Last week I issued myself a big challenge, and that was to write a 4-part Beginner’s Guide to SEO to help you give your website a healthy start to attracting some Google love.
Just as a reminder, Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is the use of techniques to help you push your website up the search result pages of Google, Yahoo and Bing! Sounds simple enough right?
Your response to last week’s blog was overwhelming (thanks for that by the way), but many of you had the same question.
Well don’t panic! Although the number 200 might seem intimidating, the fact is that you’re most likely already ticking off the majority of them. However it’s still a good idea to be aware of the key things you need to do to improve your website’s chances of ranking highly on Google search results.
So this week we’re going to look at the key onsite factors; those little things you have to do on your own website to help you reach the first page of Google.
Or as I like to call it:
The 5 Little Things That Mean a LOT to Google
If you were to go through last week’s big mama list of the 200 SEO factors, you’ll see that many of the factors are things that you can do on your website right now.
Once you start implementing these SEO tips and tricks, you’ll begin to understand that prepping your website for Google is more about following some basic rules of common sense, as opposed to some fancy black magic that is only known to a select few SEO gurus.
So let’s dive in and see what these 5 simple things are…
1) Keyword research.
Keyword research is a crucial part of SEO (Search Engine Optimisation). In fact some SEO specialists will spend days on it and deliver a document with hundreds or thousands of possible keywords that your website should focus on.
Don’t worry, you only need to find a few for now. Or at least one for every page of your site.
Keywords are the terms that your customers will search for to find your website, so you need to match your website to the right keywords. After all, if you don’t know what your customers are looking for, how can you make your website findable?
Do your keyword research:
- Go to Google adwords and sign in. Once you’re in, go to ‘Tools > Keyword Planner.’
- Click on the link that reads ‘Search for New Keyword and Ad Group Ideas.’
- From here you can experiment with certain keywords that you feel may bring you traffic. So for example, if you sell men’s shoes in Adelaide, you may want to look up terms like “shoes in Adelaide”, “mens shoes Adelaide”, etc.
- Between the ‘Ad Group Ideas’ and ‘Keyword Ideas’ tab, you should be able to see a wide range of ideas for keywords for your website.
When you choose the keywords, you need to decide which keywords you’re going to use by considering the number of searches that the keyword gets Vs. the competition for your keywords.
Another thing to think about is to consider choosing what are known as ‘long tail keywords.’ Shorter keywords (like “shoes”) are more competitive, but the longer the keyword (i.e. long tail keywords), the less competition for that keyword (e.g. “mens leather shoes Adelaide”).
Sure, ‘long tail keywords’ naturally have less traffic, but you also won’t be fighting anywhere near as many websites to attract the traffic those keywords get.
2) Keywords on your page.
Now that you have identified a number of keywords, you may want to match each of these keywords to a different page of your site. Obviously it’s important to match a keyword that’s relevant, otherwise you run the risk of agitating your new visitors by not giving them a relevant page for their search.
Once you have matched a keyword to your page, read through your page and make sure the keyword is mentioned a handful of times throughout the copy so that Google knows to match this page to that keyword.
Don’t go too bonkers though! If you mention your keyword too often, Google will get wise to your games and could even penalise you by moving you DOWN the search result page. A general rule of thumb is to only use the keyword naturally… if you have to shoehorn it in, chances are Google will notice its forced use.
3) Title your pages correctly.
Every page on your website will have a title, which you can see below….
These are crucial for your SEO, and also help display your page properly on Google’s search result pages. Many of these page titles (or ‘title tags’) are created automatically, but depending what CMS (Content Management System) you are using for your website, you should be able to manually edit them too.
If you’re using a Web123 website, you can edit them by:
- Logging into your Web123 CMS (Content Management System).
- Go to the page you wish to edit.
- Click on the ‘Edit This Page’ button.
- Scroll down to the ‘Metadata & SEO Settings’ section, and edit the ‘Meta Title’ section.
- Click ‘save’.
So for example, if you want to add “Mens Leather Shoes” into the title, you may want to rename the page title “Mens Leather Shoes – AdelaideShoes.com.au”.
*BONUS* point: Also whilst you’re in the backend of your CMS, don’t forget to set up your ‘meta-description’ as well! See below:
Similar to your page title, filling out your website description will allow you to add your keyword into the search results on Google, making it easier for your customer to see where the relevant information for your site is.
Note: Don’t hesitate to call Web123 support, if you need any help with the above! 🙂
4) Add internal links throughout your site.
An internal link is where a link from one page of your site points to another page within your site.
So for example, if we wanted to tell people to contact Web123 or get a web design quote, you can use the links and the words you use in the link (otherwise known as anchor texts) to help Google associate what those respective pages are about.
Thankfully your site will likely already have internal links in the form of your navigation bar, but that’s no reason to get lazy. If you see an opportunity to place a relevant internal link on your page… go for it!
5) Finally… have you created your XML Sitemap?
A Sitemap is exactly as it sounds; it’s a roadmap which Google uses to help find every single page of your website. It’s basically giving Google a big helping hand to ensure they’ve haven’t overlooked any of your crucial pages, and a friendly reminder to Google to put that darn page on their result pages!
If you have a Web123 website, you can sit down and have a break because it’s automatically done for you. : )
If you use another CMS (Content Management System) then please check with your developer to see if your XML Sitemap has been created for you. Otherwise you can use this Sitemap creation tool I’ve found to help you out.
So there you go! 5 little things you need to keep in mind when starting out with your website’s SEO.
So now that we’ve covered the onsite SEO tips and tricks, next week we’re going to leave the comfort of our cozy website and venture out into the rest of the internet to find out what we can do to improve our SEO standings.
See you then! And don’t hesitate to ask any questions by sounding off below!
Need More Help to Appear Higher Up on Google?
If you’re a Web123 client…
… and you’ve got a question on SEO or want to know how to climb higher up the Google’s result pages, then why not drop us an email today? We’re happy to help you out and make your website an even bigger success.
However if you’re not a Web123 client…
… and in need of a stronger web presence for your business that dominates the Google rankings, then why not take a look at our Website Packages? Like with many of our clients, you’ll find that once they have a SEO-friendly website from Web123, you can naturally increase your exposure on ALL search engine results pages.
> Check out our Website Packages to see how affordable a SEO-friendly website can be from Australia’s favourite web design company.