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Effective Search Engine Optimization

While this might appear to be rudimentary SEO, it remains one of the most important steps as well. As we create this spectacular content that is tailored for specific user intents and lives on a well-constructed website, it still remains that the page itself must be well optimized.

If the page does not have the right keywords, then it will be a challenge for the search engines to understand where the content should be ranked and placed. Carefully determine keywords through keyword research, and then construct sentences that link the terms and long-tail keywords together to make your topic and expertise clear to the search engines and those considering consuming your content.

Things to do to improve technical SEO today:

  • Use keyword research to find important and in-demand search topics
  • Create sentences that effectively link different keywords together to show context
  • Place keywords in the page title, H tags, URL, and naturally in the content

Even as the industry matures with micro-moments and data-driven strategies, technical SEO remains critical to successfully building strong websites

SEO Website Tags

As sites become more technical, such as developing content in multiple languages for overseas versions of the site, brands will similarly need to pay closer attention to the markup and tags used on the pages. Correctly-used hreflang tags, for example, will ensure that the content is correctly matched with the right country.

Although Google might be able to tell that a website has been written in English, an hreflang tag can help ensure that it shows the UK version to the English audience and the US version to those in the United States. Displaying the wrong version of the websites to the audience can damage the brand’s reputation and ability to engage with the audience.

Many brands will also find canonical tags to be highly useful. Using these tags will signify to Google which version of any particular content is original, and which is the distributed or replicated version. If a marketer wants to publish syndicated content on another website, or even create a PDF format of a standard web page, canonical tags can help avoid duplicate content penalties so that weaken content visibility.

Things to do to ensure your site content is tagged correctly:

  • Use hreflang tags to ensure that Google knows which country and language the content is intended for
  • Verify that hreflang tags use proper return tags
  • Use only absolute URLs with hreflang tags
  • Use canonical tags to avoid duplicate content when necessary

A meta tag is an HTML tag containing information for search engines about a specific website. Meta tags contain keywords or phrases alerting search engines of a website’s content to be included in search results for users requesting related information.

Website Reviews Do Help Your SEO

review site is a website on which reviews can be posted about people, businesses, products, or services. These sites may use Web 2.0 techniques to gather reviews from site users or may employ professional writers to author reviews on the topic of concern for the site.

Amazon has done a great job of getting product reviews, which is basically free SEO.

If you have a strategy for acquiring reviews on your products and they can be indexed by Google, then you can receive a tremendous value from having more content on your site.

Searchers are also more likely to trust your content, buy from you, and stay on your page longer reading reviews — all of which will help your SEO.

It’s a win-win every way that you look at it. Reviews are fantastic for the user experience, conversion rates, and SEO.

The number of on-line consumers who read and trust on-line reviews is increasing. According to a survey by BrightLocal, 88 percent of consumers trust on-line reviews as much as a personal recommendation—which is astounding, considering most on-line reviews are posted by total strangers. The same survey found that only 12 percent of the population did not regularly read reviews for consumer products.

What this means is that not offering user reviews (or ignoring them as a potential marketing opportunity) is akin to alienating 88 percent of your buying population, depriving them of information they want to help them make their buying decisions.

#1 SEO Mistakes: Focus Solely on Technical SEO

This is one of the biggest reasons why on-line retailers and merchants get frustrated with SEO and stop optimizing.

While you should spend 10 percent of your time on doing things that will result in 90 percent of your success in SEO, technical SEO is time intensive and accounts for maybe 10 percent of your ecommerce success.

For instance, with platforms such as BigCommerce, Shopify, Magento, etc., technical SEO is usually good right out of the box. What happens is on-line retailers spend thousands upon thousands on technical audits, site-map optimization, on-page optimization, and more, only to find out the needle has barely moved and, quite possibly even worse, that their rankings have actually gone down. Then, when they ask why doing SEO didn’t help them, I usually find their back-link profile to look something like this:

  • Links are one of the two most important Google ranking factors.
  • If you don’t have any high-quality links pointing back to your site, it will be really tough to rank on Page 1 of Google because Google won’t view your site as relevant, authoritative, and trustworthy.
  • In ecommerce, you’ll find greater opportunities and win greater organic search visibility by focusing on creating and promoting content to build high-quality links, rather than technical SEO.

Keyword Placement

Keywords aren’t totally dead in the water — after all, Google still needs some kind of text to figure out what it is your company actually does.

In that sense, you could say that keywords are simply informational tidbits for Google’s analysis, rather than having a quantifiable relationship and impact on your actual rankings.

To this end, the placement of your keywords matters far more than their frequency.

Posting “auto repair shop” once in the title tag of your site and once in the header matters far more than stuffing it five times into the body copy.

Google breaks your site down into key areas, with meta information and headers taking top priority, body copy taking secondary priority, and side bars and footers taking the last priority.

It’s important to have some description for your company in those high-priority areas — the meta data and header — but you shouldn’t necessarily hone in on one specific keyword phrase. Otherwise, your site could grow repetitive, and earn a penalty instead of a high ranking.

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