SEO For Beginners: Actionable SEO Tips to Rank on Google in 2018

By | September 6, 2019

My name is Julia from Salepath Digital and today we’re talking about Search Engine Optimization. “Can you do our SEO
for us?” is one of the most frequently asked questions we get from potential
clients. Many think it’s just a question of adding a few blog posts and some
sort of codes at the back end of their sites and they will magically appear at
the top of Google. Sadly it does not work quite like that.
SEO is about how your entire domain is seen in Google’s eyes, which means how
much authority and expertise your site has. The more you have, the more likely
you are to appear on page one of search results and let’s face it that’s what we
all want. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, as I said. It is what you do
to improve your organic website web page rankings in the search engines such as
Google. When people talk about organic results, they mean sites that have appeared
naturally and not due to paid advertising. SEO will improve your
organic rank. So how does Google decide whether to show your website
on page one of Google or page fifteen or even not at all? Google wants to provide
results that closely match search terms and that will meet the needs of that
search term. The website or page needs to be highly relevant to the search term
and the domain itself must be trusted by Google. Become an expert on your
subject, write great content and Google will start to notice. For instance,
imagine someone is searching for a ‘new laptop’, they’ll probably type in
something along the lines of ‘new laptop deals’ or similar. Google will first bring
up the relevant paid ads as you would expect right at the top, but underneath
you have the organic or natural results achieved with good SEO. All the results will be
the pages relating to ‘new laptop deals’ just as you typed in, they will not
relate to second hand laptops or even laptop repair shops. If they did you
would be pretty annoyed! So Google has found you the most relevant, useful and
authoritative web pages for you to look at with new laptop deals on. These web
pages will tend to be from sites with a lot of deals on and which Google trust. This can be due to anything from good well-written relevant content, that
matches closely to the search term, down to the age of the domain. So you’ll be
thinking ‘but how can I achieve that?’ Google of course never say exactly what
the ranking factors are but here is a list that we can pretty sure say are
included in their algorithms. So let’s have a look at that list. Number One, most
important: use keywords on your website. These are in fact words or even phrases
you think your potential customers will type into Google to find what it is you
sell. Don’t just guess this, ask your friends and colleagues what they would
type in to find what it is that you sell, because what you think is right isn’t
always what a potential customer might think is right. For example, if you’re
writing about a dog walking or a dog sitting business, think about how your
audience would search for that. They might type in ‘dog sitting in my area’ or
‘local dog walkers’ or even ‘dog care’, but if you’re not sure, use Google’s very
useful keyword planner and that will really help you. Once you have your
keywords, make sure you use them throughout your writing but not too
many times, remember you’re still writing for your
audience not just search engine optimization! Improve the metadata on
your site. This tells Google which words or phrases are the most important on
each page and it’s absolutely critical to get this right, otherwise Google will
just pick up on the first paragraph of your site which is particularly bad if
it does not have the relevant keywords in it. We see this problem time and
again it’s such a shame and no matter how pretty or expensive your site,
without sorting out your metadata you’re just making it much harder for Google to
understand your site and to be honest it’s likely you will never rank well. This one does need a little bit of coding knowledge, but don’t worry, it’s
not as scary as it sounds and if you have a wordpress site it’s actually not
too difficult to achieve, Next add internal links within the site. So that
would be one page linking to another. It’s also a good idea to link within the
text, for example, we could say on our news page; ‘our salepath news page, it’s a
great way to stay up to date’. By the way never say ‘just click here’ because
guess what? Google doesn’t understand ‘just click here’ but it does understand
‘salepath news page’. Next try adding some external outbound links to authoritative
websites in your niche industry. If you’re linking to sites that Google
already trusts, by the way you’ll find them on page one of Google, then a little
bit of that trust may just rub off on your own website. Get backlinks to your
site. What is a backlink? you say. A backlink is a link to your website from
another relevant web site. It’s all about good quality, natural backlinks that
are relevant to your site. So where do I find these? Well, find directories or
associations or news sites for your industry and you’ll find them on page
one and two of Google so you know that Google trusts them and try and add
yourself to these sites it will make such a difference to your ranking. Next
add your business to Google My Business and make sure you get your address
verified by them. You’ll find a link to Google my business on this blog on our
website. That means you’ll appear magically in
Google Maps at the top of Google search results locally. For instance, if you
search for say ‘pubs near me’ you’ll get a whole list of pubs closest to you on the
google map, so imagine if someone was searching for your business, near them,
you would show up at the top of Google in the maps. Do note though that this
really only works well for desktop and on mobile Google does tend to show the
results from the paid ads first. Next, regularly update your site and add
some blog posts like we have on our site. Google does like to see fresh content
but only if it’s relevant. Link back to these posts on your social media pages. So there you are! You have a backlink! If your site is a bit short on content
overall however, you would be better off working on the main pages, souping them
up with good content to show that you are an expert on whatever it is you sell. Next get busy on social media. I don’t want to hear you groaning! There is much
debate over how much relevance Google puts on this but do at least make sure
you set up a Google+ page for your business at the very least. The latest
thinking is that Google likes to see a good quantity of social media activity
but never, ever let it take over the priority of getting new business. Add
video to your site and to YouTube. Why? Because Google loves video on sites
and YouTube videos often rank highly in the search results pages, especially
for low competition type searches. So if you have a real niche industry, YouTube
could work brilliantly for you. If possible add some bullet points or lists
on some of your pages on the site. It can help you get ranked more highly. These tips can seem daunting, but once you do your homework on your content and
your keywords and start implementing them, with a little trial and
error, your SEO will be on track to getting you higher up the search
rankings and don’t be afraid to ask for help. On our SEO page we provide a free
website SEO report which is a great first step to getting your SEO on the
right path. Either you can do it yourself or give it to your web designer to sort
out or of course we’d be absolutely delighted to help you. Look forward to
speaking to you soon with our next blog post. Thank you.

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