5 Easy SEO wins

By on November 17, 2017

New to Search Engine Optimisation? Rose Crompton round up some easy SEO strategies for quick wins.

If you own and operate a website, then ‘Search Engine Optimisation’ (SEO) is a phrase you’ve probably come across. But for those of us who aren’t trained in digital marketing or work with SEO every day, it can feel like there’s a lot to get your head around.

Keywords, page rankings, broken links and meta data are all concepts you know will help ‘up your SEO’, but implementing these strategies when you’ve never done it before can be daunting. Take it from someone that’s had to self-teach to get a foot in this game!

First, let’s dial it back to what SEO actually is. Here’s my non-techy definition:
SEO means making sure your website includes elements that make it easy for search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo to read your site. This is how they know to return your website and pages as a relevant link on the Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs).

Get into good SEO habits and you’re more likely to reach that coveted SERPs number one spot. But getting there takes hard work, a bit of time and discipline.

Increasing your SEO ranking can be a slow process. The search engine bots can take their sweet time to crawl and categorise your site correctly. Well, the poor darlings have got millions upon millions of sites and pages to crawl, with new ones being added daily.

Thankfully, there are some SEO strategies that allow for quick wins and visible positive results from the off. Unfortunately, it does come back to getting your head around keywords, backlinks and meta data, but we’ll break each one down in an easy to understand way so you can kick them straight into action.
[subhead] #1 – Avoid duplicate content

As a content and copywriter, this is one of the first bits of SEO advice I give my clients. For the search engines to take you seriously, you need to avoid copycat content. Search engines (especially Google) penalise websites that have pages with exact matching copy, because you appear as being a bit spammy.
How does duplicate content make it onto your site? Product descriptions tend to be the main offender — so ecommerce owners, take heed!

The Quick Win: Don’t hastily upload new products with the description provided by the manufacturer. Spend a couple of minutes playing around with the wording. Add a simple sentence at the beginning, middle and end to make it more original.

Fix broken links and claim backlinks
Linking is a big thing in SEO. Both onsite and offsite links can affect your domain authority (how well trusted/reliable the search engine’s think your website is). First, deal with onsite links. A bunch of 404 errors (broken links) devalues your site. Make sure that any pages, menus and blogs that include links go to the right place.

Next, tackle your offsite links. These are links on other people’s websites that should link back to yours. You may also hear them called ‘backlinks’. Getting a good number of backlinks from other trusted websites (so not any old spam-tastic site) helps grow your domain authority.

The Quick Win: Free web tools like brokenlinkcheck.com and deadlinkchecker.com make it easy to identify any pages where 404 errors turn up. You’ll then need to redirect the page to the correct place in order to fix the link. For offsite links, you may need to do a bit of Google hunting to find where your brand name’s appearing. Contact the site’s owner and simply ask them to link back to you. If these sites include broken links, that maybe go to old URLs you’ve changed, then provide them with the correct redirect.

Use your keywords
Once you’ve identified the keywords you want a specific page to rank for — ‘sexy red lingerie’, or ‘silicone G-spot vibrators’ for example — make sure you’re putting those chosen keywords in the right places.
The Quick Win: Whether it’s a blog or a product page, your keywords should appear in your title tags (H1 titles, and H2 if applicable), within the first two sentences of any copy and in the page URL (www.YourSiteName.com.au/KEYWORDS). The meta description no longer has to include keywords, since Google changed this in 2009, but it doesn’t hurt to pop them in. A standout meta description with key phrases in gives your audience a more specific understanding of what’s beyond the link, so it can help improve click through rate.

Aim for quick load time
People don’t like waiting for things and web pages with slow load times are considered to be stuck in the dark ages. Slow pages get less traffic, higher bounce rates and as a result it affects your SEO.
The Quick Win: Use free tools like Google’s PageSpeed Insights or gtmetrix.com to see what load time your site’s running at. These tools are great at giving recommendations on how to speed your site up so it loads quicker.

Set your locale
People tend to search for services and goods that are local to them, which is why it’s important to tell Google where in the world you are. Especially if you’re using a dotcom rather than a dotcom.au web address.
The Quick Win: It’s free and quick to set up a Google Places listing, so that people in your area can find your business. Also, check listing websites and business directories to make sure your name, phone number and address are all correct and consistent, so the search engines – and ultimately your customers – can find you.

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