So how do you get on the first page of Google? There are plenty of factors to consider, but they essentially boil down to two areas of focus – onsite and offsite SEO activities.
Onsite optimisation falls under three main themes – content, architecture and HTML. These themes include the creation of page titles, meta descriptions and headers, making sure search engines are able to crawl your webpages easily, having well written and authoritative content, using the correct keywords, avoiding duplicate content, and making sure fresh content is added to your website on a regular basis. You also need to make sure your website is responsive, which means that it displays properly on mobiles and tablets, as well as displaying acceptably on different browsers and supported operating systems. You will be penalised for having a website that lacks substance, as well as for keyword stuffing, page cloaking and content hiding.
Offsite SEO techniques can be summed up under the following four themes: ‘trust’, ‘links’, ‘personal’ and ‘social’. ‘Trust’ issues include questions concerning bounce rates, site authority and history. ‘Links’ means you need to have perceived partnerships with a wide variety of trusted and appropriate third party websites (noting that these links can have greater value if they point to webpages on your website with a high degree of keyword-relevant content). ‘Personal’ refers primarily to the location of a business. ‘Social’ is related to content sharing on social networks. Negative factors include paying for off-the-page links and creating spam links on third party forums and blogs.