Back to Basics SEO Guide for 2017
A new year is upon us, and we are already getting lots of enquiries from businesses who want to improve their SEO in 2017.
That’s very wise: getting found in the search engines is only becoming more important for businesses.
We love helping our clients to improve their rankings, and we utilise many advanced strategies to do this. But there are also lots of basic SEO strategies that you implement to set your site up for success this year, and here are some of the most important.
Make Sure Your Site Is Mobile Friendly
If you want your site to get found by mobile searches, you need it to be mobile friendly. This usually means a responsive website, so if you have not got a responsive site yet, make this a priority.
Install Google Analytics
Ideally, you should do this as soon as you launch your website. This will show you how much traffic your site is generating and from which sources, and it will be very important as the months go on because you can use it to improve your SEO strategy.
Research Your Keywords
SEO involves optimising your website for specific keywords so that when your target customers use these keywords, they find your site. It therefore stands to reason that you need to first know what these keywords are.
Keyword research is a process that catches out a lot of people, and it can be confusing. This is one area where hiring a specialist really does make sense.
But you can do it yourself, and you should start by using Google’s Keyword Planner. This can be confusing at first, so you might want to read a guide on how to use it.
Optimise Your Web Pages
Once you know which keywords you want to target, you need to optimise your existing pages. This is not just a matter of cramming your keywords everywhere you can but rather using them in the most important places.
These include page titles, H1 tags, H2 tags, alt text, page URLs and meta descriptions.
Be careful not to just stuff keywords and always make your copy compelling to generate clicks. For example, the page meta description will show up in the search results so you want it to encourage people to click.
Optimising your pages also involves making sure they have good content, and this tells the search engines what your site is all about.
If your pages are lacking content, add some more. And don’t just use your main keywords: add other keywords and variations including synonyms.
Install an SEO Plugin
If your site runs WordPress, good for you: it’s a great platform for SEO. You can also make your life a lot easier by installing a dedicated SEO plugin like Yoast SEO. This simplifies a lot of the process so it’s well worth trying out.
Add Internal Links
Adding internal links is easy to do. Simply link to your service pages, product pages, contact page and more so that your pages are interlinked. Also, link from blog posts to other blogs and to your main pages, and use the anchor text to describe the page accurately.
Check Your Competitors’ Links
Successful SEO involves getting links from other websites, and it helps to know where to start. You can do this by finding out where your competitors are getting their links.
Use a tool like Moz’s Open Site Explorer, and this will give you some good tips on where you can start building links.
Finished? Now the Hard Work Starts
These are the basics of SEO that you can use to prepare your site so you are in the optimal position to boost your search ranking.
The harder, ongoing work involves building links, publishing content, making contact with influencers, posting to social media, and more.
That all takes time, and it is an ongoing process. But now you’ll be in a better position to start generating traffic from the search engines going forward.