It’s easy to become confounded when thinking about how to SEO your website, how to optimise for all the 200+ ranking factors that Google uses within its algorithms, but there’s a lot you can do without any expert knowledge or SEO strategy.
Below I’ve compiled 14 SEO tips to help everyone from small startups to multi-national companies improve their SEO efforts.
These SEO tips for beginners are simple and easy to implement, without the need for a degree in marketing or coding.
Content is King
If time is precious and you need to know what’s the best thing to focus your time on, it has to be content! Content is what drives the internet and Google loves it. But it can’t be any boring content. It has to be amazing content that people what to read and hopefully share. If your content is good enough and people love it by sharing it all over social media, then you have hit SEO gold by building links. Google will reward your amazing content by pushing you up the rankings. Creating content isn’t easy to make and you won’t hit the jackpot every time, but if you research your topic and try to add to it, maybe revisit it every few weeks to see what can be added, you might just do it.
Write Longer, Deeper Content
Like I said above, Google loves content., but don’t be thinking a few lines of text is going to be breaking any records for traffic. Can you fully explain a topic in 200 words? Google thinks not. So look to hit 500 – 1000 words
Don’t Copy, Make better
Now we know Google loves content, you this might start to think about borrowing someone else’s content… Don’t! Google knows and sees everything, and doesn’t like it. Why would Google show your content if it’s just been copied, they will just show the original.. unless you can make it better! If you find a piece of content that’s 500 words long and is being shared loads and getting loads of links, think to yourself, Can I make this better? If you can do it.
Set Up all the Social Profiles
This is a really easy one. To gain some free backlinks to your site. Spend 30mins and fill out all the details possible for all the major social networks. So Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc Even though these links are nofollow, they still build a connection and tie for Google to think that you are something!
Use Simple URLs
URLs are often overlooked but are incredibly important for SEO and usability. Sometimes it’s the first thing people will see of your website, so you need to make sure it looks pretty. Ask yourself, Would I know what this page is about just from reading the URL, if you can’t, then re-write it. Try adding the main keyword you’re trying to focus the page on and try and keep it sort, under 70 characters if possible.
Think Topics, Not Keywords
Google has tried to move away from keywords and keyword stuffing pages. Thanks to RankBrain and more recently the BERT updates, Google uses NLP technology to see the context and relationships between words. This allows pages to rank for searches that you haven’t even optimised for, but are to do with the same topic. When optimising your pages, think about synonyms of words.
1 page, 1 topic
To be able to maximise the impact of a page, try and focus the page on one topic. This will allow the page to be far more focused and hopefully be ranked for multiple search terms with your chosen topic. So for example, if your page is talking about doughnuts, keep in on-point using words and synonyms like doughnuts, dough, sugar-coated, cream-filled and any other words connect to that topic. It wouldn’t make any sense to the user and especially Google if you mentioned ‘car tyres’ within the page copy.
Name All Your Image Files
Google can’t see images, all it see’s is the code which makes up the images. So why not help Google to understand what the image is. Remove any non-meaningful characters and call the file what it is about, So if its a photo of the Eiffel Tower, call it Eiffel-Tower-Paris.jpg
Use ALT tags
If you have vision impairments, you will use a screen reader to help navigate a webpage. The screen reader will use the image ALT tag to help describe what the image is about. Google also uses this tag to help understand what the image is and its relationship it has with the page. So fill out your ALT Tags an SEO boost.
Slim Down Your Files
Got the latest iPhone? Image files sizes are huge thanks to the amazing image quality these latest phones give you. Just uploading these files to your latest blog is bad news. Large files sizes are bad for SEO. Google loves fast loading pages. So optimise your file sizes by reducing the size to allow your webpages to load as quick as possible.
Update Your Regularly
Search engines love fresh content on a website that is kept up to date. Think about it, it looks a lot better to a user than a site which uses old designs and out of date content on a site that takes ages to load. Be critical, Think about how your site looks, does it look like it could do with an MOT to bring it out of the dark ages and up to speed.
Get a Sitemap
Most websites CMSs like WordPress, produce a sitemap automatically. A sitemap is a page hidden from normal users that shows all the pages within your website. To allow search engines like Google to index all your page, make sure you add the sitemap to Search Console.
Think User, not Robot
Now I know Google is just a machine, buts its clever! It understands peoples behaviour and its learning more every day. It knows when you are just trying to make content to matches it’s ranking algorithms and not for users. If you do this, it might work at first, but as Google learns more about you, your website and your users it will start making changes to how its seen in the search results pages. To fix this, think about how users use your website. Is it easy to navigate?, is the text easy to read?, Does it make sense? or is just filled with keywords. How does it look on mobile? Make sure your site is a dream to use, with amazing content, which is easy to read and Google will reward you.
Link to Your Own
The easiest things to change are what you have control over, like your website. You have all the access you need to add some links to your website, from your pages. These internal links can be very powerful. Just go to your web page, read the content. Does any part of the content enable itself to be linked to another part of the site that makes sense? So for example, on this blog page image talking about “Easy Steps for SEO”, so it makes sense to a user to link to the SEO Service page on the website. This also makes sense to Google. Do this across your website, on every page. Don’t go crazy but a few links per page can have big SEO benefits. Just make sure to mix up your anchor text and keep an eye out for any broken links.
If you would like to know more about how Barques can support you with search engine optimisation, just drop us a line or call in and see us.
SEO / Digital Account Manager