What are the key elements of SEO?

Author -  Allan Kent [Guest]

Understanding how Google Ranks your Website

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is the art of getting your site not just noticed by Google, but getting it the prime spot in the search page results for the key terms you want to be found for.

There are 2 main components of SEO, on-page and off-page. The former comes down to the way the site is structured in terms of content, the use of the various meta tags, the URL structures etc. These are all the areas that a good website provider normally takes care of for you. However, just doing this is rarely enough, especially if you are in a competitive field, so it's what you do off -page that really makes a difference.

In fact, in terms of what Google looks at, the on-page element has less than a 30% impact in regard to all that needs to be done. The remaining 70% then is down to off-page elements that involve ongoing and effort intensive activity to be effective. Unfortunately unless specifically quoted for, this tends to be an area outside of most website design and build projects that finish at the point of hand-over to the client, and which at best will have only involved the on-page elements. As a result, most sites do not perform in the search engines to client expectations.  

I'd like to refer you shortly to an excellent blog article by Kevin Tyre where he explains in detail just how SEO can be broken down to its component parts.  I like referring to other peoples blogs as it's completely independent to us, yet speaks from the same song sheet - in this case the message being, you can't expect great search engine results without putting in the effort once the site has been delivered.

Summing up Kevin's SEO breakdown:

  • 42% of Search Engine Ranking Performance (SERP) is down to the number and quality of inbound links to your site
  • 26% of SERP is down to your keyword usage, i.e. on-page factors
  • 7% is down to social media links
  • 7% is down to general branding
  • The balance is down to other factors such as length of time you've had the domain name, how often the content is updated, the volume of traffic the site attracts, the size of the bounce rate etc.

Kevin does a much better job than I have here in detailing his findings so I encourage you to read for yourself. I'm sure that Kevin, like myself would welcome your feedback on this. 

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