If you’ve started a new business, and want to get your name out there, then marketing is your best friend. There are so many different ways to increase your brand awareness, from social media to word of mouth to paid adverts. What I want to focus on today is the top 5 SEO tips for beginners that you need to know. SEO is an excellent notch to have on your digital marketing belt, as it can directly affect how many people see your website, for free! It’s hard to summarise in 5 top tips, but it’s a great starting to point to make sure you are doing all that you can to target the best audience!
Lazy Load Your Site
Site speed is a key ranking factor that search engines will look at to determine how user-friendly your site is. Images are obviously an important part of any website, because no-one wants to read a big wall of text! However, images also take up a lot of space and can make your website incredibly slow!
Before uploading images to your website, always use a jpg or png minimiser so you aren’t uploading giant images that will slow down your site. I often use https://compressjpeg.com/ where you can toggle between jpg and png!
If you have the option to ‘lazy load’ your website (a lot of premade sites like IONOS will have this), then always make sure this is selected. All this does is make your images load last, so people can still get on to your website quickly, but the images will load just a second longer! This should reduce your bounce rate if people think your website takes too long to load.
Google looks at your site and will judge if it is ‘trusted’. By this, it means have decent sources linked to your site? If you have posted a blog post on SEO, for example, and a high traffic, well trusted website (for instance, searchenginejournal.com), links to your website, it makes YOU look better.
This in turn will make Google think you are the trusted source of that information the reader is searching for, which will then boost your rankings on Google.
So if you know you have been mentioned or featured on another website, then contact them and ask if they wouldn’t mind linking to your website (better yet, a relevant sub-page on your website), which will help to boost your rankings!
Page titles and meta descriptions
Meta data is the first thing you see when you search for something on Google. How many times have you clicked to page 2? Yeah… not many I’m guessing!
You’re not alone, 75% of searches made will have results clicked on the first page, which makes that first page spot such prime location in the SEO world.
A key ranking factor is your meta data, which, primarily, consists of your page titles and descriptions. Putting your keywords that describe your business or service in the page title will increase your chances of appearing on that first page. However, this doesn’t mean spam your title with keywords; Google is clever. The complex algorithm will quickly realise that your text doesn’t make sense, instead you want to target clear keywords in a readable format. For example:
You see how this is just crammed full of keywords? Google will see right through you!
Much more targeted, and limited to Google’s 50-60 character limit for page titles, plus includes your business name. This isn’t essential, but I always think it helps your site look more professional, consistent and cohesive.
A key element of SEO in 2020 is to understand that you should write for the reader first, and the search engines second. If you are always trying to cram in keywords, people will end up being confused by what you are offering.
Meta descriptions, whilst not an official ‘ranking factor’, is important for getting additional keywords in, and describing what the reader will find if they click through to your website. This is a great space for including call to actions, such as Buy Your Tickets Today, to encourage urgency and conversions.
You have a little extra wiggle room with meta descriptions, Google will mostly display up to 160 characters, so you can be more descriptive and show your tone of voice!
One of the most important SEO factors is your unique content. This means from your page titles to your URLs to your on-site content, it should all be unique, not copy and pasted! Google hates a duplicate, so if you’re showing signs of duplication then you could end up getting penalised.
Using different keywords in your page titles and site content can also be a good way of judging what keywords are helping you show up on Google too; if you have Google analytics, look out for where people are clicking into your site from.
Don’t forget your images
Images all have alt-tags, and it is so important not to forget these! Not only do you have the opportunity to be even more accessible for people, but Google has a whole section of its site dedicated to Images, so utilise this opportunity!
But again, make sure each image is unique and thoroughly descriptive.
This may be a very brief overview of the top 5 SEO tips for beginners, but there are hundreds of ranking factors that Google looks into, so it’s worth starting little and often! If you need any help with auditing the SEO of your website, or want to discuss content, SEO and strategy, then get in touch and I will be more than happy to help!