SEO is the practice of making tweaks to your website that will improve your Google rankings organically. In turn improving your visibility, driving more traffic to your website, and increasing the chance of more conversions.
While Google’s algorithm gets more advanced and sophisticated over time, there are some core principles of SEO that remain the same. These are crawlability, site structure, trustworthiness, and relevance.
Some example tactics include using relevant keywords, linking to and from reputable sites, and reducing loading speed of your pages and media. Here we will go through some top tips of how to organically improve your Google rankings based on the above-mentioned principles of SEO.
How easy is it for Google to find your content? Even if your content is amazing and your load speed is optimal, if Google cannot find and index it then you won’t see any increase in traffic.
- Ensure your URLs are readable and relevant as opposed to default numbered ones
- Make the most of meta descriptions
Consider which pages are the most important and structure your site with these in mind. Google will automatically view the pages that are linked to the most as being the most important to rank.
- Don’t opt for a flat structure where every page is linked to from the footer or main navigation. Categorise less important pages underneath key ones
Google also considers whether your site is trustworthy and an authoritative resource for visitors, and takes indications from other websites. If other sites link to yours, it acts as an indication that other people trust your content and increases the value of it just like when people leave reviews for hotels for example.
- Not all backlinks are treated equally so try to get links from trusted sources. A great way to do this is through press coverage from good quality online publications. Paying for backlinks from link farms, or getting a lot of links from poor quality sites can be detrimental to your goal. Google is smart and is able to detect attempts to manipulate its algorithm and you can be negatively scored or even blacklisted as a consequence. Here’s what to do if you get blacklisted.
- Multiple backlinks from varied sources can also help improve how trustworthy your site is viewed to be by popular recommendation.
Are you providing an accurate picture of what your content is about; is your content relevant to what the user is searching for? Be sure to write for readers first to create a pleasant use experience, and consider keywords after to avoid seeming as though you are stuffing.
- Create and publish relevant and unique content regularly – no duplicate content, also share on social
- Op t for long-tail key words or key word phrases. Helps you to avoid seeming as though you are keyword stuffing and tailors your content towards the human reader rather than the search engine spider
- Don’t forget about your images. You need to use the right keywords in your image names
- Use semantically related keywords in the body of the page text – Google will be trying to prove whether the content on your page is relevant to the searcher’s query. Don’t rely just on putting keywords in images or media content. The text is far easier for Google to parse out
- Don’t try to target multiple topics/keywords on a single page.
- Reduce your page load speed – if it slows you down – get rid! Slow loading can mean that a high number of visitors get fed up and leave your page out of frustration, meaning high bounce rates and little time spent on your site.
- Security is also important. Invest in an SSL certificate (learn more about this here).
- Use web analytics to work out what is working for you and make tweaks accordingly.
Don’t treat SEO as though you are trying to manipulate the search engines. Focus on creating engaging unique content for your readers first, and optimise second.
Now you know what to do, here’s what not to do