Here are 20 SEO tips to help you optimise your website and start your SEO journey.
From the obvious to the more obscure, here are the top 20 SEO tips for beginners to learn how to optimise your website. Whether you are planning to hire an SEO company or keep your online marketing in-house, it’s essential to have a broad understanding of the industry so you can oversee your SEO activities. Here are tips on how to improve the technical infrastructure of your site, keyword research, off-site profile and on-site content.
Technical infrastructure SEO tips
- Although Search Engines are much better at indexing Flash content, most SEO companies still recommend having an HTML-style navigation and content template to get the most out of your SEO campaigns.
- Using a Search Engine-Friendly Content Management System is critical to the success of your SEO campaigns. It will allow you to create keyword-rich URLs and customise titles, description tags and anchor text.
- Do regular checks for broken links across your site. This includes sweeping the site for both broken internal and external links – use a tool such as Xenu.
- Use canonical tags to tell Search Engines what the preferred version of your URL is. If http://www.mydomain.com.au is your preference, then use a 301 redirect http://mydomain.com and other variations to this domain.
- Add a site map to your website – it allows easier indexing of your site by the Search Engines as well as improving usability and site navigation.
Keyword research SEO tips
- Employ a few different methods to shortlist keywords for your site. This may include reviewing Google Analytics, using keyword research tools, surveying clients and customers and social media and competitor analysis.
- Don’t just focus on trophy words or short tailed keywords like ‘Sydney gym’. Add long-tailed keywords to your keyword portfolio like ‘Females only Sydney gym’.
- Look at the search volume when using the Google AdWords Keyword Tool. ‘Broad Searches’ will return results of combinations of keywords but ‘Exact Searches’ will only return results for the exact match of the search phrase.
- Ideally optimise each page with one keyword theme. This should be reflected on the URL, title and description tags, headings, ALT (alternative text) and links. Don’t try to optimise the page for several keywords at once.
- Search patterns change over time so keep up to date with keywords that are relevant your site and the language your target market is using. Monitor your keywords every year to expand your keyword portfolio.
Off-site profile SEO tips
- Post original and interesting content on your website other people want to link back to such as topical content, results of surveys, infographics or research your company has conducted or interactive content.
- The anchor text (this is the visible, clickable text in a hyperlink) is critical to link building. Create anchor links with keyword-rich text.
- Don’t just link back to your homepage. Deep linking to as many pages on your website tells Search Engines that more of your content is worth indexing.
- Ask if you can write guests posts on respected industry blogs in return for a link to your website. This will not only help your Search Engine visibility but will position you as an expert in your trade.
- Continue to work on your link building and citation building activities. There are always new opportunities for backlinks on directories or blogs.
On-site content SEO tips
- Make a firm commitment to adding fresh and original content to your website regularly. Put together a copywriting schedule to ensure your website is updated regularly with quality, optimised content.
- Check for duplicate content across your site. If you have duplicate content that must stay on your site, you can add a robot.txt file to your site to tell Search Engines what and what not to index.
- Write for users first and Search Engines second. Keyword stuffing on a page may drive a visitor to your website but well written copy will nudge visitors down the path of conversion which is your end goal.
- Write copy in your target market’s language – this will also help in aligning your copy with search terms they are using. This means minimising jargon, acronyms and writing in plain English.
- Employ writing on the core web design principles such as breaking up text with headings, subheadings and paragraphs, use bulleted lists, the inverted-pyramid model of writing* and use the active voice.
SEO is a fast paced industry and to keep abreast of changes in optimisation, it is essential to read SEO blogs, watch webinars and follow influential social media sites. The SEO Works blog features SEO advice, articles and guides and you can follow us on Facebook and Twitter. To find out more about our SEO packages or to receive more SEO tips on how you can improve your website, contact us today.
*Writing copy that details the most important information to the least important.