29th Mar 2017
I’m going to assume if you have found this article that you have little or no knowledge as to what exactly is Search Engine Optimisation.
I often get asked by clients ‘Can you do my SEO’ and a lot of them don’t fully understand what they are asking for. Which is what has lead me to write this post.
Now, if you type into a Google search “What is SEO” you will see something like this:
“the process of maximizing the number of visitors to a particular website by ensuring that the site appears high on the list of results returned by a search engine.”
Which may confuse you a even more, so what does that mean in plain english you ask?
Basically, when you type a search term into Google, Bing or Yahoo you are shown pages and pages of results. These results are ranked on what the search engine deems are most relevant to what you’re are looking for.
Getting your website shown on the first page of search engine results depends on a number of practices which define what SEO is.
So, what can you do to help get your business on page one? Well, there is no simple answer, there are lots and lots of things you can do.
What I’m going to do is explain some basic tricks and tips that you can implement to your website. Get your note pad ready.
Firstly, the most effective thing you can do to help your business is to make your site user-friendly, thus of course goes hand in hand with making it Search Engine Friendly.
You need to cover the basics first, research and planning.
As I mentioned, Search Engine friendliness goes hand in hand with user friendliness, so whilst taking some google info into account you also need to think of your audience.
Your need to know exactly who your target audience is, where they hangout and how can you help them – write it all down.
Next, think about your website goals, do you want conversions? Consult bookings? Social followings? Where do you want to lead your customers when they land on your site?
When your visitors land on your website, you have about 2 seconds to grab and keep their attention. You need a clear and visible site description, aka tagline or slogan to explain exactly what you do and how you do it, for example “Digital & Design Agency helping Start-ups & Small Businesses Grow”.
Above I have specified what 2aT Startup is, which is an “Agency” what we do “Digital and design” and who we target “startups and small businesses”.
Now where do you want to take them?
To a contact page, to your Facebook page, to your blog? Make sure you have an easy call to action button in top view of your site. This ‘call to action’ should be inline with your website goal. Then, make sure your website menu is at the top and not hidden, this will help with extra easy navigation.
User friendliness and site layouts are one part of many factors for Search Engine Optimisation.
But, we’re going to get back on track and focus on other key things Google will take into consideration.
It’s believed that Google takes in over 200 factors when ranking sites, and while I don’t have that list for you, I do have my top tips that I believe are most important for beginners.
- Easy Navigation: Put your most important pages on your main menu. Don’t hide your menu. Every page should be no more than two clicks away. For example, if you want to get to my contact page it’s easy to do so (see what I did there?)
- Make your content relevant. Google is smart, but it’s not a mind reader so, make sure your website is information rich, use headings, links and text to describe your important information.
- Keywords. I recommend writing a list of 5 – 10 strong keywords and phrases that are relevant to your business, then as you write your website copy, social media content and blogs keep your word list in mind and include them where possible.
- Page titles are an old school trick and still one of the most important factors on your website, as this is where you give Google a description of your page content. This information is entered in the admin area of your site also know as the CMS, you may need to ask your web developer to help with this if it’s not your forte. Page titles should be between 50-60 characters in length.
- Images: When saving your images it is crucial that they are compressed. Large images can slow down your website dramatically and as a result make your site rank poorly. Images sizes on websites should not exceed 800kb. The second thing you can do with your images is to make you name them accordingly and again, depending how familiar you are with your CMS area you can add in the “alt text”.
- You can’t trick Google! Over use of keywords, duplicating pages or creating spammy content wont help your site.
For those wanting to go a little further and get some extra brown points, lets look at backlinks!
Backlinks are links that are directed from your website to another website, also know as a type of hyperlink. Example, check out my Instagram account here. – that was a backlink.
I like to look at them as “brown points” for SEO, why? Because search engines, especially Google love them. Now, any backlinks you include need to be good quality and relevant.
How do you get backlinks from other websites to your website?
Try asking industry bloggers to write a review on your product and include a link in their article or ask customers to leave reviews on relevant sites like Tripadvisor and Zomato. Now thanks to this post, those two sites just scored a bank link. Making sense?
And lastly don’t forget the power of social media: Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Linkedin, Google +, Tumblr, the list is endless.
Your social platforms and the content you post will contribute to your SEO ranking, so always include links to your site in your content where possible and use your keywords in your hashtags… I could go into the values and importance of social media but we’ll save that for another post.
Don’t let SEO scare or confuse you. It can be overwhelming, you’re not a web specialist so you cant be expect yourself to know everything about the digital world! Start with the basics and see how you go. And know when to ask for help.
But let’s be honest if the above has confused you even more and you’re feeling anxious AND you have a WordPress website, excuse the sales pitch but, we have a simple SEO startup pack available which basically covers us doing all the above for you. It’s $175 ex GST so yell out if you want to leave it to the experts and shoot me an email: [email protected]
Remember, nothing posted on this blog or website constitutes, or is meant to constitute, advice of any kind. If you require advice in relation to any small business matters, we highly recommend that you consult an appropriate professional.