SEO is an interesting discipline that never sleeps. Google makes thousands of alterations to it’s indexing algorithm, constantly seeking to improve the way information is categorised and presented to it’s valued users.
The core job of an SEO is to keep abreast of what is happening in conjunction with implementing effective strategies that not only align with the great Google roadmap but also:
- Work efficiently. It’s very easy to develop an in-depth strategy across long timescales, but this needs to be balanced with providing a strong ROI (Return On Investment) on your own time in the process.
- As said in many an SEO post – write for your users, not for Google. Google spends untold amounts of cash developing an algorithm that can decipher well-written and informative text against copy clearly designed with one goal in mind – to rank well. It therefore makes little sense in producing web content that Google is trying very hard to find and penalise! By writing for your audience, you automatically begin writing for what Google is also looking for.
- Be specific. If you have a page about Pay Per Click advertising techniques, then write about that subject and not about advertising in general or affiliate marketing. It’s easy to go off-topic, but not a very effective way of ranking a page. Better to create various topics under one umbrella topic to provide a complete portal of information for those seeking it.
- Don’t stuff in keywords everywhere. This is from a bygone era – it doesn’t work now, in fact it damages the page and often the site. It’s fine to add in some keywords within your page, but there is no need to keep repeating the same words again and again. Also, remember that the top of the page is more prominent than the bottom.
- Get some links that are worth getting. Is listing on every available free directory a good way to demonstrate that your site is of high quality and relevance to users? Fairly simply – no. So instead of spending hours trawling the net and patting yourself on the back for getting your 50th crap backlink, spend the same amount of time crafting an informative article about what you know best – your business. Get it published somewhere (the hard bit) and then watch your site creep. A jump of a few spots in the SERPS can often be enough to give you some morale, that what you are doing is actually having some effect.
- Do some keyword research – don’t just guess! You might think that you have hit the jackpot with what appears to be the ideal keyword, but the bottom line is – if there is no volume, then no one is looking for it and it is ultimately pointless ranking for it. Yes, of course if you did this with a thousand keywords, you might start to get some hyper-relevant traffic, but it just isn’t practical most of the time. Aim for the right balance between intent, volume, relevancy and difficulty in attaining a ranking.
- Have patience. Improving the rank of your site is not an overnight process. If it was, everyone would be at number one – which of course is not possible. Instead, structure your gains methodically. Aim to rank for some longtail phrases, then start moving onto slightly more competitive terms. The site will gain trust and authority in the process, as click-through rates and traction increase.
- Use internal linking. Don’t just focus on external links, make sure that you link to relevant sections of your site from within your pages. If you are writing an article about zoo animals, it might be good for the user to be able to click straight through to the Orangutan page or read more about crocodiles. This helps Google to understand hierarchy and prominence. Although Google is clever – it’s not that clever and any little signal you can provide to help with accurate indexing is worth it.
- Get reviews. Everyone likes reviews, even if half of them are fake, it still makes the difference between a conversion or not. This is due to perception. It is such a basic human instinct to follow others. If you can re-enforce the quality of your service and back it up with third party ‘proof’, what better way to persuade someone to give you a try?
- Finally don’t ignore meta information. Yes, titles do still help with ranking and no, descriptions do not impact SEO positions. However, they do influence click-through rates spectacularly. So make sure your meta-descriptions are on topic, persuasive, answer the query they are intended for and have some kind of call to action.
Hope these simple tips are of use to get you started on your own DIY approach to improving your ranking positions and conversion rates. If you are looking for more information or would like to discuss a project, ping me a message on the contact form and i’ll get back to you with a straight-up quote on how to improve your site for the long-term.