What is SEO?
Gone are the days of stuffing a page full of the same repeated set of words, buying all the domains with your keywords in and spamming a ton of websites with links back to your site.
People are sick of it, which means Google is sick of it, which means don’t do it.
There are now 2 main areas to look at when trying to rank your site:
This is the technical side of it. It’s much easier to do if you run your website on WordPress. How clean is the code of your website? How does the website perform speed-wise? How much content is there on the page compared to code? How crawl-able is your website for Google?
There is a lot of detail when it comes to optimising a website. A few things to look at are:
- Titles and descriptions – This the blue text and short description that Google shows in search results, make it as clickable as possible.
- Tags – making sure there is only one h1 tag on the page then h2, h3 tags for sub and smaller headings.
- Broken links – There should be zero on your site.
- Mobile optimised pages – Google will put you at the back of the queue if your web page doesn’t render well on a mobile screen.
- Internal and external links – Internal links to relevant content, external too but make sure those links are to quality websites.
- Fast loading pages – long gone are the days of fancy loading sites, information now, please 🙂
GTMetrix results of this website – not perfect but good enough 🙂 If you want to know some more techniques for on-page SEO and speeding up your WordPress site, check out this article on how to speed up WordPress.
This the non-technical side of things. The blog writing, the social media and getting others to link back to your website. Creating content that is informative and fun to go through.
Once your on-page stuff is working, the off-page stuff is the fun bit 🙂 You get to be creative! The best thing to think about when thinking about writing an article is “would someone not interested in the topic read it?” better yet, would they share it on social media? Would they link to it from another article to prove or disprove an argument? Can they learn something from it?
Videos are a great way to make content interesting like this one I made explaining, briefly, what SEO is:
I created this using Biteable. I highly recommend it and wrote the post “Which is the best online video software?“.
Images are also really important to keep the reader interested, but remember to keep them optimised. I wrote “3 online tools to optimise your website images“.
I’ve found that the best ranking content has a mix of text, video and images.
Why does SEO take so long to kick in?
To put it breifly, Google doesn’t know your website yet. It takes time for them to know what you do and to see if your content is better than the other ones in your niche. Its a lot like networking so this article “How website SEO is like going to networking events“.
It also takes time to create the epic content that you need to rank. Depending on how competitive your niche is, there can already be some long-term active websites with hundreds of pages on the same topic. The trick is to find the very specific areas that haven’t been dominated yet. The best way to do this is to do some keyword research into your market.
NOTE: Keywords are the search terms that people use to find what they are looking for.
How to do keyword research
The thing to think about is “what are my customers search for?”. With that in mind, use Googles keyword planner tool to help get other suggestions.
Once logged in you can type in your main keyword and it will give you suggestions on similar groups to use. This is especially handy because, even though you are focusing on one set keyword, you don’t want to just repeat the same words over and over.
It’s boring for you to write and its even more boring for the reader 🙂
This is probably the most important aspects to do before going off and writing your content. Having a focused goal will mean that you can work towards 1 goal instead of just shooting all over the place, fingers crossed, hoping to score a top spot on Google.
All this takes time, planning and a lot of tweaking to get the best results. There are though, some quick wins. I’ll go through those in the next section called…
The quick wins section
If you are just launching your main business website, it’s going to be hard to find on Google organically, but, there are some ways to get your business website found on Google while you wait for your rankings improve.
#1 Get a Google business page – Go here to find out how to do that, but basically, this will get you a local listing, so people searching for you generically but in your location, have a high chance of finding your website.
#2 Local directories – Check out this article “Do you need a website to succeed online?” for details of all the ones available in Perth and Australia.
#3 Social media – Link social media pages to your website and run a couple of ads to push some traffic towards it. Facebook ads are inexpensive to do so and with the help of a Facebook Pixel you can get some great audience insights.
These options are simple to set up and you’ll basically be leveraging those established websites to promote your own.
Now, we’ve covered a good few sections about what to do, but there are the common mistakes people starting out in SEO will do. So here is the section called…
SEO faux pais! 🙁
Remember when people said that smoking was good for you? The more you know eh!?
That can be the same for ranking your website. There are some outdated practices that used to get your site ranked really easily such as keyword stuffing and EMDs. These are now more likely to get you a Google penalty that a boost.
Getting a penalty from Google is a nightmare to correct so it’s best to avoid it at all costs.
Another issue that is sometimes overlooked is a drop in rankings when you get a website refresh. Make sure you don’t break any links by adding in 301 redirects to the new site. This will redirect any traffic, including Google, to where the new pages, posts are kept.
This page gives you an idea of the current ways to rank your website so give it a go. Run the website speed tests, get any obvious issues fixed, write interesting content that is informative and makes your customers love your website.