When it comes to SEO, there are a million things to know. And if you spent your days learning those million things by the time you knew it all, the space will have evolved with new things becoming best practise.
But the good news is we don’t need to know it all, if we know the most important things and put them into practise we are well on our way to having our content perform well on search engine algorithms.
So why not make it as simple as following the most effective SEO tips... but I prefer to call them habits. So get familiar with these ‘habits’ until they become second nature with your content creation and you will be climbing the Google rankings in no time.
Let's get to it!
Make your website mobile friendly: If you have a mobile unfriendly website, chances are you will have a high bounce rate from mobile visitors. I’ve seen this time and time again when studying website analytics. People are viewing websites on mobile more and more so websites need to cater for this.
Add hyperlinks: Hyperlink to other sections of your websites, hyperlink your socials and even hyperlinking good content from other websites (outbound links) with authority can improve your SEO.
Gain inbound links: Google ranks inbound links to your website higher than internal links. Even better if you have a website with high authority linking your website. Short of paying or begging other websites to link to your website, what you can do is just create good, valuable content that people will want to link. This is one of the main things you can do to increase website authority.
Avoid Black Hat SEO practices: some examples of black hat seo practices are: tagging unrelated keywords, keyword stacking, invisible text, duplicating content, spam and using link farms. Not only does this build distrust with users and create a bad user experience, the Google algorithm is getting better at identifying these techniques and penalising those who use them.
Mobile Friendly Websites helps SEO
White Hat vs Black Hat SEO
Create in-depth content: Users and Google will quickly realise if your content is a shallow copy-paste job with some key words plugged in. By creating valuable in-depth content not only, will you gain followers, you might get some valuable inbound links.
Write Meta Descriptions: Meta descriptions are the short snippets of text which appears on Google under website page titles. Write catchy, unique, accurate Meta Descriptions filled with keywords where possible.
Use meaningful URLs: whenever adding a blog or new page, make sure your pages are being published with meaningful URLs and not random letter number combinations. Thankfully Wordpress makes it easy to control the URL.
Use long-tail keywords: Keywords are great but even better are long-tail keywords. This means instead of using key words like ‘social media’ try to use key phrases like ‘social media engagement techniques’.
Use keywords on photos: Photos are already good for SEO but even better when uploading photos, using keywords in the filename is important. Keywords can also be added to captions and meta-tags to help your photos appear in Google image searches.
Have good website security: Google will penalise website without an SSL certificate. We can help install this for you.
Create an XML sitemap: XML sitemaps help Google understand the structure of your website. We can help you create your website's XML sitemap.
Study website analytics: Analytics are reports stating key facts like: monthly website visitors, page views, returning users and bounce rate. This helps your understanding of what is working, what isn’t and how people are finding your website. For more information the Mayfly Digital Guide to Analytics is coming soon.
Use your socials: Your social media channels are a great outreach tool which can direct traffic back to your website. This is another great reason for a blog section. Use your social media channels to share your blog hosted on your website to drive traffic.
Delete anything not in use: Speed plays a major factor in SEO so speeding up page load times and responsiveness is not only good user experience but also good SEO. Having broken links indicates to Google your website may be abandoned. No good!
Relevance and Freshness: If you are refreshing and updating content on pages, Google recognises this. This is telling Google your site has relevant content and is not abandoned.
Use SEO plugins: If these tips are hard to remember this is where it gets a whole lot easier. SEO plugins like Yoast ensure your content is checking all the SEO boxes so you don’t forget. I made this point last because it's important to know what Yoast is doing and why it is doing it but this will help you put these tips into practise to make them habits!
Yoast is full of helpful hints when publishing blogs.
So there it is, not as overwhelming as you thought, by practising these simple SEO habits, you will be miles ahead of most of your competition which is the name of the game after all.
SEO: Search Engine Optimisation, the process of having your website and content be prioritised over your competitors to drive more traffic to your website.
Algorithm:The calculations and metrics made by search engines such as Google to decide which websites and content should be prioritised.
Alt Tag: Is text which appears while an image is loading or when a cursor hovers over an image.
Authority: There is page authority and domain authority; these are both scores Google gives your website to determine how much authority it has. One of the main factors of this we can’t control which is website age but there are things we can help to increase our authority which will be listed below.
Back links: Also known as inbound links, these are links from other websites to yours.
Click bait: Often misleading content designed to attract users to click on links.
Long-tail keywords: These are phrases, or collection of keywords which users may Google.
Meta Description: Much like Alt Tags but for pages, this is text which appears while the page is loading, while a cursor hovers over the content or as a snippet on Google.
Natural Search: This is gaining website visitors through organic Google searches of keywords and finding your website. Unlike finding your website through paid advertising.
Outbound links: Links from your website to other websites.
White Hat SEO: This is a term which describes transparent, ethical practises for gaining SEO, through things like good content, hyperlinking and creating good user experiences. This is opposed to Black Hat SEO which refers to unethical forms of SEO practise. This guide will only promote White Hat SEO practises.
XML Sitemap: This is a document hosted on your website which outlines all of the pages on your website which Google uses to understand your website structure.