What is SEO and how do I get started?

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is the practice of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to your dating website through organic search engine results.

What is SEO?

SEO is the active practice of optimising a website by improving internal and external aspects to increase traffic driven through search engines. It involves creating content that users would want to find and helping Google deliver great search results.

The best way to rank well in search results is to create content that is worthy of being ranked because it’s what the user who is searching would consider to be of high quality and relevance. SEO considers how search engines work, what people search for, the actual search terms or keywords typed into search engines and which search engines are preferred by their targeted audience.

The majority of web traffic is driven by the major commercial search engines - Google, Bing and Yahoo! If you can get your dating website ranking on page 1 of Google you are in a great position to take advantage of organic traffic - people who are searching for what you are offering.

If your site cannot be found by search engines or your content isn't reached by online traffic, you miss out on the incredible opportunities available and somebody else will gain if they're SEO ranking is better than yours.

How to create a successful SEO campaign

For successful SEO campaigns, let’s take a look at how the biggest search engine works - Google. In order for your web page to rank well in Google for a given keyword, two things need to happen.

First, Google needs to crawl and index your web page (think of the Google index as a massive catalogue). If your web page isn’t being crawled, you won’t even come up in the search.

Secondly, Google will then show the web pages which fit the best match in their index, as the search results.

Getting web pages indexed by Google is not the problem. Getting them to rank well is where the challenge is. Ranking is based on a combination of two things, relevance and authority.

The relevance is a measure of how close of a match a given web page is to the term being searched. This is based on factors such as the Title tag (sometimes called the “page title”), the page content and the anchor text of link to the page.

The authority of a page is a measure of how important and authoritative that given page is in the eyes of Google.

How to get my pages indexed

Getting Google to visit a web page and index it is not as hard to do as it once was. In the early days of SEO, it was often necessary to manually submit new web pages. Today, simply getting a link to a new web page from a page that is already being crawled by Google is sufficient to get the new page crawled too.

If you decide you want to submit your pages to Google, it’s easy - just use the Google add URL tool: https://www.google.com/addurl

Getting started with SEO

  1. Decide on a Concept

The best place to start is deciding on the concept of the dating site you wish to launch - is this mainstream, mature or perhaps more niched?

Once you have your concept (e.g. Dating for single parents), you can take it forward to the next step of the process... keyword research.

2. Keyword Research

Since search engines and humans alike read words, it makes perfect sense to find out what words not only match your concept but are the types of words people search for.

Google Keyword Planner Tool is the best place to begin your research. It's simple to use, just enter a selection of key phrases that you believe people would use to find your site and submit.

The results are a whole host of words and phrases that Google believes match your entered keywords. Many of the words won't be relevant but the words and key phrases that do match your concept AND have large amounts of search traffic are of the most interest.

Make sure you record these keywords as they can be of great use in your PPC campaigns too. We'd also recommend SEMrush's Keyword Research planner.

3. Competitor Analysis

After your keyword research, it is important to look at competitors and see what they are doing well and not so well. A simple Google search will return some top results which is the best place to look since they are obviously doing something right.

Although the subject of popularity is outside the scope of this issue, it is the relevance that you should be looking out for. The sites listed at the top are relevant to the keywords you used to search for them with. Check the meta tags (View> Source) and note down what words are used in the keywords data.