As a recent guest speaker at the Acorn Talks Business networking meeting in Rosyth, I was asked to share some of my top SEO tips in relation to moving up the Google search results page and becoming more visible to potential customers.
What is search engine optimisation?
Search engine optimisation is all about the key ranking factors that affect your website in terms of both on page and off page SEO. When you search for something on Google, your search results consist firstly of pay per click adverts on top and on the right hand side, followed by the organic search results. You will also get local search results if you search for a business specific to where you’re located, and this position usually gets roughly 40 per cent of the clicks. If you want to be found, it’s important to be in the top three positions just below the ads.
You don’t have to pay for Google ads!
Rather than using pay per click adverts, I specialise in getting people to the top page of Google using SEO. The keywords you pick are really important to start with, and if you know your website goals and you know what products and services you sell, you’ll have an idea of the keywords your customers will be searching for. It’s vital to find out what people are searching for, so I recommend writing down a list of your keywords if you’re either starting a website or are going back to look at your SEO strategy, and the free Google Keyword Planner is useful for this. You can find out how many searches a particular keyword or keyword phrase gets every month, what the competition is and also how much it costs per click on Google Ads.
Is your site mobile ready?
When you’re setting up your website, remember that it needs to be mobile friendly, because over 80 per cent of people are now using tablets and mobile phones to browse the internet. You will need to take into account the interface of your website and how fast it loads up so that it’s user friendly for mobiles.
Compelling and shareable content
It’s really important to have a lot of compelling content on your website so that people interact with your site as well as comment and share, and you can do this by creating a blog and updating it regularly. Remember to keep the rest of your website up to date and active as well, particularly if you’re expanding or changing your products and services. Back links to your website are also essential, and the more websites your URL is linked from – business directories, for example – the higher Google will rank your website.
The more shares your website gets, the better, so if you’re updating your blog regularly you can include social sharing buttons which allow your audience to share your articles and videos on social media. If your blog post is shared on a website or a social media platform with a lot of traffic, you’ll get traffic as a result, and the more websites you’re on, the better chance you’ve got of getting website visitors yourself. Every time you create a blog post with new content, it gives you more of a chance to rank on different search results in Google.
On page SEO
These are the things you can do to your website itself, including your title tag and meta description. The title tag is simply the title of your website, so once you’ve done your keyword research and you know what your potential customers are searching for, that’s the most important place to put your top keywords. The meta description is part of the HTML element of your site that describes your page to search engines, so your keywords should be included here as well.
When buying a domain name for your website it’s worth trying to obtain one that contains some of your important keywords. You can also fit keywords into the URL of your blog posts to drive relevant traffic in your direction. The maximum number of keywords or phrases I normally use is 12, as the more keywords you try to target, the more you’ll be diluting your chances of getting to number one for a specific term. Try and focus more on a small market or a long tail keyword, meaning phrases of three or four words rather than one or two. Keywords can also be added to alt tags in images and when you’re uploading images to your website you can rename the image files to put your keywords in there too.
Off page SEO
Link building can help your search results, so it’s worth entering your back link on as many appropriate directories and forums as possible. This can also be done by adding your URL to your biography on social media profiles and business pages. Commenting on blogs can also back link to your site, but make sure it’s relevant to the topic under discussion. Comment sections often also give you the option to enter the URL of your website address.
When you’re creating your blog, make sure you’re sharing it and distributing it across the web on all your social media profiles. I recommend creating as many profiles as you can purely for the back link alone, even if you’re not going to use them. A good way to share is by using the Buffer app, and you can use this to add your URL and share the description you use for all your social media profiles. You can also link Facebook and Twitter together to post the same content to both platforms should you choose to do so.
Another thing you can do to promote your website is to post videos on YouTube. Because Google and YouTube are partners, Google promotes and helps YouTube, so when you create a video you can add your title tags and send links to the video itself. This helps the video rank on the first page of Google as well, and if you set up the video by putting the keywords in the title tag and the description and keyword tags, you can get two positions on the first page. You can also put your website link into the description to create back links, then you can send links directly to the video’s URL. When you share the video you can also use the URL to share on social media.
Any questions? Please feel free to leave a comment below and I’d be happy to help with any queries or suggestions.