SEO basics to help guide you to website success
Last updated on 13 September 2023
A successful business of any size needs to be clearly visible to catch the eye of potential consumers, even in the aged care sector. Once, this was solely achieved through word of mouth and traditional marketing such as television, radio or print. Now, it’s through search engine performance.
Websites rely on search engine performance to be front and centre of our queries. When someone searches for ‘aged care adelaide’ or ‘home care services west sydney’ only the best-ranked websites will appear on the first page of the search results. That’s where you want to be if you’re looking to attract new customers. And that’s why search engine optimisation (SEO) is so important.
SEO quick hits
- SEO stands for search engine optimisation, which is the process of improving website performance in search engine results
- As Google is the most popular search engine, most SEO results are focused on Google rankings
- Google has its own set of search engine algorithms that are constantly changing, using hundreds of t ranking factors to order sites based on keyword relevance
- SEO only focuses on organic search results; you want organic search results to be strong as 81% of Google users click on organic results
- SEO involves several critical elements, including keyword research and analysis, content creation, link building, website SEO and technical SEO
It’s incredibly easy to become bogged down in SEO details. This is arguably one of the most complex systems out there; even the experts have questions they can’t answer. So we’ll start with the basics to give you a solid foundation to work on.
SEO is all about keywords; standalone words or short phrases that you want to rank highly for when someone types it into a search engine. Understanding what keywords your website and web pages rank for also helps you strengthen underperforming content that should be visible to consumers.
However, it’s important to cautiously approach keywords. Each page should focus on one primary keyword (the topic), with secondary keywords (subtopics/headings) and long-tail keywords (keyword variations) scattered throughout the page.
For example, you have a page titled ‘Residential care’. Secondary keyword options could include ‘residential care lifestyle’, ‘our approach to residential care’, ‘supportive residential care services’, etc. You want to avoid keyword stuffing, which is the overuse of a keyword – so restrict your use of each variation.
Quality content creation
Performance rests on more than just the appearance of keywords on a page. Your content has to be good and it has to be fresh. Web pages are constantly analysed by search engines to determine if the information is relevant, unique and up-to-date. This is why web page ranking can change suddenly despite previously ranking highly.
How can you overcome this?
- Avoid creating too many pages with the same primary keyword. You want to give one or two pages the chance to shine and there’s no point competing with yourself.
- Old content should be refreshed or repurposed every 12 months. This doesn’t mean a complete rewrite, but perhaps a new subheading, paragraph or image.
- Create informative long-form content that allows you to include more keywords. Search engines love long-form content as it can retain viewers for longer and is more likely to be linked to other websites.
- Steer clear from creating duplicate content. Search engines pick up on plagiarised content so there’s no benefit in writing for quantity over quality.
Link building and backlinks
The last key point we’ll touch on involves link building. A backlink is when a website links to another, often through something called anchor text. Search engines look for backlinks as backlinks relate to authority, and high authority pushes pages to the top of search results.
Backlinks from low-authority websites can do more harm than good so you should look for authoritative websites, including external news sites, government pages, reputable directories, research/education sources or industry partners. Some people do charge for backlinks, given their SEO importance, and you may have to invest in link building.
Tips and tricks
If one thing’s for certain, there is no single route to success for SEO. But that’s no reason to be daunted by the prospect of learning SEO as even the basics will help you strengthen your website and content. If you’re looking to learn more – which is always a great move – here’s how you can do it.
Familiarise yourself with the experts
The best thing you can do when starting your SEO journey is to seek out expert advice. Some of them do offer paid consultancy services and SEO tools, but often you can use their free guides and videos to build your knowledge. Top sources include Neil Patel, Hubspot, Sandy Rowley, SEMrush and Ahrefs. Just remember, most specialists have their own tactics and thoughts on SEO, so there will always be differing opinions online.
You must invest wisely in SEO, which could include recruiting an SEO specialist, paying for professional SEO tools or hiring an external agency.
There are several major SEO websites that will help you track website performance, run keyword analysis and even keep an eye on your competitors. SEMrush and Ahrefs are two of the leading paid platforms that track website and web page performance, run keyword analysis and even audit your website.
Google also offers several free tools, including Google Search Console, Google Analytics and Google Keyword Planner. There is a learning curve for all three, which is why you may want to seek out free guides or paid courses to help you develop your SEO skills. If that sounds a bit daunting, that’s where an external agency can help you if internal resources are limited. But the choice is yours.