If you rely on getting online traffic to your business website, then you’ve probably considered SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) as one of your options. And it’s certainly true that optimising for search engines can dramatically boost the streams of potential customers that click through to your site. A good SEO strategy, coupled with the right implementation, can be one of the most effective ways to reach your target audience online.
The challenge with SEO, however, is that it can be a complex, even mysterious process. In the world of digital marketing, SEO has a reputation for being complicated – an esoteric art that could take years to master. Consider the massive resources Google has available to continually improve and update the algorithms you’re trying to keep up with!
Couple with this confusion, there is also some reluctance among many business owners to delve into the mechanics of links and SERPs and keywords, preferring to devote their attention to what they know best, i.e. offering their products and services and taking care of their customers.
But if you know that you should be more clued up about SEO, or even if you’d like to try implementing some basic DIY tips and tricks, a leading London SEO agency shares the following strategies for quickly and easily, relatively speaking, improving your website’s online presence.
Use Google’s Own Data
One of the best ways to get started with your SEO is to make sure your site is properly set up in Google’s Search Console (you should also set up your site in Google Analytics, too). Google Search Console (GSC) is a platform that reveals a wealth of information related to your site’s performance in the search results, including which search terms are already driving traffic to your website, how well you are ranking for those terms, and which might have the best potential for driving even more traffic if you better optimise your site content.
GSC will help you to see what is currently working for your website, as well as providing valuable insights into what opportunities there might be for ‘quick wins’. Just as important, it will also tell you if there are any issues holding your site’s performance back, and fixing these can also lead to ranking and traffic improvements.
Optimise Your Page Content
When it comes to optimising your website, one of the easiest places to begin is with your page content. The words you use on your web pages are indexed by search engines, which helps them to understand what your site is about and where it should feature in search results.
On-page optimisation is the practice of making sure your content contains relevant keywords and phrases – the search terms your potential customers might ‘google’ to find your business – in key areas on your site’s pages like the page title and subheadings. Long gone are the days where you just needed to stuff your content with the right keywords over and over again – don’t do this!
These days you need to make sure the key elements like the page headings are relevant to the search terms you want to be found for, but the rest of the content should be written naturally, and most importantly, provide the best information for the search terms you’re targetting.
That’s why, before you embark on any kind of SEO work, it’s a good idea to be very clear about which keywords you want to rank for, then you can ensure your web copy is as relevant as possible for those searches, and Google will see that you’re providing the kind of information the searchers will want to see.
Pay Attention to Meta Titles
Another simple task that you can do quite quickly is to customise the meta titles of your web pages. These are the ‘headlines’ that appear as the main title of your page listing in the results from search engines like Google, and they can play an important role in where your website ranks in these results.
Meta titles can also influence whether people click on your listing, so it’s worth crafting them carefully so that they appeal to your potential customers, as well as highlighting your target keywords to the search engines. Include your chosen keywords, but again, don’t overdo this and make sure that it reads in a way that will appeal to real customers.
In terms of these last two tips, optimising your content and your meta titles, if you really don’t know where to start, learn from what is already working. Look at the sites that are ranking on the first page of Google for the keywords you want to target and see how they structure their meta title and content optimisation. You don’t want to copy this, but the structure and phraseology should give you enough of a start to improve your own optimisation.
Encourage More Clicks
Improving the Click Through Rate (CTR) of your search results listings, by which we mean increasing the number of times your listing is clicked on when it shows up in the results, is one of the best ways to get more customers without making any improvements to your rankings. You can do this by improving your meta titles as described above, and providing a more compelling Call to Action.
As well as your meta titles, you can look at optimising the meta-descriptions on your pages. These are the longer descriptions that display below the title and page link in the search results. Don’t worry too much about using your target keywords in this section, as it can be prone to over-optimisation, but use related terms for the information/product/service on the web page, and create something that will entice your ideal customer to click through to your site. Again, see what’s working in the top search results for ideas.
Build Internal Links
Backlinks are one of the power tools of SEO strategies, but getting links from other websites back to your site can be a difficult and time-consuming process. An easier way you can benefit from ‘link juice’ is to add internal links between the pages of your own site. Linking the relevant pages of your site together has two main benefits.
First of all you are building links from one relevant page to another, and Google likes relevant links – this can work even better if you link several relevant pages to one particular page you want to do well in the search results.
Secondly, by linking your relevant pages together you create what are known as ‘topic clusters’, which are little groups of the related pages on your site, and all these pages sharing the same theme or topic helps when they link to other pages about the same theme or topic.
Although not quite as powerful as external links these are still good links – plus they have the advantage of being quick and easy to implement. Interlinking between the groups of relevant pages on your site also helps to organise your content so Google can better understand what your topic clusters and your site as a whole are all about, and gives it the kind of information it needs to understand what your site’s pages should be ranking for.
These simple tips show how do-able it can be to implement some basic SEO-boosting practices. However, if you’re looking to substantially increase your organic traffic and spend your resources on the most effective and appropriate strategies, hiring an expert can reap dividends in the long term. An SEO agency or consultant can help to identify the optimum strategies and tactics for your business, so that you reach more of your potential customers online and achieve the best return on your marketing investment.