The digitalisation of modern life has forced businesses to improve their online presence. As a result, search engine optimisation, or the ability to rank high in the relevant search results on search engines such as Google or Bing, is a skill that is essential to the success of businesses. SEO, like most digital skills, is made of several layers of skills. Firstly, it is about the ability to maximise regular content generation for the best – a marketing skill. Then the second layer of SEO focuses on essential technical factors that support the content and its findability online. And thirdly, the last layer of SEO pushes the boundaries of technology and design a little further to satisfy the needs of both search engines and users.
The First Layer Of SEO
The first layer of SEO remains within the marketing team. While it is the most visible element of SEO, it is also the easier to master for entrepreneurs. As a result, it often happens, that the SEO strategy doesn’t move past this layer. Here, it is about defining the relevant keywords for your products/services and ensuring that they are well distributed throughout the website. However. It is important to note that keyword stuffing – a strategy that consists of creating content pages that contain mostly keywords and that are low on the informative side – is now penalised by search engines. As more and more content is created, the emphasis lies on the usefulness of the content. The number of external links coming to your websites is although essential is adding popularity and trust to your SEO ranking. As a result, partnerships with external blogs is not an uncommon SEO strategy.
The Second Layer Of SEO
The second layer of SEO focuses on the technical side of the website. It is not uncommon for this layer to remain within the grip of the marketing team, in collaboration with developers and designers, often in such a way that they are asked to follow a pre-defined project. The age of the domain and the presence of some of your keywords in the domain name – for online retailers, using a Shopify domain is a great way of combining the e-commerce functionality and the SEO domain elements – are essential technical factors that support the overall ranking. Additionally, the type of URLs within your website will define its ranking abilities. For instance, a website that has a lot of 404 – not found – or 500 – server error – internal links will be penalised in the ranking systems. You can use a tool such as Screaming Frog to crawl your website for internal links. Last, but not least, is the importance of smartphones: Your website needs to be accessible on mobiles as well as laptop screens. In the design world, it is called a responsive website, and it’s a recent SEO factor.
The Third Layer Of SEO
The third layer of SEO focuses on a website that is friendly for search engines, using data markups to clarify its content for the spider, and for users. When it comes to providing a positive user experience, the navigability of a website is an indirect SEO factor. Indeed, a website that is confusing and difficult to navigate for users will experience a high bounce rate. As a result, as Google, the search engine used by over 92% of users, favourites a friendly and positive user experience, your website will not rank on top of the list.