It's no surprise that one of the most frequent questions we get asked is "How can I improve my SEO" (that's Search Engine Optimisation if you've been hiking through Nepal for past 5 years, or simply averse to acronyms). And it's a fair question given that being in that coveted first page or two of Google can definitely make a difference (the degree depending on your field, service and/or product).
So, how do you improve your searchability? Well it's actually much easier than a those sneaky SEO companies would have you believe. Fact is, if you have control over your website this can easily be accomplished by you and a lot of it just comes down to having great content. Easy huh? Well, there's a little more to it than that, but if you've got a spare 5 minutes the 3 tips below should get you on your way.
Still with us? Great, let's get started.
1. Content: Google loves keywords, so pay attention to your copywriting to make sure you're using the words you'd like people to search for. If you're blogging (and you should be!) assign keywords to your post tag, category, and even your images. But - easy there tiger! Before you go peppering your post with keywords it's often more effective to use one keyword per post. We'll cover the many benefits of blogging more in a future article, but from a purely SEO perspective - Google has a short attention span and keeping your content fresh will keep your site up the top.
2. Hosting, domain name & platform: The key factors here are - where is it hosted, where is the domain registered, how long has it been registered for, the domain name itself, and how/what was it built on. The first factor depends on your market. Hosting offshore is certainly cheaper, but if you're looking for local hits, hosting locally will give you an edge. The same goes for the domain name registration. A .com looks all neat and tidy, but unless you're focussed on an international and/or US market a .com.au will serve as well if not better. The age of a domain also plays a part. Like a fine wine, the longer you keep hold of a domain the better it will rate, so buy up now and cellar! Which brings us to the next factor - the title. Google smiles upon keyword rich titles, and with all the 4 letter .com's gone and domain names costing so little, it's worth buying a suite of them and setting redirects. Finally, how or where your website is built is also important. Choosing a solid platform (Squarespace, Wordpress, Blogger, Tumblr etc), or ensuring you work with reptuable designers who will implement clean and current code, will make a difference.
3. Linkbacks & referrals: Obviously drawing people to the site through other channels is beneficial to begin with, but Google actually gives precedence to sites that are widely linked from multiple, respected sources. A free and easy way of getting some refferals happening is to just sign-up to your free local online directories (such as www.truelocal.com.au). There are plenty of other things you can do to generate and direct traffic such as Social Media, advertising and marketing, but they're a whole other topic for whole other day.
So there it is! Good luck and look forward to seeing you at the top.
PS. For those of you on the Squarespace platform (which has great SEO potential), there's an interesting article here on the nitty gritty of getting the best out of the platform.