Updated: May 7
The secret that most professional SEO experts won’t tell you, is that everything you need to rank higher on a search engine is at your fingertips and the truth is it isn’t a secret.
The secret to SEO is....
If you want to, I mean really want to learn how to do your own SEO and be super successful at it - all you just need time, patience, perseverance and passion. Yes, SEO is a challenge, but it gives such great rewards, and hopefully this blog will help you in your SEO journey.
Like a lot of business owners, we often deal with procrastination in some form, especially when it comes to tasks with our business that we’d rather not be doing or we feel uncomfortable doing, either through lack of knowledge or experience. Who doesn’t hate filling out a tax form or having to do a cold call, or something more technical…”hey, I’ll leave that til next week”. Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) shouldn’t be one of these dreaded tasks.
Within this blog I will talk about 10 ways to improve your SEO. I can hear you all say, “well, what are you getting from it?” Nothing, just the satisfaction of you reading my blog and walking away thinking that was really useful…but if you feel like telling a friend or colleague about it that would be great – let’s share the knowledge!
Firstly, and I’m sure you have heard this before, it’s important to remember that SEO isn’t something that will happen overnight. It takes time, sometimes a lot of time, often anywhere from 3-6 months or maybe longer. Remember - patience, perseverance and passion (The 3 P’s of effective SEO).
So here we go!
10 Top Tips on how to improve your SEO:
1. Google Safe Browsing
Make sure your website is safe and secure. Google needs to ensure people who are searching for you are being pointed to a safe website. They won’t list websites that are not safe and secure. Safe Browsing is a service that Google's security team built to identify unsafe websites.
Here are a few tips to make sure your website is safe and secure:
Install SSL – buying a simple Secure Socket Layer certificate is a crucial first step.
Use anti-malware software – to scan for and prevent malicious attacks.
Make sure your passwords are strong – 123456 isn’t ideal!
Keep your website software up-to-date – don’t leave yourself vulnerable.
Run regular backups – to prepare for the worst case scenario.
2. Speed is Critical in SEO
The faster your website, the higher your Google ranking will be. Google has updated its search rankings to prioritize page experience signals which penalize brands with slower sites. Slow and sluggish performance will negatively impact organic search rankings. Who wants to wait for a website to load? Because of this your website needs to be quick. As your company grows, so will the content on your website, which will make your website become slower. “Bounce rates can grow from 9% to 38% in the extra seconds it takes to load a product website page” (Source: Shopify, Site Performance: white paper).
All in all, website speed is a huge factor. Never underestimate speed when it comes to SEO. You also need to consider the speed on your desktop and your mobile versions. You can speed up your site by lightening up your site pages, compressing images and video where possible. To see your website speed, you could always look at the Hubspot Grader at website.grader.com or gtmetrix.com, both for free.
3. Mobile Responsiveness
Traffic from mobile devices is growing fast. Optimize your website for mobile or you'll miss out on valuable traffic, leads and revenue. Give your site the gift of responsive design. Responsive design gives you a bump in search rankings for searches on mobile devices. Most of the searches that are done today are on smart phones, people still use desktops but most online searches are done on your phone. Here are some tips:
If your website doesn’t load very well on a mobile this will not help your ranking, as people get bored of waiting for it to load. This goes back to speed.
If you cannot easily click on links this can affect your ranking.
As a rule of thumb, links and buttons should be at least 8px apart from each other, and at least 48px wide and 48px tall so they are clickable for mobile users.
Visitors may have difficulty reading small text, we recommend at least 12px.
4. Longevity and Domain Age
How long has your website been up and running? Internet search engines such as Google will place a domain that has been around longer higher up within the search list than others. Why? I hear you ask…well, one of the main reasons is that older domains will have qualitative backlinking. Search engines will check Backlinks, and will pay attention to the dominance of this.
In addition to this, reviews through Google My Business can help, as can a steady stream of traffic alongside bounce rates. For example, if people are visiting your website frequently and are staying on your site to read it, Google will know and will rank you higher (the longer this happens the better it is for your ranking).
5. Content is king and fresh content a must!
How relevant and useful is the information on your website? Quite simply, if your information does not match your customers’ searches, it will not show up in the results. Remember, Google likes to see fresh content so be sure to add this through blogs and update your content on your website pages when you feel it is necessary. If you’re not set up on the Google Console now is the time to do that, re-submit your content when you refresh your website pages.
6. Keyword Research
Vital to any good SEO strategy is Keyword research. Not sure where to start with your Keywords?
Try Google Keyword Planner and KeywordsEverywhere. Pick 1 main keyword and add an additional 5-10 keywords and weave them into your website pages.
Find out what keywords your competitors are using. Try Keywords Anywhere (free unless you want volume data).
Set up a way to measure your Keywords. Serpfox.com offers a free option or you can manually do this in a spreadsheet.
Keep reviewing your Keywords and monitor the traffic to your site and modify when you need to.
7. Experiences of Google
Google uses a website called ‘Rank Brain’ to see what other users think of websites. Websites that are well received will show up in the top results. Websites with bad reviews will not show up or will not rank well.
Set up a Google My Business page and get people to review your products/services.
8. Links, links and more links!
Links that lead to your website are really important as well what you place on your website. This detail has a heavy weight in the decision on where to rank your website.
Try adding yourself to free directories.
See what backlinks your competitors are using.
Add Anchor links.
Internal linking - link cleverly between your website pages, and remember to link to your key product pages regularly. Remember, Website Navigation is a fundamental of any website and contributes significantly to SEO. If your navigation is poor, crawlers and spiders (yes that is what they are called) will not be able to crawl it properly to rank you.
9. Social signals
Social media is important to SEO as it increases the traffic to your site. Retweets and sharing of posts on social media are a great way to add social signals.
Any link that comes to Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn is an authority link and so useful to improve your Domain Authority and SEO.
10. Local SEO and Google My Business
Adding information about your business and if it is has a physical location will help you rank much higher in search engine results. A Google My Business will improve your businesses Local Search Visibility. Boost your Local SEO, it will help customers find your business on a map and will allow people to leave Google reviews where you can then talk to customers.
When you create your website, you need to ensure that is it found, so an equal amount of time should be spent on the website itself (design/ navigation etc) and SEO technology and techniques.
To ensure you show up when someone searches for your product or service you need to make sure you follow the Google search engine categories.
So, these are my 10 top tips on how to improve your SEO. I hope you have found this informative and helpful. Keep an eye out for my next blog, if you have any topics you’d like me to cover just email me.