique content
  • Technical SEO (such as meta descriptions, page loading speeds etc.)

Off-page SEO refers to actions taken outside your own site that help boost your rankings in Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs).

These can include:
• Backlinks
• Social Media Marketing
• Guest blogging & PR

As you'll see from the list below, we'll try to cover a few bits of both On and Off-page SEO tactics.

SEO Priority List

OK, here we go, the SEO priority list as recommended by Orca.

You know, this isn’t an easy blog to write.

Choosing the most important SEO techniques is like trying to rank your children in order of preference.

But for what it’s worth, here are our thoughts…

Keyword Research

Although we're choosing the top six SEO actions, I will refrain from ranking them in importance. Apart from this one.

Keywords are quintessentially the backbone of any SEO campaign.

Without them, your other SEO efforts will go to waste.

Keywords are words - or phrases - people search for on Google.

By cleverly incorporating them into your informative, engaging and RELEVANT content, search engines will recognise that your page should be prominently displayed.

We’ve previously written about the importance of choosing the right keywords so we won’t bang on too much about them again here.

But know that choosing the right keywords to optimise your page for is critical. You need to understand accurately who your target audience is and what they're searching for.

Quick example: you own a retro clothes shop in Chichester and want your website to get found.

Google analaysis of keywords

Ambiguous keywords like ‘clothes shop’ might be hugely popular (it is: more than 60,000 searches on Google per month).

But optimising your site for such a term would not be wise.

The competition for 'clothes shop' would be huge, so you'd likely get lost in the shuffle.

Although the monthly search volume would be far less, you would still be better targeting a search term like ‘vintage clothing Chichester’.

Not only does it more accurately describe your business, but so long as the site content matches the keyword, anyone searching for that term will be delighted that your shop appeared in their result pages.

So, to conclude, keywords are pretty important.

Google analysis of 'vintage clothing chichester'.

Content

OK, so we’ve established the importance of keywords.

Next on our ‘not-necessarily-ranked-in-order-of importance-SEO-priority-list’ is content.

Sounds obvious, right? I mean, you need to have content to tell site visitors about your business as well as those search engine bots. How else will they rank you (well, numerous other ways, but that doesn't help this argument)?

Fresh, unique content is a real winner.

It doesn't have to be super long, just long enough to super-serve its purpose.

And that purpose is to provide helpful, engaging information that answers a person's search query and makes you stand out from the BILLIONS of other web pages.

You really have to understand the intent of the user.

Google is constantly evolving to understand the minutia and semantics of how people search. As a result its SERPs have evolved over the years to include answer boxes, knowledge panels, and more diverse search results.

You can learn more about the importance of content and how it can help drive traffic to your site.

BackLinks

Ah, yes, the currency of the SEO world.

Backlinks are links to your content from third-party sites.

They essentially tell search engines how popular your website is.

So, the more backlinks you have, the greater the chance your pages have of appearing higher up in SERPs.

Simple, right?

Well, yes and no.

Firstly, search engines are very particular about the quality of backlinks you receive; it’s no good just getting any old site to throw you a link.

They need to be relevant (i.e. they need to come from sites that contain similar content to yours) and trustworthy.

And secondly, obtaining backlinks is quite tricky and time-consuming. Building backlinks is a long-term project, but the rewards are indicative of the work required.

You can find out more about backlinks in our other blog post, looking at the importance of links for SEO.

Mobile Optimisation

A pair of hands holding a mobile phone with the Orca Online Marketing website homepage on the screen.

We are in the golden age of mobile-first indexing. Creating your website so that it is mobile-friendly is just as, if not more, important than desktop because of how many people access sites using mobiles.

Besides that, Google's primary ranking index is now mobile, which is updated before its desktop index.

When designing for a mobile user, making sure your dimensions work with most mobile devices is essential. If your content isn't responsive, many mobile users will click off because what they're seeing is broken or unreadable.

An example of designing for mobile might be long scrolls instead of linking off to other pages. Content on fewer pages, so users don't have to tap between links to read shorter form content, is typically better.

Technical Structure

Not all SEO work is front and centre to the end user.

A lot of the hard graft actually goes on behind the scenes.

Ensuring that your pages' technical structure is paramount when it comes to boosting their organic rankings.

Hundreds of little tweaks could (and should) be made to convince Google that your page is worth promoting.

Some of those include:

Metadata

OK, metadata IS visible to users, although not necessarily on the page itself.

Page titles and meta descriptions can be seen in SERPs. They are the shop window to individual URLs and explain the content people can expect to see when they click the link.

Page loading speed

Who here likes queuing?

Anyone? No?

We don't like waiting for things, including web pages. If they take too long to load, people lose interest.

There can be all manner of reasons for slow page loading times (too big image files), so an SEO professional will need to ensure everything is working as it should behind the scenes.

Alt Text

Along with image sizes, alt text can be an excellent way to inform search engines that your page is optimised well.

Alt Text is hidden, succinct content explaining what an image on your webpage is. It can help convince Google (which can't see the image) that it is a relevant piece of content, and it can also help visually-impaired humans browsing your site.

Summary

Search Engine Optimisation is a wonderful mix of science and art.

The overall aim is to help present web pages to a broader audience. To do that, you must make the content 'popular' for both humans and search engines.

Many, many different components go into SEO work, and we have looked at a handful of some of the most popular.

Are any of these more essential than the others? Well, (save keyword identification) SEO is very much a case of the ‘whole is greater than the sum of its parts’.

You can fix individual elements of a page and its content, but to see real benefits in SERPs, there has to be some harmony with all the other parts.

If you would like to see an increase your site's organic traffic, contact Orca today to see how we can help.

 

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