SEO Keeping You In The Dark?
The techniques used for Search Engine Optimisation are constantly changing as search engines update their algorithms and fight the good fight against spam and those who try to cheat the system! There’s nothing worse than a page of content that doesn’t make sense and is just all about volume of key words – this is one of the techniques called “Black Hat” which are penalised by search engines. Effecting “White Hat” techniques properly over time will keep you climbing the ladder.
Like most things, it’s worth spending time up front planning and doing some research:
- What do your clients search for?
- What do you want them to search for?
- What do your competitors use for their key words?
- Think about long tail keywords that complement your broader search terms?
We’ve listed some tips below, but as the digital world is always evolving, these may well become outdated in a few years.
- Pick a maximum of 10 keywords that are important to your business.
- Pick one Per Page
- Ideally pick one page on your site per keyword to optimise.
- Make sure the content is useful, relevant to your keyword and a minimum of 300 words.
Ensure your keyword is in the following locations on this page:
- Page URL
- Beginning of the page title
- In the first paragraph of the copy
- Alt tags to images – search engines can’t “read” images, so the Alt Tag is the explanatory text
- Meta description – text that search engines display for a page
Make sure every page of your site is linked from another. Have a clear menu and make sure your content is easily navigated. Site maps are still important as well.
Get external sites linking to your site, whether they are suppliers, clients, blogs or social media accounts, as long as it’s relevant, it will improve your search engine ranking
FREE SEO TOOLS
There are some great free tools out there that will really help you get your head around SEO and to track and repair anything that may be affecting your SEO positioning.
This is a great tool for WordPress that will help you optimise your site with your keywords.
You can analyse every page, by typing in your ‘focus keyword’ in the Yoast box beneath your page/post content box in the admin area.
This tool will tell you if your keyword is in the following places:
- Article Heading
- Page title
- Page URL
- Meta description
And in the ‘Page Analysis’ tab, will tell you how to improve the keyword rating.
Yoast have an excellent in depth article that tells you everything you need to know to optimise your site.
As the leaders in internet related searches, it is very useful to embrace Google’s tools:
Google Webmaster Tools
We recommend always setting your site up on Google Webmaster. Here you can:
- See which parts of a site Googlebot had problems crawling
- Upload an XML Sitemap file
- Analyse and generate robots.txt files
- Remove URLs already crawled by Googlebot
- Specify your preferred domain
- Identify issues with title and description meta tags
- Understand the top searches used to reach a site
- Remove unwanted site links that Google may use in results
These tools enable you to monitor and optimise your site’s performance.
To understand more about your website traffic and where it is coming from, set your site up with a Google Analytics Account. From here you can see:
- how users reach your site
- the most popular content on your site
- the impact of optimisations you make to your site
For example – did those changes you made on your wordpress site using the Yoast tool improve traffic from search engines?
Keep up to date with SEO according to Google as they are the leaders in this field! Here’s a great guide from Google.
Updates and changes to your SEO strategy don’t happen over night and generally take a month or so to start showing results. Keep at it! Continue to check your site on Google webmaster, to update any broken links etc. Keep adding relevant content and linking to and from your site as well as using social media. Remember, SEO is just as important in your blog items as for your other website content.
If you use these free tools and bear these tips in mind, then you’ll be guaranteed to see an increase in your website traffic.