7 basic SEO principles to grow your business
SEO is sometimes considered the dark art but in reality, by following a few simple principles, you can make sure you are giving yourself the best chance to rank will organically:
1. Keep the user in mind
Google has been explicit in making it clear that websites should be built with the user in mind. Trying to manipulate the website in favour of search engines but at the expense of users will rarely work. So when designing your website, always think about the user first and SEO second.
Hopefully you have done some research and are confident that your product or service is solving a genuine problem for someone. What do people type in to Google when they seek a solution to this problem? Whatever that search term is – should be part of your keyword strategy. But don’t forget the more generic the term, the more competitive. For example “Pilates classes” will be far more competitive than “Evening pilates classes in Clapham”. You can use tools like SEMrush to help figure out which keywords will work best for you.
3. Meta titles and descriptions
Once you have your keywords, you need to make sure that they are included in you meta titles and descriptions. Meta titles and descriptions are not visible when you look at your web page but appear in the Google search reaults. Here is a great tool to help you write your meta titles and descriptions. Remember though you are wanting to entice people to click on your link so make sure it contains relevant, useful and persuasive text.
4. H1 and keywords
H1 is the name given to the main title on each page. You should make sure you H1 includes your keyword. Again keep the language natural, writing with the user in mind. If Google sees your keyword in your meta title, description and again on the H1 tag, it will have a pretty good idea on what your page is about.
5. Frequent fresh content
Google has crawlers which search the web and add pages to their index. Websites that are frequently updates are crawled more frequently by Google and therefore more likely rank higher in the search results. A good thing to do is write articles, perhaps a couple per month and add them to your blog.
6. Inbound links
Another factor that helps Google decide whether your website is important enough to rank in the search results is it’s ‘Domain authority’.
Your domain authority is derived from the number and quality of websites linking to your website. The more quality links the better. You can check your domain authority using this free tool from SEOmoz.
A great way to get links is to write press releases that get published on other websites and then link back to you. You can also look as guest blogging and directories. You should never buy links and ensure that any links you try to get are from a reputable website.
7. Use Google Search Console
Google Search Console is perhaps one of the most underused tools by business and entrepreneurs. It doesn’t cost anything, all you need to do is place a verification tag on your website and Google will give you access to a wealth of information including diagnostics which will alert you to any site issues and a goldmine of keyword information which will tell you which keywords you are ranking for and how many site visits you are getting from them.