Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is a complex thing. Google keep it a well guarded secret that only a few people know. That is why a good Google ranking has become gold-dust, with every business desperate for that top spot.

There are common methods developed to achieve a good ranking on search engines. Following guidelines discovered by SEO experts that every website should follow, and providing they follow it, they should gain in a search engine ranking.

If you struggle with the terminology used when people are talking about SEO, this dummies guide will be perfect for you as I go over some of the most common phrases used.

Google

It goes without saying that Google is the boss of the search engines. 95% of internet searches are done on Google, making it by far the most relevant and sort after search engine. Google actually started out as a small search engine called BackRub in 1995. By 1998, PC Magazine recognized Google as having “extremely relevant results” making it the go-to search engine even in the early days of the internet. Because of Google’s relevance, they are often referred to as the “government” of the internet, with them having the main say of what works and doesn’t work in SEO.

Analytics

Analytics tools such as Google Analytics have become a vital part of understanding the effectiveness of your engagement with your audience. They allow you to see how visitors access your website, what they are doing on your website and where they are based. Don’t worry, it doesn’t give your address out or anything, the details remain anonymous. They are useful for understanding what is, and what isn’t working on your website.

Black Hat SEO

Black hat SEO tactics are illegal. You won’t go to jail for using them, but you will go to Google jail. Google ban websites that use Black hat SEO tactics, meaning they will no longer show up on search results and they introduce large penalties. So, what are Black hat SEO tactics? They are using back hand tactics to increase your Google ranking illegally. An example of them would be keyword stuffing, invisible text with keywords and link spamming. Google has gotten better at catching these tactics with their algorithms. They may boost your Google ranking short-term, but they will seriously hurt your website in the long-term.

Keywords

Keywords are like the floor-plans when building a house. If you start building one without them, it will end up an unorganized mess. Keywords are what your website is about. It’s what you want to show up on when people search specific phrases in Google. There has been rumors recently that Google has completely thrown the relevance of keywords out the window, but keywords have simply evolved and become more specific.

Mobile Friendly

It’s in the title really. In recent years Google has really emphasized in it’s search results to build a website that is mobile friendly. In 2016, a study showed that nearly 60% of searches are on mobile devices and it’s increasing every month. A mobile friendly website will have a big impact on your Google ranking, and as a standard – websites should really be built ready for mobiles in 2017 anyway.

Local SEO

Local SEO is a big factor in small businesses that rely on the local community. In recent years, Google’s search results have become more advanced and tailored to each individual user based on location. Just try a google search, a business in your local area will be one of the first results. This is really important to the success or failure of small businesses on search engines. Google’s intelligent algorithm means local businesses can compete with national, larger businesses without having to spend thousands of pounds a month on an SEO team.

URLs

The website URL you pick is the first place you should start thinking about SEO. A good website URL can be quiet important when thinking about search engines. Search Engines used to take notice of keyword stuffed web domains but not so much anymore. Extensions on pages will always remain important. They are the first action a user will take when looking at a page. If the page title and extension is not relevant to the page, then you will struggle to get a good ranking.

Summary

There is a whole lot to know about SEO, and because it’s about trial and error there is no “correct” way to go about it. These are just a few helpful tips that will hopefully help you understand some of the common terms when people talk about SEO.

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