SEO or Search Engine Optimisation is a wonderful minefield of somewhat bewildering, and complicated actions or ideas that are absolutely crucial to your digital marketing strategy and efforts.
For those of you that have been tasked with optimising your website and improving your SEO by the Powers That Be, where the hell do you start? Online training tutorials? A course? A ‘how to’ guide? One on one training sessions with your office technical oracle/geek (we all have one…ours is Mike).
Well, you might want to try here! This is my guide to SEO made easy –
Step 1- Work out who your target market is and what it is they’re searching the internet for.
Step 2- Write content relevant to your target market using these search terms and keywords.
Step 3- Apply tags to your webpage (don’t worry, we’ll get to this)
Step 4- Refresh regularly and remove any old/outdated content.
Step 5- Make it easy for people to share, and link to your site. This is extremely important, I’ll explain why later.
Step 6- Add a sitemap, testimonials, reviews…anything that can add value to your site.
Step 7- Measure and learn.
Sounds fairly simple right? So let’s expand on these points.
The Nitty Gritty
When you’re writing content for your website try and think of each customer profile/demographic that could potentially be your target market. For illustration purposes I’m using 3, but for your business it could be 1, it could be 100.
Think about the solutions/product/service they’re looking for and create your list of keywords, search terms and content relating to those keywords. Apply this to your website pages, paying particular attention to content heading and the appearance of keywords in the paragraph body and in hyperlinks.
Promote this content using social media, blogging, or other paid activity you may be using like PPC or paid social. Then, measure and learn using your Analytics and other metrics tools.
Doing this will give you valuable insight on what your key target market/s are, what content is engaging and justified and this will allow you to create the perfect formula for your digital marketing moving forward.
So now you have the hang of what you need to put on your website, there are some things you can apply behind the scenes that will really help search engines ‘crawl’ your site. Think of my illustration above as the anatomy of a webpage.
Once you’ve written your content and entered into your CMS, go to the HTML editor. Here, you can use some basic HTML techniques that will really make a difference.
If you’ve never tried this before head over to https://www.w3schools.com this awesome website gives you a full index of HTML tags and attributes and an area to practice using them. Definitely one to try!
Here are just a few that you might find useful.
<meta> tags allow you to insert a description of the page, keywords and author.
<title> tags allow you to give the page a title which will also appear in Google, for example-
EssentialCommunications | SEO Extraordinaires
<h1> Using h1-6, you can create headings or sub-headings. It’s really important to add your keywords or use your search terms in all your headings.
If inserting an image, make sure you rename that image before you upload it so the filename is relevant to what it is, and also in the HTML editor you can add an alt=”” tag and add a description of what that images is. So, if your picture loads slowly, a little text box will appear to say what the picture is of (when it loads).
That leads us to files, images and other assets on your website. If you try to add huge 75mb files these a) probably won’t upload or b) if they do, the page will take ages to load and this is highly likely to increase bounce rates.
Make sure you try and compress any images before loading them to your site. Using a website like https://tinyjpg.com allows you to reduce the file size of your image without impacting the appearance.
Last but not least
One of the most important factors in SEO that’ll increase your ranking is having other websites (influencers) link to yours. Don’t forget to add links to all your email campaigns, blogs, social campaigns, testimonials but use appropriately (Google have been known to penalise those that abuse this).
You should aim to have newspapers, magazines or high quality blogs link to your site if possible. If they think you’re important enough to talk about, Google will think you’re important too! A strong PR strategy really comes into play here (but we’ll save this for next time.)