Think You Know SEO? Think Again
If you’re like most marketers, you probably think you know a thing or two about SEO. But the truth is, even the most experienced writers and marketers can still learn new things about optimising their content for search engines.
Our blog will teach you everything you need to know about SEO, to give your content the boost it needs to be seen by more people. Trust us, you won’t want to miss out on this insider knowledge!
What is SEO?
SEO, oh SEO. It’s the magic potion that makes your content visible to the world, or the bane of your existence, depending on how you look at it. But let’s be real, we all want our content to be seen by as many people as possible, and that’s where SEO comes in.
For those of you who may not be familiar, SEO stands for “Search Engine Optimisation.” It’s the process of making your content more attractive to Google and other search engines like Bing and even YouTube. The idea is that the more search-friendly your content is, the higher it will rank in search results.
It’s also important to note that SEO is an ongoing process. It’s not something you can set and forget. You have to continuously monitor and adapt your strategy to ensure that your content is always up-to-date and search-friendly.
Why SEO is essential
SEO, the three letters that can make or break your online presence. But why is SEO success so darn important?
Imagine your content is a beautiful gem hidden in a sea of rocks. No one can see it and therefore, no one can appreciate it. SEO helps to bring that gem to the surface and make it visible to the world.
Attracts organic traffic and conversions
More visibility means more people will see your content, and more people means more potential traffic to your website. But it’s not just about the numbers, it’s about what those numbers can do for you. More traffic means more potential customers, and more potential customers mean more conversions.
Adds credibility and trust
When your content ranks high in search results, it sends a message to your audience that you’re a credible source of information and a place that many other users trust to use. And as we all know, trust is the foundation of any relationship, online or offline. So, think of SEO as the wingman for your website, helping it to build trust and credibility with your audience.
Unlike paid advertising, SEO does not require you to spend money on ads or promotions to increase your visibility. Instead, it focuses on making your website and content more search-friendly, which can result in higher rankings and more organic traffic.
This means that, with the right SEO strategy, small businesses and individuals can still compete with larger companies for visibility in search engine results. It gives an equal opportunity for all the websites and content to be seen without the need of spending extra money on ads.
Additionally, the benefits of SEO are long-term and sustainable. Once your website is optimised and ranks well in search engine results, it will continue to generate traffic and conversions without needing to constantly pay for ads or promotions.
The Basics of SEO
Two of the key concepts for SEO are on-page optimisation and off-page optimisation. Let’s take a closer look at each of these.
One of the most important aspects of SEO is on-page optimisation. This is the process of optimising your website’s content and structure to make it as search-engine-friendly as possible.
Many different elements go into on-page optimisation. Here are some of the most important:
This is arguably the most important aspect of on-page optimisation. Your content needs to be high-quality, informative, and relevant to your target audience. It should also be regularly updated to keep things fresh. Think of it like a fancy meal – you want to make sure all the ingredients are top-notch and the presentation is on point.
These are the words and phrases that people use to search for your products or services. Incorporating them into your content in a natural way is crucial for helping search engines understand what your page is all about. But don’t stuff them in there like a roast chicken – or Google will make you pay!
Use a keyword research tool like SEMrush to make the job easier for you.
These are little snippets of code that give search engines more information about your page. The two most important ones are the title tag and the meta description. The title tag should include keywords and tells search engines what your page is called, while the meta description gives a brief overview of what the page is about. Think of them as the book cover and blurb – they need to be catchy and engaging to entice people to click.
These bad boys are like the captions on your Instagram photos if your followers were all search engines.
Unlike humans, search engines can’t “see” images the way we do. Therefore, they rely on ALT tags to help them understand what images on your page are about, and how they relate to the rest of the content.
So, make sure you’re taking the time to write descriptive and relevant tags for all of your images. And no, “IMG001.jpg” does not count as a descriptive and relevant tag.
Headings and subheadings
When it comes to your web page, search engine crawlers are like detectives trying to piece together a mystery. They want to understand the main topic of your page and how all the different sections fit together. That’s where headings and subheadings come in – they act as signposts, guiding search engines through your content and helping them understand the main points.
Make sure you’re using proper headings (H1, H2, H3, etc.) and that they accurately reflect the content of the section. It’s also worth incorporating some of your target keywords in these headings.
Last but not least, we have technical SEO. This covers all the behind-the-scenes stuff like making sure your site is mobile-friendly and has a fast loading speed. It’s like the foundation of a house – if it’s not solid, the whole thing will come crashing down.
