When the internet started many, many moons ago, it was easy to get yourself ranked high on the search engines. You would look up what was trending and then just spam your own homepage with those keywords like: Britney Spears, Britney Spears, Britney Spears... Thousands of times. The site with the most keywords won. This however has changed drastically over the years.

Google is at the forefront of developing algorythms that test the validity of a website and then rank that website, organically, according to those algorythms. 

What does this mean to Joe the Plumber and his website? It either means that Joe needs to employ a SEO expert to do the SEO of his website or he has to do a bunch of research to keep up with the Jones'... When ou start searching SEO then you find a legion of information out there. Yes it can be extremely confusing but if one sticks to the basics you should be okay.

Where do we start? Step one is to ensure that your website has a SSL. Ths is a security certificate that gives your site the "s" in https:// - When you visit a website that has https:// in front of the URL like https://fnb.co.za it gives you a sense of security. A sense that whomever owns the site cares enough that they got themselves a security certificate. Google has recently announced that they will favor websites with security certificates above sites without them. In fact they went so far as to say that if you do not have a security certificate for your site, they will penalize you and you will in fact drop in the rankings. Therefore it is important to choose your web hosting company from now on and ensure that you get a FREE SSL with your hosting package.

Secondly you need to look at your on-page SEO. This means that you should ensure that your website includes the necessary keywords that people would be searching for on the web. WHatever you have to offer, you will need to explain that it is exactly what your site is selling, in detail. When Google's bots come crawling you want them to report back to headoffice that they found a site relevant to exactly that which you want them to report. Make sure that your images have proper and relevant tags. That even your page titles are more than just saying "Home Page" or "About Us Page" etc. These are things that Google is looking at. 

Next you need to look at off-page SEO. The link to your website should be the full URL like: https://fnb.co.za Once you know your URL you have to get it out there. Use the social media platforms available to you. Advertise this link on all the possible social media platforms like: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram etc. If you are a website designer then ensure that your URL is at the bottom of each website you designed. These are called backlinks and the more of them you have out there the better. Proper, clickable backlinks that will direct traffic back to your website.

Vanity is something we all have to a certain extend and I always say that one should use that to your advantage. I believe that the more you use the various tools available to you out there the more they will benefit you. Google has provided us with many different tools and if we use them they might just take us a bit more serious. Why would they take anyone serious that uses other people's tools if Google's is the best out there? See how I got to that? :) Use the tools Google made available to you. Google Adwords, Google Analytics, Google Maps,  Webmaster Tools, Keyword generator etc...

These are the rules in a nutshell and should give you a good head start but you will need to keep researching SEO as it changes all the time.

Saturday, March 20, 2021

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