What is SEO?

Search Engine Optimisation, or SEO, means improving the visibility of a website on search engines such as Google, Yahoo Search and Microsoft Bing. If Search Engine Marketers (SEMs) are like Ad Agencies then Search Engine Optimisers are like your Public Relations Firm. Rather than a paid campaign like pay-per-click advertising SEO consultants improve the free listings of your website in Search Engines. These type of search results are called the organic results.

The beauty? No ongoing costs or overheads. SEO is still one of the highest return marketing investments so it’s important you understand how you can bump up your ranking.

Do you have a great website but haven’t thought about SEO?

You’re not alone, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t things you can do to give yourself a leg up. Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) used to be a bit cloak & dagger and it seemed like people would hold their precious ‘secrets’ close to their chest. Thankfully these days there’s a tonne of great information on SEO and it’s freely available on the web to everyone. The catch? You need to decipher the rubbish from the relevant. So in the spirit of ‘sharing is caring’, we’ve compiled our Top 5 Tips for SEO Stardom to help you plan out a well structured SEO strategy. This will get you well on the way to increasing your organic search results for your website and more importantly increasing your traffic volume & click through rates.

There’s a wealth of information here, so don’t try and swallow it all in one gulp, pick off pieces, work on them and move on to the next.

In order from most to least important:

SEO Tip 1

Before you even think of trying to optimise anything you need to carry out thorough Keyword Research. This is a crucial first step to any SEO campaign. If you’re not optimised for the relevant search terms which are the most beneficial to your business, you’re already fighting a losing battle.

There are a number of considerations you need to factor in:

  • How high is the competition for your search word or phrase?
  • If you rank well for a chosen phrase are people going to find the information they expect when they get to your page?
  • How many people are actually searching for that phrase in your target market each month?
  • If you decide to try and rank high for a particular phrase, how good is your competition? Can you beat them?
  • Is the competition for your search term specifically targeting your search term?

The list goes on and that handy little link I gave you guys at the start of this tip will fill your brains full of wonderful Keyword facts and figures. Our message is clear though, DO NOT PASS GO…….in this case SEO Tip 1, until you’re certain you’ve carried out your SEO Keyword research properly.

SEO Tip 2

Forget about everything you thought you knew about SEO and master the basics. Now it’s time to look at your on-page SEO and make sure you’ve dotted your I’s and crossed your T’s. Check the bones of your website with the W3c Code Validator and fix any errors you can. Make sure your URL’s are Search Engine Friendly and not only get crawled well but are optimised for your keywords. Your Title Tags are one of the most important pieces of the puzzle at this early stage so make sure you get this right. Cornerstone Content is another very important aspect of SEO and you should learn the techniques and make sure they’re also applied to your site. Finally check your Meta Description, Heading Tags, Keyword Density and make sure you’ve set ‘Alt’ Attributes for all your images as well as named them appropriately using your keywords at least once on every page.

We haven’t highlighted all those words above in blue just to look pretty. They are links to great reference articles on all of the on-page SEO topics you should be concerned about. There’s a fair bit to learn, but for those of you who have the time learning these tactics will hopefully transform you into an SEO ninja.

Remember, every single page or product on your website is another chance to hit a top spot in Google. Websites aren’t indexed in search engines, web pages are. If you have an E-Commerce website make sure each and every product is optimised for a keyword and has a good amount of unique relevant copy.

So tip number 2 is all about getting the basics right, like most things in life, without solid foundations what’s built on top is normally flaky at best.

SEO Tip 3

CONTENT IS KING! I hope we said that loud enough for you all to hear. With the updates to Google’s search algorithm having up-to-date, fresh content is the best way to get found on the web. It’s how it should be anyway if you ask us, if your website has the best content, you should rank higher, simple.

For more in-depth info on this check our Content Marketing Blog Post.

So add a blog to your website and write posts which engage your audience. Update old (over a year old) pages with fresh new content. Google knows how old your pages are and it also knows what information is on them, so it’s not good enough just adding a new sentence, get some fresh ideas on the page!

How can you beat your competitor you ask? Finding out how many indexed pages they have, along with the quality, quantity and structure of the keyword content on the high-ranking pages competing with yours is the first step. Once you have that information you’ve got an idea on the size of mountain you’re trying to climb. Also copying content from somewhere else could hurt your your ranking so always keep it original.

SEO Tip 4

Learn everything there is to know about best practice link building techniques and adhere to the rules at all times. You need to get your content out to the masses and employing a consistent link building strategy using white hat techniques is important. Just as important as it is to have a lot of relevant content you also need people to be engaging and viewing that content.

Although link building is listed as our SEO tip number 4, it is a very very important piece of the SEO puzzle. We’ve already given you one informative link above but for some more great link building strategies, from beginner to advanced users, check out this SEO Link Building Article from the guys at Everything you need to know about link building techniques can be found there, it’s a great read!

Savvy Social Media Marketing is another great weapon to stock in your SEO arsenal. For more about how social media marketing can help your business, click here. If you don’t have a Facebook page or Twitter, make them and link to them on your site. When you create blog articles post them to your Facebook page for your fans to see and then hopefully they make the transition to your website. Being active on Social Media and getting your content released to the fantastic fan base you’re building up will work wonders for you. It’s also widely recognised Google puts ranking weight on Social Media signals, so once again another reason to make sure you’re socially active.

SEO Tip 5

Keep reading our blog to get the latest information on how to stay on top. Seriously though, SEO is dynamic and forever changing so to keep your high ranking you’ll always want to keep up-to-date. Another great tip is to always follow white hat techniques to improve your results. No doubt if you’re interested on working on the SEO for your site you’ve seen people guaranteeing first page results, selling thousands of back links to any website you choose and every other dodgy deal under the sun to get you to try and buy your ranking. Stay away from these snake oil merchants and always keep your practices above board. SEO is typically a mid to long term strategy with no short cuts. It’s also one which pays off in dividends to those who invest in it and get it right.

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