7 Top Tips for Better SEO

I’m often asked for SEO tips from my clients and the lovely people I meet at networking events. I’ll hold my hands up and say that I’m not an expert, but I have picked up a few things along the way that you should definitely try to improve your Google search rankings. So, here are those top tips – I hope you find them useful!

1. Make your website secure

Google doesn’t want to send its users to dangerous and dodgy websites. So it is important that you keep your website secure in every aspect. That means:

  • Having an SSL certificate and ensuring it’s renewed and working (if you don’t have a green/closed padlock next to your web address there’s an issue).
  • Updating your WordPress website frequently and making regular back-ups (make sure you have c-panel access in case you get locked out of your account)
  • Making sure you have a good security plugin with firewall
  • That any passwords are strong and changed regularly (LastPass is great for this)
  • You renew any WordPress theme or plugin licenses (if applicable)

Keeping on top of your website’s security shows Google that you care about your visitors and that your website is active and well looked after, if you need help with that let me know, as I do offer WordPress maintenance services.

2. Keep your web content up to date and relevant

Your website is your 24/7 presence on the internet that tells people what you are and what you do, and more importantly, why they should be interested in you. Google will scan your website to see all the information and how relevant it is to its users and what it’s searching for.

So, what happens if you don’t update your web content for a year?

Well, Google won’t come and check it so often as it’ll decide it isn’t worth it, or worse, that your website isn’t active anymore. Meaning a drop in your search results ranking and less traffic to your website.

If you’re now offering different products or services – how will people know?

Remember that how people search for your website will change over time too, with more people using voice search on their mobile phones than ever before. So if your web copy was spot on for search terms and keywords a year ago, chances are it isn’t anymore.

3. Blogging regularly is one of the best forms of SEO

Adding new blogs to your website on a regular basis is keeping the content fresh and updated, and adding more information for Google to scan through meaning higher search result rankings and increased traffic.

The more information you can give Google the better, and blogs are a great way to expand on things without having to increase the sales pages on your website. How to guides, top tips and sharing your experiences are all great ways to share your knowledge and expertise with your target audience and are an ideal content source for social media posts too.

It also allows you to create internal links between blogs and to the pages of your website. Internal links are important as they show Google how blog posts and pages are connected to each other, allowing it to make a more informed decision on where to rank your website.

4. Social media marketing is crucial for SEO

Just as internal links are essential to SEO, external links are important too. Putting a few in your blogs to high authority websites is a good way of doing this, but using social media regularly is even better.

All social media channels are seen as high authority in Google’s eyes, meaning people trust those websites and use them regularly. Frequent posts with links back to your website to your latest blog, or sales promotion, or just your contact page is an excellent way of creating natural links and benefiting from improved SEO as a result.

LinkedIn and Pinterest are two of the best social media platforms for SEO, so be sure to check those out and make use of what they have to offer.

5. Getting technical with your website

It’s not just the content that counts with SEO but the technical aspects of your website too. Particularly how long it takes for your website to load. If it takes too long, most visitors will click back to Google search results and try a different website instead. This causes a high ‘bounce rate’ that Google uses to determine where to place you in those search results.

Things that can cause a website to load slowly include:

  • Lots of HTML, CSS and javascript code
  • Images with a large file size
  • Too many plugins
  • Cheap or shared web hosting
  • Too many redirects
  • No caching
  • 404 errors

Sounds complicated, doesn’t it? Some plugins can solve most of these issues along with simple things like compressing image file sizes before you use them and choosing high-quality web hosting.

6. Pay close attention to your images

You need to have an ‘image alt tag’ on every picture on your website. Otherwise known as ‘alternative text tag’, these are displayed when the images can’t be loaded and were initially designed for screen readers to use for visually impaired visitors.
Did you know that according to the Equality Act 2010, you should be doing everything possible to make your website accessible to disabled persons? That includes having image alt tags in place but can also be simplifying the design, improving the navigation and having several contact options available.

Google prefers sites with image alt text. Not only because of the accessibility factor but because you’re describing the image and why it’s relevant to the webpage or blog post. It’s easy to do, just write a sentence describing the image to someone that can’t see it, i.e.:‘Picture of two businesswomen having a meeting in a local café.

You don’t need to get any more specific than that, but what you can do is add some search terms and keywords in there to improve that SEO further. It’ll look something like this:

Picture of two businesswomen having a meeting about SEO in a local Derbyshire café.

7. Outsource to the experts

You’ll already know that I’m a big advocate of outsourcing and several points I’ve talked about here I do outsource to experts that have the skills, knowledge and tools that I don’t. Why waste time trying to learn something new and take valuable hours away from your business when you can have an expert take care of it for you with better results and in half the time?

Outsourcing is an investment rather than an expense, and one that will pay off in the long-term as your website’s SEO is improved and generates new leads and customers for you.

So, if you want help with any of the tips I’ve talked about in this blog do get in touch with me, and I’ll be happy to have a chat about how I can help.