Is it enough to build a beautiful website and fill it with great content, video and images? Unfortunately, no it is not. Your website won’t work for you if no one can find it. Creating a search engine optimisation plan is important to improve your business’s web presence.
SEO is how search engines like Google find and rank your website. The search engines look for things like your site’s content, the keywords it contains and the pages linked to it, and uses them to decide how relevant a site is when someone searches for a keyword.
Reputable SEO Company, Magicdust says: ‘Google’s fundamental goal is to deliver the most valuable and relevant content for each search query’.
So how do you create that relevancy?
Here are five tips to get you started.
1. Quality Content Is King
Regularly publishing new content is important for SEO rankings—it’s great for updating keywords and keeping your site indexed. But it has another benefit as well: engaging content will earn you links via social media and website shares. Every link you receive from a credible source makes you more credible yourself.
Remember that the content should be organic. That means that rather than writing an article and trying to stuff in keywords, you need to write an article that flows naturally around those keywords. Google, which accounts for about 68% of searches, has changed its focus from keyword density to content quality, meaning you must as well.
When it comes to video and photos, alt tags (alternative text descriptions) tell search engines what your videos and pictures are referencing. You should always use alt tags when using these mediums.
2. Use Metadata
Metadata is one of those words that sounds complicated, but is really very easy. It’s the data that tells a search engine what your content is about. It includes your page title, URL, the short page description, tags and keywords.
You might have heard it’s important to have your keyword within the first few sentences of your page or post. This is because by default Google displays the first 160 characters of an article. But if you change this description in the Metadata field in your content management system, you can have it say whatever you want. A good meta description can significantly improve user click through rate, so it is important to update this and not just let it default to the first 160 characters of your text.
3. Get to Know Your CMS
Your CMS (content management system) usually has some SEO tools built in, as well as others that you can add as plug-ins. WordPress, one of the most popular website content management systems, offers a free tool called ‘SEO by Yoast’. Tools like these make it easy to create your Meta descriptions, setting tags and checking keyword density. They will even grade your article to show you how ‘Google Friendly’ your page is and offer suggestions on how you can make it better.
Good SEO doesn’t stop with plug-in tools. Simple things like using H1 and H2 tags, and highlighting topical areas of importance in your article and will help search engines determine what your article is about.
So learn how to use all the features of your CMS. It will make a huge difference.
4. Create Compelling Calls to Action
When your SEO efforts actually get someone onto one of your pages, you’ll want them to take an action. That means your page needs to be about whatever they were searching for. The ‘call to action’ plays a big part in this. One big mistake that many businesses make is having their call to action be a simple “click here.” This is neither compelling, nor does it promise any value.
Your call to action needs to describe what is going to happen when someone clicks on it. Better ideas are ‘get your free trial now’ or ‘register for the program’, which link to your free trial or program start page. Tell people where they are going when they click a link, rather than instructing them to just ‘click here’.
5. Set up Webmaster Tools (Google Search Console)
A Google Webmaster Tools account (now Google Search Console) helps you manage sitemaps and keep an eye on your stats. Google Webmaster Tools will allow you to see how many visits your page is getting, what keywords are driving people there and if there are any errors that you need to be concerned about. Another thing you can do within Google Webmaster Tools is submit your sitemap. This map tells Google how your website’s hierarchy is organised, which helps it index your pages more efficiently.
Google Webmaster Tools also show external sources that are providing links to your site—important information to have. Links from credible sources to your pages can improve your position in search results, but junk sites can hurt your rankings. Submit your site to industry specific directories in order to get these links, but make sure that you’re associating your website with the right sources. Spam sites that link back to your page will not help you.
SEO changes constantly. The things that work today might not work tomorrow. That’s why it’s important to stay up to date on SEO changes. These five tips will get you on the right path to boosting quality traffic and realising your site’s full potential today.