Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) should be a constant part of your ongoing marketing strategies. It’s not just a one-time thing that can be left alone, nor is it as simple as just turning on a few switches.
A good SEO campaign will include things such as keyword research, image optimisation, link building strategies, metadata research, content optimisation and analytical reporting. In this blog post, we’re going to explore these good practice SEO techniques.
One element of SEO many of you may have heard of is keyword research. After all, every time we use a search engine, we’re using keywords as our search terms (this can be more than one word).
Many SEO campaigns start with keywords. Knowing what the audience within your niche is searching for is a powerful advantage you can gain over competitors.
During this stage of an SEO campaign, we would use tools to research the real words people type in search engines. Speaking the language of your audience, and not technical jargon is how you’ll reach them – just as in the offline world.
Once you have a variety of keyword ideas, you can then use them for on-page SEO, improving your content, building helpful pages for your niche.
Check out your competitors
Another quick and valuable SEO tactic is to see what your competitors are ranking for in search results. If you don’t know who your competition is, search for some of your most important keyword targets for your website.
Sites that consistently rank well are the ones you are going to want to take a look at. Although don’t put in a huge website that sells many items such as Amazon – unless you like digging through mountains of data! Pick someone big enough to have a lot of keywords, but niche enough to specialise.
Now, just because a competitor is ranking well for a keyword, doesn’t mean you should try and target it. It has to be highly relevant to your business and audience, otherwise you will have no chance.
Mobile friendly websites
A significant number of searches performed each day are through mobile devices. Many studies over the last six months have identified that the number of searches made on smartphones is steadily increasing, especially when it comes to making online purchases.
We have written more on why your website benefits from being mobile friendly here, but I am sure that if you take a look at your website’s analytics data, you will see a good percentage of your daily visits coming from mobile devices.
It’s a well known fact that websites that are optimised for mobile devices, perform much better than websites which aren’t responsive.
Add alt text to all of your images
Search engines are great at reading text on your website, but they still haven’t quite figured out how to look at the images on your site. To understand what’s displayed in a photo or graphic, search engines look for “alt text”.
Alt text is a concise written description (just a few words) about each image on a website. When writing alt text, be sure to accurately describe what is shown in the image, but also try to include the name of your business or a few keywords related to what you do.
From experience, this is something that many people misunderstand, which can make the job of updating content even more difficult. ‘Fresh content’ is not necessarily content that is totally new to the internet, but is content that is relevant and new for your website and not found anywhere else on the web in exactly the same format.
For example, the article you are reading now is classed as fresh content because it is unique, original and not found on any other website online. If you search Google for “Good practice SEO techniques to include in your campaigns”, you will find loads of posts that talk about the same subject as we’re discussing here, but the specific content you are reading is unique and exclusive to this article.
How do you monitor your SEO campaign’s impact?
So, you’ve implemented all these changes, but where can you see the results?
As a discipline, SEO is flooded with tools, and knowing which to use and in which situation is a minefield even for seasoned professionals. However, the tools below are essentials in any campaign – helpful whether this is your first site, or your 1000th!
Google Analytics is one of the first places you want to start, this is easy to set up as long as you have access to your website, but most web designers (like us) will set this up by default before launching your website. You can find out how to set it up here.
Google Search Console is a free service offered by Google that helps you monitor, maintain, and troubleshoot your site’s presence in Google Search results. You don’t have to sign up for Search Console to be included in Google Search results, but Search Console helps you understand and improve how Google sees your site.
Use Bing Webmaster Tools to get even more information:
Here in the UK, Google is by far the dominant player in the search engine market. However, there are still millions of searches done using Microsoft’s search engine, Bing, every day.
Understanding what they think of your site is another way to improve your SEO efforts. Just like Google, they have a great tool, Bing Webmaster Tools, with free information.
As it gives different data to Google Search Console, you can also get different ideas on how to improve your website. It even comes with SEO reports and an SEO Analyser to get you started with actionable recommendations. Just like Search Console, there are different ways to verify your site to register and get going.
Search Engine Optimisation is the foundation to every great website – and more importantly, its performance. It takes time and effort to optimise your website’s performance and it’s vital for the success of your website in the world of Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). Our SEO services will help you not only climb the search rankings, but stay there too.
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