Search Engine Optimisation or as it is commonly known “SEO” is the art of ranking your website on the first page of Google. Even if you intend on hiring a SEO or marketing agency these 7 easy tips will help you understand the basics of SEO.
1. Install Google Analytics and Google Webmaster Tools
Google Analytics provides a range of data that can assist you track your website’s performance, keywords, user landing pages and for more advanced users, you can even track conversions and where your customers are dropping off without converting. This is a great tool to help you test different check outs to help improve conversions. Even if your SEO agency is sending you a monthly report it’s a great tool for you to use to track your online marketing success. Google Webmaster tools is a similar product and has recently expanded its search query term reporting. Google Webmaster Tools also allows you to track links, check for errors in your website amongst other things. It’s fantastic and it’s FREE.
2. Give Focus To Each Page You’re Optimising
Google and other search engines, much like humans, like information to be clear, relevant and not overly used throughout a website. Search Engine Spiders crawl your website’s content. They are looking for easily read content that is clear and precise. Put yourself in the users’ shoes, it’s fine (and recommended) to link to other parts of your website but if you’re promoting dog collars then your user and search engine spider probably don’t need to know about the car repairs you do on the weekend within the same article. Give each page focus and make sure it’s evident from the minute the user arrives.
3. Focus On User Experience
Once we have our content right and users are visiting our website, we want to ensure that they have a good experience. If you’re selling a product or service, make sure the user can get from A to B to C without to much difficulty. A good example of this might be if you’re selling 3 products, with 3 prices, have the user filter through from your landing page easily to check out. Make it as simple as possible. You probably have a friend who is hopeless with computers, get them to test it out and see if they can easily check out your product.
User experience is an extremely high ranking factor. If your website visitors search a term in Google, land on your page, hang around for a while, click a few links and don’t return to Google for a similar search your rankings will go up organically. This is a reason why some of the best sites have done very little SEO at all. They concentrate on user experience.
4. Offer Promotional Codes On-site
Everyone loves a bargain and many check out carts come with a pre-installed coupon function. Don’t let users leave your site. If your checkout offers a promotion coupon code, offer it right there so they don’t need to go looking. “Use code 50OFF for 50% off your first invoice”. How many times have you seen one of these promotional codes only to go looking for one and then end up on something entirely unrelated. By the time you come back, you’ve either lost interest or decide the computers been on long enough and you will try again tomorrow. The user may not remember your website or the term they found you with. Offer the promotional code so they don’t need to search for it. And if they do, they are probably price checking you against your competitors. They will remember you.
5. Get Reviews For Your Business
When I first started Media Fortress our only product was web hosting. We had three simple options. I knew only a little about SEO back then. I did know that other websites could send me relevant traffic. I started asking my customers to leave a positive review for me on a particular site that accepted web hosting reviews. This worked out really well for us and helped us grow entirely for free in the early years. People trust other peoples opinions. You can integrate reviews on your own website using schema.org as well. Ask clients to leave reviews on other reliable sources like Google Local for Business, Yelp, Product Review and many more. Look at who other providers in your area are using. It’s a good idea to not have users sign up for services like Google Local for the pure reason of leaving a review. You should also not try to attempt to game their system by putting up fake reviews. They are smarter than you think. Instead give your users a reason to leave a positive review. This maybe a gift, a discount or just excellent service.
You do need to monitor your online reviews. Inevitably you may get a bad review. These really are unavoidable for many, you can’t please everyone all the time. What is important is how you respond to the user. Make sure their concerns are covered in your reply and what you’re doing to rectify the issue they experienced. Customers don’t expect businesses to have a 100% positive rating but dealing with bad reviews professionally will back up the service or product you are offering.
6. Claim Your Business Pages
There are many content creators that scrape the internet. These include directories that you may have never have heard of. Sometimes they are auto generated by companies working in affiliation with other companies. So if you don’t read those terms and conditions thoroughly you may find your website and business listing is listed on several websites. Name Address Place (NAP) is an important factor for websites serving a local area and trying to rank in Googles 7 pack listings (Google Places/ Google Local for Business). Ensure your address, phone number, business name and even web address are listed the same way across all of these websites.
7. Back links
Back links help Google crawl the internet. They are also a ranking factor (yes, still in 2015). The amount of back links you need varies vastly depending on competition levels, age of your business and many other factors. Be careful when getting a back link as Google is wary of users trying to manipulate their ranking system with fake back links. These can include low value links from anything that doesn’t require editorial discretion or links that have been paid for. Create great content, share it on social media channels. If you’ve got a great story, let the world know about it. Email is still a great tool too.
At the end of the day there are many aspects to ranking well in Google and other search engines. These are just a few that many business owners can start with right away to help their online visibility.