Search Engine Optimisation. SEO. The mysterious acronym that’s frequently thrown around in digital marketing circles like it’s a status symbol.
Oh yes you must work on your SEO
SEO is so important if you want your website to be noticed
Did you hear about the Google Panda/Penguin/Hummingbird update?
blah blah blah.
It can be all a little overwhelming for the small business just trying to get traffic to their website and to nail that first page of Google. Actually, like most things, so long as you don’t try and cheat the system with dodgy link-building and unreadable keyword-rich but mumbo jumbo content, it’s not too difficult.
I’m a great believer in keeping things as simple as possible so I’ve put together 6 simple steps to improving the SEO of your website or blog.
1. Internal links
Internal links mean that you link content within your website back to other parts of your website. Internal links serve 2 main purposes. Firstly to direct people who are reading your content to other relevant parts of your website that might be of interest to them. Secondly to give those Google-bots a clearer picture of what your site is about.
When you are linking within your website, it’s a good idea to link keywords as your anchor text (the words that you use to hyperlink). For example if I were to talk about digital marketing and want to link back to another part of my site that talks about that topic, I’d link the words digital marketing and not ‘read more here’ or something similar.
Speaking of keywords (you know those things that digital marketers also talk a lot about), they’re the words that people are likely to plug into a search engine to find your site. Gone are the days of creating keyword rich content that is a terrible read and serves the one and only purpose of SEO – however keywords are still important none-the-less. There’s a few tools out there to help you find some decent keywords but I tend to stick with the old family favourite Google Keyword Planner Tool. Once you have your keywords keep it natural and authentic. Cramming too many keywords in an article or on a web page is hard to read and leaves you at risk of being penalised by Google.
3. Comment on other sites
Inbound links to your site (if done authentically and not through dodgy link-building schemes) are a great way of increasing your site SEO and blog commenting is one way of attaining those links. There’s a bit of a trick to blog commenting to ensure it helps improve your SEO and doesn’t get you penalised. Firstly comment as yourself not as some keyword rich name. Doing the latter is more likely to get your comment marked as spam anyway and you’ve wasted your precious time. Secondly keep your comments authentic i.e. keep on topic and relevant and lastly do all the commenting yourself. There’s tonnes of dodgy bulk link-building services out there but buyer beware – use them at the risk of having your site penalised. Bit of a shame to do all that work for nothing hey. Blog commenting has been a bit of an issue of contention since all the recent changes to Google and Social Media Today have published an article specifically on the topic of blog commenting and SEO.
4. Be Authentic
I know I’ve mentioned it a few times throughout this post (along with the word ‘dodgy’ :-)) but authenticity in your online marketing generally is worth it’s very own step. By authenticity I mean in all your online dealings. Google favours natural, easy-to-read text that flows. Whilst keywords are an important factor for your SEO, it shouldn’t be at the detriment of sharing a fair-dinkem solid topic that’s of interest and is useful to your readership.
5. Share on social media
Social networking is a great way of generating natural links back to your website. Building a decent social media presence across a number of platforms (particularly including Google+) and having your content (providing it’s decent content) shared across those will improve both your rank, credibility and presence as well as increase your site authority.
6. Constant content
The last simple (but very important) step of improving your SEO is constant content. I should say constant and relevant content. Google favours sites that have regularly changing content. This doesn’t mean little tweaks to pages, it means putting in a little bit of time and regularly updating your blog with…….you guessed it – relevant content. No point having a beautiful website that receives zero traffic because you haven’t taken the time to keep that content changing.
So there you have it. No smoke and mirrors, no techo jargon, just simple ways of getting more traffic to your website without having to pay a fortune or do something that may put your site at risk of being penalised.
This list is far from exhaustive so over to you, do you have any other simple tips for improving SEO to add?