Your website is the online face of your brand. In many cases, it is where your customers will first encounter your business. The search process is a big part of customer discovery, and getting your website to the top of the search results should be an important part of your growth strategy.
While search engine optimisation can be as complex as delving into metadata and restructuring your website, there are plenty of simple tasks that can have a hugely positive effect on your search engine ranking.
Let’s get started…
Monitor your ranking
First things first. Find out where your website currently sits in the rankings. That way you can monitor the success of your SEO efforts going forward. There are several handy online tools you can use; try Alexa or Moz Rank Tracker.
If you have some kind of website analytics installed (such as Google Analytics or the inbuilt statistics in WordPress), it’s also worth noting the percentage of traffic that currently comes from search engines.
Including rich keywords throughout your website will form the backbone of your SEO strategy. There are a variety of keyword research tools and methods you can utilise, such as Moz Keyword Explorer and Google Adwords. However, putting yourself in your customers’ shoes and making an educated guess about the terms they might search for is a good start.
Use these keywords in page titles, URLs, image filenames and the body of your content. The key is to not go overboard, and to ensure that every keyword is relevant to and optimised for human enjoyment as well as search engines!
Link back to yourself
Within each page of your site, be sure to include relevant links to other pages (a related blog post or service, for example). This will not only boost your SEO, but it will encourage users to stay on your site for longer and drive traffic to other areas of your site.
Use clear URLs
When creating a new page for your site, pay attention to the URL you are assigning to that page. If the URL is a random combination of numbers and characters (such as www.yourwebsite.com/12&sgj81), this won’t give search engines or search engine users a lot of information about that particular page.
Use a clear, descriptive URL including relevant keywords (such as www.yourwebsite.com/basic-SEO-tips).
Add image descriptions
Don’t forget, search engines can only read text. So, when it comes to images, it’s up to you to give them as much information as possible to improve your SEO in general and boost the chance of your images appearing in image search results.
There are two easy ways to do this. First, ensure that your image files are named clearly with a descriptive, relevant name. Then, give each image ALT tag that also includes relevant keywords.
Post regular content
If search engines recognise your site as a source of valuable information, they will generally award you with a higher ranking. Maintaining a blog with a regular schedule of useful and relevant content is by far the best way to prove your worth.
Share on social media
Another key element of SEO is building a network of external links pointing to your site. Thanks to social media, getting your link out into the world wide web is pretty easy. You simply have to share your content regularly on social media and, with any luck, your followers will find it useful and share it with their network.
Want to find out more about SEO? Check out these tips for boosting the ranking of your video content!