SEO Top 12 Tips
Here at Influence IT, we believe that most things in life should be relatively easy. From using us to build your website, to online promotion of it through digital marketing, we’ve the tools and tips to help you achieve your goals. The same goes for your search engine optimisation (SEO). In case you hadn’t heard, SEO is a marketing strategy that is necessary for your business to be found online and can help attract more visitors to your website. In many cases, your organic traffic, meaning all the traffic that comes from search engines and that is not advertised, will be your biggest source of visitors. Even better: unlike the expensive organic aisle in the supermarket, this type of traffic is totally free.
We know, SEO is a challenging topic for most non-techies and small business owners. Being the avid IT user that you are, you probably already know the basics, you’ve checked out the free apps and services (you have, right?), listened to all the gurus at your networking events and are now ready to become an SEO master on your own? The only thing you’re missing are these crucial tips that will help you boost your ranking, obtain more visitors, and possibly more clients. Check out these 12 SEO tips that will get your website climbing Google’s echelons in no-time! If it’s still all gobbledegook, contact us and we’ll do it for you.
01. SEO Plug-ins
Although we do some IT magic in the background, you probably have access to your website through a console of some description? WordPress is one of the most common and Influence IT uses it for websites we create because its easy to use and our clients like it. There are a number of SEO plug-ins available for WordPress users and its really just a case of choosing the one with which you feel most comfortable. Most will ask you a few basic questions and ask you to fill in you keywords and/or tags and then they’ll be loaded ready for the Search Engines to find. Some plug-ins provide performance statistics on how well your SEO is working but if Google is your target, you’re better checking Google Analytics or, for Facebook, Insights.
02. Use long-tail keywords
Sounds like a slimy amphibian, but don’t worry, we’re just referring to keywords that contain more terms than average. Okay, let’s rewind. First, what are keywords? These two to five word phrases are what a searcher would type into a search box to find you, or a business like yours online. For example, if you’re the proud owner of a cupcake shop, you would want a searcher to enter the keyword ‘best cupcakes’ and find your website. However, this may be too difficult as these shorter keywords generate millions of results, making them much more competitive. If you use short keywords, your website may get lost in the Loch Ness of Google’s results.
This is why you need to ‘go long’. Try finding more precise keywords by adding your specialty and/or location. Looking at our cupcake example, you could go for gluten-free and vegan cupcakes in Brisbane’. The more targeted your keyword, the better as you’ll be able to attract the right audience and increase the chances of searchers clicking on your website from search results. Not sure how to choose your words? We can help.
03. Choose the right domain
If you haven’t already bought yourself a personalised domain, there’s no time like the present. You can easily get your own secure domain and connect it to your website. Not only is it an SEO best practice, it will give your biz the professional look it needs to compete online. Use the domain name for your email and you look super-professional in no time.
However, owning a domain isn’t enough, you’ve got to choose the right one. How to go about it? There are three things to keep in mind when taking the domain plunge. First, you want to keep it as short and catchy as possible to make the Internet browsers want to click when seeing your name. Second, your business name or area of expertise should be included, so that visitors can easily understand what you do. And lastly, it’s a great idea to include your main keyword, if possible. This may increase your chances for coming up in the search results for your chosen word. Not sure how to commit? Talk to us.
04. Write unique titles & descriptions
Filling in your metadata, i.e. your titles and descriptions, should be in your SEO 101 crash course. But if you want to be a grade A optimisation student, you need to write unique titles and descriptions not only for your homepage but for each one of your website’s sections and pages. Why is that? Using the same metadata may seem like your website contains duplicate content. This is ‘frowned upon’ by search engines, as they won’t know how to rank your pages.
Equally important is to write titles and descriptions that are catchy and attractive so that Internet people will choose your website, rather than another result. The more people click on your site, the better, as website clicks from search results are known to be associated with a better ranking. Want to know exactly how it’s done? Give us a shout!
05. Make it mobile friendly
We can’t avoid it, but the world is turning smartphone dependent. 50% of searches are done via mobile, and this number will only continue to grow. While we can’t stop it (and why would we want to?) the best thing to do is to ride the wave and to be prepared. It’s simple: if you want to succeed in the online jungle, having a mobile-friendly site is non-negotiable. Luckily, Influence IT websites come with a mobile friendly versions as standard.
