With more than 3.5 billion Google searches per day, to rank high enough for potential visitors to come across your content, you will need to play by Google’s rules. One of the best ways to ensure that you are making full use of your content is by improving your search engine optimisation (SEO) efforts.
The bad news about SEO is that it’s not as simple as flicking a couple of switches. Nor is it something you just do once; SEO has to be a consistent part of your ongoing marketing strategy. Google is constantly updating its algorithms and ranking factors so it can be hard to keep up.
There is also an overwhelming amount of information available online – how do you know where to begin? Here we look at some of the best ways to improve your SEO.
Any good SEO program starts with keyword research. You need to work out the words and phrases people are typing into a search engine when they look for products or services like yours.
Don’t assume that you know what consumers want and how they search — do your research. The following best keyword tools offer a demand score for each theme; Google Keyword Planner, WordStream and Ubersuggests are all good keyword tools to help you.
You may find it easier to rank for long tail keywords rather than the highly competitive main keywords. Long tail keywords are the queries people type into a search engine when they are looking for something specific – for instance “smart brown women’s shoes” rather than just “shoes”. Long tail keywords make up the majority of search engine traffic.
2.Create Optimised Content
Once you’ve identified valuable keywords, you can start crafting high-quality content. The main pages of your website won’t change very often so the best way to create fresh content is through a blog page. To make sure your content is optimised follow these basic rules:
– Include a primary long-tail keyword naturally in the text. Don’t practice “keyword stuffing.” Search engine algorithms don’t react positively to the overuse of keywords.
– Include at least one piece of “rich” content, like an image, infographic, or video. Search engines recognise that this adds value to the content and will rank the page higher. Use alt tags to name the images.
– Update your content regularly, fresh content will always rank higher than content which is several years old.
3.Set Up Google Analytics
If you do nothing else, installing analytics software is the one SEO tip you must try. Free, flexible and powerful, Google Analytics lets you track how many people are using your website, and what they do when they are there.
It can track sales, what content interests your audience the most, and how your audience finds you. Getting started with Google Analytics does require a little bit of technical know-how, but if you are using one of the most-popular content management systems (CMS) such as WordPress, there are plenty of tools and in-depth advice to make it easy.
4.Set Up Google Search Console
Google Search Console is a free service offered by Google that helps you monitor, maintain, and troubleshoot your site’s presence in Google Search results. You don’t have to sign up for Search Console to be included in Google Search results, but Search Console helps you understand and improve how Google sees your site.
Search Console offers tools and reports for the following actions:
– Confirm that Google can find and crawl your site.
– Fix indexing problems and request re-indexing of new or updated content.
– View Google Search traffic data for your site: how often your site appears in Google Search, which search queries show your site, how often searchers click through for those queries, and more.
– Receive alerts when Google encounters indexing, spam, or other issues on your site.
– Show you which sites link to your website.
– Troubleshoot issues for AMP, mobile usability, and other Search features.
5.See which keywords send traffic to your site
If you’ve set yourself up with Google Search Console, you can now get some free keyword ideas. It will show exactly the search terms they have shown your site for, and how many people have clicked on your result. For example, Search Analytics Data details the queries you’ve appeared for, the average ranking position of your page and how many people have chosen to click on your result.
6.Understand Your Competition
Identify your competitors, not necessarily the sites that sell identical products and services to yours, but also those that compete for the same phrases and appear above you in search results. Wikipedia, YouTube and Amazon are your competitors if they’re higher up than you on the search results page. Ask yourself:
– What are they doing well in organic search?
– What content themes do they include that you don’t?
– How do they structure their site to target valuable keywords?
– How do they engage shoppers?
– Understanding the measures, they take to improve their rankings will help you to do the same.
7.Consider User Experience
Make sure your site has a site map and clear navigation to help users find what they want quickly. Google increasingly ranks user experience and has algorithms in place to reward sites that offer it. Clear navigation will help users and search engines to index your site, helping them to rank it. It’s the quality of traffic and not always the quantity of traffic that is going to grow your customer base. When you build your website around the user and focus on adding value for the user, visitors will stay on your site longer, digest more content, subscribe to your lists and connect with you to learn more. Bounce rates will decline and conversions will climb.
8.Use Internal Links
Internal links connect one page of a website to another page of the same site. With the focus on content and user experience, internal links help users find more information and help search engines index your site.
9.Develop External Links
External links are one of the cornerstones to a good SEO strategy. Search engines prioritise content that is valuable to the end-user. Google has even established loose criteria to assess value, the EAT principle: expertise, authority, and trustworthiness. Backlinks (links from other websites to your own) help establish your EAT. Links from high-authority, high-traffic domains are the most valuable and worth pursuing as part of your digital marketing strategy. You can create backlinks by getting articles published, guest blogging on other websites, ensuring your site is listed in directory websites, and coming to a reciprocal arrangement with partners or competitors.
10.Look at the Technical Side
There are a number of technical requirements to improve your SEO:
– Websites should load quickly as slow loading sites frustrate users and cause them to leave, which can hurt your website rankings.
– Websites should also be mobile responsive so that they can be viewed and accessed easily on multiple devices and different browsers.
– Ensure all URLs are clearly labelled with short titles.
– Avoid having too many advertisements on your site or having an excessive number of pop-ups.
– Include clear, keyword-rich titles of less than 160 characters for each page, these help Google to index your website
– Meta descriptions tell search engines a little bit more about what each page is about. They are the text that appears in search results page underneath the page title.
– Use sub-headings to help users and search engines navigate your site
– Label images with the image name and alt tag.
– Make sure there are no technical errors that stop a search engine from indexing your website.
– Use a ‘robot.txt’ file to label pages that you don’t want crawled for search engine results – for instance checkout pages or contact pages.
Keep up to Date
Search engine optimisation is a constantly evolving field. That’s why specialists dedicate their entire careers to it! Search engines like Google are always updating their algorithms and changing the factors that influence search engine results pages. Following bloggers in the industry and staying up to date on SEO news will help you stay abreast of the latest. The Google Search Central blog is a great starting point.
If this all sounds like too much work, why not leave improving your SEO to us! Simply call us on 01202 650 333 or email email@example.com.Back to blog home