SEO basics: A beginners guide to SEO success

SEO, or Search Engine Optimisation, is organising your company’s website structure and data in particular ways to improve the ranking given by search engines when your customers type in keywords into websites like Google, Bing, Yahoo or similar. There’s an endless array of optimisation methods and best practices for optimisation of your website. For the average business owner, however, they are simply not useful as they require too much technical knowledge or are too time consuming to keep up-to-date with search engine algorithm updates. Busy professionals juggling many tasks simultaneously with even the best time management will still find it near impossible to not only manage their websites SEO strategy but to achieve a point whereby the website challenges the rankings of their competition is totally unrealistic.

We’ve compiled a few of the main SEO tips below from leading SEO experts.

Create a Blog

Search engines love relevant, dynamic content. Within the algorithms for SERP (Search Engine Results Page), sites with more dynamic content are ranked higher than those with static content. An easy way to do this is to create a blog for your website offering industry news, business updates, offers, or anything you may think will appeal to your customers. Creating a blog for your website offers many benefits for the SEO of your website. Firstly, people are more likely to visit again, may bookmark your site and show Google your website is current through producing fresh new content for your visitors. Each of these aspects help your website to be more optimised for search engines which gains more visibility for your website. By using your spare time to write some interesting and relevant content like a review of a new product, upload a testimonial video or anything which could be interesting to your target audience is a great way to optimise your websites SEO.

Create a ‘sticky’ site via content marketing

The first step when creating engaging and relevant content for your website is to understand what your customers want to read or view. Once you have analysed your potential audience, you’ll want to produce content which will interest them enough to engage with your website to share your content to their colleagues. It’s advisable to keep your pieces short and to the point to ensure users don’t get bored and leave your website prematurely. Keep your blog posts relevant to your industry as at the end of the day, that is why your customers are visiting your website.

Professional, perfect prose is key

Think of your website as a resume for your company. When you are submitting a job application you would always complete a spell check and more likely ask someone to proof read your application for good flow and relevance because you want to demonstrate your professionalism. The same is true for your website content. You must ensure that all the information provided is accurate with no broken links and that the information is up to date.

Use captivating headlines and appealing imagery

It is important to grab a visitor’s attention quickly through the use of succinct and relevant headings. Break up paragraphs with relevant and visually appealing images to engage the reader. Take them on a journey through careful storytelling. Even if it is a dry topic, you can make it more engaging through the use of case-studies and personal experience. All pictures should relate to the content.

Be original and invite links and shares

If you find a topic that is of interest to your niche, do some research and prepare a short review of your own. Never copy your competitors content as it will be detected easily and search engines will actually penalise your website for it leading to negative effects on your SERP’s. After you have formulated a well researched, succinct and catchy article, send out a press release and share it on the major social media platforms. Hopefully, it may even get the attention of influencers in your industry. This not only generates traffic to your site through organic visits, but if prominent people tweet or share the article, this positively improves your SEO as Search Engines pick up on social signals also.  

SEO Keyword Research is vital

Search engines produce search page results based on the keywords entered by your customers. You need to discover which keywords your customers are using and make a list of these terms.  These are the keywords you will use to optimise your website using both on and off-page SEO techniques. Geographical information may be also relevant to include in your keywords. Then, using these keywords, check whether your site can be found in the first few search pages (SERPS). These are the keywords you will need to use when writing your content, including in blogs and landing pages, and even in the footers of each page on your site. Remember, potential customers may use different terms for what you are offering, so include a wide range of your services using the vocabulary you think your customers would use. Read our article on keyword research and optimisation here.

Recognise and reward your followers

In the online environment, where reputation is vital, reciprocate the good faith that your followers show you by offering rewards or competitions when they share or promote your website content.

Old school networking and relationship building

In any successful business, building and maintaining relationships is crucial to its success. Getting out and about at seminars, tech crunches, and even the local pub is always a great way to make new connections. You may meet people who need your services but would not know which terms to use to find you in an internet search.

Optimise website pages and architecture

Ensure your website is easy to use. This will require continual development and optimisation which can be difficult if you don’t have website development skills. However, by outsourcing this work or learning it yourself, will ensure Google sees your website as one of quality and will be more likely to show potential customers.

Competitive analysis

Comparing your website against the look, feel and search engine ranking of your closest rivals is a great way to keep your site up-to-date. Keeping abreast of industry marketing trends is vital if you are to remain highly visible and trusted in your industry.

Inspect Broken Links

You must run regular audits of your site’s performance to ensure the shopping carts and other functions are always in top form. Going through each link as though you were a user, checking sidebars as well as every link to ensure they are not broken is essential. Any outdated content must be removed altogether and replaced with new and relevant content. Make sure that there are no outdated links.

Stay Active on Social Networking sites

Creating and maintaining a range of pages on various social media platforms is essential in today’s digital marketplace. In addition to updating your website, a Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter or other must be updated in order to established relevance and authority within your industry. In these posts it is not essential to keep it strictly business, and you can be a little more playful with the posts that you create. For social media marketing, it is about creating a trusted relationship and brand which will drive your SEO.

Create a Google Business Listing

Google Business Listings offer a simple way to promote your business online, particularly when you have a storefront. Check that there is no redundant listing already in place. Using high quality images of your business will create a greater feeling of trust in prospective customers as you will appear more professional. It will provide a sense of familiarity before people visit your store. Please make sure the contact information and hours of operation are up to date, and any changes are updated accordingly.

Backlinks

Backlinks are created when websites are linked to each other often invisibly and sometimes via hyperlinks in text, like SEO Brisbane as an example. Backlinks boost SEO as they signal a high degree of trust between the sites. Search Engines ‘read’ backlinks as an endorsement of your site by another and therefore increase your ranking in the SERP algorithms.  We explain backlinks more in this article.

Conclusion

The aim of any SEO strategy is to increase visibility, conversion rate and return on investment, so that your website is another form of income for your business. Different methods will produce different results based on the search behaviour for particular industry sectors and demographic nature of the consumers who visit them. Successful SEO strategy cannot occur overnight as it takes time and a bit of trial and error to arrive at the perfect strategy. However, creating a site that people want to visit time and time again is a great start. These tips are just some of the ways you can get started. Remember, what doesn’t get measured, doesn’t improve, so take the time to use a strategy and measure its results over a few months before adopting a new one.