In the few short years since Black Friday was introduced in the UK it has become a phenomenon, signifying the start of a month-long spending frenzy which can make or break many retailers.
What is SEO?
According to Moz, the SEO specialists, ‘SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, which is the practice of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to your website through organic search engine results.’
Search Engine Land adds: ‘All major search engines such as Google, Bing and Yahoo have primary search results, where web pages and other content such as videos or local listings are shown and ranked based on what the search engine considers most relevant to users. Payment isn’t involved, as it is with paid search ads.’
With 2.2 trillion Google searches annually and 90% of users only clicking the first three results, many business owners find SEO intimidating, but there are some simple steps you can take to increase traffic to your website…
Successful SEO is all down to keywords.
Ask yourself: When a customer uses a search engine to find your product or service, what will they be typing into the search bar?
Depending on your business, prospects might simply search what you sell and where you’re based. For example, if you sell vintage clothing from a physical storefront, a potential customer might find you by searching: Vintage Clothing in Manchester.
To establish which keywords your business should be targeting ask yourself:
- What do you do?
- What other services do you offer?
- Which locations do you provide these services/products (or deliver) to?
- What’s unique about your business?
- What keywords are your key competitors targeting?
Once you have a list of essential keywords you need to incorporate them in your website.
Here is a list of places where keywords should be prominent:
- Page title (or title tag)
- Page description (or META description tag)
- Keywords META tag
- Body content
- Header tags
- Formatted text (bullet points, bold text etc.)
- Incoming links
Make your words do the work
If you’re just getting started with SEO you might benefit from using a keyword research tool. Ubersuggest, for example, is a website which allows you access to data on your chosen keywords.
You’ll find out:
- How often your word is search for (Search Volume)
- Your competition (SEO Difficulty levels)
- Average Cost Per Click (CPC) – (relevant if you’re planning to do any paid advertising to boost your search results)
Optimise your titles and page descriptions
Your page titles need to be attention-grabbing and SEO optimised. For this you’ll need to get down into the HTML of your webpage. This can be accessed through your website’s content management system (CMS).
Your title and the ‘meta description’ (a condensed description of your site, services, or business) will appear in search results.
In Google, for example, there are three lines in the search result:
- The title
- The website address
- The description (or the meta description)
By keeping this in mind you can modify how your page appears in search results.
Remember the phrase, ‘It does exactly what it says on the tin’? You want your product/service to leap out as exactly the result your customer was searching for.
Get all linked-up – building a brand
According to Unravel: ‘SEO link building in its simplest form is getting sites with authority to link your content because it is useful, relevant, and all around good.’
Essentially, when other websites link to your content, Google’s algorithms perceive it as more relevant and will give it more weighting in search results.
There has been some debate about whether link building will stay one of the top ranking factors for websites, but it looks like their power will persist in 2019.
As stated by Moz: ‘Creating a site that's considered expert, authoritative, and trustworthy should be your guiding light as you practice SEO. Not only will it simply result in a better site, but it's future-proof. After all, providing great value to searchers is what Google itself is trying to do.’
You won’t get quality links without quality content, so keep this in mind when populating or reviewing your website.
Work with your results and stay up-to-date
Optimising your website isn’t a one-off job. You need to do a periodic review of your website if you want to stay up-to-date and relevant in search results.
The other thing to bear in mind is that successful SEO doesn’t happen overnight. Boosting your website’s organic ranking can take time, patience and effort.
It’s a great feeling when you see your SEO pay off. But remember, Google searchers – like customer’s tastes and preferences – are forever changing, so stay informed and don’t be afraid to make adjustments along the way.