Search engine optimisation (SEO) is highly technical and there are many influencing factors (more than 200 according to Google) that determine where your brand sits amongst the search results. It’s no wonder that it’s difficult to know for sure what you need to do to make it to page one – and stay there.
It is difficult to understand every element of SEO, especially as Google deliberately reveals little about how it ranks results. Yet there are some simple things you can do to maximise the SEO opportunities for your website.
Here are four basic SEO tips to keep in mind.
1. Answer audience questions with quality content.
The first thing you need to remember 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.
It could be anything from how to cook steak, to where to get the best deal on new car tyres, to the definition of SEO.
Because of this, it’s important to consider what questions people most commonly ask relating to your products and services.
Here are a few ways you can search for the most frequently asked questions relevant to your business:
- Talk to your sales team
- Review the questions sent to your contact forms and social media accounts
- Explore FAQ sections of your biggest competitors
- Use a keyword search tool such as Ubersuggest, enter in your product/service, and switch to the ‘question’ section
Once you have a good understanding of the questions your potential customers want answered, spend time creating quality, useful content that answers them.
2. Use keywords.
While Google’s algorithms have evolved significantly since the early days of search, and there is now much more to SEO than just keywords, they are still the connection between your website and your potential customer’s Google search.
That’s why you need to decipher which keywords your audience is typing into Google and then sprinkle them throughout your website (not just in your blog posts).
Never force keywords. This is known as ‘keyword stuffing’ and Google will punish brands they find doing this by sending you down the rankings rather than up. Instead, work your keywords into your website naturally.
Here’s where you should be using your keywords for maximum effect:
- Throughout all content (including blogs and your landing pages)
- In the captions and alt text of images
- In meta descriptions and title tags
- Hyperlinked to other pages within your website
- In URLs
All of this will tell Google what your website is about, and will help to ensure that your brand gets seen in the results when a customer searches for those keywords.
3. Optimise for mobile.
In 2015, Google confirmed that more people were searching online using their mobile phones than laptops or desktop devices. In 2021, Google officially moved to ‘mobile-first indexing’ which means that it predominantly uses the mobile version of a website for indexing and ranking.
That’s why it is absolutely vital that your website is optimised for mobile. Google will give preference to websites with mobile-friendly pages, so your content must be easy to read and navigate, quick to load and user-friendly.
For example, if a page doesn’t load within three seconds, 53% of users will exit and go elsewhere. That’s potentially half of your customer base gone if your mobile site isn’t fast enough.
4. Share your content for more backlinks.
Once you’ve created your content and optimised the basics, you need to get backlinks.
Backlinks are links to your site 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, and a massive 66.31% of web pages don’t have a single backlink, even though it is one of Google’s biggest search factors. That’s why if you can get even one backlink, you’ll already be ahead of a lot of your competition.
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 email list or on social media. If your content is high quality, informative, and helpful, those people will share it with others, increasing your traffic, while also boosting your chances of getting backlinks from other sites.
Get help from a professional SEO company.
There’s a lot to SEO and 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.
If you’ve done all you can by yourself or prefer to hand over the SEO reins so you can focus on your business, a professional SEO company such as Yellow can help. With the skills, knowledge and capacity to implement best practice SEO to your website, we can help you get to page one, and stay there.