06. Submit a sitemap
A sitemap is, in simple terms, a plan of your website. It shows how your different pages are connected to one another. Why do you need it? It’s useful to send a sitemap to search engines so that they can crawl your website more easily and quickly, which will improve your overall SEO. Basically, it’s just like when you check out a map before visiting a new city. One way to submit your sitemap is via Google’s Search Console. The process is a tiny bit technical, but worry as we are here to help you along the way.
Another, much easier way to submit your sitemap is by using Wix SEO Wiz. All you need to do is connect your domain and in a click, you can easily submit your sitemap. Yes, it’s that easy.
07. Go local SEO
Are you a local business owner? Then, you surely want to attract people in your surrounding area. More times than not, these people will actually be looking for you online.
This is exactly why you need to improve your local SEO. No need to stress, as we’ve got the top SEO tips to help you boost your foot traffic and get you on the map (literally). The best way to start is by claiming your business on Google My Business, and filling in your profile from head to toe. This way, your business can be found when searching on Google Maps.
08. Structure your site
This may seem like a step that is sometimes overlooked, but a good site structure is essential for your SEO. In addition to making it easier for search engine bots to crawl and understand hierarchy, it’s paramount for users to be able to peruse through your site freely. This can seriously help increase metrics such as: amount of pages visited and time spent on your website. And these are key elements search engines will factor in when deciding the fate of your ranking.
What do you need to do? Don’t you worry about a thing. Quikstart website templates automatically provide you with an optimal structure for your website. All templates come with an intuitive menu to make navigation on your site simple and intuitive. Plus, heading tags (these are SEO terms for headlines and titles) are all beautifully formatted in a way to give hierarchy to your page so that it looks and feels organised (and stunning). Remember when customising your menu to include all sections in a clear way so that all of your website content can be easily found. A visitor shouldn’t click more than twice to reach any other page of your website.
09. Describe your Images
A website without images is like a musical without the songs. It’s a fact, rich media such as photographs or images, enhance your website’s user experience. And you know what happy users means? That’s right, a strong SEO for your website. There is one minor problem though: Google and other search engines can’t see images like we do. This is why you need to add text to help them understand what’s on your photos, graphs and other pics. Adding these little textual descriptions will enable your images to be found on Google Image Search, which allows you to get even more traffic to your site. On top of this, search engines tend to perceive websites with optimised images as more polished and grant them with a better overall ranking. Remember, it’s important that you add unique and descriptive alt text to all of your images. It’s actually really easy to insert alt text for your images, but if you need help, contact us.
10. Write valuable content
If I could offer you only one tip for the future of your website, content would be it. Content is known to be one of the most important ranking signals when it comes to your website. And not just any content will work – it needs to abide by three conditions in order to achieve greatness. It’s got to be unique (not copied from anywhere), fresh (updated regularly) and valuable (readers can find on your website only). What’s the best way to achieve this? Start a blog! All you need to do is pick up a keyboard and start writing. To make sure your website stays fresh, Influence IT has a Content Management service.
11. Get more backlinks
Optimising your site is already a great start to your online success. But every website needs a little help from Internet friends to get by. What we mean is that, in order to really excel in SEO, you need to get so-called ‘backlinks’ to your website. Basically, these are links from external sites to your own. Being the most powerful ranking signal, this one is the hardest to achieve. Don’t worry though, we’ve strategies to achieve this for you.
Another way to get your name out there and attract attention from online peeps is social media. Although not as strong a signal, engagement on these channels is an indirect way to improve your SEO. For more information on keeping your branding consistent and growing your business through digital marketing, contact us.
12. Keep it up
And last but equally important: don’t rest on your laurels. SEO is all about continuous efforts to make sure you stay competitive online. This doesn’t mean that you need to redesign your ‘Home Page’ every day. But rather, understanding what works and what doesn’t will help you create even more valuable content. Which means that you should regularly measure your website’s metrics (time on page, number of visitors, from which countries, etc.).
SEO is an ever-evolving industry as algorithms are continuously updated and new research is done on a daily basis. What’s the best way to make sure you’re on top of your SEO game? Stay alert. To do this, subscribe to our blog for regular updates and tips on how to improve or establish your SEO strategy.
Ready to rock the SEO boat? First, contact a professional!
(Acknowledgement to Ruth Eschenheimer)