What is SEO?
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation. Which involves increasing traffic to your website through organic search engine results. Organic search results are results that you don’t pay for, in other words are found naturally. It is a complex system, however, understanding the basics can help your website to rank higher. Search Engine Result Pages (SERPS) contain both paid and organic search results.
Why is SEO important?
The majority of online traffic originates from search engines. The rest is from social media and other online platforms. ‘SEO has 20x more traffic opportunities than PPC on mobile and website’ as stated by Moz. According to Techjury ‘93% of online experiences begin with a search engine’. You can create a fab piece of content with the right keywords. This can create ranking, therefore, triggering continuous traffic to your website for some time. Whereas paid advertising needs to be continually topped up.
What is keyword research?
Search engines crawl and index websites. They order them by the type of query and subsequently rank the site. People type keywords into Google to search for information. It’s important to understand the phrases and keywords your customers are using to find the solution to their problem. It then involves analysing, comparing and prioritising the best keyword opportunities for your website. It’s also necessary to understand how the Google robots are crawling your site and what they are searching for.
Keyword research basics
When a customer is searching for a hotel in Swansea for instance, they will use phrases such as – Hotels in Swansea, Accommodation in Swansea or Places to stay in Swansea. The best thing to do is to jot down your ideas and do your own research. Google the words yourself and review the bottom of the Google page. Here you can find other search terms such as Searches related to hotels in Swansea.
This will give you a great insight into what people are searching for and the keywords that feature in your industry. Spend some time googling and working out the key terms you want to be featured under. You can also look at the Google autocomplete and see what terms stand out.
You need to understand how people are talking about your niche. Do some research on social forums and sites such as Quora and LinkedIn. Research other websites in your niche and see what the leading players are writing. Obviously, don’t be tempted to fully copy their content or plagiarise! Keyword research is a huge topic and I have only touched on the basics.
Every page has headings – they must have an H1 (Heading 1) tag on each page with a keyword, this gives structure and readability for your user. Include at least one or two H2 (Heading 2) tags on each page to help break up your information. When adding images to your site, check that the ALT tag has a description, including a keyword.
Links – make sure you have inbound links to your website (known as backlinks) and links out, also link through your website. This provides Google with the information that there are important pages on your site. Make sure your content is structured and well-written, your website has a good user experience and is easy to navigate. Check that your page URLs are easy to read and describe what the page is about, this is what Google will look at.
Create META titles and descriptions – this is what is shown in the search results so needs to explain exactly what that page is about. Always optimise images; I use tinypng before loading images.
Fast page loading – 40% of people leave a website if it takes longer than three seconds to load. Use GTMetrix and Google’s Pagespeed Insights tool to help with this. Ensure your site is mobile friendly, it is a must. You will need an SSL certificate and to also create a sitemap – xml file. Yoast will generate this for you and then submit to Google.
Upload a robots.txt file – this gives specific instructions to search engine crawlers as to which parts of the page they should index and not index. Linking of internal pages is a great way to increase speed. Search engines crawl your site and point them to your most important pages, such as your booking page.
- Create content for users and not search engines.
- Think about what makes your site unique and engaging.
- Do some guest blogging – make it helpful, informative and full of quality.
- Link to relevant resources on your website.
There are different ways of tracking data. You can measure organic traffic by using Google Analytics. You can also track rankings of content by using Google Search Console tools.
SEO is the best way to drive sustainable traffic to your website. You need to do your keyword research and implement it in your content. The more effort you put into optimising your website, the more the dividends will add up. Be consistent with SEO to keep traffic coming to your site. Keep renewing content, you can do this by adding a regular blog.
To achieve this:
- Do keyword research.
- Optimise pages for search engines and users.
- Build relevant links from other high-quality sites and from within.
- Track your data!
If you follow the above, you will gradually build up a domain authority on your site and you will start ranking for more competitive keywords.
Google Analytics – https://analytics.google.com
GTMetrix – https://gtmetrix.com/
Google page speed insights – https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights/
Google mobile friendly test – https://search.google.com/test/mobile-friendly
Ahrefs – https://ahrefs.com/
Robots.txt file – https://ahrefs.com/blog/robots-txt/
Full SEO guide – https://ahrefs.com/blog/on-page-seo/
Tiny PNG – https://tinypng.com/
Crafting perfect SEO title tag – https://ahrefs.com/blog/title-tag-seo/
SEO glossary – https://moz.com/beginners-guide-to-seo/seo-glossary
Keyword research – https://moz.com/beginners-guide-to-seo/keyword-research
If you need help then try our SEO review power hour £99
- Review website https://www.seoptimer.com/ and https://moz.com/domain-analysis
- Go through the points – implement some basic points.
- Install Yoast if you have WordPress.
- Q&A session.