Promoting a business with no budget used to be tough, but thanks to digital techniques like social media, content marketing and search engine optimisation, it no longer has to be.
Today, we’ve put together five ways that you can improve your website’s SEO without having to swallow a handbook. Follow these simple steps, and you’ll soon be rank one on Google.
Speed up your website
Run your website through Google’s PageSpeed tool, and you might be surprised to learn just how slow your website is.
Choosing the wrong web host, installing too many plugins or working with a developer that doesn’t know how to optimise your code can all be reasons for a slow website – and a slow website is a website that users, and search engines, won’t want to visit.
Google and other search engine giants penalise slow loading websites because they want everyone on the web to deliver the best user experience, reduce bandwidth and help consumers find information more quickly.
If your website doesn’t meet this criterion, you’ll struggle to rank.
You could also ask your web host to enable GZIP compression, or you could power your website through a content delivery network (CDN). If all else fails and your website is still slow, switch web hosts.
Choose your keywords wisely
One of the biggest mistakes business owners make when working on an SEO campaign is choosing the wrong keywords.
Use a free keyword research tool such as WordStream or KeywordTool.io to find terms and phrases that your customers are searching for on Google, and choose some that best represent your business.
Try to be realistic when selecting keywords – you’re much more likely to rank for ‘Dundee hair salon’ than ‘hairdressers’, for example.
As a general rule, specific, location-based keywords will be much easier to rank for. What’s more, they’re the sort of keywords that your customers will be using to search for businesses like yours, so it makes sense to start a campaign with them.
Write more content
You’ve already heard it a million times, but we’ll repeat the anecdote just once more: content is king. By creating super impactful, high-quality content for your website, you’ll naturally rank for competitive terms and get ahead of other businesses in your niche.
So stop making excuses and get writing; even if you’re not an award-winning wordsmith, your knowledge is valuable.
Start by writing tutorials and guides on the products and services you offer, and share your knowledge and thoughts on industry trends.
Maintaining a blog with useful, informative content will position your business as an authority figure, and you’ll naturally attract new readers through search engines and social media.
Just remember to include a call to action at the bottom of every post to capture email addresses or encourage sales, and include your carefully selected keywords when appropriate to do so.
Install a WordPress plugin
Perhaps the most complicated and technical part of any successful SEO campaign is the onsite optimisation – adding metadata to pages and posts, maintaining an accurate sitemap and using Schema markup so search engines can read your pages correctly.
The good news is that, if your website is powered by WordPress, you can leave all of that work to a plugin.
Yoast SEO is the world’s most popular SEO plugin, but there are other tools that do the same job, so experiment and see which one you prefer. A good SEO plugin should give you the power to add meta descriptions and titles to your posts, the ability to choose a ‘focus keyword’ for each page, and automatically create and add to a sitemap that search engine robots can read.
Although SEO plugins really do take away the pressure of maintaining the technical side of optimisation, remember that there are other tweaks you can make to your website.
First, you can improve your website’s internal linking structure by adding links back to blog posts and product pages whenever you create new content; you can improve the structure of your website by correctly using header and paragraph tags on your content, and you can avoid duplicate content issues by ensuring every page on your website has a unique description and content.
Consider guest blogging
Guest blogging is one of the oldest tricks in SEO, and although some of its practices have been shunned by Google employees, it’s still a valuable method of boosting your website’s authority and helps you to build links.
And the more links you have, the higher you’ll rank.
You can start your guest blogging campaign by reaching out to bloggers and influencers in your niche. Ask if they’d be interested in publishing your content, and then write something that would be valuable to their audience.
Remember to add a link back to your website in your guest blogs – and perhaps use one of your keywords to boost your position on Google – and you’ll soon see improvements.
Unfortunately, there’s a lot more to SEO than the points that we have raised in today’s article, and to reach the top of search engine results pages (SERPs) for highly competitive keywords, you should invest in an SEO expert to help. At Zudu, we offer a range of SEO packages to help improve your presence and get ahead of the competition. Get in touch today to find out more.