I could write about 101 different things to do to improve your website SEO but from my experience, working with small businesses in the Twickenham area of West London for over ten years, – you can safely ignore about 80% of those 101 things. Just doing the top 10 things well will be perfectly good enough because the majority of your competitors don’t do these essentials well if at all!
SEO Tip 1
Think about your objective
What do you want to show up for in the Google search engine listings and why? For example, I’m writing this article so that our business is listed in the first few pages of Google when someone searches for help with the SEO of their website.
Why? Not because we offer SEO as a stand-alone service, we don’t! The reason is that we do offer website design as a service and one of the best things a business can do to gain better search visibility often requires the design and development of a new website.
We offer SEO advice for free so that we can develop relationships with potential future website design clients.
SEO Tip 2
For each piece of website content that you create – use Google’s free keyword planner tool to find the best phrase to focus on that describes the content. Pick one phrase as a topic and write about it. You’ll need to sign up for a Google AdWords account first, but you don’t have to use it to pay for advertising so it won’t cost you anything.
How do you define the best phrase? As an example – ‘SEO’ and ‘search engine optimisation’ are probably the hardest phrases to gain visibility for on the Google search engine. The businesses working to show up for these phrases know how to create search engine optimised websites because SEO is their core business.
Pavoni Creative is a small business that doesn’t even offer SEO as a core service so it will be virtually impossible for us to compete against our competitors for the most frequently searched for SEO phrases. It wouldn’t be a cost effective use of our time.
So – we use the keyword planner tool to find a phrase that our potential customers are likely to use to search for SEO advice. We are also looking for a phrase that has the least competition from people selling SEO as a service. The combination of enough search volume and the least competition gives us the best phrase.
Using the keyword planner tool I’ve identified the following suitable phrase
→ SEO Tips ←
On average 590 people search for SEO TIPS per month in the UK
And competition for the phrase SEO TIPS in low
SEO Tip 3
Create written content
Simply create written content on your chosen topic focusing on your best phrase. The content could be a blog post or a whole section of your website. Not an image, video or pdf document – straightforward written content is still the most powerful regarding SEO.
SEO Tip 4
Think like Google
Google decides whether or not it will list your content and where on its search engine – automatically. A real person isn’t sitting there making these decisions.
So think how a machine will analyse your content. Think logically. A machine can’t access the content and importance of an image accurately. It can measure things like – how many times a word or phrase is used, is the word used in page titles, sub-titles, link text, image file names and so on.
Logic says that if an article is about a specific topic – the name of that topic will show up multiple times. It will be present in titles, links and image file names. In reality, this is not always the case when people write content. Look at your content and think about it from the perspective of a logical machine. You’ll be thinking like Google. And you’ll create content that gains excellent search engine visibility.
SEO Tip 5
Put the right words in the right places
Now that you’re thinking like Google – put your chosen phrase in all the right places. Only do this if it is logical to put the phrase there and not spammy. For example, don’t label a picture of a cat ‘SEO tips in Twickenham’ 🙂 Instead, create an image that illustrates your chosen phrase so that you can genuinely name it with text that includes your best phrase.
- The URL (website link address)
- Your top level page title
- Content main title and sub-titles
- Link text
- Body copy
- Image file names and captions
- Meta title and description
- Highlighted bold text
SEO Tip 6
Include internal links
If possible use your best phrase to link to content on your website that’s about the same or a similar topic. Or use the best phrases that you’ve identified when creating other content on your website. Using best phrases from other content pages won’t improve the SEO of the new content you’re writing, but it will improve the SEO of content you’ve already written. For example, later in this article, I use the phrase ‘Lumpy Mail Marketing UK’ to link to an article I’ve previously written on that topic. This will improve the SEO of my lumpy mail blog post but it won’t improve the SEO of this blog post.
SEO Tip 7
Acquire external links
These are incredibly important for your SEO. Get as many high-quality links to your content as possible. The most valuable links are from high profile websites such as national newspaper or magazine websites. That’s why PR can be so useful. Other example ways to acquire inbound links are:
- Post links to your content on social media in a way that encourages people to share your content. This will create more inbound links for you.
- Put a link to your content in your email signature. For example, you could put a link to your latest blog post at the bottom of your email signature. Getting as many interested people as possible to see your content helps your SEO. The Google machine will know how many people read it and how long they stay on your webpages – both will be good for your SEO.
SEO Tip 8
Add your geographic location
Lots of people like to work with local businesses so use every opportunity to show up in Google for local searches. This takes a bit of thinking – you don’t want to come across as spammy, do you? So think how you can add a sentence or two that includes your location and integrates well with your article. For example, you’ll see that I’ve added our local areas of Twickenham and West London into the 1st paragraph of this article. I’ve managed to add the locations in again here too 🙂
SEO Tip 9
Create more and regular content
Create more and regular written content about your chosen topics. Write about things that your potential customers will find useful. Things that they will search for on Google. The content must be good quality, useful and valuable to your target audience.
SEO Tip 10
It can take months for your new content to gain visibility on the Google search engine. For example, I wrote an article about Lumpy Mail Marketing on the 4th of November, and it took four weeks to get visibility on Google. It’s now on page two for the search phrase lumpy mail marketing UK and is generating leads for our business.
That’s the end of my SEO tips for today. There will be more to follow in the coming months. If you’d like me to notify you when I write my next SEO tips article – send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with ‘SEO Tips please’ in the subject line. Can you see how I’ve managed to legitimately (in my opinion anyway) squeeze SEO Tips into this paragraph four times! 🙂