Any business that wants to survive in the modern world must have an online presence. That’s why it’s so important to make sure your site has a good SEO (Search Engine Optimization) ranking. In short, certain SEO tactics boost your site further up the search results on Google and other search engines, directing more traffic and hopefully generating more sales. We’ve gathered a few top tips just for you to make sure you can make the most out of SEO.
I am going to say this word over and over again. Relevance! Everything you do on your website must be relevant to you and your business. If you create blog content or web pages about space shuttles but you sell fruit, Google won't treat your content with relevance and over time you will lose any ground gained by the positive things you do. Create relevance with good readable content, that can be consumed easily by your target audience, and Google will rank it.
Name Images Appropriately
It’s pretty standard stuff that the best sites have attractive layouts and images, but people and businesses often slip up by forgetting to name the images, often leaving them with names like ‘screenshot127563’. Not only does this look unprofessional, it’s not exactly something someone will ever search for on Google, so you’re potentially missing out on a lot of traffic. You are also limiting the relevance potential of the image to your article.
ALT text goes hand in hand with naming your images. Using ALT text adds a description of the image - once again creating relevance for your article. Google does in fact read this text and uses it as part of its ranking system. However Google is smart at picking up keyword stuffing that has no relevance to your image or article and can and will have the reverse effect. If you want to see if your page has ALT text on it use this useful tool from Feed The Bot.
Remember to Use Social Media
Linking your site with various media channels adds legitimacy, professionalism and will ultimately direct more traffic, especially if you remember to add share buttons to content on your site, letting web visitors do some of your work for you! Don’t forget, this goes beyond the standard Facebook and Twitter. Depending on your business or website focus, other social media platforms can be utilised, such as LinkedIn if you’re targeting other companies or professionals, and Instagram if you’re targeting Millenials. Two great sharing tools are Add This and Share This which can be added quickly to any site, there are also numerous WordPress plugins available that do the same thing.
Keep Your Blog Local
Many companies run separate blog sites to their main site either by splitting their blog into a sub domain i.e http://blog.yoursite.com or using another platform all together that is not even related to their domain name or website. By splitting the blog you lose any benefit and traction from relevancy, traffic created and link backs. If your blog is not on your domain even as a sub domain you are only really benefiting the blogging site you are hosted on.
Keep Up with Your Blog
A blog can do wonders to add new content to your site. When Google searches the Internet (known as crawling) it looks for relevant content, keywords and phrases. A blog is a fantastic way to do this, especially as the Google algorithm now prioritises high quality and relevant content over an abundance of keywords (so, no, spamming your blog post with the same word over and over again won’t help). This makes your SEO tactic slightly more labour intensive, but increases the legitimacy of your site and lets your customers know that you know what you’re talking about!
Your domain name Geographic trust
With Google introducing Geo based searches over time it is going to be an important factor for your business. If your business is located in Australia and you use a .com domain you may not get as good a result from as opposed to using a Geo specific .com.au. Google is doing a lot of experiments in this local search area and it is always best to represent yourself and once again create more relevance for the searcher.
Just recently Google announced that a secure website using HTTPS over HTTP will rank slightly higher. Although Google did not give a metric on this ranking effect, every bit helps. So not only do you get the added benefit of trust for your clients using your website, you now get a Google benefit too.
Link, link, link
Links to your site from other sources are the ultimate votes of confidence, and a good one can send your traffic rocketing – as long as it’s a credible source. Spamming your web address on an obscure forum sends alarm bells ringing in the minds of consumers, which a reputable blog or partnership website is more trustworthy. Never value quantity of links over quality, but don’t fall into the trap of being afraid to promote your website and build links.
When it comes to Google and being found there will be no single thing you do that is the magic bullet. You need to do a lot of good things right. If you just follow some of these basic tips you should be well on your way to having a successful Google Friendly website. Remember it takes time to build trust with Google. Get the hang of these introductory tips, and soon you’ll have a reputable website with plenty of traffic! Isn’t it amazing what a few simple changes can do?
For more detailed information see Google's Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide