What’s more, users are far more likely to click on the first organic result that Google generates. This may be due to convenience, or possibly even the belief that first ranking results are the most trustworthy. It's certainly not uncommon for users to ignore information beyond the first page of search results. For this reason, businesses must pay attention to their search engine rankings and improve them when necessary. This requires an effective and consistent SEO strategy - but how easy is it to get started?
In this blog post, we discuss how to improve your website’s SEO using four simple steps: keyword research, link-building, on-page SEO and content focus.
First things first, what is SEO?
When users find a website, the chances are they used a search engine to get there. The higher your website ranks on search results, the more opportunities there are to be seen by users and to increase traffic to your website. Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is a digital marketing strategy that works to improve this process. It uses various tactics to optimise a website’s presence in search results, and increase the quantity and quality of website traffic through organic online search. To get ahead of the competition, it’s vital to develop a solid SEO strategy.
So, how can you improve your website’s SEO?
Tip 1: Keyword Research
One of the fundamental components of SEO is keyword research. This involves strategically crafting your website content to include the most popular search terms and phrases. Your content will then be targeted towards what people are searching for in relation to your business or industry. For instance, if you’re a law firm, identifying certain terms that people search for alongside ‘law firm’ can provide you with a better understanding of your target market’s interests and how they are searching for your content, product or services.
Discovering keywords may seem like a challenging process given the vast array of search terms available, but with the right tools it’s easy to get started. Keyword research tools we would recommend include:
- Ahrefs (Keywords Explorer)
- SEMrush (Keyword Overview & Keyword Magic Tool)
- Google Keyword Planner
Keyword research is not a novel strategy - many businesses are now adopting this strategy to optimise their website’s SEO rankings. This means that it’s not enough to only include these keywords in your content. They must also feature in ‘bonus’ places such as your URL, meta title and alternative text which may not necessarily be noticed (we’ll get onto this later in tip 3).
Most importantly, try to ensure that your keywords fit naturally within your content. Avoid overloading with keywords in every available spot. Take advantage of them, but don’t let them overpower your content.
Tip 2: Link Building
Upgrading your link structure is one of the easiest ways to improve your website’s SEO. Links work to increase the connectivity of your content, making your content easily navigable for search engines. Just like users, search engines follow links to navigate their way around the internet; the more links you include the easier your website is to find and therefore rank higher in search results.
Including internal and external links on your website is a great way to boost your search engine rankings but avoid broken links and overloading on links. This will prove detrimental to your content’s overall SEO ranking and will be penalised by Google. Try to keep your links both pertinent and impactful.
To get started, you first need to understand the difference between internal and external links, and know exactly how and when to include them in your website.
Internal links direct people from one page of your website to another. They work to improve your website’s SEO by connecting individual web pages together, creating a crawlable link structure ideal for search engine browsing. The more navigable your site, the better Google can access the pages of your website and determine their ranking value in terms of the number of links a page receives.
Internal linking strategies make it easier for search engines to understand the relevance of and relationship between webpages. When search engines can fathom your website structure, it is much easier for them to determine your website’s importance and increase its ranking potential.
External links have a similar impact, though they link to external content from other websites. This may seem counterproductive at first, but linking to credible and trust-worthy sources will help to improve the authority of your website in search engine results. What’s more, Google’s algorithms follow linked content as one of the strongest ranking signals.
Tip 3: On-page SEO
There is nothing more discouraging than a big block of text sitting vacantly on a webpage. Not only is this upsetting from a user perspective, but this type of content structure can damage a website’s SEO ranking. This is because Google requires headings, sub-headings, content descriptors and other on-page SEO tactics to prioritise information in search results.
Including headings and sub-headings makes it easier for search engines to read and understand your content. Imagine them almost as content signallers – users and search engines will appreciate these signposts as they can find exactly what they are looking for and so value your site. This will reduce your page’s bounce rate which, in turn, boosts your SEO score.
Remember your keyword research? This will come in handy here too. Keywords can be included in various key areas of on-page SEO:
- URL structure
- Page titles
- Headings and sub-headings (H1, H2, H3)
- Meta description
- Image alternative text
Keywords do not always have to be visible on the front page of a website. Including keywords in as many places as possible, even in places not visible to the user, is crucial to improve a website’s search visibility and traffic.
Tip 4: Fresh Content Focus
Another simply way to increase your website's SEO ranking potential is to keep your website content fresh and up-to-date. Search engines will greatly appreciate your website if old content is regularly updated. This is because Google will crawl your site more frequently when a webpage is updated, improving your website’s chances of showing up in search results.
We recommend updating your website content once or twice a month at a minimum. This will ensure that your content is always relevant, significant and worthy of linking to on social media or other online platforms. Most importantly, Google will automatically increase your SEO ranking in response to these links as they signal that your website is high-quality and of most value to search engine users.
Read our blog about how to create SEO friendly content here
How can we help?
Here at Novicell, we are a London-based SEO agency that encourages businesses to reach their full digital potential. It is important for us to present the complete truth about your website’s SEO status and to tailor our solutions specifically around your individual business needs. We provide technical, quality and international SEO services in everything from link building to off-page SEO. Our goal is simple: your success is our success.
If you’re looking for an SEO agency, why not contact us or arrange a call to speak with one of our dedicated SEO consultants who will be more than happy to help you.