Five easy ways to improve your SEO

Most people have heard about Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) but don’t really know how to implement it. Here I will provide some easy tips and trick that anyone can use. The most important thing to keep in mind is that high rankings are ultimately related to the user-friendliness of a site. Little tweaks to the content, title tags, meta descriptions, alt texts and links is often enough to improve both the quality of your site and as a result your SEO.

1. Content

Quality content is the most important element of a website when it comes to SEO. But there exists a bit of misunderstanding about what this means exactly. Back in the days, good content was equated with repetitive keyword use but this often reduces the readability of the text. These days, search engines have become exponentially more sophisticated. Besides just the keywords, meaningful synonyms and the context in which the content appears are also taken into consideration. The focus has shifted away from keyword counting to user-friendliness. This means that it is important that you know who your users are and what they are looking for. Make sure your content is:

• Readable, easy to navigate and highly structured (bullet points always help).• Relevant to your site, think about what your reader wants to learn.• Unique, so not duplicated from somewhere else or constantly repeated on other pages.• Not too long or too short, aim for 300 words if possible (but only if the text allows it).

2. Title Tags

A title tag is the heading on each of your web pages. It shows up in the search results when someone is looking for a particular keyword.

This helps both visitors and search engines understand what your page is all about. Title tags are also displayed at the top of your web browser, so this will help people that like to have 100 tabs open at once to keep track. Be mindful to:

• Keep the title below 60 characters long otherwise it will get cut off• Avoid using a list of keywords/synonyms (this is called over-optimisation and Google really doesn’t like it).• Put important keywords at the start of the title, this helps SEO and it is proven that users often only scan the fewest word or two of a heading • If relevant, include your brand name in the title but put this at the end

3. Meta Descriptions

Meta descriptions provide a clear summary of each webpage. They appear underneath the blue clickable link in a search result.

Did you know that meta descriptions don’t actually factor into Google’s ranking algorithms? This doesn’t mean that they’re not important. An inviting meta description can entice people to click on the link. And we all know that clicks translate into higher rankings. To optimise the description try to:• Make it sound natural and non-spammy• Include your keywords (only if relevant)• Match keywords with search queries as these show up bolded and attracted attention • Make the text relevant to the page it is describing

4. Alt Text

Even though search engine image recognition technology has improved significantly over the past few years, search crawlers still can’t “see” images the way humans can. Instead they have to refer to the text that is used to describe the image. This “alternative text” is commonly called “alt text”. Using the correct alt text for every image on a page is very important when it comes to search rankings. There are a few things to keep in mind:

• Be as accurate as possible and cover both the content and function of the image.• Do not use the phrases “image of…” or “graphic of…” as it is obvious that this is an image. • Keep it short, alt text gets cut off by crawlers after about 125 characters.• Use your keywords if they are relevant to the image.• But avoid keyword spamming, the main aim is to accurately describe the image.• If you use images for buttons (such as “submit” or “search” etc.) make sure you describe the function in the alt text.

5. Links

Internal and external links are very important for SEO. An internal link point to another page on the same website. This helps create a nice information hierarchy for the website and it makes it easier for the user to navigate the website. External links are links between separate websites. Sharing content on different social media platforms and linking this back to you website will help increase traffic to your website. This massively increases your rankings as Google considers them as third party votes, which makes your site look more legit. A few tips:

• Share enticing content (blog posts, case studies) on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter etc. to generate traffic to your website.• Check in Google Analytics where most traffic is coming from and optimise this• Instead of writing “click here” for an internal link, point out where the link actually clicks through to, for example “shopping centre directory”.

I hope this has shed a bit of light on SEO and how you can use it to your advantage. But if you’re still not sure, give us a call and we’ll help you out.

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