SEO is a crucial activity for anyone involved in website design and development. It’s essential to understand SEO, before looking at how to implement and improve your website. SEO, or Search Engine Optimisation, is the process by which website traffic is maximised by ensuring that the site appears as close to the top of search results as possible in Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) in Google or Bing. By reaching a higher position in SERPs, internet users are more likely to see and click on your site links, visit your website and leading them down your sales journey, giving you an opportunity to convert them into paying customers. However, it can be difficult to utilise SEO strategies properly, and they can present a steep learning curve for anyone new to website development and management. As such, here a few easily actionable SEO tweaks and tips that can really help to boost your website rankings, quickly and easily:
1. Keyword optimisation
The easiest way to increase your search ranking is by using keywords properly. Not only does your website content need to include your specific keywords, but it is important to utilise these keywords across your page content. Decide on a main focus for your page and the associated keywords that people are searching for to ensure your site is displayed. Include keywords in key areas of the page content, for example in your page title – this is the heading displayed in search results; in image names and image alt tags – search engines can identify the image content by reading the image name and its associated alt tag to enforce the keyword; in the body copy and of course in the page URL – which is also displayed in the search results and used to classify the focus of the page. Not only will this help the search engine algorithm find your pages easier, but it will also help the website user navigate your page with greater ease.WARNING: Don’t get tempted into the practise of keyword stuffing – this is where you add the keyword in as many times as you can into a single sentences. Google frowns on this and has an example of what not to do in its search console help :
We sell custom cigar humidors. Our custom cigar humidors are handmade.
If you’re thinking of buying a custom cigar humidors, please contact our custom
cigar humidor specialists at firstname.lastname@example.org.
2. Use linguistic modifiers
Linguistic modifiers are words like ‘best’, ‘cheap’, ‘top’, and other such common noun prefaces. They will frequently be used by people when using search engines, and by including these words in your website content, you can help to capitalise on these searches. Equally, the use of these words can really help you sell your products; ‘best telecommunications solutions’ sounds far better than ‘telecommunications solutions’, and is far more likely to elicit a positive result from potential clients. In a recent update to Google’s search algorithm, nicknamed the ‘medic update’ by respected SEO writer, Barry Schwartz, directly illustrated how the language used on your website is directly related to search queries and results that will be shown in search results. In this update Google focused on ‘intent’ in an attempt to show results that better match the intent of the searcher in the search. Basically asking the question on behalf of the searcher ‘Are they looking to buy or to discover’ and then making the judgement for the searcher and then presenting sites that it (Google) believes match the intent and demonstrate the correct qualities to meet the intent. All very detailed and sometimes confusing ‘stuff’ but illustrates that your content needs to match search queries and illustrate the importance by using linguistic modifiers.
3. Get positive reviews
Not only do keywords count when returning results, but search engine algorithms also consider website, social and product reviews too – by having top rated reviews on your website, you are more likely to be higher ranked and found by your buyers. It is important to add a testimonials and reviews page to your site and if relevant feds from any review sites such as Trustpilot, Google Reviews, Facebook recommendations (Facebook updated it’s business page reviews in August 2018 to become ‘recommendations’ to make it easier to recommend a business on Facebook). Not all companies can get reviews on third party sites, but every company can get customer endorsements. If you don’t already have one, encourage your customers to leave favourable comments and regularly update your testimonials page.
Endorsements are so important to power your online marketing and sales through SEO when you know that:
- 84% of B2B buyers are now starting the purchasing process with a referral – Harvard Business Review
- Peer recommendations are influencing more than 90% of all B2B buying decisions – Accenture, Online Product Research
Don’t be afraid to ask for a referral, SaaSquatch Data Science found that “83% of consumers are willing to refer after a positive experience”. So ask and publicise to maximise your SEO.
4. Meta Descriptions
Every page on your website should have a unique meta description it’s what search engines display in the SERP underneath the title to explain to searchers what they will find when they click. If you don’t add a meta description then Google/Bing will attempt to create one for you which may be good, HTML code or non-existent due to the formatting of the page. If you take control and write a compelling marketing description, you know that when your page is displayed in the SERPs the key selling points will be displayed and drive visitors to your website. The search engines also know that you are taking time to correctly describe the page contents and will adjust your SEO accordingly.
5. XML Sitemaps
Google indexes your website to build it’s SEO recommendations. Having a sitemap.xml file on your site with all pages doesn’t force Google to search but it tells Google that the pages listed in the sitemap are pages you believe are important to display as landing pages for quality responses to searches. Sitemaps are submitted to Google using the Google Search Console XML sitemaps can be created using an array of online resources such as XML Sitemaps which creates the sitemap and shows you how to upload or if you have WordPress by installing an SEO plugin that manages sitemaps for you such as Yoast SEO (our preferred plugin of choice for WordPress SEO).
SEO tweaks and tips – where to find out more
SEO management and Google/Bing requirements change, update and evolve on a weekly basis. If you’d like help keeping on top of SEO and maximising your search potential, please get in touch. We manage SEO for our clients and having worked in the online marketing space since 1988 we have built up valuable SEO experience. SEO can set you apart on Google & Bing search results don’t miss out on the opportunities.