SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation and it refers to all the things you can do to increase your ranking in the search results of Google and other search engines. There are lots of SEO businesses out there promising to get you onto the first page of Google, to vastly increase the traffic to your site and making it seem like there is a highly technical and mysterious art to it. In reality, there are plenty of straight forward actions you can take, or ask your web developer to take, in order to increase your ranking and help customers to find your site.
Add a Descriptive Tagline
This is the one-sentence description of your website that appears just under your site title when your website appears in search results. Even if your website doesn’t actually display your tagline, search engines still use it to work out what your site is about. So it is very important to create one that is descriptive and clear about what you do.
Add Titles and Tags to all your Images
Make sure all your images have a title, alt text and a file name that include accurate descriptions, a title like img112.jpg and is not helpful to users with visual impairments.
What are people typing into Google to find your business? Finding out the best search terms and including them in your copy makes a world of difference to your ranking. While defining keywords, think of what your customers need, and what problem are they trying to resolve. What words would they use to explain their problems? Always target longer phrases, which have two to three words. Make sure you focus primarily on the nouns and add adjectives after the nouns.
Good Copy Editing
Review and re-read to make sure you have good grammar and no spelling mistakes. Avoid too many keywords, no ultra long sentences and not too many superfluous adjectives. Good, clear text that flows and easy to understand is the name of the game.
Specific Page Slugs
The, delightfully named, page slugs are words on the end of each page’s URL that describe its contents. Most platforms create this automatically from the page title but you can edit them to more accurately and succinctly describe the page.
If other trusted websites link to your site then this increases your visibility to google. Avoid buying links, even if it does work in the short term, it is not real traffic. The best way to get trusted links to your site is to get featured in other people’s blogs and news sites. So good PR stories and reviews are the way forward.
Keep writing and posting good content. Google loves an active site and the best way to keep people coming to your site is to provide new and interesting content and remember to link your social media accounts to your content too.
Stand out from the Crowd
Ensure your URL has something in it to make it stand out. Words in common usage take much longer to get up the search rankings.
Accurate and Descriptive tags
If you have news pages or a blog, categorise your posts and add tags that highlight what each post is specifically about. As with keywords, what would people who are interested in this topic be searching for?
Measure your traffic and see what is working
Finally, use webmaster tools and google analytics to see where your traffic is coming from and to collect some additional information about how your site is being indexed. You can see what is working and do more of it!
The internet is full of articles, posts and books about this.
Here are few I have found helpful:
Introduction to SEO
For a more technical read Google’s SEO guide
What are Keywords? Simple Keyword Definition
SEO Glossary – The Searchmetrics Dictionary of Search Engine Optimization
How to Get The Most Out of the Google Keyword Planner
And here’s an ebook to download if you are feeling keen.
Ebook: Grow Your Traffic, Build Your Blog