Off-page SEO is another part of the puzzle that shouldn’t be forgotten. The most important off-page optimisation tactic is building backlinks. These are links from other websites that point back to your website. Backlinks act as a vote of confidence from other websites, and they help improve your website’s ranking in search results.
Here are some effective link-building strategies to boost your backlinks:
- Guest blogging: This involves writing articles for other blogs in your industry. In most cases, you will be able to include a link back to your own website in your author bio.
- Directory listings: Many online directories list websites in different categories. Getting your website listed in relevant directories can help to improve your backlink profile.
- Social media: Creating social media profiles for your business and sharing interesting and relevant content can attract backlinks from other users.
Advanced SEO Techniques
Once you’ve mastered the basics, consider trying some of these techniques to further improve your rankings on organic search results.
1. Mobile optimisation
It doesn’t take a Nobel Prize winner to realise that we are using our smartphones more than ever these days, including to search for products and services. This means that mobile optimisation is essential if you want your website to rank well in search engines.
Ensure that your website is responsive and easy to use on all devices, as well as fast to load on smartphones and tablets. Most Content Management Systems (CMS) will allow you to preview what the mobile version of your site will look like.
- Optimise your website for voice search
Voice search is an increasingly popular way to search the web. As more people use voice-activated devices such as Siri, Alexa, and Google Home, it’s important to optimise your website for this type of search.
- Improve User Experience (UX)
You might not know it, but UX plays a role in how search engines work to rank your website. If users are constantly bouncing out of your page, it suggests to Google that your content isn’t valuable or relevant to users. If you make your attractive and easy to navigate, users are more likely to remain on your site, which will work in your favour in terms of rankings.
For example, a recent study showed that using animated images on web pages encourages site visitors to stay on the page longer.
- Target long-tail keywords
Long-tail keywords may not be as popular, but they’re a lot less competitive and still pack a punch when it comes to targeting specific audiences.
Think of them like a precision tool rather than a broad brush. Instead of just casting a wide net, you’re honing in on the exact people you want to reach, and often these people are closer to the ‘ready to buy’ stage of their customer journey.
So next time you’re strategising your SEO, don’t be afraid to get a little niche – it just might give you the edge you need.
How to analyse your website’s SEO
If you’re serious about improving your website’s SEO, you want to track your progress and measure results. Otherwise, you’ll never know if your efforts are paying off.
But don’t worry, tracking your SEO progress doesn’t have to feel like a chore. There are plenty of tools and techniques that make it a breeze.
1. Use Google Analytics
With Google Analytics, you’ll have access to a wealth of information about your website’s visitors, including where they’re coming from, what pages they’re visiting, and how long they’re staying. You can also track which keywords are bringing visitors to your site, giving you valuable insights into which longtail keywords are working for you. And with the ability to set goals and track conversions, you’ll be able to see exactly how your SEO efforts are impacting your bottom line.
Simply create a free account, add the Analytics code to your site, and start tracking.
2. Check your search engine rankings
One of the best ways to track your SEO progress is to regularly check your website’s search engine rankings. This will give you a clear idea of how visible your content is and therefore, how likely people are to stumble across your website. Use a tool like Google Search Console or Moz’s Rank Tracker to track your progress over time.
3. Monitor your traffic
Monitoring your website’s traffic is crucial for tracking your SEO progress because it gives you a sense of how many people are visiting your site and where they’re coming from. Google Analytics can help you, but you can also use tools like Clicky or AWStats.
4. Keep an eye on your backlinks
Backlinks are one of the most important ranking factors for SEO, so it’s essential to keep an eye on your website’s backlink profile. Use a tool like Moz’s Open Site Explorer or Majestic SEO to track your backlinks over time.
5. Measure conversions
Ultimately, the goal of SEO is to drive more traffic to your website and convert that traffic into customers or leads. So, it’s important to measure your website’s conversion rate over time. Google Analytics can help you here, as can tools like KISSmetrics or Clicky.
By tracking your SEO progress and results using these tools and techniques, you’ll be able to fine-tune your efforts for maximum impact. Your business will benefit as a result.
Learn about SEO from the experts
SEO is constantly evolving, and even the most seasoned experts can be caught off guard.
At First Page, our specialists keep up-to-date on the latest developments in SEO and search engine algorithms. We make it our business to know the ins and outs of search engine optimisation.
If you’re feeling behind the curve or simply want to stay ahead of the competition, start a conversation with us.
Our team will help you create a killer SEO plan that will make your business shine online!