Member Article

How to use SEO to move up the rankings on Google

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SEO is all about getting the pages of your web site higher up on Google and to keep things simple, there are two types of SEO: on site SEO and offsite SEO.

On Site SEO:

On site SEO really is the foundation of a good SEO campaign and this related to things such as keywords on your website, URL names and things such as metatags and titles, which we will come on to in a second.

Off site SEO can be much more powerful but often takes more work and this relates to things such as adding fresh new content to your site, social media activity and generating meaningful links into your site from credible sources to drive in more traffic.

Before I get into the detail for both off site and on site SEO let me tell you this because I think it helps with understanding the general approach to good SEO.

When people use Google for example, they want to find the web site that is most relevant, the one that is most likely to give them the answer they need. So, if you remember that Google is a robot designed to match their search with your answer, you’ll realise that you need to help Google by clearly showing them what your site is about. Imagine that all web sites are books in a library. When you search out a particular book, the library system will give you a list based on the book’s title, it’s age, it’s reviews and it’s bio. And this is all SEO is about: telling that system why you are the most relevant choice for a particular search.

  1. So, of course the first thing to do is to decide what you want to rank for. For example, we’re a web design and digital marketing agency so we will want to rank for terms such as ’web design and ‘marketing agency’
  2. Use key words in your page names, titles and descriptions: for example, if you have a page about ‘catering services in Newcastle and Durham’, call your page ‘catering-services-Newcastle-Durham’ and not just ‘catering’. The more closely you can match your name to what people are likely to search for the better.
  3. Make your web site highly navigatble and upload a site map to Google. This is about structuring your web site in a way that makes sense. Be clear about your service split and use drop down menus to aid navigation. Again, think of the web as a massive library and your web site as a particular book: if the book reads well, it will be recommended. If the book has lots of different, unrelated chapters, it will not because Google will be confused as to the prime subjects.
  4. Be sure to update your metatags. When you see a ‘return’ on Google, you will notice a clear title, a URL and a few lines of text underneath that. Make sure you use the key words from the blog / page in all three.
  5. Remember that everything counts. If you upload numerous images to your site, take the time to rename them, it is another opportunity to include key words on your site and you might then be found in ‘Google images’.
  6. Following on from the note above, keep speed in mind. The faster your page loads, the more likely it is people (and Google) will hang around to read the content. Try to keep pictures and files to a minimum and if you upload photos, make sure you resize them to 600 – 800 px instead of the 3000-5000 pxls you will see if you don’t!

There are a couple of other things you can do like creating a site map and adding your page to Google’s web master tools but we will tell you about that in our next blog.

Off Site SEO

This is where the fun really starts.

Off site SEO is about driving traffic to your web site through blogs, forums and social media. The best way to understand the importance of this is by asking yourself ‘would you log into to your site weekly, or even monthly?’ If not, ask yourself why not. Perhaps it’s because it is all about your services or because there is no new content there to interest you. This is the crux of off site SEO.

So again, here are our top tips:

  1. Regularly write fresh, informative new content that is related to your core subject. So, if you are a marketing agency, give away lots of top tips and news relating to that sector. This will allow you to include more topical key words to your site but it will also show Google that your site is currently and it will give you a fresh new link to share with people and tempt them in to your site. It’s best to think of this in the way you think of news papers…would you read last week’s news paper? Probably not…and that is how people feel about blogs. They need to be current, topical and timely.
  2. Ensure your content is sharable. One great way to boost your rankings is to get other people likely and sharing your content. For Google this is a sign of credibility; it’s a seal of approval. To do this, you have to write really good content that people want to consume and share. This probably means writing non-sales based material. To give you an example, we gave away a free profit and loss account earlier this year on Google and it is now page 1. We get an awful lot of traffic from this link and others like it. What can you give away?
  3. Promote your news and blogs in as many places as you can. Perhaps you could share it on news sites, forums of other company blogs. The more links into your site the more Google will rate your content. Key to this is to make sure the inbound links are credible. To give you an example, Wikipedia ranks extremely well on Google and one reason is that so many people link to the site’s content. What you want to avoid is posting your blog on a site for the sake of it, or asking a friend who’s business is totally unrelated to link to your work. It has to be meaningful otherwise it is just ‘link building’ and that is no good for Google.
  4. One final tips from us is be consistent. This is really cheesy but SEO is like tea, the longer you leave it the colder it gets so write a plan for sharing content weekly and you will see a marked improvement.

To give you a case study that puts all of this into practice, we are in the middle of a big content writing plan called ‘#daretoshare’. We are posting a blog a day and we are sharing lots of useful content, give-aways and tools related to our industry. You can see here that we have a carefully thought out plan and you can see here the immediate and very noticeable impact that content is having

Why? Because we are sharing relevant, quality content on a consistency basis. People are reading it and sharing it and Google is rewarding us.

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This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Digitia .

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