There is a lot of information on the internet about SEO, there are even more people will tell you they know everything about SEO. At Chain Digital, we are not here to show off about our knowledge and we are happy to admit we don’t know everything. Partly because no-one does. Ever since the departure of Matt Cutts from Google, we are all a little bit more in the shade than before. What we do know of course is that our websites need to be about and for the user. Once we understand that we can begin to look at the foundations of our SEO strategy to ensure they are solid enough to build on.
What do we mean by foundations? You may be at the start of your website journey or you may have been live for years. It doesn’t really matter, what you need to know going forward is that you have done the ground work to ensure future success. There is even a passage in the bible about building your house on sandy ground not being a good idea, so we think it is relevant.
To start with we want to ensure we can test and measure our SEO. So here are our 12 tips for SEO success that are free and easy to complete:
- So begin with setting up Google Analytics and adding it to your website. It is free and easy to do, if you need help ask. We can show you the basics of Google Analytics in 15 minutes or go into more detail over a couple of hours.
- Add Search Console to your Analytics. This is where you can see how you rank for keywords, click through rates, impressions and positions.
- Now submit a Site Map to Search Console so Google knows how to index your website. A lot of website makers will automatically create a site map so you can just submit /sitemap.xml to Search Console.
- Google My Business – Add your brand and website to Google My Business. This is where you can control reviews, photos and opening hours. It also lets you replace some of Google’s auto generated content that may be incorrect.
- Do the same with Bing my Business. In 2018 Bing accounted for 12% of search traffic. So why ignore over 1 in ten people?
- Get your social channels looking the same and giving out the same information. Ensure your address, phone number and email details are the same across all platforms. Don’t risk confusing search engines and customers.
- Start building directory links that are important. Do search on a competitor and see what directories come up. In the Uk that means Yell. You will then receive a call from Yell trying to sell you SEO and marketing tools. It’s probably worth a listen so you get the free Yell report on your listing. Don’t forget they are great sales people so check the prices before you take them on. A lot of what they offer can be done yourself.
- Check the URL system on your website to ensure it is using the wording from the page and category. You don’t want URLs that look like this: www.chaindigital.co.uk/project/#41 it makes no sense and loses any ranking power from the url that should be properly built.
- Meta Data – This is the wording in your search results below and above the URL. In the old days this was considered the golden ticket and you stuffed it with keywords. Now this will get you sinking in the results. As we said at the start, SEO is now about the user. How can you get someone to click your link as opposed to the one above or below. Ensure the meta data is useful, relevant to the page and readable.
- Add Alt tags to your photographs. Sometimes you run out of processing power to do everything, but these are all FREE tips. One of the best is to add Alt tags to your photographs. Yes, people search by images, or images come up in search results. This is often a very quick win, many people will click a photo first then click through to the website. Only a few website owners do this so it’s a winner. Remember to call the image what it is as opposed to making keywords up that aren’t relevant.
- Do the same as above for any video content you have when adding it to YouTube. Make sure search terms are in the descriptions. Plus, ensure you have a link back to the website from the channel.
- Social Media personal profiles. If you are selling B2B, your Linkedin profile may rank highly for your company so ensure you have used search terms in your personal profile that will help you get found.