SEO is tricky to master – this is a known fact in the world of digital marketing! But, when it’s done right and in a way that suits an individual business it can significantly improve website ranking, making it an extremely powerful tool in boosting search presence, traffic and conversions.
We know what we’re talking about…so we’ve come up with a handy list of key actions to take right now to improve your SEO.
1. Get the fundamentals – Google Analytics and Webmaster Tools
You cannot make valuable decisions about your website without first understanding how your customers interact with it. Installing Google Analytics should be key in any SEO strategy. This way you can find out detailed information about website visitors such as demographics, interests, geographical location, behaviour and device used. Once you gather and analyse this key info, you can then make educated recommendations based on how your visitors are behaving and consider the specific pages users are landing on. Make sure you are tracking conversions and the channels those converting visitors are coming from. These are really valuable details that will inform key decisions about your website going forward.
2. Keyword research and analysis
This is another core SEO tactic that is evolving. It is no longer about using ‘buzzwords’ with a ‘the more, the merrier’ attitude. Instead, relevancy and value of keywords go hand in hand; they should integrate naturally into your site’s content. Do an audit of your page titles, meta descriptions, image alt text and heading tags and work out if they are motivating users to visit.
3. Content is key, lots of content is king
Short snippets of content on your website is not going to cut it. You need to think bigger…and think of the relevant website content that will garner more visits. Kick your content writing into gear and aim for good chunks of quality writing that your visitors will actually want to read. Aim for 500 words. Get creative!
4. Do a content audit and ensure brand voice is engaging
Keyword integration and good, detailed content are so important. In fact, when implementing your keyword research and writing your content, you should always have your customer in mind. Make sure that is what drives you. A content audit is a great way of stepping back and reviewing your brand voice. It should be consistent and add value.
Users today hate spam. Anything that reads like spam will be ignored. And Google thinks so too. Don’t bombard your website with keywords, because search engines don’t like that. Instead, give your content a new lease of life by doing some research into your customer. You can even try social listening tool such as Hootsuite or Buffer – find out what they talk about and what they want, and use that information strategically in your content.
5. Internal linking
This is a simple concept. Internal links go from one page on a domain to a different page on the same domain. This is important for your website’s usability and navigation. You want customers to easily be able to find the important information that they will be looking for on your site. Internal links establish information hierarchy. This way, search engines know which of your pages should be grouped together.
In a nutshell – pages with more links directing to them are deemed more valuable. So, try linking from landing pages to key information pages so as to improve their relevance on your website.
6. Check those backlinks
You know what they say, quality over quantity. Backlinks tell search engines that a trustworthy site deems your website trustworthy too. This is a powerful tool. Some buy backlinks, but a word of warning, they may not be worth it and they may actually make your website less trustworthy. Instead, it makes more sense to make use of your network. This could simply mean contacting clients and arranging a mutually beneficial agreement – “You link to me, I’ll link to you”. Simple as that! Basically, always keep an eye on the quality of your backlinks – you want a high MozRank and a high Domain Authority. You can use free online tools such as Moz and ahrefs to check your backlinks.
7. But don’t forget to link out!
As mentioned above, you have to develop good relationships with other organisations so that you can build a bank of great backlinks. So, link to other high quality sites too. Align yourself with organisations you want to be associated with, such as those with great content or those that are socially responsible. Plus, this shows you to be a trustworthy source – ensure you are an educator and become a useful resource for your customers. Add value!
8. Remember the NAP listings
This is a simple but important point. SEO happens off-site too. Name, Address and Phone Number (NAP) are simple bits of information that must be correct and clear, especially for local businesses. Directories must be consistent for search engines to rank you well.
9. Keep up to date. Things change…all the time
At this stage, it’s well known that updates and changes to the Google algorithm happen all the time. It can be difficult to stay up to date. Like when SSL certificates and mobile compatibility became important in ranking. Or in October 2019, when Google updated their algorithm to support the BERT natural language processing (NLP) model, which helps Google better interpret natural language searches and understand context. This should have a knock on effect on your content; you should think about writing in a more human and natural way, more like how a person would actually speak in real-life conversation.
Google decides what is ‘best practice’ for SEO. Keep an eye on those sorts of updates so that your website ranking is affected. Here’s a useful site to keep you ahead of the game with those updates: https://moz.com/google-algorithm-change.
10. Keep the integrated user experience in mind always
SEO is extremely important for your website’s ranking, however alone it will not magically transform your online presence. SEO is another cog in an effective digital marketing strategy – user experience and web design are also key to ensuring customers enjoy a seamless, user-friendly visit and shopping experience. Your content marketing also needs to fall into line with a user-focused strategy, as does your social media marketing.
A full audit of your digital presence and the overall ‘user experience’ of your business will enable you to identify strengths and weaknesses and develop a strategy. It is clear that all touchpoints must be explored so that businesses can satisfy customer needs and be successful in the long run.
If your company requires support with boosting your online presence please Contact Us to discuss how we can help you, on Dungannon 028 3754 9025 or Belfast 028 9002 5050.