Search engine optimisation is a real speciality and because things are changing all the time, it is hard to keep on top of things.
However, taking care of the basics for SEO will still yield results, and if you’re targeting words or phrases with not a lot of competition, you may be surprised at what you can do for yourself.
The basic tenets of good SEO
- Have absolutely great content that matches the keywords/keyword phrases that you want to rank for
- Make sure the website has all of the factors checked so that Google won’t rank you down
a. Be speedy and quick to load
b. Be mobile responsive
c. Make sure the important web page elements (H1 tags, description etc) feature your key word/s
d. Make sure your content reads naturally and is a good experience for your visitors. Don’t ‘keyword stuff’ – ie. don’t over do it or Google will penalise you
e. Include internal and external links on the page. Google likes when you give your visitors a chance to continue their journey
f. Great on site experience with good time on site times and acceptable bounce rates.
To help you get started, the following are a bunch of tools that will give you a leg up with your DIY SEO efforts.
Great for understanding which words or phrases your website currently ranks for and the competition for these words. It will show who is doing well and you can drill down to see your competitors and what they are ranking for.
Google in-cognito – predictive search
If you’re using Chrome then using the in-cognito feature will allow you to do a ‘neutral’ search without any of your preferences and information influencing the results. You can see who is ranking for what keyword but also pay attention to the drop down ‘predictive search’ at the bottom of the page, where you will see more ‘suggested search terms’.
Google have also introduced a new feature that displays other ‘questions’ that people have searched for.
Google Adwords Keyword planner
This is probably the best tool you can use to identify the best keywords to base your search campaign on, as well as the volumes of people actively searching for it. If you’re going to do some paid search as well, this is good for giving you a high level guide on how much you will need to bid to appear in the top three, page one results. This information does not translate accurately across to the organic paid search territory.
SITE TECHNICAL SETUP
Yoast is a great plugin for WordPress. If you have a WordPress site it will guide you through the process of making sure you have all of the right keyword information in place.
An essential for understanding how Google sees your site. The webmaster account will show how Google has indexed your website and any errors that it encountered.
Googles developer Speed test
This tool will tell you how Google rates your site in terms of speed but also usability and other factors that will impact on how well they will rank your content in the search results.
Within your analytics under acquisition, you can display the search keyword report which will show you some of the keyword terms that people have used to arrive at your website.
SEO Site Checkup
This website has a great range of tools that cover everything from whether your H1 / H2 tags are in place correctly, through to a broken links test. My favourite is the SEO site audit which gives you a ranking and a list of tips and to do’s to improve your ranking.
Local business check up
If you’re a business that is ‘local, then check out the free Moz tool that will give you a wealth information on how you rank on the local index online.