Do you dream about typing in your industry, service or even just the title of a blog post you’ve written, and seeing your name in Google’s top spot? If that sounds like you, then you’re going to need the help of SEO.
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is the practice of optimising your website’s pages so that they rank higher for search terms and gain your business or blog more traffic. If you’re struggling to get your small business or even your side hustle blog the visitors it deserves, chances are you need to put a little more effort into your SEO.
To help you get in Google’s good books, Becca Nicholson, SEO copywriter at Bolton digital marketing agency, The Audit Lab, shares a few of her pearls of wisdom. Try them out on your website, track their progress and see if you see a spike in organic traffic!
Write for people, not robots
There’s often misconception, especially amongst bloggers, that effective SEO is all about keywords, keywords, keywords. And when ‘SEO’ started to become the buzzword in the blogosphere, people started to write for the robot that is Google, rather than for their audience. You might think that this is the right approach, and who would blame you – after all, it’s Google that decides if you rank, not your audience – but Google also takes things such as quality of content and how long people stay on your website into consideration. Not just how many keywords are stuffed into the first paragraph.
When people use a search engine, they’re looking for an answer to some kind of question. And it’s your job as a writer – whether you’re a blogger or a business owner – to answer those questions. Just make sure you do it in a real and genuine way.
Sort your on-page basics
On-page optimisation is a huge part of your SEO strategy. You may have the right keywords on your page, but if the rest of the page isn’t right then you’re going to struggle to get any kind of rankings. Let’s run through a few easy things you can put in place. Think of them like a checklist, and run through it every time you upload a new post or add a new page.
- URLs – Messy URLs aren’t just off-putting to the user, they’re also something Google looks at. If you’re a blogger and putting together a post on top skincare cleansers, for example. Your URL should look something like yourwebsitename.co.uk/best-skincare-cleansers rather than a whole messy bunch of random letters and numbers. Always aim to get your target keyword in the URL
- Meta data – You know the little snippet that appears in Google when you search for something? That’s the meta data, and something you should be optimising for. If you’re using WordPress then by installing the Yoast plugin you will be able to change your title tag and meta description to be keyword optimised and the correct length
- Usability – This may sound obvious, but does your site function correctly? Do you have broken links that point to nowhere? Orphaned pages that could be dragging down the quality of your site? Is your website quick? All of these impact user experience, which Google values over many other ranking factors. Make checking the accessibility and crawlability aspect of your site a top priority
Start to E-A-T
We don’t mean midnight snacks. EAT stands for Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trustworthiness, and it’s how Google quality checks websites. Don’t be put off – it’s not a series of tests or anything, but moving forwards you should always make sure that your website or the posts you’re putting up tick all these boxes.
Let’s talk about expertise. This means that your website, or the person writing for your blog, is credible and has some level of expertise to offer about the topics you’re covering.
You don’t have to get someone authoritative to write for you, either. Authoritativeness means putting the best possible content possible out there. It means answering all the questions, giving the user what they’re looking for and leaving no stone unturned.
Use the right tools
It’s not enough to just do quick fixes on your website and expect it to be that way for years to come. Ongoing SEO monitoring can be done manually, or you can employ a multitude of tools that’ll help you become more efficient. Here’s a few:
For keyword research:
- Google Keyword Planner
- Moz Keyword Explorer
- Ahrefs Keyword Explorer
- Search Metrics
- Advanced Web Ranking
- Moz Link Explorer (for backlink profiles)
SEO doesn’t have to be complicated. Hopefully these four quick tips have given you a place to start when it comes to improving your blog or business’s website. You don’t have to be an expert to get started!
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