Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is possibly one of the most difficult areas of digital marketing for companies to manage themselves – it is quite technical, time-consuming and constantly changing (due to Google algorithim updates). Difficult as it might be, ignore SEO at your peril!
Simply put, if your website is not displaying on page 1 for key search terms related to your business, you might as well be on page 100. If your competitors are displaying above you on nearly all searches, it really is time to invest time and resources into your SEO. Without question, you are losing out on business because of this.
In this blog, we provide you with the top five ‘must haves’ if you want potential customers to find you organically on search engines.
Our Recommended Top 5 ‘must-haves’ for effective SEO
- Undertake Keyword Research
- Ensure Your On-Page Optimisation is 100% complete
- Optimise Website Images
- Build Inbound Website Links
- Continuously Analyse SEO Performance
1. Undertake Keyword Research
Identifying the right keywords is essential for link building, on-page SEO, and content marketing – key words are the specific words of phrases people use to find your website, and are the cornerstone of a successful SEO strategy.
Very simply, if you don’t have target keywords for your website then you are on the road to nowhere. Picking the optimum keywords does take time, but it’s not as hard as you might think.
Once set up, Facebook Ads Manager will be your go to resource when running and monitoring ads.
Google Ads Keyword Planner is free to everyone and is an invaluable tool for keyword research. You only need a Gmail account to use this software. Simply type Google Adwords Keyword Planner into Google to access this software.
We recommend that you choose keywords based on the balance between keyword competitiveness and demand. We advise this because high demand keywords will be harder to rank for and you may be competing against major companies with a massive budget for SEO. The trick is to look for medium volume keywords that have a low competitive index.
Here are a few ways to refine your keyword search:
- Target potential customers.
- Mention your location to narrow down your keyword search by being more location-specific.
- Focus on long-tail SEO keywords that ensure more targeted traffic.
2. Ensure Your On-Page Optimisation is 100% complete
It is extremely important to get the simple things right with SEO so make sure you focus on your on-page optimisation. This plays a major role in how your website is ranked by search engines and it is very much in your control.
We recommend mentioning a keyword 2-4 times on a webpage, however keyword stuffing is not a good idea.
Google ranks your website based on readability for visitors. Always write content for your website with your website visitor in mind – not a search engine. Repeatedly mentioning a keyword for your particular page over and over again will look unnatural and will have a negative impact on visitor experience on your site.
Make sure that your targeted keywords are incorporated into the page title, page meta description, webpage URL and H1 or H2 tags for every webpage. Focus on one or two keywords per webpage and always keep you target visitor in mind. Remember to write content that will fulfil their needs and keep them on your website!
If you use WordPress, we recommend that you use the Yoast SEO plugin. It provides very useful tips on how to make sure your webpages are effectively set up for SEO.
Always Remember: Optimise every webpage for the keyword or phrase that you want the webpage to be found on search engines for. Low website traffic consisting of highly interested visitors is much better than lots of website visitors that will never use your brand.
3. Optimise Website Images
Many websites make the same important oversight, they totally forget to optimise their website images for keywords. We are always surprised with how many websites fail to take advantage of this low hanging fruit.
The good news is that it is extremely easy to optimise images on your website. All you have to do is modify the image’s filename and ALT tag on your website CMS. When it comes to the ALT tag, the process depends on the website platform you use.
Google also ranks your website on the size of images on your site and the speed of your website.
From a website speed perspective, be absolutely sure that you compress your images before uploading them to your site. To do this, you can use a very useful image compression tool called Compressor.io. Image size has a major impact on your website speed so ensure you check your website images!
Always Remember: Keep in mind the keyword or keyword phrase for the webpage that the image you are optimising is on. Try and use the same keyword in the ALT tag.
4. Build Inbound Website Links
It is very important to identify websites that have links to your website. In the past, many websites didn’t care who linked to their website as Google ranked websites on the number of inbound links that they had. This has vastly changed over the years as Google now looks at the quality of the websites that have links to your site.
It is extremely important to build links to your site based on the quality of your content.
Websites should link to your website to recommend the content of your site or the products and services that you offer. Any other practice could land you with a Google penalty. Never buy from any third party that is selling cheap links to your site unless you want a major headache with Google! Always be mindful that search engines use backlinks on websites to determine authority, relevance, and overall rank worthiness.
Backlinks from other popular sources also signal trust, which is another deciding factor in SEO. Building quality inbound website links should be an essential element of your long-term SEO strategy.
Included below are a few quick tips that will help boost your website’s backlink profile:
4.1 Reclaim Lost Links
If you updated a page’s URL or removed it altogether, then you could have a few broken or lost links. Tools like Monitor Backlinks and Ahrefs can help.
4.2 Contribute Content to Relevant Outlets
Partnering and working with editors at relevant outlets is a great way to build brand exposure and earn some links.
4.3 Digital Display Advertising
Advertising on third party websites directs traffic from their site to your site which will in turn boost your website ranking.
5. Continuously Analyse SEO Performance
Now that you have optimised your website and have a strategy in place to boost inbound links, pay attention to how your website is performing for the keywords you are targeting.
When analysing your website, you should always identify where your traffic is coming from. This will highlight which SEO tactics are working and which ones need to be adapted.
Adaptability is perhaps the most important element for SEO success. Forget about creating the right SEO strategy overnight.
If you want to grow and rank highly in search engines, you need to learn how to read results and make changes where necessary. When monitoring website analytics you should always look at key performance indicators, such as web traffic, click-through rate, and search rankings. Only then will you be able to make data-driven decisions moving forward.
Included below are some SEO tools that can help you with analysing your website:
So, is Your Website Optimised for Search Engines?
Follow these five tips and you will set your business up for success on SEO. A good SEO strategy will help your business to achieve its overall goals. It is important to set up the right procedures and spend your time efficiently when working with SEO.
We hope you found these tips useful and please feel free to contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org if you need help with your SEO strategy. We offer a range of SEO services for all business sizes using our tried and tested approach.