SEO is highly technical, there are many influencing factors (more than 200, according to Google) and it’s difficult to know, for sure, what you need to do to stay ahead.
But while it is difficult to understand every element – and Google itself deliberately reveals little about how they rank results, there are some simple things you can do to ensure you’re maximising the SEO opportunities for your website.
Here are some basic SEO tips to keep in mind.
1. Answer audience questions.
The first thing you need to consider with SEO is that people go to Google with very specific questions in mind. The page that can best answer each question is the one Google wants to link them to. (Check out this article on how to create a Google – friendly site.)
Because of this, it’s important to consider what questions people most commonly ask relating to your products and services. Your team likely knows many of these, having worked with your clients and customers, but it’s worth noting them down and working to ensure the content on your website directly answers those queries.
2. Use keywords.
While Google’s algorithms have evolved significantly since the early days of search, they still rely on keywords to ensure people can find you.
Although people are asking specific questions, you also need to know what keywords they use and ensure they’re included in your posts.
You shouldn’t try and force them in – user experience is more important than keywords, so if they don’t fit in the natural flow, it may be better to leave them out. But including key focus terms in your content, including your headlines and meta descriptions, helps Google understand what your page is about.
3. Optimise for mobile.
More and more people are on mobile, and you need to align your website with that trend.
More than this, Google actually penalises non mobile optimised content, giving preferences to better performing pages to ensure mobile users are provided with a good experience.
4. Share your content.
Once you’ve created your content and optimised the basics, you need to get backlinks.
Backlinks are links from other websites – the more authoritative the website providing the link, the better.
For example, if there was an article on the ABC’s website that linked back to you, that would give your website significantly more authority, because the ABC is one of the biggest websites in Australia.
It’s similar to if a noted expert were to endorse your brand on TV – awareness and trust increase because that person is a prominent figure. This is similar, in principle, to how backlinks work.
Getting backlinks is not easy, but an important step is getting your content out there and getting people to visit your page. You can do this by sharing your posts out to people on your e-mail list or on social media. If your content is good and helpful, those people will share it with others, increasing your traffic, while also boosting your chances of getting backlinks from other sites.
As noted, there’s a lot to SEO, it’s a difficult area to master, but these are some of the basic building blocks of any SEO strategy, and it’s worth considering how they apply to your business.