- Having an online presence is essential for all businesses today, but it's only one part of the puzzle. Whether you're a large enterprise or a sole trader, if you want your business to thrive, your website needs to be seen by your target audience.
- Paid advertising might get your business out there to some extent, but SEO is the most powerful strategy to organically generate leads and drive traffic to your site.
- For businesses that don't have the resources to hire an SEO agency, there are 10 techniques you can start implementing today to improve your website's SEO.
To be successful in business today, you need an online presence – it lends your company authenticity; it provides customers, clients, and other consumers with valuable insight into what you offer; and it makes you much more competitive. This is true whether you are a huge international enterprise, a small or medium-sized business or a sole trader.
But having an online presence is only one part of the equation.
Your website needs to be seen.
Even the best, most beautifully designed website will be useless to you if it is not being seen by the right audience at the right time. This is where SEO comes in.
What is SEO?
SEO, or search engine optimisation, is a complex set of actions and parameters which improve a website’s rankings on Google and other search engines. It includes keyword research, backlink building and on-site optimisation of your website.
SEO takes time, expertise, and ideally, a commitment to effectively undertake a full SEO campaign. This can only be achieved by a dedicated, professional SEO expert. There are, however, numerous things you can do to improve your site’s optimisation for search engines to help boost your visibility online.
How do I improve SEO on my website?
There are many possible ways you can boost your site’s ranking on Google, but here we present 10 effective ways to start improving SEO on your website:
- Optimise for mobile
- Improve your site's loading speed
- Use keywords
- Publish high-quality, relevant and unique content
- Use header tags
- Keep your site dynamic
- Include metadata
- Create relevant links
- Optimise images
- Describe your visuals using alt tags
1. Optimise for mobile
The majority of online searches are now conducted via a mobile device, and this is the way of the future -from information sourcing to bookings to eCommerce. Your website must be optimised for mobile – both Android and iOS smartphones and tablets, as well as for traditional laptops and desktop computers.
2. Improve your site’s loading speed
Nothing is more frustrating than visiting a website which loads and runs slowly. Internet users have a very short attention span, and the next alternative is just the click of a mouse or swipe of a screen away. 40% of visitors will leave a site if it has not loaded after three seconds, and 80% will not return. Ensure your site loads quickly and runs smoothly.
3. Use keywords
SEO relies on keywords. You need to identify, select and target specific keyword phrases for every page on your site. These are based on what consumers will most likely use as search terms for what you offer. They should be specific, location-based (for at least some), and placed in your title, H1 tag and within your content.
It's important to avoid keyword stuffing, i.e. using too many of the same keywords on one page, as this can be flagged up by Google and jeopardise your rankings.
4. Publish high quality, relevant and unique content
To rank on Google, you must have textual content on your site. Your home page and landing pages require at least 350 words of unique, relevant content which is well-written and of high value to your audience. It should comply with your brand identity, suit your target audience and inform your audience about your offering.
5. Use header tags
Break up your content with headings to make it easier to read and to improve SEO rankings. The first of these headings on a page is the H1 tag, and it is most important. It should include your keyword phrase for that page.
6. Keep your site dynamic
Google loves a dynamic website. After all, if you can’t be bothered putting effort into your site, why would Google bother to rank it highly? Regularly update your onsite content to keep it fresh and relevant.
The simplest way to achieve this is with an onsite blog which you publish new content to weekly (ideally), fortnightly, or, at the very least, monthly. You should also audit your site’s overall content at least once or twice per year to ensure it remains relevant and fresh.
7. Include metadata
Metadata (title, description) for each page should be included when designing your site. Your meta titles and descriptions should feature your target keywords or phrases and be of optimal length.
8. Create relevant links
Links should be included within your onsite text – link directly from your keyword phrases and link to your relevant landing pages. Links should have a descriptive anchor text. You should also use social media to link back to your page – this is another way your blog reaps rewards. Publish it to your social platforms with a link back to your website.
9. Optimise images
Images are as important on your site as text – they captivate the audience, provide visual appeal and can improve your SEO ranking. They need to be optimised in terms of quality, file format and size.
10. Describe your visuals using alt tags
Describe your images and video media using alt tags (alternative text descriptions). Use these descriptors to optimise for your target keywords.
While it’s true that paid advertising may have a place in getting your business profile out there, SEO is a powerful tool for organically generating new leads and getting people to your website – and ultimately converting customers.
You can’t afford to NOT adapt to and adopt an SEO strategy.
Have you implemented any of these SEO techniques? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
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