Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is the process of taking your website and making changes to it that will help make it a perfect candidate for particular search terms. A search term refers to the keyword a person uses when searching on one of the many various search engines. SEO helps your website become a trusted result for your chosen search terms but in order to achieve this, your website needs to become a source of relevant, useful and trustworthy information.
The way you achieve this involves many aspects. From On-Page SEO like URL structure, keywords and Alt-text, to Off-Page SEO like backlinks, anchor text and trust-flow. In this article, I will walk you through some basic methods for starting your SEO. Let's start with On-Page SEO.
On-Page SEO is everything that you do to the individual pages on the website. This kind of optimisation is unique to the page and will improve the chances of that particular page coming up as a search result. People will often choose a selection of keywords that relate to the pages of their website as this is where you’re strongest, most relevant content will be found. These SEO tactics are often the fastest and simpler of the two.
Page titles are a very important but very simple step in the On-Page SEO process. Your page titles give Google a clear indicator as to what your content is about. Every page and blog post you have on your website should have a unique title that includes relevant keywords. Doing this means every page will have its own target search terms and your pages won't be competing for the same result.
Having search engine friendly URLs will help Google spiders (also known as Crawlers) provide a higher ranking for your page. It's important to use keywords in these URLs and the location of these keywords does matter. The earlier in the URL the keyword is, the more impact it will have. For example, www.jdrgroup.co.uk/blog/articles/seo/the-cure-for-yourpoor-performing-website is not going to perform as well as the URL www.jdrgroup.co.uk/the-cure-for-your-website. Having an SEO friendly URL will also increase the trust of your website visitors. As the general public become more knowledgeable about the internet and viruses, they will begin to suspect a URL that doesn't tell you exactly what the web page is about.
Body tags are used to mark the headers and subheadings of your website pages. Typically, a H1 will be used for the main header with H2, H3 & H4 being used for subheadings and sub-subheadings. The reason these are useful is not only do they allow your visitors to clearly understand what they are reading but it also lets Google know exactly which bits of your content are relevant. They are also a great way of adding additional keywords to your website.
Meta descriptions are often forgotten about when building a website but it is an important step in being found on search engines. Your meta descriptions will contain important, relevant keywords and even more importantly, will be the text that is displayed on your ever-so-important search result. A meta description should be short and contain a relevant keyword to the page.
Images can add a lot to a website but if they aren't optimised they might not add performance to your website. All your images should be resized to minimise the potential increase in loading times they might add. Something Google will rank your website on is accessibility so you should always ensure you have Alt-text attached to your images. Failing to do this will drop your ranking harshly.
Internal links are usually disregarded as only improving navigation on your website but they actually help SEO as well. Internal links allow Google crawlers to navigate your website properly and find additional pages and content they might have otherwise missed. With the new introduction of 'Pillar Pages' internal links are more important than ever.
Once you've sorted out your On-Page SEO, you may start feeling like you've done all you can, but this is far from true. On-Page SEO is important and can strongly influence your website's success but that's not where it ends. Off-Page SEO can be just as important and will often be the extra push your website needs. Let's take a look at how Off-Page SEO can be used in a way that will boost your website in ways On-Page could not.
This may seem obvious but the way you interact with your customers, both online and in the real world, will dramatically influence the success of your website. The experience you give your customers in person will make it online faster than you can imagine. All it takes is someone to film you cutting corners or a staff member being rude and your online brand could be destroyed. Social media has allowed news to travel extremely fast and within a day millions of people might have seen your mistake. If this were to occur, all the On-Page SEO in the world wouldn't make a difference.
Focus On Searchers Intent
When selling a product or service online it's easy to become excited about the chance you're giving your customers to experience your amazing product. Because of this, people end up marketing as though you're doing your customers a favour. What you should really be doing though, is marketing to what people actually want. No one specifically wants your product because it's likely they don't know it exists. Look for similar products and see what keywords they are using and at the search terms people are using around those products. This could give you a good starting point.
Social Media Presence
Many business owners have social media accounts for their business, but when asked why they really don't have an answer beyond 'It's just expected'. This is a dangerous mentality to have towards social media. It's one of the strongest tools you have as a business but that's only if you're actually using it. If someone tweets you or sends you a Facebook message, you have to reply. Ignoring them can cost you a sale and cause you a bad review and then we get back into bad customer service territory.
Make sure you are always monitoring your social media and regularly posting relevant and engaging content that uses keywords. Google crawlers will look through your social media profiles when ranking you so you should continue your optimisation here. This is called SMO (Social Media Optimisation).
The internet has created hundreds of ways to become famous. YouTube stars, Twitch streamers, Instagram celebrities. All these platforms have allowed people to gather millions of followers and thus has given them a lot of influence. Getting someone like this to endorse your product could help give you a rise in popularity, even if it's just a temporary boost.
It is important to not become repetitive when creating content. If you produce a weekly blog article and an infographic once a month, your leads will become bored of your content and assume it's just the same as all the others they've read. Mix your content up by uploading videos, podcasts, PDFs, guides and more. Give your leads loads of useful, relevant content of different kinds. This way people will never know what to expect and will look forward to seeing what you have in store for them.
Now that we've seen the difference between On-Page and Off-Page SEO, and we've looked at what you can do to improve them both, you should have a lot to work with. You can see where your website needs to improve both On-Page and Off-Page. Making any of these changes, big or small, will help increase your website traffic.
If you're struggling to reach the website traffic numbers you know you deserve, then contact the JDR Group and see how we can help. As a Platinum Hubspot partner you can trust that we're able to introduce new life to your website. Call us today on 01332 343281.