If you have a new blog or website or you want to improve your online presence, you need to learn what Search Engine Optimization is and how to improve your Google ranking.
Let´s be clear if you write about what you think is essential for your readers, using your vocabulary and without taking into account any SEO tactics, no one will find you on Google Search.
What is the purpose of blogging or creating a website if people can’t find it on Google? None, so you need to learn the basics of SEO.
Let’s start at the beginning.
What is SEO Marketing?
Search Engine Optimization SEO is the part of marketing that focuses on growing organically (without paying a single dollar) the ranking of a website on search engines.
In other words, by knowing how search engines work, you can structure your website in a way that search engines understand better, and use the same words that your readers are typing to find content. This will help your site to appear on the firsts pages of Google.
When other sites link to your website, you are also improving your ranking.
If you want to know more about what is SEO I recommend you to watch this video,
Why do I need SEO?
Because the majority of the traffic to a website is driven through searches search engines (Google, Bing or Yahoo).
Therefore if search engines cannot find your site, you are missing a significant opportunity to drive traffic to your website.
We don’t want that! We want to allow people to find us when they are looking for the products or services that we offer, that’s the way we make money.
Marketers say that “The best place to hide a dead body is page 2 of Google page results.”😱
I am sure you don’t want to be a dead body, so let’s learn SEO.
The majority of the internet users in Australia search through Google, so this blog is about SEO tactics to improve your rank on Google.
How does Google Seach work?
You don’t want to get confused with my vague explanations, so watch this video if you what to know how Google Search works.
I have to admit that Matt from Google can explain better than I do how Google search works.
SEO Basics checklist
I know that your brain is out out 🤯, so I don’t want to get very technical.
I will give you a list of the basics things that you should take into account to start ranking your website.
We will talk about SEO tactics and optimisation in the future, but for now, this will do 😉
Make sure that your page is secure. Check that your website address starts with HTTPS.
If not, contact your hosting provider immediately, and check your website complies with the regulations.
PAGE LOAD SPEED
Load time needs to be 3 second or least.
You can check your website speed on Google Webmaster following this link: Page Speed Insights Google.
Make sure that your website is responsive.
Websites need to be easy to navigate and click on all devices, especially in mobile.
The page speed on mobile is also a ranking factor, so make sure that you test your website and improve your mobile speed.
You can test your mobile speed using Google Test My Site and optimise your site with the recommendations that Google sent to you for free.
XML SITE MAP
XML Sitemaps XML helps Google to index your site, so you want to create one and submit it to Google Search Console.
If you use WordPress, you can download the plugin Google XML sitemap, and it will generate the plugin for you.
BROKEN LINKS 404
Broken links are bad for your SEO, so make sure that you track the pages that you delete and implement redirects 301.
From time to time pages that you link from your site will turn into broken links, so checking your broken links every month is a good habit.
You can find your broken links through Brokenlinkcheck.com.
An easy to navigate and well organise web architecture help your site to rank best on Google.
You can find how to create a good site architecture on the post How to start a blog and be successful.
This is how a good website or blog architecture should look like:
Finding the right keywords for your site is one of the most critical tasks to improve your SEO.
This words will make your readers find you.
Try to think what your users will want to type on Google search, and use keywords tools to find ideas and suggestions for your keywords.
My favourite free keywords tools are:
If you are willing to pay SEMrush is an excellent tool to take into account.
Title Tags are HTML elements that show the title of your web page. This titles are displayed on google searches and are clickable.
Best Practices for title tags are:
- The page title should be unique
- Use your primary keyword first.
- Brand name at the end of the title
- Keep your title tag under 60 characters.
Meta descriptions are HTML elements that provide a summary of the website. They are also displayed on Google searches.
- The meta description should be unique.
- The meta description should be attractive for your reader and contains all the relevant information that they will find on your web page.
- Google shows 150 characters, but 300 characters are considered optimal leigh as well. I recommend you to write your essential information on the first 150 characters
Alternative text (Alt Text) or Alt attribute are used within an HTML code to describe a picture.
Image Alt text is used for web accessibility for visually impaired users, to be displayed if the image file cannot be loaded and to provide better context to search engine crawlers.
How to create a good Alt attribute:
- Describe the image.
- Use Keywords
- Avoid keyword stuffing
- Don’t include phrases like “picture of…”.
They are the address of your website. My recommendations for URL’s are:
- URL’s must be shorter than 2,083 characters.
- Organise your URL’s for search engines crawlers and your users.
- The optimal format should be: www.homepage/category/sub/.
- Keep your URL simple and relevant.
- Use lowercase letters.
- Use hyphens to separate words when necessary, but do not use spaces or any other characters to separate words.
INTERNAL LINKS. ANCHOR TEXT
Internal links are links then go from one of your web pages to another, but always on your website.
Internal links can help you to optimise your website architecture and avoid bounce rate.
The optimal internal link structure on your website should look like this:
You also need to think about your anchor text. Anchor text is the visible and clickable link of your hyperlink. I always use my primary keyword for the website I am linking to as anchor text.
A backlink is a link to an external website.
They are essential for your SEO because they show that your content is valuable, shareable and trusted.
If you want to improve your ranking on Google, you should create a backlink strategy for your site.
To increase the number of backlinks to your website, I suggest you start by:
- Creating great content, something better than the content currently ranking.
- Promoting the content on your social media accounts and reaching some websites that have linked similar content before.
- Participating in several forums related to your website topic and share your blog posts on the forums.
- Writing a guest blog for other bloggers.
As you can see SEO is a challenging and fun discipline of marketing. I recommend you to start with the basics that you can read above, and when you believe that you are ready to take the next step into your online journey you can start to read and learn more about SEO, you won’t regret it. Your traffic metrics will appreciate your SEO efforts 😉
See you next week then. 👋