I’m often asked, “What’s the secret to improving my search engine optimisation?”
Most of the time I think people want a few quick and easy tips that will magically get them ranked on the first page of Google. When I share the reality – that Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is more complicated and requires a dedicated plan and resourcing – I can see the disappointment that there is no magic carpet ride. Once it sinks in that effective SEO takes work and time, a lot of people, particularly in SMEs, lose interest.
Yet they shouldn’t. Finding your SEO-asis is a long road, sure, but well worthwhile for any business. And it starts with not only choosing the right path, but also understanding what you want to achieve with it.
Here are a few points to consider. This list isn’t, by any stretch, everything you could do or should think about, but it’s a good start.
- What search terms, or keywords, do you want to rank for? Be realistic. Find gaps and opportunities that you can act on by understanding how your customers, real and potential, search for information online. What are the phrases, questions or pathways they use?
- Do you have a content plan? Regularly adding new, quality content helps SEO. Engaging content can be a compelling reason for people to revisit your site, share your material on social media, rate your business or link back to your blog. New content is also great for your newsletter.
- Are you an authority in your field? If not, do you know how to build your authority? Being seen as an authority on a topic by search engines like Google improves your ranking.
- Do you have a links strategy? This is like an action plan for getting other, reputable websites to link to yours. These ‘backlinks’ boost your credibility (aka authority), with Google.
- Is your website metadata up to date, accurate and optimised? What about your Google Business profile? How’s your customer review plan going? These marketing tools also play a role.
- Are your subdomains logical, simple and clear?
- Is your page structure in order and optimised?
- Is your website accessible to WCAG 2.1 AA standard?
- What’s happening on your social media? What signals is it generating?
Once you get going on your SEO, it will take time to see the results of your hard work. But you will: your organic traffic will gradually increase and with it, business – right!
Keep in mind, too, that the internet is ever-changing, with countless people and organisations jostling for position all the time. So you need to keep at it – SEO is not a ‘set and forget’ activity. In a way, it’s like housework or gardening or keeping fit: it never stops, and the moment it does, all the gains you worked hard to achieve start to ebb away.
Improving your SEO is a must-do marketing activity, but it does consume significant time and resources, and this is one advantage of calling in an agency like Leading Hand Design. We can help turn your search engine mirage into something more like an SEO-asis, with proven expertise across all the factors that drive better SEO. We regularly research the latest trends and current developments to implement those that are best for our clients. And we can walk the long road to SEO results with you.
Leading Hand Design