Clients often ask me how they can improve their search engine optimisation. They wonder how long it is going to be before they see their new website rise through the Google ranks so I thought I would write a post giving some advice.
I also set-up on page SEO for my clients which includes SEO friendly HTML code and meta tags (page titles and descriptions) and open graph SEO which improves the performance of your links on social media.
But what then? What can you do to improve your chances of rising up the Google ranks?
How to improve your SEO.
These tips may not make your website number one on Google, but they should help you move up a little.
1. Publish relevant content.
Quality content is the number one driver of your search engine rankings and there is no substitute for great content. Quality content created specifically for your intended user increases site traffic, which improves your site’s authority and relevance.
Identify a keyword phrase for each page. Think about how your reader might search for that specific page (with phrases like “web design in Ipswich” or “computer repairs in Woodbridge). Then, repeat this phrase several times throughout the page—once or twice in the opening and closing paragraphs, and two to four more times throughout the remaining content.
Don’t forget to use bold, italics, heading tags, and other emphasis tags to highlight keyword phrases, but don’t overdo it.
Never sacrifice good writing for SEO. The best pages are written for the user, not for the search engine.
2. Update your content regularly.
Regularly updated content is viewed as one of the best indicators of a site’s relevancy, so be sure to keep it fresh.
3. Have a link worthy site.
Focus on creating relevant links within the text. Instead of having “click here” links, try writing out the name of the destination. “Click here” has no search engine value beyond the attached URL, whereas “Read this post about Google’s mobile friendly update” is rich with keywords and will improve your search engine rankings as well as the ranking of the page you are linking to.
4. Social Networking.
Social networking sites can be a good way to promote a site, but it is unclear how much it will affect your rank directly. Google+ activity may have the most impact.
That said, you may find that a great deal of your traffic comes from social networks, so be sure to make your content social friendly. Add images and give your content interesting titles. Find out which social networks your customers use and concentrate on those.
If you are a local business then make sure you have a business listing on Google:
5. Make your images search engine friendly.
Give your images <alt> attributes. Not only does it make your website more accessible to the visually impaired, it also gives you another chance to place your keywords where Google can see them. Don’t stuff keywords that don’t belong as Google may penalise you.
6. Submit your website to Google.
Go to Google Webmaster and submit your website and sitemaps: https://www.google.com/webmasters. Sitemaps tell Google how to crawl your site by providing it with a map of your website.
How to check your search position in Google.
Do not submit your website to the numerous websites that claim to analyse your ranking position as Google may block these and the results will not be accurate.
1. Go through the search engine results manually.
This is the most tedious way to discover where your page is showing up in search. It still isn’t going to be 100% reliable, as different Google servers can deliver different results. But it does work.
If you have a Google account then make sure you are logged out of it or use an incognito window (in Chrome) before you search otherwise you may come up on the first page as Google uses your search history to give the result!
2. Use Google Analytics.
Google analytics tells you loads of useful information about the visitors to your site and where they have come from. Use it to measure how effective a blog post or social media campaign was for driving more traffic to your site.
3. Use Google Webmaster Tools.
If you go into the “Search queries” section of Google Webmaster tools for your site, you will see all the keywords that people used to find your site. When you click on the keyword you’re interested in, Webmaster tools will include the position in the search results.
There is no quick or easy way. It takes time and effort to improve your organic (free) ranking. Either that or consider paying an expert to do it for you.
Need a website that is SEO friendly?
I create responsive SEO friendly WordPress websites so if you are looking to invest in a new website or a re-design then I would love to hear from you.