Someone mentions SEO for your website and the panic is strewn across your face, we see it and we know how you feel!
SEO (search engine optimisation) improves your search engine rankings. "Yes, but what does this mean?!" we hear you ask.
Put simply, SEO helps you go from page 20 on search engine results (like Google or Bing) to page 1 for particular key words or phrases. We've written this article to break down the lingo and help better inform you of how to make SEO work for your business.
An SEO strategy is key for your business to be found online and will help attract those all-important customers to your website. A question we get asked frequently is; "Can you get my website on page 1 of Google?". The answer is of course we can, but it takes time, so don't expect results overnight (frustratingly).
It ultimately comes down to these key points;
Relevance (how relevant is your content to the search phrase / term)
User Experience (how easy is it for users to use your website)
Trust (how many people visit your site & how many people link back to you as a trusted source)
The important thing to remember when it comes to SEO, is that the search engines build their algorithms to get better search results for their users. And, over the years, these companies have built more and more complex algorithms to make sure that the information they're collecting from websites is the 'right information' - allowing them to make the right decisions when ranking websites against particular search terms.
So, when it comes to thinking about SEO for your website, in its simplest form, think like a Google web crawler;
1. Use long-tail keywords
What are these keywords? This is the fun part where you get to put yourself in the shoes of your customer or potential visitor to your website. What would they type into google to find your business. Two to five word phrases are what people typically search for in google.
This can be particularly challenging which is why you need to look at finding precise keyword searches by adding a speciality or location, for example, ‘Social Media Marketing Agency in Swansea’ instead of just ‘Marketing Agency’ which would bring up far more search results. The more targeted your keyword the better chance you will have of attracting the right audience clicking on your website from search results.
2. Choose the right domain
If you haven’t already got yourself a personalised domain, then there is no time like the present. Not only is it good for your SEO but it will give your business the professional look it needs to compete online.
There are three main things to keep in mind when choosing a domain, keep it catchy to make internet browsers want to click when they see your name. Second, your business name or area should be included so visitors easily understand what you do. And lastly, it’s a great idea to include your main keyword, if possible.
3. Unique titles & descriptions
Not only do you need titles and descriptions for your homepage but also for each one of your website’s sections and pages. Writing catchy and attractive titles and descriptions is what will help your customers choose you over another result. Google also loves unique page descriptions!
4. Mobile friendly
In an ever-growing digital age, we're seeing more and more websites with over 50% of searches done via mobile. If you want to survive in the online jungle then you need a mobile-friendly site, it’s simply non-negotiable. This is a big factor when it comes to Google rankings and comes under 'usability'.
5. Go local SEO
If you’re a local business owner then you’d be silly not to want to attract people in your surrounding area. More often than not people will be looking for you online.
The best way to start improving your local SEO is to help boost your footfall and get you on the map. Start by claiming your business on Google My Business, and complete your profile from start to finish, this way your business can be found when searching on Google maps (and the sidebar on a Google Search). Secondly, sign up to as many local directories as you can, the more places you are listed the easier it is for someone to find you.
6. Structure your site
A good site structure is essential for SEO, it makes it easier for bots to crawl and understand your hierarchy, it also enables visitors to navigate through your site more easily. This will help to increase the amount of time that visitors spend on your site as well as the number of pages they visit. These are the key elements that search engines will factor in when deciding the fate of your ranking.
In simple terms - make it easy to navigate your website. Your website designer / developer should do this for you anyway - but be sure to check the site for yourself.
7. Describe your images
Photographs and images enhance your user experience, so it's important that they're used across your website. Google and other search engines can’t see images like we do. This is why it's so important for you to add text (alt tags) to help them understand what your photograph depicts. Adding these little text descriptions will enable your images to not only be found on a Google search, but will help Google understand what content you have on your website, allowing them to make better informed decisions around your ranking.
8. Write valuable content
Content is one of the most important ranking signals when it comes to your website. In order for your content to achieve greatness it needs to abide by three rules; It has to be unique, fresh and valuable. Starting a blog can help to increase this content on a regular basis.
9. Get more backlinks
To really excel in SEO, you need to get ‘backlinks’ to your website. Basically, links from external sites to your own. This can be one of the hardest points to achieve, but really help search engines to trust your website. If other 'trusted websites' are linking to your website, then your trust ranking improves. Another way you can attract attention online is through social media. These channels are an indirect way to improve your SEO.
10. Keep it up
SEO is all about continuous effort to stay ahead of the game and competition online (why do you think we're written this blog *wink*). You don’t have to redesign your homepage every day, but understand what works and what doesn’t and create more valuable content. Use Google Analytics to regularly measure your website’s metrics and use this as a guide to make improvements where necessary. SEO is ever-evolving as algorithms are updated and research is done on a daily basis. Need help with understanding Google Analytics? Click Here.
Want to stay on top of your SEO game? Contact us today for a free 1-hour consultation.