Updated: Mar 4
Adventuring into search engine optimisation/SEO can become quite a mind numbing and complicated experience. Google Analytics, Google Search Console, SERPs, metadata, sitemaps, backlinks… so many SEO specific terms combined with a multitude of tools and software, it can become pretty overwhelming.
Despite that, not all SEO techniques are that complicated. Some of these are, dare we say it, are quite straightforward and easy to put in place. No expensive tools needed, no consultants, no agency and without spending hours on end trying to figure what a new word might mean. Here they are, our 5 easy tips to improve your website’s SEO.
1. Develop your website’s content.
The content of your website isn’t just what your visitors see and read about your business. It’s also the main element Google and the other search engines use to understand your site, what it is about, whether your pages are of good quality and can be of interest to potential visitors.
In a poll by the Content Marketing Institute, 57% of marketing executives said that on-page content optimisation and development was the most efficient SEO technique to improve their rankings.
How do you optimise your content? Again, in the first instance it doesn’t have to be a complicated task. Work out what each of your site’s pages is about, and then try and clearly explain this, imagine you are talking to a visitor who doesn’t know about your business, break down the benefits of each of your products/services and keep your content up to date.
2. Add headings.
Headings are signposts that help guide your readers AND search engines through your pages and posts. Nowadays, in most website builders or content management systems (CMS) you will have the option to tag any text as paragraph or a heading with these headings ranging from Heading 1 (H1) to H6.
When you mark a part of your text a heading this helps search engines understand the key themes and content of your page which in turn can allow you to rank for keywords relating to those headings. There are however a few rules to follow to maximise the use of heading tags:
Use headings in a logical order. Your first heading, which will often be your page title should be a H1, the following should be an H2 then if you had a sub heading below that it would be an H3.
Avoid overusing H1 and H2 tags. These headings should indicate important sections of your pages, using too many can not only lead to a messier page structure but also devalue them in the eyes of search engines.
Stay away from “keyword stuffing”. Try not to fall into over-optimising your pages, adding too many of the same keywords in headings can have a negative impact on your SEO. Instead, look at using semantic keywords (other words which have the same meaning or relate closely to your chosen keyword).
3. Add links to your content.
When it comes to web marketing and SEO there are three types of links:
External/outbound links: hyperlinks from your website to another domain/site.
Internal links: links within your website, from one page to another.
Backlinks: links from other domains/sites to your website.
Backlinks are the most valuable links in terms of SEO. Search engines utilise these links to determine the authority and trustworthiness of your website, which is also one of the most important SEO factors. Unfortunately, backlinks are also more complicated to gain than both external and internal links. There are a number of various techniques from guest blogging to the skyscraper technique, which you can read about in our How To Get New Backlinks blog, but for this post we said we’d stick to the easier ones, so here they are:
Whilst external or outbound links aren’t as effective as backlinks, they are still a great way to improve your website’s SEO. Linking out to relevant content helps you strengthen the topical signals of your website’s content and demonstrate the depth of the topic you are writing about to your readers.
This adds value to your content, helps visitors access further relevant resources and Google also likes this as it helps them identify valuable pages and understand your website better. When writing new content look to include links to back up facts or figures and link to partners and clients, this can often also result in backlinks in return.
Internal links don’t play the same role when it comes to site authority, however they are a great tool to promote the most valuable pages of your website. By creating links between your pages, you can do two things:
Improve user journey by directing users to your key content and retaining them for longer on your site.
Indicate your most valuable pages to search engines. In the same way as backlinks and external links pass on authority, by linking to a key page of your site you are indicating to Google that this page is relevant and possesses valuable content related to the anchor text.
4. Optimise your images.
Google data shows that 53% of users will exit a web page if it takes more than 3 seconds to load. Add to that page speed is a key factor in the indexation process and there’s two very good reasons already to optimise your website’s images.
How to optimise your images?
When optimising images for web there are two aspects to consider; its file size which will impact the load time (and indirectly your SEO performances) and the image’s HTML attributes, which will purely benefit your SEO.
1. File size
Most web developers agree on an unwritten rule that web images’ file sizes should not exceed 200Kb. To ensure your image is below that, there are a couple of things to do:
Resize your image. Of course, consider where you will be using your image and crop it to fit that area but also look to resize it, you shouldn’t need it to be more than 1500 to 2000 pixels length or height at the very max.
Compress your image. If you have Photoshop, the software allows you to directly save your files in web friendly formats. Simply go File > Export > Save for Web (Legacy…) Then choose between JPEG or PNG and set the quality to get it under 200Kb. If you do not have Photoshop, don’t worry there are a number of software and applications out there to compress your images, here is one of our favourites: TinyPNG. All you need to do is drag and drop your images onto their site, let them compress them and then download them.
2. Image HTML attributes
When it comes to web images there are 4 HTML attributes which contribute to SEO.
Image Name. The name of your image is the most important factor in terms of SEO, try to use relevant keywords whilst being descriptive. One key element to consider when writing your image name is that Google treats hyphens as a word separator but does not treat underscores that way. As a result, make sure to use hyphens between each word.
Alt Text Attribute. The alternative text attribute helps Google robots understand the content of your images. You should try and make this as descriptive as possible whilst adding relevant keywords in it as well.
Title Text Attribute. The title text attribute is less important than the two previous elements in terms of SEO however it is beneficial for user experience for when your users scroll over an image. Here too, aim to be as descriptive as possible and indicate what is represented in the image.
Caption Tag. The image caption does not offer any SEO benefits, although it does provide an opportunity to provide more information about an image as it is often displayed below it.
5. Eliminate broken links.
Broken links are hyperlinks that are linked to an empty or non-existent webpage. Despite what can be believed they unfortunately don’t just occur on abandoned or poorly maintained websites. Indeed, they are actually rather quick to appear, a simple typo, an edit to a page of your website or a reshuffling of your website URL structure and you might create more than a few broken links.
Unfortunately, broken links also have a negative impact on your website in terms of both usability and SEO rankings. Having said that, the positive is that they are easily fixable, once identified. To do just that, there are several tools:
Once you have scanned your website and identified your broken links simply go into your content and re-insert a new hyperlink ensuring this one leads to a valid URL.
Do you want to get more out of your website? No idea where to start with your SEO? We offer a range of solutions to assist businesses with the optimisation and development of their websites. Check out our SEO plans or get in touch with us to discuss how we can help you.