The importance of SEO and how to Do It Yourself (DIY)

By Rohan Xavier, Mar 17 2021
As consumers we love Google – it makes our lives easier. It’s so simple.

Type a few words, get a few hundred results, and 99 times out of 100 we find what we’re looking for. There’s a reason it’s that simple, but it’s actually quite complex. Google, and other search engines, use very detailed algorithms to determine which results (web pages) are relevant to your search, and which will appear on page one.

As businesses, search engines should make our lives easier as well, but it takes a bit of work. Search engine optimisation (SEO) is the key. Get this right and you’ll have a better chance of appearing on the first page of search engine results.

Remember: It’s estimated that only 6% of searches go past the first page! We’ve outlined a few key tips below to ensure you’re nailing your SEO.

Know yourself

It’s important to understand what consumers are searching for with regard to your product or service offering. Knowing what key search terms are being used will put you in a better position to optimise your website for these terms. Use Google’s search bar to research relevant keywords.

There are multiple tools available (ones we use at HGB) to research at a granular level, but Google is free, and a great place to start. Enter your product or service and use Google’s dropdown to see what other relevant search terms are being used. Take these keywords and use them on your website to enhance your SEO ranking.

Title tags

Your title tags have more relevance to SEO than most people realise. The title tag is your first and best opportunity to explain what searchers are likely to find on the webpage you are offering. First impressions count, so make sure to edit these tags to help make sense of your pages.

On-page SEO

Making sure that your website is prepared for search engines is vital. Here’s a quick checklist:

  • Write a heading that includes target keywords and ensure you give it an H1 tag. You can also have secondary headings (with H2 and H3 tags).
  • Make sure alt tags are assigned to images on your website. We are a visual species – we like pretty pictures, and many of us use Google image search to find information. Using alt tags on your images increases the chances of your images being displayed front and centre.
  • Optimise your pages to include your target keywords. If you’ve followed our first tip, you should know these.

Editorial content

We’re talking about blogs. Producing regular blog content for your website gives you added opportunity to increase the number of keywords and search terms onto your website. They are also great for attracting attention, boosting page engagement, and developing your businesses reputation as thought-leaders in your market. Blogs are also great for building internal links. By including keywords in blogs and linking the keywords to the respective landing pages on your website, you tell the search engine bots that the landing page is important. A well-linked website is a strong website according to the bots!

Online directory submissions

You’ve got a great website, now let’s shout about it! Listing your website on online directories is a sure-fire way to increase your website’s presence on the web and there are heaps of free online directories. The chances of people using these online directories to search for your company is relatively small, but search engines use these to rank searches. Remember those algorithms?

If you’re new to SEO these tips should set you off on the right track. Unfortunately for a lot of SMEs, competition is rife, and many competitors are already streaking ahead in the SEO game. While these tips will help, there are numerous other techniques that we employ to help our clients storm up the Google rankings and provide a great ROI.

Think you’ve got your SEO nailed? Great, but be warned, Google (and the rest) are continually moving the goalposts. The way users interact and engage with the web is constantly changing and search engines take this into account. Google uses real-time metrics to deliver the most relevant search information to its users. That’s why keeping your SEO up to date is so important.

Need further advice? HGB’s SEO and digital experts are just a phone call away – 07 839 4994.

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