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What is SEO

SEO stands for search engine optimisation, the process of optimising a webpage to improve its visibility in search results for targeted keywords and phrases. With 80% of consumers turning to search engines when researching future purchases online, it’s essential to rank well in search engine results for the terms customers search related to your services and products. In this post, we’re going to explain the basic tactics of search engine optimisation.

Keywords

The foundation of every strong SEO campaign is a set of target keywords. Target keywords are the words and phrases used most often as search terms by potential customers seeking information related to the financial services and products your business has to offer. All you need is a starting place to get the best keyword suggestions for your business from free tools like Google AdWords Keyword Planner or more advanced ones from SEO software providers.

Using these suggestions, one main target keyword as well as related keywords can be assigned to each page on your website. From there, the following tactics are used to optimise each page for its target and related keywords.

On-Site SEO

On-site SEO encompasses the tactics used on your website and each page within it to help improve rankings in search engine results. The goal of on-site SEO is to demonstrate to search engines that a website offers the best user experience and most relevant content for people who search specific keywords.

To ensure that a website provides the best user experience, it should be cleanly-coded, fast, mobile-friendly, and easy to navigate. Once the website’s structure and functionality is sound, the next step in on-site SEO is to optimise existing content to focus on specific keywords by using those keywords in page titles, URLs, images, and text.

From there, on-site SEO is all about creating fresh content optimized for additional target keywords that appeals to your current and future customers. The more keyword optimised content you create that is valuable to your customer base, the more you increase your chance for visibility in search engine results.

Off-Site SEO

Off-site SEO refers to efforts on external websites to help improve your rankings in search engine results. The goal of off-site SEO is to improve your website’s reputation in the eyes of search engines. Since the top search engines – Google and Bing – view links to your website as a vote of confidence, link building is the main tactic utilised in off-site SEO.

Links to your website should come from other website owners and content creators who find your content valuable. Hence, most link building will be centered around promoting content via social media and email contact with other website owners and content creators.

In addition to using your content to attract links, links can be built in a variety of ways including, but not limited, to the following.

Submitting quality content to online publications in your industry.
Becoming a trusted source of information for journalists and online content creators to reference to in their articles.
Creating listings and profiles on reputable business directories and social networks.
Researching links attained by competitors to see what opportunities may be available.

The more links you can attain from high-authority websites in your industry, the better your chances are of outranking your competition in search engine results. A link to your website from The Financial Review, for example, would be much more valuable than a link to your website from a unknown, low-traffic blog. Hence, it’s best to focus on ways to build the best links possible as opposed to build the most links.

Quality Over Quantity

The key is to be familiar with SEO tactics recommended by search engines like Google and Bing. Search engine algorithms can identify websites that have utilized spammy tactics for both on-site and off-site optimization. The overuse of keywords, buying or exchanging links, duplicated content, and stolen content are examples of practices that violate most search engine quality guidelines.

Search engines want websites to focus on quality over quantity. When websites build high-quality experiences, content, and links, search engines will notice and reward them with improved rankings in search results. Websites that break the rules to create a higher volume or quantity of low-quality content and links may find their rankings in search results diminished until the issues have been resolved.

Want to know how well your website is optimised for search? Find out with our free SEO audit.