Whether your website design is brand new or has been running for a while, SEO must be a key part of your marketing efforts. The problem is that, while many website owners know this, when it comes to taking action, they do so in an unorganised, and illogical manner. The result is all their efforts bring no results, they grow frustrated, and end up abandoning SEO as ‘something that doesn’t work’.
How wrong they are, and if they only took a more thoughtful approach to SEO for the same, or even less, effort, they may have seen the results they were looking for.
The first task in most plans is to assess where you are at and then decide what actions you need to take. This applies as much to SEO as it does to any other field. Therefore, what you must do is carry out an SEO audit of your website. This can identify issues such as, on-page SEO which may be missing, quantify both the amount and the quality of backlinks to your site, and highlight other useful data and feedback. Armed with all this information you can then map out a systematic approach to putting right what is wrong, and making other improvements to the SEO of your website.
Once you have got the technical part of your on-page SEO sorted out (e.g. metadata) you can now look at the content which exists throughout your site. Content plays several roles in relation to SEO so it needs to be optimised where possible. Firstly, does it contain the correct ratio of keywords? Often, website owners think that by stuffing content full of keywords it will help their site to rank, but it has the opposite effect.
Google’s algorithms are so intuitive, they can tell whether a piece of content reads naturally, or is just there to game the search engines. Keyword stuffing means content doesn’t come across as natural and such the website is not given credit for the content or worse its ranking is pushed down. The other point about content is it should serve to keep visitors on your site, which it won’t do if it is difficult to read.
Looking externally, you’ll want to create a plan for backlinking and it is important to be aware that it is not a case of simply going out and linking back from any and every site that will let you. The quality of the links that come to your website means more than the quantity, so you want to be researching to see what websites within your niche Google see as authoritative. Having links from only a dozen well-established sites that carry a bit of weight and influence is a much better scenario than one hundred links from spammy sites or sites with no authority whatsoever.
Once all your plans are in place and being implemented, the final piece of the jigsaw is to monitor your results using tools such as Google Analytics. These will allow you to see which of your SEO efforts are working the best, and which need to be improved. This is an on-going process and allows for continual improvement of your website’s SEO.