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SEO Guide: 10 Ways to Optimise Your Website for Better Rankings

Jun 20, 2020

You may have heard that SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is one of the most effective ways to get your business found online, and you’d be right. When implemented well, SEO is a powerful marketing tool that can increase your visibility in search results dramatically. More visibility leads to more customers and more conversions – what’s not to love! There’s a lot involved in SEO and it can be confusing if you’re new to the process, so we’ve put together a 10-step guide to get you started with optimising your website for better rankings.

1. Define Your Strategy

The first step in any good plan is to define your current position and the goals you hope to achieve. Start with an analysis of your website, your business and your services or products. Increasing your rankings on its own is only part of the picture so decide what else you’d like to achieve – it may be building a customer database, take more bookings or increase your product sales. Figure out what a successful SEO campaign will look like for your business.

2. Analyse Your Competition

Identify the other local businesses that are offering the same services as you – these are the people who will be competing for the same ranking positions you are. Looking at the marketing strategies they are implementing can give you direction or inspiration on the elements you could include in your own strategy as well as highlighting anything you are missing.

Consider elements such as what keywords they are targeting in their titles, headings, descriptions and how their content is structured – what pages do they have, how much information is on each page and what information are they providing to their audience?

3. Keyword Research

Keyword research is one of the most important steps in SEO. To optimise your website for search you need to know what search queries your customers are entering. Using Google’s Keyword Planner tool allows you to enter keywords related to your business and see what volume of monthly searches they generate in your location. Keyword Planner also offers suggestions of related search terms to help you identify opportunities you may not have thought of yourself.

4. Content Optimisation

Now that you’ve selected the keywords you want to target, look at the structure of your website pages and the content on them. You’ll want to aim to have one page for each of your major keywords with 500+ words of good quality content. Don’t forget to consider the structure of your page – breaking up content with relevant subheadings and including images can both assist in your SEO strategy when optimised correctly.

Consider elements such as what keywords they are targeting in their titles, headings, descriptions and how their content is structured – what pages do they have, how much information is on each page and what information are they providing to their audience?

5. Optimise On-Page SEO

Once you’ve made sure you have relevant pages and content on your site, it’s time to start implementing your on-page SEO. Use the primary keyword for each page strategically in your meta titles and descriptions, page headings and subheadings, URL, image optimisation and page content. Use variations on your keyword to avoid being repetitive and remember, Google is looking for readability so don’t stuff keywords in excessively or out of context.

6. Build Quality Backlinks

A backlink is simply a link from another website back to yours. Backlinks act as a referral source, letting Google know that your website is a trustworthy resource, but the quality of the link source is also important. Look for link opportunities from other websites in your industry, association profiles, businesses in your local area and relevant directory listings.

7. Optimise Your Website for Mobile

Google now analyses websites based on mobile first indexing, meaning responsive design is more important than ever. If your website doesn’t perform well on mobile, you’re also likely to lose customers who are trying to visit your page on their phones so updating your website to be functional across a range of devices is a win-win situation.

8. Page Speed

Page Speed is an important indicator in your rankings but also impacts factors such as the bounce rate of your site (users who leave without interacting with your site) and time spent on site, both of which also impact your organic position.

Data suggests that 53% of users will leave a page if it takes more than 3 seconds to load and 50% expect it to load in 2 seconds or less. Running a report using a free tool such as GTMetrix will provide you with a report on your current website performance and provide suggestions on how to improve it.

9. Track Your Progress

In order to know how effective your SEO is, you’ll need a clear way to track its performance. Remember those goals you identified in step 1? Make sure you have a method in place to collect data around these, be it appointment booking numbers, sales figures or signups.

It’s also a good idea to track general analytics data around your website and SEO performance so implement tools like Google Analytics to track your organic traffic and goal conversions and a good rank tracking tool to see the changes in your search results position for your chosen keywords.

10. Analyse and Adapt

SEO is a living process, to work well it cannot be a case of set and forget. You should be consistently reviewing your data, revisiting competitor analysis, refreshing your keyword data, updating your content, building backlinks and adapting to Google algorithm changes to keep your SEO efforts relevant and up to date.

Remember that SEO results are built over time so you won’t see the impact of your work immediately. Rest assured, your hard work is paying off and with continued management and consistent effort you should start seeing your marketing goals come to life. To discuss your digital marketing strategy, speak to our specialist SEO team at practiceedge.