The simple SEO steps to get you started
SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is all about helping people find your site as easily as possible. Essentially, we are trying to do what we can to work with the Google algorithm. The algorithm is the way that Google programs their search functionality and it decides whether you appear on the first page or not. There are lots of easy ways to make sure that your website is as accessible as possible for Google and, just as importantly, for your customers and visitors!
Be real, natural, and write for people, not optimisation.
Google are smart. They have evolved their search algorithm (the machine that decides what results to show in a Google search) to punish businesses who try to ‘stuff’ their websites with too many keywords. Your SEO aim can be easily summarised in one sentence; write content for your audience, the way they speak, about what you are good at and what you know. Share what you do well and explain why you do so.
Take a step back and look at your business and the way you plan to attract customers to decide which keywords you want to focus on. Think about what people would be typing into Google to find you. Try to think at a deeper level about what questions people would type here. What are the problems or frustrations that you would solve for them?
The technical bits: Page titles and headings, in-links, alt-tags, XML sitemaps and URL structure.
Don’t underestimate how effective it can be to use your target keywords in all elements of your page or article. Consistency is key and, if the keywords naturally belong there, your page will rank higher in a search. These are all elements that you can do yourself when updating your website if you’re a bit tech-savvy. If you aren’t comfortable doing this yourself, there are plenty of virtual assistants who do these things well!
Think about your domain name.
The best time to do this is before you buy it! It’s never too late to look at a new domain, though. The reasons you may want to do this include:
- If your domain is too similar to your competitors’
- If your domain is similar or the same as a very popular brand, movie, person or another topic that gets searched a lot
- If your domain makes you sound like you do something else (ie. using the word security when your business is not in that industry)
- If your domain is too long and hard to remember
- If you have changed your business name
It’s important to consider the SEO implications of changing your domain name. If you have a high level of trust and your Google results are very high, it may take a few months to get back to this position with a new domain.
You should be updating your website regularly. Add new content to your newsfeed and update your product and services pages as your business evolves. Your website should give an accurate picture of the way your business changes and grows. If your focus changes, update your website. If you have a special offer on, update your website. When your staff change, update your website. If Google was looking at a history of website changes they should be able to see how your business has changed and grown. This honest reflection in your website will help your SEO a lot.