Our short SEO guide
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) should be an integral part of the planning, designing and development process for all new websites.
Published byAlexis Pratsides
Search engine traffic should be the number one driver of traffic to your website.
The percentage of new visits from search engine traffic is higher than direct traffic and should be considered more valuable – new visits mean potential new customers! Being number one in organic search results should be your main goal. Achieving the number one spot means you will get the lion’s share of search engine traffic for that search. Attaining a top ranking position requires you to invest in SEO: search engine optimisation. This is the process of reviewing and optimising the technical factors, contents, and usability of your website to provide your audience with the best experience. Websites that invest in SEO are usually the websites that covet top ranking positions for key terms.
To start, you need to identify the keywords you want to rank well for, the level of traffic for those keywords and how hard it will be to rank well for that keyword. These two factors shouldn’t be ignored. It’s all well and good trying to rank for ‘cars’ but the likelihood of your website ranking first is near impossible. Instead, focus on the long-tail – keywords which are more defined. They’ll be less relative traffic but you’ll have a better chance of ranking for them. Potential keywords should be analysed for both search volumes and opportunity.
Once you have identified the best keywords to target (and this can be a large piece of work), the next step is to do some on-page SEO. Optimising your website and web pages will greatly benefit your SEO campaign. On-page SEO has many different elements. The most important are:
Having good, keyword-relevant content on your web pages will greatly help them to get indexed by search engines for keywords. Broadly speaking, you should aim for at least 300 words of content. Not only is content beneficial for user experience but it is by far the most natural way of increasing your visitor numbers. However, it is possibly also the element which takes the longest time to see results. It is important to make sure your content is keyword rich but not keyword saturated. Search engines use highly intelligent mathematical equations and algorithms to determine what your page is about, how good it is and what search terms it should rank it for. But, they are only algorithms – they are not human monitored. You need to help the search engines understand what your page is about. Writing about cupcakes, televisions and the United Kingdom will only confuse the search engine. They like to pigeonhole pages and websites into neat little categories. Make sure you can do that with your pages.
Create customer engagement through finding popular topics in your niche
Now in 2020, content creation is not just starting a blog and hoping that users will find it relevant. For doing the pertinent research, we will recommend using Reddit: look at what other people are discussing and find your relevant topic. For that purpose, you can also use Answer The Public, which is a very handy tool. You just have to introduce that topic you want to know more about, and thousands of ideas will come to you.
It’s all about being a good content curator
Google will always try to give you the best possible responses for your queries, redirecting you towards top content. Therefore, it is key for your SEO strategy to produce high-quality content. For that purpose, you must dedicate it some time, as this will make you stand out of the crowd.
On the other hand, practising the art of content curation can help you create that key content that will attract your audience.
Here we have a list of relevant resources that will help you out when curating content.
- Flipboard – This app will enable you to produce mini-magazines that are linked to your favourite news or websites. Start by creating a Flipboard account to share this info with your fans, or simply place your blog posts onto a Flipboard magazine to promote it.
- Pocket – With Pocket, you will be able to keep all your articles, photos and links in one single platform. It will enable you to find articles easier.
- elink.io – This tool allows you to storage links and revert them into shareable content. Or maybe you prefer to convert your links into a webpage or newsletter. Using elink.io you can access to a wide range of templates that will help you save your time when curating content.
The role of Metadata has become controversial in the world of SEO but it is still important. Metadata is behind the scenes information that search engines and other websites use to gather information about your website. The two most important Metadata elements for SEO are keywords and the description.
The description, as you can imagine, is a description of your website. This is the paragraph that gets shown under your website title in search results. It is important to note that Google doesn’t use these to judge the quality or relevancy of your website. Instead, you should utilise these as prime advertising spots. Sell your company or business here!
Here are examples of bad and good meta descriptions:
Good Meta descriptions
It’s also important to note that you only have 150 characters to write your Meta description. If you write too many then they won’t get shown. Make sure you utilise this search engine real estate well.
Additionally, you have the meta tag for keywords. Here you should add your selected keywords for your web pages. However, it’s also important that each page has a unique set of keywords for their meta tag to get the most benefit from them.
Some SEO best practices for metadata creation in 2020 are:
- Do not repeat meta description tags
It is key that you do not repeat meta descriptions on pages, as each one of them should be different and unique. Example:
- Do not add double quotation marks
When double quotation marks are used in the HTML of a meta description, Google deletes it when it shows on the SERPs. To avoid this, simply remove all non-alphanumeric characters from your meta descriptions. If they are necessary for you, use the HTML entity instead of double quotation marks.
- Good format
The right Meta description format is one that can be read in a natural way but also utilises those keywords that the page is targeting. A good format can also impact a page’s CTR on Google, which can boost its ranking.
The title of your pages is something that search engines take into consideration. Having a keyword-driven title will definitely help your SEO efforts. The most important thing to consider is search engines rate the relevancy of your title and links based on their syntax – going left to right. That is to say, keywords in your title found at the beginning (to the left) will be given more weight than those at the end (towards the end).
Using MintTwist as an example, here are two titles:
– ‘MintTwist – Web Design Services London’
– ‘Web Design London – MintTwist’
In the first title, ‘MintTwist’ will be the most important keyword, whereas in the second title ‘Web Design London’ will be more important. It is up to you whether you want to put more focus on your brand name or your services although, from a search traffic perspective, targeting services and associated keywords will be more beneficial.
Make every title page unique.
Lastly, something that is very important to consider is URLs and URL structure. All URLs need to be friendly – that is to say, reflective of the content.
Having a URL like https://www.minttwist.com/web-design-london is much better than https://www.minttwist.com/services/web/service-area:12a/service-type:1. Search engines will markdown the second URL, but like the first URL – hopefully for obvious reasons!
One important thing to stress is that everything should be relevant and related. For any individual page, URLs, titles, headers, on-page content and keywords all need to be the same. Having a URL that ends in ‘web-design-London’ but keywords that are about ‘web marketing in Spain’ will get you marked down for irrelevancy in search engine algorithms. More specifically, they won’t understand what your page is about and are more likely to not rank it for anything.
Once your website has been fully optimised, the next step is to build links. You can do this in numerous ways and it will hopefully happen naturally over time as people link to your website for X number of reasons. However, you can also build links manually. Ways to do this include article writing, guest blogging and social media networking. However, this takes up some time and you may want to outsource it to a web marketing or an SEO agency.
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