What is SEO?
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation and is a technique used to improve the quantity and quality of organic website traffic. There are various ways of doing this, which will be covered later in the article, and the main objective from these activities is to get ranked higher on Google (and other search engines).
The position of your website in Google’s search results makes a huge impact on the amount of clicks that you receive. Here are a few statistics to really emphasise this point which are from a study conducted by Backlinko who analysed over 5 million search results.
- The first result on Google receives 31.7% of all clicks,
- The number one spot is 10 times more likely to receive a click compared to a page in the 10th position,
- 75% of people don’t click on the second page of the search results,
- Results on the second page of Google receive just 0.78% of clicks.
Black Hat vs White Hat SEO?
There are lots of SEO techniques which are considered as dishonest because they try to manipulate Google’s search engine algorithms. This is known as ‘Black Hat SEO’ and Google has very clear rules to stop people using these methods which includes keyword stuffing, paid links, duplicated content and more. Google will penalise any website which breaks the rules by reducing their ranking.
We strongly recommend that you steer clear from ‘Black Hat SEO’ and use approaches which are honest, above board and meet the guidelines set out by Google. These are known as ‘White Hat SEO’ techniques and all of the items below fall under this category.
Improve Your SEO Step 1: Check Your Current Performance
Before you start making changes to your website, it’s important to understand where you are currently at.
The key metrics for you to analyse and understand are:
- The volume of traffic you are getting to your website,
- Where you rank for certain keywords that are associated with your product or service.
Improve Your SEO Step 2: Speed Up Your Website
Google’s algorithms now take into account the amount of time it takes for your website to load. If you have a website which is very slow, this will be negatively affecting your SEO. Here are a couple of free speed-test tools you can use to check the performance of your website:
If you would like to find out how to improve the speed of your website, we have written a thorough article called ‘Is Your Website Slowing You Down’ which gives you lots of useful information and tips.
Improve Your SEO Step 3: Remove Bad Backlinks
Google penalises websites if they have backlinks which are considered as spam. Here are a few examples of bad backlinks:
- Links from irrelevant sites,
- Links from sites with duplicated text,
- Links which have been paid for,
- Links that have been put in the comments on other websites’ blog articles.
These could have been done unintentionally or it might have been an attempt to boost your SEO in the past. We advise that you identify any bad backlinks and remove them as soon as possible.
You can check the status of your website’s backlinks for free using this tool from Majestic.com and there are two main methods for getting them removed:
- Contact the website owner/administrator and ask for the link(s) to be removed,
- Raise the issue with Google to disavow the backlink(s).
Improve Your SEO Step 4: Google My Business
You can set up an account with Google My Business completely free and this is a great tool to get found by customers which also boosts the SEO of your website. Make sure that the information you provide is accurate, up to date and comprehensive.
Improve Your SEO Step 5: Mobile Friendliness
On 10th January 2017 Google announced that “Starting today, pages where content is not easily accessible to a user on the transition from the mobile search results may not rank as high.” In other words, Google now penalises websites which are not mobile friendly.
Google provides a free mobile friendliness checking tool so you check how your website stacks up for mobile friendliness.
The majority of modern and popular CMS platforms (like WordPress, Wix and Squarespace) offer mobile responsiveness as standard, but if your website hasn’t been updated for a few years then this could be an issue for you and definitely something you’ll want to get fixed ASAP.
If you don’t have the time or skills to update your website, we can do this for you at KIKLAB and offer very competitive prices. Head over to our website for more details.
Improve Your SEO Step 6: Metadata
Metadata includes the titles, tags and description of your webpages and also the alt-text for any images or other media. These can be easily forgotten about because the metadata is not immediately visible or obvious on your web pages. However, it’s a very important source of information when Google scans your website to determine it’s ranking.
Make sure you take the time to populate these fields with accurate descriptions, using appropriate keywords and sticking to the character limits. Not only will this improve your SEO but it will also help encourage potential visitors to click through to your website because it’s the metadata which gets displayed in the search results.
Improve Your SEO Step 7: Create Valuable and Shareable Content
Blog articles are probably the quickest and easiest way that you can start creating extra content for your website and can give your SEO performance a massive boost. You can do this with videos and infographics too, so why not get creative and produce a variety of different media.
It’s a good idea to research topics in advance to make sure you are producing material which is targeted to your customers and include your chosen keywords where appropriate.
Improve Your SEO Step 8: Hire an Agency
Although the steps listed above will undoubtedly be helpful for your website’s SEO, it can be a time consuming activity which is required on a regular basis. So would you actually be better off employing a specialist agency to do this for you?
Agencies have the expertise to maximise your SEO performance using the techniques described in this article but there are also many other methods which require more specialist skills, experience and tools.
At KIKLAB we have a team of experts who have been improving our clients’ Google rankings for years and we use powerful tools like SEMRush to add even more value to our services. If you would like to find out more, just click on the link below or get in touch.
The position that your website ranks on Google is a critical factor in how much website traffic you will receive. If you are not on the first page, you’ll get less than 1% of all clicks for a particular search query.
The good news is that there are plenty of simple things you can do to improve your website’s SEO as follows:
- Check your current performance
- Speed up your website
- Remove bad backlinks
- Google My Business
- Mobile friendliness
- Create valuable and shareable data
- Hire an agency
And don’t forget, it’s extremely important that you stick to the rules set out by Google because otherwise you could get penalised and your actions will actually hurt your performance.
For more useful articles about branding, websites and digital marketing just head over to our blog page.