12 Days of Christmas … 5 ways to improve your SEO

5 ways to improve your SEO

Your site should be optimised for SEO by your web designers. And as there a huge number of factors that go towards your SEO, it can be hard to focus on all of them. But how can you help to improve your SEO yourself without asking for help all the time.

 

Updating content regularly

It is well known that regular, well written content will improve your SEO. But it can be really hard to commit to. Whether it’s updates to your services or product page, or keeping up with a company blog. It can be hard to make time for your own company’s copy on a regular basis.

But if you want to keep on top of your SEO, it is something you should start committing to. Maybe you will update a service/product page once a month. Or you’ll commit to blogging every fortnight. Whatever it is, stick with it if you want to see results.

Moz has a great article on how fresh content can influence rankings. Whether that’s brand new content, or updates to old content. So if you’re struggling to convince yourself why this is important for your rankings, it is definitely worth a read.

Let’s not forget why search engines reward you for keeping on top of your content. It keeps your website visitors happy. And if they are happy, and finding really relevant, interesting, fresh content from you, they are much more likely to remember your brand. That should be all the reason you need to commit.

 

Alt Tags

We’ve spoke before on what alt tags are, and how you can use them for your business. But these can be easily forgotten when you are in a rush to get an image live.

For those of you who aren’t sure, alt tags are the line of text that describes what is going on in the image. This means when search engines are looking for relevant content for a search, that your images aren’t overlooked.

It helps your SEO for a number of reasons:

  • Your website visitor still has a great experience. Even if your image doesn’t show properly on the page. The user still understands what is going on in the image.
  • It reiterates the focus keyword of that page. If you are doing a piece on how dog’s love dustbins  (like our George does) then a picture of a dog and a dustbin, with an alt tag describing the picture will reiterate that is the focus of this article. So it’s relevant to anyone looking to know if dogs really do love dustbins.
  • As well as appearing in google search, it allows you to be shown in google images search results. Meaning more people have the opportunity to find you and your website.

Updating your alt tags is something you can do right now. And is a simple thing to check when you’re adding new images to your content.

It’s probably also worth checking your meta descriptions.

We’ve also spoken about these before in why meta descriptions are important. They would be slightly out of place on this list, as they don’t directly improve your search rankings and are not included in Google’s ranking algorithm’s. However they can improve click through rate’s to your website, so we thought they were worth a mention.

For those of you who aren’t sure of what they are (and can’t be bothered to click on our previous blog) meta descriptions are what you see on search engine results that describe the contents of the page. Which gives users a good idea of what to expect on your page before they’ve even reached it. Meaning they are more likely to click through if they feel it is relevant to their search.

Whilst checking your alt tags, it may be worth reviewing your meta descriptions too. To make sure you’re providing a great user experience before user’s even reach your site.

 

Local listings

A lot of the businesses we work with want to rank well for local searches, as well as for relevant searches for their products and services. Local SEO can be tricky to do well, if you want to avoid location keyword stuffing your content. So what can you to try and top the results locally?

Firstly ensuring your details remain consistent across your listings is essential. Focusing on making sure your company name, address, phone number and website are the same across all listings is incredibly important in ranking well locally. So if it has been a while since you put up local listings, or if you have never checked for what information is available or your company. Maybe it’s time to have a quick review of the information that’s out there, and get everything as up to date as possible, as soon as possible.

Next, make the most of your social media for listing your location. Some of your users may be searching directly off their social media platforms, or social platforms may be the higher results. So by not including a location within your information is definitely a disservice to you being found locally.

Finally, make the most of the tools Google has put out there. By creating a Google+ page, and a ‘Google my business’ account, you will find yourself a lot more likely to be shown on map results and search results for local listings.

 

Sharing content

Once you have created this really relevant, insightful content. With great images that have alt tags, how can you push that content even further to get it found? This is where social sharing comes in.

Making sure your content can be shared socially is a huge deal. One which might continue to bring visitors to your site for years to come. Adding social share buttons to your blog or website, means readers can share quickly and easily when they are still really excited about the content.

Making sure you content is good enough to share is also something you should be seriously thinking about. If you have social links already, and no one is sharing, maybe it’s time to go back to our first point. Look at updating your content to attract, entertain and inform people. This usually means a longer blog post (more than just a few hundred words), well sourced information, and a good point to the article.

 

Link building

As well as sharing, you want to build up your external links. But this is well documented as being hard to do. Building external links means your page gains a higher authority within search engines. Making more opportunities for users to find your content.

If your content is being shared often, you may think you have plenty of external links, but that probably isn’t the case. In this study conducted by Moz and BuzzSumo, it is proven that not only is it hard work to get external links. But there is also no correlation between shares and links.

There is no quick and easy way to build your links. However, there are a few things you can focus on while you put together a long term link building strategy.

  • Make your content a good resource. We know people share when they are excited or shocked by an article, but people also share when they consider something to be of good value. Focusing on a comprehensive step by step guide for a difficult topic within your industry might be a starting point, or perhaps writing on the latest industry updates, but there is definitely limitless possibilities.
  • Link out to people! If you are expecting links from others, especially within your industry, then don’t just expect links, dish out a few too.
  • Build alliances with other businesses or clients. If you work regularly with supplies, or clients, that are complimentary businesses to your own, then don’t just refer client to each other, link to them too.

 

Now what?

SEO is a pretty vast topic, so we know we haven’t covered everything. Is there another way you’re going to be improving your SEO in the new year? We’d love to hear all about it in our comments.  

Take a look at the rest of our countdown to the 12 days of Christmas, for more advice, how to’s and examples of marketing during this festive season.