SEO Tips To Move The Needle
‘How to SEO’ are three little words that are typed into Google more than nine million times every month. The popularity of this search term shows me that more and more people are realising both the importance, and the potential, of optimising their websites for search engines.
SEO is a powerful digital marketing technique that allows you to increase your website’s ranking in the search engine results page. There are over two hundred ways to apply SEO techniques to your website, so here’s a quick guide to the most important ones – the tips that tend to move the needle.
1. Choose Your Keywords
The first step in SEO is identifying your keywords; these are the words that your potential customers type into the search box, e.g. someone looking for an SEO company in Dublin might type ‘SEO Company Dublin’ or ‘SEO services Dublin’ into the search box. To choose your keywords there are a number of things you need to consider:
Ask yourself which words would your client type into the search box if they were looking for your product or service? Take note that the more competitive the phrase, the more intense your SEO campaign will have to be, e.g. it is harder to rank for a commonly-used broad-based phrase such as ‘Roofing’ compared to a more specific phrase such as ‘Galvanised Roofing.’
Popularity of Phrase
If no one is typing your chosen keyword phrase into Google then there is no point in ranking for it. To check the popularity of a keyword, use the Google keyword planner .
Singular or Plural?
Be aware of the fact that a singular word could generate a lot more searches than a plural word, or vice versa, e.g. the phrase ‘SEO company’ receives 450,000 global searches whereas the phrase ‘SEO companies’ receives 368,000.
2. Strategically Place Your Keywords
You may have noticed that, the words ‘How To SEO’ are scattered throughout this article; this is partly because I would love this article to appear in the search engine results page when someone types ‘How To SEO’ into Google, but mainly to use as an example to show you how to get your keyword density right ( see – that’s how much I like you! ). I have made sure to avoid keyword stuffing (using an excessive volume of keywords) as this can result in a website being penalised. You too should aim to enrich, rather than overload, your content with keywords and place them in the following places:
- Domain name
- Meta information (the title and description tags are the most important)
- H1 tags and sub headings (H2, H3 etc.)
- The first sentence or first paragraph of the home page
- Page names
- Image file names and alt text
- Anchor text of internal, external and inbound links
3. Monitor Bounce Rate
As soon as you get to page one and your website traffic starts to increase, you will need to keep an eye on your bounce rate. Your bounce rate is the percentage of visitors that landed on your website, didn’t find what they were looking for on the home page, and navigated away from it without engaging in your site any further. High bounce rates occur when a website is difficult to navigate, contains irrelevant information, or contains images that take too long to load. To minimise your bounce rate, design your website so that it encourages visitors to engage with it.
4. Upload A Sitemap
A sitemap is a map of the structure of your website. It is written in xml format, which is a type of coding language that Google can scan. You will need some brushed up technical skills to create this.
Keywords, bounce rates and sitemaps are essential for good SEO but there is a long list of other tweaks you can do to boost your search engine rankings. SEO requires time to get to your position and maintenance to stay there. The SEO rules are always changing so you need to keep your eyes peeled for industry updates. If you have the time and some technical know-how, you can DIY your SEO. However, your SEO campaign is only as good as the time and expertise you put into it, so if your competitors have a more powerful SEO campaign than you, they will constantly outperform you in the rankings. For this reason, many companies choose to outsource their SEO to an SEO company.