A quick and easy introduction to SEO

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Every business in 2021 needs a good Google ranking.

Sure, it makes you discoverable to new audiences, whether they’re paying customers, volunteers, or the public.

But more than that, when people can find you in just a few seconds using Google, you become credible and trustworthy.

Getting your webpage to the top of a search results isn’t always easy. It can take a long-term strategy before you see success. But there are a few easy things you can do today to get started on your SEO journey. Let’s take a look.

What is SEO?

SEO stands for ‘search engine optimisation’. It’s refers to the techniques we use to improve a website’s ranking on Google (or other search engines).

To understand SEO, you’ve got to, well, think like Google. Google wants to present the most relevant, useful and entertaining information to its users. Needless to say, Google does a very good job of this!

This means that the cornerstone of your SEO strategy should be helping your audience to access and navigate your site. Help them get the info they’re after without a fuss and you’re on the right track.

Easy SEO strategy #1 – Be user-friendly

Site speed

A huge factor in how Google ranks your site is speed. Does your site take more than three seconds to load? If so, you’ve got a problem.

There are many factors that influence site speed, but one of the most common problems that you could fix today would be your image sizes. Reduce your pixels and dimensions and you should see an improvement.

Not sure about your site speed? Try Hubspot’s nifty (and free) website grader.

Mobile-first

Do you use your mobile phone to browse the internet, shop online, read the news, or search local businesses? You’re not alone. Your audience, and most other people on earth, do, too.

So it’s no surprise that Google prefers to leverage websites that are mobile-friendly. Such websites quickly adapt to any screen size—from computers and laptops, to phones and tablets—for a fantastic user experience.

Use Google’s mobile-friendly test to find out if your website needs an upgrade.

Easy SEO strategy #2 – Use keywords

Keywords, keywords, but not too many keywords

Keywords are a big part of how google—and hence SEO—works. After all, users type keywords to try to find businesses, products or services.

But gone are the days of keywords-stuffing to boost your Google ranking. Google has caught up with this technique and can demote you if you’ve got too many keywords on your site.

Why? Because too many keywords can make your sentences unintelligible. They can make your paragraphs too wordy. They can downgrade your user’s experience.

Use keywords sensibly and lightly. A good rule of thumb: try one keyword per page at a rate of three instances of that word per page. And always use keywords that represent your user’s intentions, i.e. their ‘search intent’.

Need a tool to find relevant keywords? Try SEM Rush or Moz.

Metadata

Don’t worry, I’m not going to get too technical, but I would like to introduce you to a little thing called metadata.

Metadata includes:

  • title tags (those clickable site names you see in search results)
  • meta descriptions (little paragraph under said title tag)
  • URLs (e.g. tcc.international/blog/a-quick-and-easy-introduction-to-SEO)
  • headlines and subheadings
  • image alt (alternative) text (a description of your image)

You can boost your SEO by scrubbing up your metadata. Make sure your title tags, heading and subheads are logical, easy to read, and useful to your audience. Describe your images well in your alt text and use relevant keywords sensibly in your URLs.

Easy SEO strategy #3 – Create links

For a super powerful SEO strategy that you can start today, turn your attention to links.

Create internal links, where relevant, from one page of your site to another. These encourage users to keep moving through your site, which shows Google you’re providing valuable information.

Next, include links to other relevant websites outside your own, such as articles or other services. Again, Google will see that you’re providing genuinely valuable information.

And finally, to get into Google’s really good books, see if you can get other websites to link to you. These ‘backlinks’ show Google that other people on the internet think your site is worth giving a shout-out to. You can get backlinks by blogging on other people’s sites, or getting return customers or business partners to link to you.

Improve your SEO today

Search engine optimisation is never a quick fix, but with these simple techniques you can start your SEO journey and begin to see results.

Other ways to improve your SEO include having a great content and social media strategy, improving accessibility, and optimising your site’s navigation.

Whichever techniques you choose, be sure to focus on your audience’s experience and measure results.

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About

Natalie is a freelance copywriter and digital content producer from Melbourne. Her experience spans across industries including marketing, construction, tourism, and disability services.

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