• Lindsay

Basic Tips for SEO

Updated: Nov 25, 2020

I’m sure we’d all love it if our businesses always came at the top of Google search results. The only way to boost yourself up those rankings is through Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). But when it comes to SEO, would you even know where to start?


SEO is how you optimise your website so that Google knows you’re relevant. If you sell chocolate and someone does a chocolate related search, you might find that you appear on page 5 of the search results. SEO will help you slowly move up to page 1. Where we all want to be.


Some digital agencies charge a lot of money to help businesses move up the rankings. But many small businesses can’t afford that. Nor is it always the right thing to spend money on. See my SEO and PPC blog to find out more here. But if you are serious about SEO, then having a little bit of knowledge and a few skills can help you go a long way. So here are some basic tips for improving your SEO.


Structure

SEO isn’t just about improving how people find you, it’s also about how Google finds you. Google has little bots that crawl the web, adding pages to its index. That means you need to have a website that is easy for both humans and bots to navigate. Therefore site structure is vital for good SEO.


Even if you have an existing website, it’s never too late to tighten things up. Think about the customer journey. What pages will your customers visit and how do the pages work together? How logical is the site and how have you arranged things? Think about the words you use and whether they’re relevant to your audience. It’s not good enough to have a website that talks in your language and makes sense to you. It must work for your audience and be easy for them.


Retention

Getting customers onto your website is only half the battle. Once you’ve got them to click onto it, the next step is to keep them there for as long as possible. Easy navigation and internal linking will massively help to both increase the amount of time someone will spend looking through your website, and also in encouraging them to come back. If people can’t find what they’re looking for with ease, they’ll disappear and they won’t return. Google tracks all these things.


Google’s company mission is to “organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful.” Google was invented to create a better online search experience. It wants to give its users the most relevant content. This means it tracks information across websites and uses complex algorithms to make decisions about whether your website will be useful for the person searching. It’s not just about keywords, it’s about usability and professionalism as well.


The best way to improve SEO is to make sure you have a really good, well thought through website.


Accessibility

If we go back to Google’s mission, then accessibility is a key element. Your website needs to be usable for everyone and cater for those who may have disabilities. Whilst many elements of accessibility will be something a website designer needs to consider, if you’re adding content to your WordPress website, or any CMS system, then there are things you can be doing as well. For example, every image must have alt text. If you look at the images in your website media library, you should see where you can add this detail.


Your website also needs to be easy to understand, and perhaps think about your colours. Don't use white on pale pink for example, which would make it hard to read. Small things like this will impact your SEO.


Content

Google is looking for good content and well looked after websites. That means not only add in content that will inform, engage and make sense to your visitors, but add it to your website regularly. Google prefers websites that are updated often, as fresher content will be more likely to provide a better experience for visitors. Out of date information might not be deemed as relevant.


In addition, if we go back to how Google factors in the user experience, more regular or updated content will keep visitors coming back to your site, and that sends out all the right messages.


However, avoid writing content for content’s sake. Google will pick that up easily. It’s not about adding in ‘stuff’, it’s about creating a website that has a real purpose and that people will find value from.


There are many more factors that relate to SEO, but these basics will give you a very strong starting point. Take a look at your website and be critical. Is it there because you knew you needed a website, or is it there to actually be useful to your audience? Give each page a purpose, encourage people to stay by making it engaging and easy to navigate, and keep on adding interesting content. Those few simple tasks will give you a boost, and you might not even have to spend a penny.

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