SEO is still very much alive and we believe will always be needed whilst ever we use search engines.
High organic rankings on search engines for relevant keywords can transform a business. We have worked with so many small businesses that started as one man bands who were working from home or working from their garage who eventually needed to expand into offices and take on staff that we know how important SEO is to a business.
SEO doesn’t have to cost thousands of pounds per month either you can do this on your own even if just initially to get started but you do need to be prepared to put the time and effort in to make it a success and you need to be patient.
So lets get started with our Top 10 SEO tips.
Number 10 – keyword research
This is where I always start. Make sure you select the right keywords that aren’t too competitive but at the same time still have enough search volume. Personally I think choosing the right keywords is such a difficult task and I would suggest you revisit this on a regular basis once you start to get some data in.
Number 9 – check out your competition
Before you start trying to rank for certain keywords type them into Google or which ever search engine you want to rank on and have a look at the websites that are already on page 1. Do some research into each of the top 10 listings. Go through the websites and see how much content they have, check out their blogs, have a look at how many backlinks they have and check their domain rating.
I wouldn’t recommend that you try to do all of this manually you are going to need software such as Moz, Ahrefs or Majestic.
Number 8 – meta tags
Adding relevant keywords to your meta tag title and description are a quick and easy way to improve your organic rankings. Each page on your website should have a unique meta tag title and description. You need to be careful when changing your meta tag title that you don’t remove keywords that are performing well for you so I suggest you use Google Search Console and check which keywords are currently driving visits to the page or pages that you are working on.
Number 7 – image tags
We humans can easily see what a picture is but search engines need to be told. I try to add an alt tag, title and description to as many images on my site as possible.
Number 6 – noindex low quality pages
We have already mentioned that pages with low quality content can be penalised by the search engines and this also applies to pages that are created that you might not be aware of. You can do a simple command in Google to see which pages are indexed. This is:
Obviously replace www.yourwebsite.co.uk with your own domain name
Now go through each listing and make a note of any page that hasn’t got much content on or you feel that it isn’t relevant.
You should now add a meta tag of noindex to each of these pages. If your website is powered by WordPress then you can install a plugin such as SEO Yoast that will help you to do this otherwise you might need to ask your web developer.
Number 5 – mobile friendly
Google has already brought out a tool that allows you to check if your website is mobile friendly https://www.google.co.uk/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly/ but they are now talking about separating their index into two; a mobile index and a desktop index
They are saying that the mobile index will be more important so this gives you some idea that you need to make sure your website is mobile friendly.
Number 4 – website speed
With internet speeds that most of us now get websites should really load quite quickly but yet I still come across sites that take ages to load and I don’t know about you but when this happens I go to the next website.
This is true of search engines in that they analyse how quickly your website loads and score you accordingly so make sure your site loads as quickly as possible.
Again Google have a tool that will help you: https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights/
Simple things that you can do without getting your developer involved include making sure your images or videos aren’t too big and that you are on decent hosting.
Number 3 – internal linking
Internal linking is sometimes overlooked but for me is so important. For one you can use anchor text links. Secondly they are great at giving people as well as search engines a very easy way of navigating around your website. Internal links can be navigational links, links in your main content and in your blog.
For me the top 2 are as important as each other in terms of you will struggle to get good rankings without both of them but I have had to split them so:
Number 2 – backlinks
The quality and relevancy of external backlinks pointing to your website are still hugely important. Backlinks have been abused badly and Google had to take action and brought out Penguin to tackle the issue. Penguin has done a great job and has now been integrated into the main algorithm.
If your content makes other people link to it then fantastic but if it doesn’t then you will need to go looking for links. This isn’t against search engine guidelines like a lot of people try to make out. What you should be thinking when trying to get your own links is how do I market my website. Can I submit my website to a local or relevant directory? Are there blogs in your industry niche that you can comment on. Use social media to create company profiles.
One thing to avoid that is against most search engines guidelines is the use of anchor text. So for example if you are commenting on one of these relevant blogs that you have found and you have the opportunity to link back to your website use your company name not anchor text.
Number 1 – content
Content is king! I have put content at number 1 because I believe that without quality content on your website you have very little chance, these days, of ranking high in the organic search results. In the past it was possible to rank high with low quality content if you had lots or quality backlinks to that page.
With the introduction of things like Panda that is now much more difficult if not impossible.
However I don’t believe that you have to write 3 articles every day for the next 5 years to be able to rank high. The amount of content you will need will depend on how competitive your industry or market is.
If you are a local accountant or training company looking for local work then you won’t need as much content as say an online retailer selling clothes or sports equipment nationally.