Most commonly known as Search Engine Optimisation, SEO is one of the most valuable ways of improving your online business and it’s an essential element to factor into your website and PR strategies. If you haven’t heard of SEO before, its main function is to drive organic traffic to your website by making sure Google ranks it highly in its search results. This is often done by focusing on popular search terms that are relevant to your industry and creating content around them.
It’s worth noting that it takes time to see real changes in your traffic volume, even once you’ve optimized your website for Google. So, don’t be surprised if it takes up to six months to reap the rewards of your SEO endeavors.
Saying that when it comes to SEO the possibilities are endless. To get you started, this article highlights five steps to improve your website’s SEO:
- Create solid SEO foundations
- Do your keyword research
- Make it mobile-friendly
- Build a backlink profile
- Invite guest bloggers
1. Create solid SEO foundations
If your site is just starting out then factoring in SEO at the early stages is a wise decision as it will help set you up for long-term success. Building a clear site structure makes your website easy to navigate and more user friendly. Plus, considering SEO at all steps of your website creation means you’re less likely to have to make any changes in the future.
If your site is already up and running with a little-to-no focus on SEO, then not to worry. Plenty of SEO changes can be done in the house easily and quickly, setting your website up for rewards further down the line. These changes include everything from making the most out of the alt text on your images to updating title tags using carefully chosen keywords. Optimizing existing content now and continuing these methods further down the line is a practice worth encouraging.
2. Do your keyword research
Doing your keyword research early on in your SEO journey will pay dividends later down the line. There are plenty of online tools you can use to create a well-rounded selection of high-intent keywords. Depending on your commitment to optimizing your site, you could opt for a paid-for resource like SEMRush on a 7 days free trial.
For lower budgets, websites such as UberSuggest and Answer The Public offer valuable insights into keywords free of charge. Once you’ve compiled a database of keywords to focus on, set about creating valuable content. This can vary from including these keywords organically in title tags, meta descriptions, and website copy, to writing long-form blog posts or FAQs.
If you’ve already done plenty of work on your high-intent and popular keywords, then why not begin targeting long-tail keywords too? These account for a large portion of web searches and are often neglected. Focusing on these could see you rank above competitors fairly easily.
3. Make it mobile-friendly
With many of us using our mobile phones to browse the internet more and more, it’s essential your website is mobile-friendly. Even if your industry is worlds away from what you use your phone to search for, the odds are that plenty of your prospective customers are doing it. From CEOs searching for their new freelance developer mid-commute to last-minute shoppers looking to grab a bargain.
Google’s mobile-friendly test is a great way to check if your site is optimized for mobile phones.
If your site isn’t already suited to mobile users, you have a range of options. First, you can create a separate mobile version of your site under a different URL. This normally involves ‘mobile.’ being added to the front of your website’s URL. For example mobile.website.com. Your second option is to use a mobile plugin.
Plenty of CMS platforms offer AMP plugins as an option so do your research and find out if AMP pages are worth it?. Your final option is to convert your website to become a Responsive Web Design. Also known as an RWD, this option tends to involve the most time, effort, and money. However, it’s worth considering for its value in the long term.
4. Build a backlink profile
A hallmark of a great website is one with plenty of backlinks. Not only can a strong backlink profile drive traffic from these sites to yours, but they also help prove to Google that your site is of a trustworthy caliber. One thing to be wary of is the quality of your backlinks, you should always opt for quality over quantity. Make sure only reputable sites are linking to your services, otherwise this can damage your website’s online reputation.
There are plenty of ways to improve your website’s backlink profile. One way is to enlist the services of a digital PR agency which will then reach out to online publications on your behalf. A benefit of taking this approach is that the agencies often have existing connections in the industry and can result in the creation of many links. Plus, you can remain fairly hands-off.
Alternatively, you could reach out to publications yourself as a guest writer. Many online publications accept articles written by guest bloggers as it helps to build their own content. Developing a relationship with an online publication is even better as it will make getting new articles published lots easier. Choose the sites wisely to ensure they reflect the kind of traffic you’d like to receive to your site.
5. Invite guest bloggers
This is a really good way of driving traffic to your website and creating a well-rounded user experience. However, it’s important to take guest blogging seriously and only accept content that’s original and not jam-packed full of spammy links. Google will see through this and it won’t do your website any favors. Always confirm with the author that the content they’re submitting is unique and not published elsewhere. Plus, make sure that any articles you accept from guest bloggers are relevant and answers questions your users may have.
Now to get started
The suggestions in this article are just the tip of the iceberg. SEO is a fickle master that requires constant attention and regular content additions to keep it fresh. Plus, with every algorithm update from Google, your website may need further work. However, this isn’t causing me to be afraid. SEO is a tried and tested method that will surely result in increased traffic when done well.