The do's and don'ts of SEO
Let's face it, SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is a real labour of love and a nightmare for anyone wanting quick results. You can take 5 different 'experts' and come back with a collection of varied solutions, no doubt all saying that there methods are right.
We're here to say they're probably right... and wrong. You see nobody really knows the 'formula' to ranking number one on Google as there are so many variables. Google also passes out updates which effect SEO in a Chinese whisper effect which slowly drips down to anyone outside of the professional sector.
So we're here to tell you the general do's and don'ts of SEO that will make a difference.
Now we are providing this information with the intention of benefiting startups and smaller businesses. We're presuming you have a website you can update effectively with potential social accounts and other third party marketing platforms.
Starting with the very basics, make sure your website is effectively built. If your website is 5 years or older, you may want to consider investing in a new site. Not that your current site is poor, it could be missing out on correct building techniques that search engines admire.
You want to ensure all images are labeled, page descriptions are filled and your sitemap is updating.
Sorry folks, there's no easy way around it. Search engines want to see a website that is well managed and updated with new content, images and pages. However, this is all going to be wasted if your site doesn't have a sitemap that's updating and submitted to Google Search console.
Get help with Google
Google has a number of tools which will immediately benefit your sites performance. There are elements such as:
The instant win for local performance has to go with registering your business on Google Maps. With correct category listings, when someone searches 'Restaurant in <insert town name>', you are going to be immediately listed within that area at the top of the page. Depending on your location and SEO performance, you could rank number one.
What we mean by creating conversions is we want to create the action of going from one location to your website. The location may be a direct share over an email, a link from a social post or an advert sent in a mail campaign but this conversions are a definite thumbs up for SEO.
More accounts the merrier but that doesn't mean you can set them up and leave them. Choosing a variety of platforms is going to benefit your broadness of audience engagement. I would always suggest Facebook Pages, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn. You will want to asses which accounts suit your market but then get active!
Create a following of clients and potentially customers by posting engaging content will result in hits for your business along with creating potential conversions to your website, leads and maybe sales. But remember to be selective of materials in relation to your brand. You don't want to be clothing retailer sharing pictures of cat memes.
Paid boosting is where I would invest a small marketing budget into. You have the ability to break local confinements and advertise to a selective audience within a certain area. The goal for SEO is to create further conversions from a social account to your website.
Our choice of platform is Mailchimp but there are many other forms of self creating campaign systems out there. You have the ability to engage with a direct database of subscribers including automated emails sent on the action of signing up or leaving your website with product in their basket. However, with new legislations coming into place, make sure your acting compliantly under the GDPR act coming in effect 25th May 2018.
Have a partnered website link to your website is a positive conversion in Googles metaphoric eye's. Equally, if you've got the budget, consider the application of a PR professional to share your break-through achievements to the local press for even better results of content distribution.
Technically not an SEO requirement but It's going to be a hell of a lot easier creating conversion if the content your producing is engaging. What we mean by that is don't waste your time scheduling posts on what the weather is like today, people need to be hooked, fast! Additionally, you can write around keyword topics to boost your ratings in desired keywords.
With social media, we are developing into a micro-content society. What we mean by that is we are evolving to only read short snippets of information and if it doesn't engage or appeal to us we move on, scrolling down social feeds to find that desired hit of social knowledge.
As we see it, you need to be to the point, not overly 'salesy' and engaging. For example:
"Mattresses to suit you, find out more".
It's to the point, it's welcoming and you're giving the user the option to find out more as if it was their decision.
Be cautious to post anything without a picture. Studies show engagement in posts without visual content operate significantly lower engagement levels.
Video posting was at record numbers last year (2017) and theres a very good reason why. Users are far more likely to pause down a newsfeed to be captured by footage as opposed to a still image.
Create the engagement, get the conversion!
Have somebody suggest inserting a page of keywords in the background of your website. An easy win back in the day is now a mark down for SEO with sites being penalised for incorrect methods
Writing copy with keywords is a good this but some people decide to take it too far. If you have a paragraph of text and approximately 12 repetitive keywords placed through out, you're going to be penalised nevermind sounding completely ridiculous.
It's been known for some time that websites that have poor loading times are going to be pushed down on your search engines listings but equally annoy your user. There's a fine balance to having gorgeous detailed imagery and the file size it takes to load correctly. The latest application of mobile loading times is the most recent impact on SEO so get checking!
If your site isn't mobile and tablet friendly, you may need to consider that rebuild. With site traffic increasing day by day on mobile use, it's imperative to make sure your site is reactive to different screen sizes. If it's stuck in the past, prepare to be left at the bottom of the pecking order.
Copying any amount of content from another website is a no-go never mind the copyright consequences you could face. Google identifies plagiarism and penalises accounts that maybe subject to it. This equally applies to any other online accounts you maybe posting too i.e. facebook, twitter...
Linking to other sites
You want to keep users on your site otherwise how are you going to make that sale. Limit the amount of off-site links you have and if you do, ensure that they are opening up on separate tabs.
In essence, we sell SEO as a marketing service as you can easily see how the methods apply create a positive outlook for your business.