What is SEO? Does it Matter?
Search engine optimisation (SEO) is a vital factor for any website’s success; if you don’t get it right, no one may find your website! So many different factors affect how to get your website ranking in search engines like Google, so I’ll teach you the best SEO practices to apply to your website and useful tools to help with rankings.
If you’re a beginner, you’ll learn some useful quick tips that won’t take much time to implement that you can apply to your web pages.
Tip #1: Choose the Right Keywords
This is one of the most important factors affecting SEO. Long-tail keywords may be easier to rank for than head or body keywords, although search traffic may be lower. Use tools like the Google Keyword Planner and SEMrush to determine the keyword search traffic volume. Use SEMrush to analyse your competitors, and use UberSuggest and Related Words for keyword idea generation.
Note: see my SEO resources page for links to these tools.
Tip #2: Create Unique, Quality Content
Why would someone want to return to your website if there’s nothing good on it? Create interesting web content that delivers value to or solves a problem for your audience. Definitely start a blog if you don’t already have one as you could make it a part of your main website. Definitely do not copy anyone else’s work otherwise search engines will penalise your website!
If you’re struggling with new content ideas, have a think about your current website or business – is there something that prospects are continually searching for? What information could you provide to benefit them? Blogs are ideal for SEO since they tell search engines that the website is taken seriously, edited regularly and larger than static websites.
Tip #3: Put Keywords in the Right Places
Place primary keywords in page URLs, header tags, title tags, image alt tags, emphasised text, internal links and wherever possible to tell search engines what’s on your website while spreading link juice. However, don’t spam or try to hide keywords; instead, use them naturally in your content.
Tip #4: Speed Up your Website
Optimise images using tools like TinyPNG or Compressor, add ‘alt’ (alternative text) tags, remove laggy scripts or unused plugins and check whether you need laggy content on your website. Speeding up your website will ultimately improve user experience and improve SEO performance.
Tip #5: Optimise Internal Links
The anchor text (the clickable text comprising a hyperlink) tells search engines what your website is related to, and so does the destination pages of those links. Use keywords wisely for navigation and text links, but don’t spam your site with excess links.
Tip #6: Make Visitors Stay
The longer someone spends on your website tells search engines that the content is worthy of peoples’ time, which is great for SEO. Provide calls-to-action – such as links to other articles – when prospects have almost finished reading one web page so that they stay on your website and read another page. Visitors may also return and you may achieve micro-conversions.
Tip #7: Get Backlinks
This is arguably the most important aspect of SEO. Search engines believe you more when other people tell it that your content is good, so in order to achieve backlinks then again you need to create valuable, share-worthy content! Add social media sharing buttons to your website; tweet on Twitter; create infographics on Pinterest. Whenever someone shares a link, it counts as a backlink. You could even consider writing for a related and domain-authoritative website in exchange for allowing a backlink to your website. Remember that the rule of thumb is quality backlinks, not quantity.
Tip #8: Don’t Cheat!
This is known as black hat SEO. You will get penalised if you try to trick search engines as they are becoming smarter over time. Think smart, be honest, be real and be future-proof – otherwise your actions may come back to haunt you!
Tip #9: Track Results
Use data to tell you what to do. If one page is underperforming, change it to make it perform better. Install tools like Google Analytics and Bing Webmaster Tools. Use the Google Campaign Builder to create links so that they can be tracked in Google Analytics. Study acquisitions and behavioural metrics like traffic sources, conversion rates, bounce rates, exit pages, time on site, pages visited and interactions.
Tip #10: Be Patient!
True results take time – especially for new websites – as it takes ages for search bots to crawl your website and spider it. People also need time to find your content, which is particularly emphasised if you do not have a following. The only way around this is to buy traffic with PPC campaigns (e.g. by using Google Adwords or Bing Ads).
Thanks for Reading!
Thanks for taking the time to read my article! I hope it provides some useful SEO tips that you can apply to your website.
You may want to see my resources page for useful SEO tools you could use.
Why not download my FREE SEO guide? It would be a useful reference for you to refer to, and also includes other website practices to strengthen your website.
Please feel free to share this article so that others can also benefit; I’d really appreciate it!