When it comes to implementing an SEO strategy for your website things can get a little tricky, especially when you need to take into account the ever-changing algorithms and benchmarks that are set by search engines.
Whilst we understand it can be tempting to implement a range of “quick fixes” to get your page ranking, it’s also vital that you plan a strategy that continues to work over time. This strategy requires you to continuously redefine your business and online goals over time by using sustainable and best practices.
To make things a little easier, Search Marketing Group has put together these 15 Actionable Steps to Improve Your SEO in 30 Days.
1. Market Analysis & Planning – Before you begin optimising your website for keywords you need to identify and research the best keywords for your industry. There are many free online tools that can be used to accomplish this.
a. (https://adwords.google.com/home/tools/keyword-planner/) – this is a free tool by Google which allows you to input your main industry keywords and the tool will go out and find all relevant and targeted keywords in your industry with their average monthly search volume.
b. SEMrush (www.semrush.com) – This is a more advanced tool with a free and paid option. SEMrush allows you to input your website URL into the tool and it will automatically scan Google and find all the different keywords which you’re already ranking for. This data is especially useful in identifying golden opportunities and low hanging fruits that can give you good results in the short to medium term.
2. Keyword Mapping – Now that you’ve put together a list of keywords you’d like to be ranking for and you know how much search volume these keywords are getting, you must now map the relevant keywords with the most appropriate pages from which to target them from.
For example, All drain cleaning keywords targeted from the www.plumbersite.com.au/drain-cleaning/ page should be targeted on this page and not the homepage.
Go ahead and plan this out for all your desired keywords in a simple excel sheet, so you know exactly which keywords should be targeted on which page based on your services.
3. Meta Title & Description – This is where it really matters! Choose a page on your website you’d like to optimise and then incorporate your keywords into the title tag of that page. This can be achieved by using an SEO plugin. If you’re using WordPress like All in One SEO Pack, OR if you paid attention during IT class, then it requires a little HTML knowledge to edit the page <head> tag.
Try to make the title look natural while using some of your keywords wherever it’s appropriate. You’re looking for readability + specific, for example:
Total Plumbers | Expert Residential & Commercial Plumbing Services
4. H1, H2 & H3 Tags – General rule of thumb is to include your keywords in the H1, H2 and H3 title tags in the content of your page as you write – with H1 tag being the most powerful.
5. Content Optimisation – Is not as complicated as people make this out to be, actually quite the contrary. You should write natural quality content which is free from spelling and grammar mistakes and that speaks about your industry or service.
Now comes the tricky part. As you write, try to include your keywords in a natural way into the content without it looking like you’re desperate for Google’s attention.
6. Image Alt Tags – Have you ever hovered your mouse over an image and it shows a small tooltip that describes that specific image? Right – We want to optimise that little tooltip. Google’s artificial intelligence can pick up relatively accurately the context of an image you post but we can definitely make its job a lot easier by actually telling it what that picture is about.
7. Interlinking Pages – This one might be considered a bit advanced but have a crack at it. Google uses something called a website silo to understand the structure of your website, the silo is like the blueprint of a house, you can look at it and get an idea which room is what. This helps is better user navigation as when a user is reading your content, it’s easy for them to simply navigate to the next page from this link.
8. Remove Page Conflicts – Here’s a paradox to mess with your mind – To optimise, is to de-optimise! One problem we regularly diagnose for clients who are stuck in the rankings is that they’ve got a hundred different pages all perfectly optimised with all the above recommendations for their main keywords. This is a good thing right?… NOPE.
Remember we’re trying to make it easy for Google to understand our website, don’t confuse the algorithm. So to fix this, we have to go through the entire website and carefully de-optimise conflicting pages and leave the single target page fully optimised.
9. Website Page Speed – Getting a discounted hosting plan might be costing you more than it promises to save OR getting your best friend to throw up a website overnight might be killing your profits and your rankings! Let’s keep this straightforward… time is money and Google definitely values time. If your website takes more than a few seconds to load, then you’re definitely being penalised by Google for that. Solution: Find a developer and get them to speed up your website OR get better hosting. Use the below tools to check your website speed.
10. Start A Blog On Your Website – Your blog is a great resource for accomplishing two things, building credibility by writing about your expertise but it also has another function which is to create relevance and authority in Google’s algorithm. Google likes to rank BIG authoritative websites in the top positions of its searches.
Who do you think Google would prefer to rank better? A website which only has 5 pages – Homepage, about us, contact etc… OR a website that has 10 pages and an active blog with 40 to 50 well-written information blog posts on all the different topics in the industry that they cover with a social presence? If you hate writing then find a writer to write monthly blog posts for your site and watch your site’s exposure climb.
11. Call To Action & Ease of Use – All the best marketers know that people like to be directed in what to do. Take advantage of this and increase your conversion rate and reduce your bounce rate by actually telling people to “Call Us Today!” OR “Click here to learn more about us” etc…
Don’t make it difficult for people to contact you, Google tracks all this data so optimise as best as you can. Put a contact form on each page, make sure your phone number is clearly visible and clickable (use <a href=”tel:123456789″>123 456 789</a>) so people don’t have to spend time dialing your number.
12. Create Sitemap – Use a free WordPress plugin like Google XML Sitemaps to create an XML sitemap of your website automatically. This helps Google’s spider bot navigate through your website and find all the different pages on your website. When you add new pages and blog posts then they’ll automatically be added into your sitemap.
13. Google Webmaster Tools – When Google has given us a tool to directly help them understand our website, why NOT use it? Head over to https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/, sign up and submit your website and there are many advanced tools here we can use to diagnose and audit the website but the best thing you can do is submit your Google XML sitemap link into webmaster tools, learn how to do that here.
14. Install Google Analytics – This is an industry standard traffic analytics tools that are used by millions of people. Setup Google analytics on your website and monitor the statistics to make improvements where possible. One metric which has a significant effect on your rankings is your bounce rate, keep your bounce rate low by increasing the quality of the content on your website, adding more engaging pages, improving the website design.
15. Use Social Share Buttons – Humans are social beings, we love to share and talk about what we find interesting. If you’re spending so much time and money building out such great content on your website why not make it easy for people to share your content. Guess what? Big brother Google is watching! Install a WordPress plugin like SUMO or any other to automatically add social media buttons for people to share your content.
As you can see, good SEO is made up of a lot of things, part science, part art and part maths. Improving your website’s SEO is a long-term process of implementation, monitoring, and refinement.
Every step above is important and regardless of whether you do all or some, we guarantee that you will begin seeing results.
However, if you are still struggling to get your business found on Google and need professional assistance when it comes to SEO, contact Search Marketing Group today on 1300 853 996.