1. SEO stands for ‘search engine optimisation’.
‘Search engine optimisation’ is the group of practices designed to improve your website’s ranking within organic, non-paid search results. In short, SEO aims to improve your business’ visibility and drive increased web traffic to your site. A variety of techniques are in the SEO toolbox, from keyword optimisation to social media activity.
2. Choose your keywords with care.
A big part of SEO is keyword optimisation but the first step in that process is figuring out the right keywords to emphasise on your website. The ideal keywords are relevant to your business, tie in with your site’s content and be frequently searched for by your potential customers while not widely in use by other websites.
3. Do not make your site too keyword-heavy.
The use of the right keywords is important but using too many keywords can actually hurt your search engine ranking. Placing too many keywords on your website will cause your site to be regarded as spam by search engines and the spiders that search engines use to index sites are programmed to pass over websites that engage in ‘keyword stuffing’.
4. Images won’t help improve your search results unless you use ALT tags.
Search engines are only capable of analysing text to determine website rankings. Even if the images on your site have text in them, the search engine spiders are not be able to ‘read’ it. To get around this, make really good use of the alternative text tag, known as ‘ALT tag’, which allows you to include a searchable text description for your website’s images. This is a really effective way of improving your search engine results.
5. Pay-per-click advertising has no effect on SEO.
Pay-per-click advertising (or PPC) can be an important part of online marketing and is often seen as complimentary to SEO but PPC has no direct effect on SEO results. Think about it this way: PPC is a type of paid advertisement, while SEO aims to influence organic search results.
6. Content is king. Especially if it is added to, fairly often.
Search engines are smarter now and the right keywords, which used to be enough to move your website to the top of the search results, aren’t enough by themselves. High-quality web content is needed for the search engines to think you are worth sending visitors to. It is also necessary for attracting links from other websites.
7. Internal linking within your site will help boost your search engine standing.
Building in internal links within your website as you build and grow your website can help boost traffic to all of your site’s pages, which in turn helps improve search engine rankings. You can make internal linking even more effective by ensuring that the text of your links include relevant keywords.
8. Links from other sites to your site are key.
Links from other people’s websites play a really important part in the algorithms used to determine search engine rankings. Spend time to building relationships with the owners of other sites who may be willing to link to your business’ site can be really effective.
9. Social media plays a critical part in an SEO campaign.
Having a strong social media presence and marketing your website’s content on these platforms will help your website come up higher in search engine rankings. Look at alternatives to Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn to see if your industry/subject has more relevant social media channels.
10. While hiring an SEO expert can help you achieve the best results, there is a lot you can do every time you update your site.
Getting good results from an SEO campaign takes time and effort. If you follow the steps above, you’ll see your site climb up the results pages. However, you have a business to run and your time might be best spent doing that and not keyword research.
Search engine results are, for the most part, crucial to any business finding leads or customers online. Would you like to know more about it? Get in touch or join this autumn’s SEO workshops in Danderyd (north Stockholm).
Monday morning marketing idea
Search engines absolutely love good quality content but they react even more so to the latest content – recent articles, page content, images and films. Assuming you have your website optimised for search engines (check that you have keywords on each page and that your images have alternative text so computers can read what is in them), each new piece of content will boost your visibility to searchers.
The same applies to your website (and everything else that faces outwards to your potential customers). Thankfully, it is possible to find out all about your website visitors, from where they came from to whether they read down to the bottom of your pages. Or not.
Google’s website tracking system, Analytics, is immensely clever, entirely free and using it to understand all about your website users is crucial to making the right business decisions.
Why? Because you can see immediately what works and what doesn’t for turning website visitors into clients/customers and then do more of what works and drop what doesn’t. It is that simple. Check out our guide to find out more:
Don’t have analytics set up yet?
Here is a great (short!) video from Google about getting analytics set up on your website:
Do you use Analytics? What do you think of it? What do you get stuck with? Tell us below.
Monday morning marketing idea...
Frequent, fresh content engages your potential customers, builds links that bring in more potential customers and Google loves it, so it will send you even more potential customers. If you have advice to give, try creating an infographic using a template online or free creation service such as Canva or Venngage. Everyone loves a good image/graph/chart!
Find our thoughts on everything to do with small business marketing here.