When you’re just starting your business, the thought of trying to optimise your website for search engines can be daunting – especially if you don’t usually work with SEO. But SEO is important for any company’s online presence, regardless of size.
We’ve pulled together some of our top tips for getting started with SEO.
Website Structure and UX
Having a logically structured and easy to navigate website is key to boosting user engagement. Your User Experience (UX) is key in ranking well because users who visit your site want to move around the site with ease, so every page should be accessible through a link on at least one other page on your site.
Google’s algorithm uses the information it has gathered from searchers. So, low click-through-rates (CTRs) and high bounce rates mean bad Google rankings and bad performance in the SERPs (search engine results page).
Engaging and Shareable Content
One of the best ways to optimise your website for SEO is to create engaging and shareable content. When you’re creating content for SEO, there are a few key things to keep in mind.
Content with easy readability is highly favoured by search engines, so make sure your content is readable and includes a few key qualities:
Clarity: Stay on topic, answer the readers’ questions and give actionable advice.
Organisation: Start content with the main points and expand to add more depth as it goes on.
Logic: Follow a logical structure, have an introduction that sets out your argument then move on with logical paragraphs.
Simplicity: Have titles and subheadings that set your arguments, keep paragraphs short and simple and link to relevant sources that add more depth.
Speaking of keywords, it is important to research some keywords related to your business that you want to rank on Google for.
The first thing to do is to take these keywords and put them through a keyword tool like Google Keyword Planner. This will show you all sorts of data regarding searches for these keywords, for example, how often it’s searched, related keywords and competition.
You can also narrow your keywords by specific filters such as by competitor, season and region. By combining what you’ve learned from the keyword research with your content, you can rank better in the SERPs and improve your websites Domain Authority (DA).
Get on Top of Meta Data
Your site and content’s title tag and meta description are vital. The title is the clickable headline seen in SERPs, and the meta description is a 160-character “snippet” which describes the page. Your H1 tag is almost like a subtitle or one sentence blurb on the content page and its important for adding context to the title.
These give the visitor an insight about your business – if the metadata doesn’t engage the user, they may not click on your website. SEO sites like Moz and Yoast have guides you can use for creating the best meta title and description for tour content.
Backlinks are a great way to boost your site’s SEO and DA. What you want to be getting for your site are high-value backlinks. These links are ones that come from sites with a) a high DA and trust score, b) high relevance to your sector/content and c) no spammy outbound or inbound links.
To start getting these high-value backlinks, there are a few things you can do. Create unique content, do your keyword research, make connections with other sites in the same industry space, get on relevant directories and offer to write guest posts for other sites.
Local SEO helps make your business known in your local area and help drive local customers your way. Did you know that 46% of all Google searches are local, but that 56% of business still haven’t claimed Google My Business Listing? In case you weren’t aware, claiming and optimising your Google My Business profile is the foundation for localised SEO.
You should also get on top of your SiL (Service in Location) keywords. Do your research and find out what keywords people are using to find your business (service) in your area (location). Set up your business on listings outside of My Business, such as Bing Places and Apple Maps. Optimise your NAPs citations (Name, Address, Phone) citations so that when you’ get mentioned online, all your data is there at the user’s fingertips.