When you search for something in Google, Search Engine Optimisation (aka SEO) is what determines the order in which you get those results. Good SEO is what pushes your website up those rankings. Think of your website as a pop star, SEO as it’s agent and Google the audience; without a good agent, how will the audience know about the pop star?
SEO has been around for a while and as such, things have changed since its inception. The SEO techniques you might have uses a few years ago are no longer valid and can even have a negative impact on your rankings if you’re not careful. It’s a bit of a minefield.
Let us help. This blog covers the basics – how you can start to improve your SEO and what to avoid if you’re doing it yourself.
“How do I improve the SEO of my website?”
The irony is, you’ll probably Google exactly that sentence and you’ll find a whole host of suggestions out there. Some helpful, some less so. Let us break it down to some super easy quick wins you can try yourself.
Start by looking at your meta titles and meta descriptions. These are the little titles and descriptions that appear when you search for something on Google. These titles need to include the keywords and phrases that you want to rank for. For example, if you own a café by the sea in Bude, you may want rank for phrases such as “seaside café in Bude” or “Bude beach café”. However, you’ll need to do some research on what phrases you want to rank for and how competitive each one is. There’s no easy solution to this bit, you just need to start searching and make some decisions.
The meta descriptions need to align with the phrases you use in the meta title. For example, if you used the phrase “seaside café in Bude”, your description could look like this: ‘Head down to MiHi Café for a sandwich by the beach. We’re winners of the best seaside café in Bude!’
The second thing you can do to really boost your SEO is to keep updating your website with blogs or news articles and share them on social media! The more links to and from your website the better as Google loves joining up the dots and making links between information. Just make sure that whenever you update your website, you add a meta title and description every single time and consistently share those updates to social media.
Finally, make sure your website has the best user experience possible! Google hates broken, slow or just messy websites, so keep yours up to date, organised and with fast page load speeds and you’ll be onto a winner.
“What things can harm my SEO?”
There are a few pitfalls you can easily fall into when you start working on your SEO, the biggest mistake people often make is picking the wrong keyphrase or keyword.
When looking to improve your SEO, it’s easy to try and compete for the vaguest keywords in the world. For example, if you own a holiday cottage, trying to compete for the search term “holiday cottage UK” seems like a good idea because you think that’s what most people are searching for, and therefore your business will get more leads, right? Wrong!
Think how many other holiday cottages there are in the UK, as well as big companies like AirBnB and booking.com with much bigger marketing budgets than yours – it’s way too many! Trying to compete for those keywords will be like whispering into a very noisy, crowded room: utterly pointless.
The other side of this is picking a keyphrase which is too niche. Using the holiday cottage example, if you try and rank for the keyphrase ‘blue holiday cottage on Exeter Street in Plymouth’ you won’t have many people searching for that, therefore the traffic to your website from Google search will be minimal.
Our advice? Research the keyphrases you want to rank for and make sure they are popular yet not too competitive. If they are too vague and you’ll be competing with the whole world, and if they’re too niche you’ll find no one will be searching for you!
Don’t let your website fall behind – let our SEO services bring your business more leads, sales and enquiries. Click here to find out more.