1 June 2022 - Richard Shire
SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is the process of making improvements to your website to help it achieve better rankings on Google and other search engines. As the majority of search engine traffic goes to the websites listed on the first page, this can make a significant difference to the amount of traffic your site receives.
Search Engine Optimisation can be a complex process and it’s important to keep up to date with SEO best practices and the latest techniques of SEO. But even if you are a complete SEO beginner, there are things you can do that may improve your search engine rankings.
In this post, we will show you ten beginner SEO tips that you can implement yourself without any specialist SEO knowledge.
Before you start creating additional content, it’s a good idea to audit your existing website content and create a digital content strategy. Some pages might be performing better than you expected, while others could be bringing in no traffic at all. And you may have some pages that are bringing in traffic that bounces straight back off your site, because the content on them isn’t working as you intended.
Once you know the results of your content audit, you can make a decision about whether to update underperforming content, consolidate it with other similar pages or delete it from your site. You can also create new content that links well with your high-performing pages to add further authority to your site.
Keywords are the bedrock of your site’s SEO so it’s important to get them right. You need to research and use keywords that your potential customers will search for, bearing in mind both the search volume (how many people search for a term) and the competition (how difficult it is to rank for it).
There are a number of ways you can find keywords, starting off with brainstorming words and phrases that you know are relevant. You can then use Google Search Console to see which keywords people are already using to find your site and keyword research tools such as Keysearch or Ahrefs to research potential new keywords.
The three main types of search intent are:
If you want your site to rank well on search engines, you need to make sure that you create content that matches your visitors’ intent.
For example, someone who searches for ‘DIY wood floor repair’ probably isn’t looking for someone to restore their floor for them, they want to know how to do it themselves. So if you run a hardwood flooring installation company, a post about your flooring restoration service probably won’t rank well for ‘DIY wood floor repair’, even if you optimise the page for it. It would be better to write a post about DIY wood repair tips and link from that to your restoration service page. They may still get in touch if their DIY efforts are unsuccessful!
Once you’ve identified your keywords, you need to make sure that your page titles and meta descriptions are optimised well. This includes crafting a compelling page title and meta description that will grab your visitors’ attention and convince them to click through to your site but which will also attract search engines by including your keywords in a natural way.
It’s very important to make sure that you complete the SEO title tag and meta description for every page on your website, as otherwise search engines will write their own. This would be a missed opportunity to create the most effective and eye-catching title and description for your content
Of course it’s also vital to ensure that your page content is optimised for search engine traffic by including naturally placed keywords in your copy.
You should aim to include relevant keywords in the H2 and H3 headings as well as throughout the body text on the page. Avoid over optimising or keyword stuffing as this will look unnatural and may be penalised by search engines. It’s better to write the copy for your human readers and incorporate keywords and phrases only where they fit naturally.
Optimise your images by resizing them to 1200px wide and using compression software to reduce the file size so that they load quickly. You can also use keywords in the title of any images and, if appropriate, in the image alt text however the primary function of alt text is to provide a description of the image for visually impaired visitors.
In an ideal world, your content would maintain its rankings and continue to drive traffic to your website year after year. But in the real world, pages often fall down the search engine rankings as your competitors publish new content and your pwn content becomes out of date.
Refreshing and republishing content which used to drive traffic to your site can be a very successful Search Engine Optimisation technique. Setting up Google Search Console for your site will allow you to see when pages are starting to decline, and you can also see which keywords they are ranking for but which aren’t currently included in the text. Updating the information and adding keywords could be enough to see your rankings improve once again.
When you are carrying out keyword research for your topic, you may see related questions in the results. These are often used when people are carrying out informational searches, for example “Why do you need a website redesign?”
It can be difficult to incorporate questions into your text in a way that looks natural, but adding an FAQ section to your page is a great solution to this issue. Be sure to only include relevant questions that match your users’ search intent and for optimal results, mark up the FAQ with structured data.
When people discuss techniques of SEO, link building can be quite a contentious issue. But backlinks are a key ranking factor so SEO link building is certainly worth considering, as long as you stay on the right side of the search engines. ‘Black Hat’ backlink building techniques such as paying for links on websites can cause your site to be penalised by search engines.
If you are targeting low competition keywords, just a few high quality backlinks could improve your rankings and boost your organic search traffic. Creating shareable content will hopefully encourage people to link back to your site, and researching your competitors’ websites will allow you to see which sites are linking to their websites. You can then use this as the basis for your own backlink building.
As well as external backlinks, it’s a good idea to add internal links between pages on your website. These will help your visitors to navigate your site more easily and they also help search engines to understand your site’s topic.
Finding places where you can insert internal links could be as simple as sitting down with a spreadsheet of your website’s pages. There are also DIY SEO tools that you can use to locate relevant linking opportunities, such as the free Ahrefs Webmaster Tools account.
There are lots of SEO tips on the internet and if you’re new to SEO, you might feel overwhelmed and unsure where to start. A lot of the advice is inaccurate, outdated or just plain wrong. For instance, there was a time when having your main keyword in your domain name was one of the top tips for SEO, but now it’s better to look for a memorable and brandable domain name.
Before you dive headfirst into Search Engine Optimisation techniques, take some time to understand what your goals are and who your audience is. This will help you to choose what you need to focus on and set realistic targets that you can track effectively. Pick one or two areas to work on, measure your performance and decide if you need to make any further changes. SEO isn’t a quick win, so it’s important to be patient and allow the process to work.
And if you’re still feeling overwhelmed, Aspire Shire can help. Our team of SEO experts can work with you to optimise your website and help you achieve your goals. For more information, contact Aspire Shire through our website to discuss your requirements, call 0330 229 0747 or email info@AspireShire.com.