Follow our quick reference guide to getting started on the basics of SEO to ensure your website is performing to its best ability.
When we talk about search engine results – we are really talking about Google. There are many search engines out there but Google lead the field and they want you to use their analysis tool – Google Analytics.
Go to Google Analytics and follow instructions. You may need the help of a developer depending on how your site has been built.
This will allow you to measure and report on the volume of site traffic, where they come from and where they are looking at the most basic level. Google analytics includes lots more fascinating and useful information but to start with this is what you need to know to gain insight.
What do you do? Sounds simple but often we are so close to our business that we omit the obvious descriptive words that a layperson may use when searching for your product or service. For example – you know you supply top end EPOS solutions – your potential customers are searching for tills.
Google analytics provides a useful tool to show you what it thinks you want to be found for. Webmaster tools will generate a report highlighting your current keywords. This can be very useful and form the basis for your research.
Once you have your basic list there are tools to offer suggestions and long tail key phrases. This allows you to pinpoint exactly what you do and make your site available to people looking for these services. It also limits the field in terms of competition to be ranked higher. For example – ‘pet food’ will be incredibly difficult to gain good rankings for. Whereas ‘grain free pet food Cheshire’ will be much less competitive and more likely to reach the right person.
Keywords within the site
You’ve got a list of 50 key words and phrases – how do you use them?
Ideally your URL should include your keyword, plus your page heading, title, image alt tag and body copy should mention it several times. The copy needs to be natural and flow well. Google is not fooled by keyword stuffing and will penalise accordingly via algorithm updates.
Google performs regular updates to their algorithms, which are used by
Google Search to rank websites in their search engine results.
Take a look here for a full rundown of Google’s updates from Moz
You will not see as many poorly written page titles due to these updates – for example ‘Decorator Cheshire Decorator Staffordshire Decorator Shropshire ‘ would at one time have worked well – now a better written title of ‘Experienced decorator Cheshire’ will gain more traction.
Content is king. Cliché? Yes. True? Yes.
Google wants to offer users the best possible experience. In a split second Google spiders search your site and decide if your website fulfils the need of the user. If your content is weak or thin it will move on. A page of well-crafted copy needs to include your keywords, link to relevant pages across your site and to third parties (where appropriate) and be over 2000 words. This can be hidden in a read more tab in order to maintain the aesthetic of the site.
The inverted pyramid is an effective method of writing good SEO copy. Start with what the user wants to know – who, what, when, where, how. Move on to facts revealed in order of importance, then quotes and important information and summarise to close.
Websites that are slow to load, contain huge images and broken links do not offer a good user experience, so will be penalised by Google.
There are lots of free tools available that will perform a simple check on your website and highlight any erroneous areas. We like –
Screaming Frog SEO Spider – a desktop program you can install locally on PC, Mac or Linux which crawls websites’ links, images, CSS, script and apps to evaluate onsite SEO.
Fetch as Google – enables you to test how Google crawls or renders a URL on your site
Check My Links – ensure that your links on a webpage – whether external or internal – actually work
Implementing these simple changes will not put you on page one of Google, they will lay the foundations of a well optimisedwebsite that will begin to yield higher returns.
Contact us for a free of charge SEO on page report and keyword ranking assessment.