Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is such a common buzzword – yet there’s still quite a lot of unknowns and misconceptions about what it actually is. So here is our 101 guide to SEO Basics.
There are two main aspects to SEO:
1 – On Page SEO
The first aspect of SEO is ensuring that your website is as clearly as possible telling Google what you’re talking about. If you have a WordPress website, you should install a plugin called Yoast SEO. This plugin assists to optimise every page on your website for certain keywords.
It works by analysing your content and giving you a series of green lights when you have correctly optimised your content. Some of the SEO basics that Yoast checks for includes:
- Checking the keyword appears in the URL of the page.
- Ensuring the keyword is used within the first paragraph of the text.
- Makes sure the keyword is used in sub-headings.
- Checks that the keyword is used within the meta title and meta descriptions.
Something that is important – but Yoast doesn’t check – is ensuring that your images obey the same SEO basics too. As an example, the file name of images should be keyword.jpg not dsc10293.jpg. You should also ensure that other image meta data such as Title and Alt Text are set to the same as your keyword.
While the Yoast plugin is extremely helpful, it does not automatically change the content on your behalf. Either you or your web developer will need to take on this manual process. Check out www.devio.digtal for advanced web design solutions.
In additional to optimising every page, I also recommend writing new blog posts regularly – ideally once a week. These blog posts should be about relevant topics to your business. Again, using the same Yoast plugin – when posting the blog on your website, you ensure that all content is optimised to ensure Google knows what you are talking about.
We affectionately refer to this as ‘Yoast your Post’
The trick to blogging is to be very specific. For example, it is much better to write about something specific – rather than to write countless articles related to a generic topic. For example we write about a specific aspect of social media, like Instagram Spam or how a social media mistake left a major grocery retailer red faced – Aldi Social Media mistake.
The best thing to do is think about what potential clients would search for in Google. Use Google’s auto-suggested searches that pop up as a guide for good, relevant blog topics.
Once you have written and published your article on your website, it’s time to share this on Social media – LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+. Buffer or Hootsuite are great tools to help with this process. If you’re regularly sending an email to your contact list, including a preview and a link to the article is always a great idea. In today’s world with so much information being analysed by algorithms – sharing your work across all mediums is very important.
2 – Off Page SEO
The second aspect to SEO is getting links from other websites that link back to your website. In years gone by, you could pay an offshore company a few dollars for 1,000 links and you’d be at the top of Google. Tactics like this are Blackhat – Google is much smarter now and you need to get links much more organically.
Once Google knows what your website is talking about – it needs to know how trustworthy your website is. In its simplest form, Google sees you as being trustworthy if other trusted websites link to your website.
The easiest example of building links like this is guest blogging for other reputable and trusted websites. Find a forum or website that talks about topics relevant to your target audience.
Don’t discount your networks of colleagues, friends and family. As an example, I often assist clients and friends by mentioning their business on my website and then linking to their website.
One last tip about backlinks. Rather than just inserting a web address (URL) into the article – always think about your target. For example, if you would like to rank high as ‘Social Media Expert’- then in the article, link the actual words “Social Media Expert” to a landing page on your website that has been Yoast optimised.
So what now?
If you’re thinking how much does this type of service cost? It really depends on exactly what you’re looking for. My clients vary from those who want to do a lot of the work themselves – to those who just want to pay me to do it all on their behalf.
We do both practical workshops in groups or one on one working through the steps outlined above.
Full service SEO is expensive and hard work. A monthly rate for SEO is between $800 and $1,500 per month depending on exactly what services you need. To get the most bang for buck, we still encourage our clients to keep up with article writing once a week, however your SEO consultant should then take full responsibility for executing everything mentioned above.
If you don’t like writing or feel your skills are better spent elsewhere, a good copywriter can help write great, relevant content on your behalf.