SEO or Search Engine Optimisation has been a vital cog in the digital world for some time. Although we’ve all probably heard so-called experts claim that SEO is unnecessary, it couldn’t be further from the truth. SEO is possibly one of the greatest marketing tools available, at least in terms of ROI.
Good on-site SEO combined with quality and relevant content distributed across your online channels will generate organic search results. Well, eventually it will! Successful organic SEO rankings don’t happen overnight; it takes time and effort.
Put simply, SEO is a marathon, not a sprint and it needs to do continuously. If you want immediate ranking results, consider paid search advertising but that’s a whole different story.
Search engines want to deliver trustworthy, relevant results when people search for information. That’s great for consumers and if you’re employing the right SEO tactics, then it’s great for business too. Here are our 5 top SEO tips anyone can, and should, use.
Improved Meta Titles and Descriptions
If you don’t yet understand the importance of Meta titles and descriptions in SEO, you’re in the right place. The Meta title and description is what search engines, like Google, show in the search results. Google will typically use your blog post headline and some of your text in the search results. Not personalising your Meta title and description could easily lead to truncated headlines and long-winded descriptions no-one wants to click.
Each page, post or product on your website should have unique descriptions. Keeping your Meta title between 140-150 characters is recommended, don’t add too many keywords and definitely don’t repeat the title.
Optimise Permalink Structure
Using a good URL is essential for visibility and social sharing. If visitors can’t easily read or identify with your URL, chances are search engines may also struggle. We’ve listed a few simple but important tips below:
- Keep URL’s simple and easy to understand and avoid long URL’s with irrelevant information
- Use hyphens between words (‘wsi-emarketing-seo-tips’)
- Avoid keyword stuffing at all costs and only use words that describe the content of the page
- Avoid capital letters in URL’s as they are case sensitive
- Use robots.txt to tell search engines to ignore dynamic URL’s pointing to your canonical URL
The most effective URL structure is only using 2-4 words. This way, the URL is easy to remember, quick to enter into the browser and optimised for search engines.
Increase Site Load Speed
It goes without saying that page load speed is a determining factor for many visitors and search engines. Maybe 10 years ago a slow website was acceptable but with modern day technology, design platforms and processing speed, it’s almost a cardinal sin. A slow loading web page could easily frustrate the UX (user experience) and discourage visitors from buying anything.
In fact, potential customers often see a slow website as untrustworthy and 40% will abandon a website if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load. Remove anything that’s slowing down your page, i.e. music players, flash graphics, large images and pointless plugins.
Use Backlinks With Relevant Content
Using backlinks is more important in SEO than most people realise. Writing good content is always the first step but other than that, it’s not really something you can control. You could ask people or companies which occasionally works but your time is probably better spent guest posting on other blogs.
Whichever way we look at it, inbound links are the lifeblood of a successful SEO strategy. Combining ‘dofollow’ and ‘nofollow’ links will give you a natural link profile that search engines will reward. Creating high-quality and engaging content really encourages people to link to you and share your content across social media networks. Quality always trumps quantity and rather post great content once a month than poor quality content every week.
Prioritise People Over Search Engines
Many bloggers and content writers are surprisingly still following the old keyword-focused SEO method driving search results. Instead, they should focus more on how visitors engage with a specific brand, product or service. The new SEO approach is all about ROI and reaping the rewards from creating engaging and valuable content.
For those who only use single keywords, it’s time to change your approach and capitalise on long-tail keywords. It’s the ideal opportunity to write for people who actually search for something instead of writing for search engines. Your content should always be aimed at helping someone instead of focusing on what search engines are after. In other words, write as if Google doesn’t exist and just like that, you’re SEO copywriting.
When you focus on people, you’re likely to write helpful content without any effort at all and search engines will reward you. Remember, search engines follow people and their online behaviour so quality content means improved user experience and ultimately leads to building audience trust.
Bonus SEO Tips
Although we’ve already mentioned our top 5 SEO tips in detail, we couldn’t just leave out the ones below.
- Include an xml sitemap to submit to search engines and then an html sitemap to help visitors find your content easier.
- Include a breadcrumb on all your internal pages as it greatly improves user experience and site navigation.
- Use proper SEO formatting in your text, i.e. H1, H2, BOLD, Italics and remember to use shorter paragraphs. White space is good as it improves readability.
- Add ‘Img Alt’ tags as without relevant text, images don’t add any context for search engines. Use important keywords in a short sentence to clearly describe the image.
One last tip is to always have a mobile-friendly website as more and more searches are done on mobile devices. Adhere to these important SEO tips and you are well on your way to create better content, generate more organic traffic and increase your revenue.
If you want to discover how AdaptiveSEO™ can work for your business, get in touch. Our SEO solutions include competitor analysis, keyword research, content audits and on-page optimisation.