Steps that you can take yourself to help with SEO include the following:
- Sign up for and install Google Analytics and Webmaster Tools. Google Analytics shows you where your website traffic is coming from and how visitors are behaving when they come to your site. Google Webmaster Tools on the other hand, provides you with information on your website including any broken pages or links, error messages and the like and even allows you to see which terms people are searching for to get to your website.
- Set up a blog for your website if you don’t have one already. A well maintained blog with quality posts has now become a really effective marketing tool as it can have a direct effect on your website’s rankings. There are small things you can do on your blog set up such as placing keywords in the title of your blog post as well as in the content itself to let search engines like Google understand what the blog post is about. If you can, it helps to include nice, high quality images for every blog post. Aside from looking great, nice images in your blog increase the likelihood of it being shared through social media.
- If your business isn’t on social media networks such as Facebook or LinkedIn then get onto this ASAP. At the very least and if nothing else, set up business accounts for Facebook and Google+. Social media profiles for your business help to increase your reach through regular updates, blog posts, video or image uploads, etc. Once you have these profiles set up it’s important to let your visitors know that you are available through social media. You can do this by clearly displaying your chosen social media icons on your website.
- Backlinks can also help to boost your SEO rankings. What are backlinks I hear you ask? Backlinks are other websites which link back to your own website. The more quality backlinks you have the greater your weighting within the Google algorithm. Put simply, if other quality, relevant websites with authority are referencing your site, then Google assumes that your website and content is relevant and trusted. Links back from LinkedIn, Facebook and other social media websites are all back links and it helps to make sure that only high quality, relevant backlinks drive traffic to your website.
- Update your site regularly with information rich content and write content that clearly and accurately describes what you do. Google likes to see a website that is being regularly refreshed and updated. This is why having a blog helps as it actively encourages and prompts you to think about content on a more regular basis.
- Design your web pages and content with the end user in mind rather than thinking about what will help to make it better for search engines.
But there is a lot more to SEO than meets the eye, which is why it makes business sense to employ the services of an expert to help you. A full in-depth understanding of Google is a must in order to master the complex art of SEO. Be warned though, there are sharks operating in the market who over promise and under deliver. No one can guarantee you a number 1 position on page 1 of Google. That is up to Google and no one else. Instead, you should look for an expert who:
- Is honest. If an SEO company can’t give you honest feedback on what results you’re likely to get, in what time frame and what it will cost then steer clear;
- Only practises legitimate SEO techniques. There are companies out there who still do things that can result in your site getting banned from Google. Once this happens it is very, very hard to come back from, so why run the risk?; and
- Can show proven results. If your SEO expert can show past success stories of clients they have helped with SEO (without naming names for confidentiality purposes) this demonstrates that they know what they are doing and can deliver results.
Make no mistake, having a website that is optimised for SEO is crucial to achieving online success. After all, you have made the investment to get a website designed and built so why wouldn’t you take the next logical step and get SEO done to drive traffic to your website? SEO has become so critical now that the money spent on SEO should not be considered as a cost but rather an investment and part of an ongoing growth strategy for your business.
It’s important to work with an honest, reputable SEO company so be sure to do your homework and choose someone you can trust, and preferably, has proven experience in this space.
About the Author
Ryan Price is the SEO Manager at Woocom. For the last 8 years his passion has been helping local businesses increase their traffic and visibility on Google and other search engines. When not helping clients he gets around on a mean motorbike and has been known to eat Mi Goreng with tuna.