If your startup relies on online traffic, you’ll know that getting the right people to your website is one of the best investments of your resources. These days there are a number of digital marketing options; social media, email, mobile messaging and chatbots to name just a few. However, one of the oldest and most conventional methods of reaching potential customers online is still one of the most powerful: SEO.
SEO – Search Engine Optimisation – in its simplest form, is the practice of optimising your website to make it ‘search-engine-friendly’. It’s estimated that over 92% of internet users turn to search engines for help with all aspects of life and business. With over 4.5 billion people online in 2020, devoting time and resources to getting discovered in the search listings can make a world of difference to your business.
So, SEO is still one of the most powerful online marketing tools. For many business owners, though, the prospect of optimising their website can seem daunting, confusing or overwhelming. While it’s true that there are levels of SEO that can become extremely complex, the good news is that some of the simpler tweaks and adjustments can help to boost your website’s rankings in an increasingly noisy online space.
Even though the search engines have become incredibly sophisticated in the last couple of decades, there are some basic principles that still apply and many of these are quick and easy to implement. If you have a basic knowledge of the ‘back-end’ of your website, ie the behind-the-scenes of your web design platform (eg WordPress, Wix. Squarespace etc), you can make many of these changes yourself.
Leading UK Marketing Agency Grapefruit SEO shared these 5 tips to help you get started improving your SEO, and increasing the traffic your startup is getting from the search engines.
1. Meta Titles
Every page of your website has two versions of the title; the main title of the page or post is for the human readers, and the meta title is to help the search engines discover what the page or post is about. If you include your chosen keywords in these meta titles, you increase the chances that the search engines will consider them as search results when people ‘google’ a relevant term. To make changes to your meta title, login to the backend of your website and look for a meta title box in your SEO settings. (Ask your web platform for help if you can’t find the settings, or search; ‘how to change meta title in WordPress/Wix/Squarespace etc)
2. Click-Through Rate
Another simple metadata change you can make is to adjust your meta description. This is the short blurb that displays below your page link in the search listings. By making this more enticing to your potential customers, you will increase the number of people who click through to your website. This is known as your CTR – Click Through Rate – and a strong CTR not only increases your traffic, it also helps the search engines see your website as relevant, which can improve your place in the search listing.
3. Internal links
You may have heard that for good SEO you need lots of backlinks. This is only partly true; for the best SEO, you need the right amount of the right links. However, mastering backlink strategy can be tricky and then building those backlinks can be challenging and time-consuming. A simpler way to benefit from the power of links is to interlink relevant clusters of pages within your own website. These internal links are registered when the search engines ‘crawl’ your website and they provide vital information about the topic and relevance of your web pages. Done strategically, these internal links can provide an additional boost to your rankings in the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages.)
One of the easiest places to include your chosen keywords on your website is in your posts and pages. This is known as On-Page Optimisation. So, once you are clear on the search terms you want to rank for, ensure you include them in your web copy in a natural way, (shoehorning irrelevant keywords into your text can lead to being penalised by the search engines).
5. Use Data
If you are making any changes to your website, it’s good to know which ones are working and which efforts are worthwhile. Google wants to help you with this and provides a free tool called Google Search Console (GSC) that provides an increasing amount of useful data about your site’s performance on the search engine, and how you can improve it.
These are just a handful of quick-&-easy changes you can make yourself if you have basic tech skills. And since many of these changes are cumulative, the more of these tips that you implement, the more effective they will be over time.
However, if you’d prefer to see quicker results and employ some of the more powerful SEO strategies – customised to deliver the results your business most needs – investing in expert support can fast-track your online search success. The best SEO consultants or agencies invest heavily in keeping up-to-date with the constantly-changing digital landscape and the ever-shifting algorithms. So, if this level of SEO know-how is something you’d prefer to leave to the experts, hiring help with this powerful marketing tool can be money well spent.