Week 6 of 52 – Turbo-charge your site with some simple SEO tactics
By now you probably that Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) plays a vital part in the success or failure of your website. A site that has not been optimised for the search engines bots that roam the web will not rank well or even appear close to the top of search results. Research regularly shows that 70% of all clicks go to that all important number one position in Google. That is why it is vital for your site to be the one that is appearing there.
You will find that an SEO Expert, someone who specializes in the field of search optimisation, is usually totally different to your average website developer – they generally are not the same person. It is an intricate field of work that involves studying other sites, reading statistics and loads of fine tuning and tweaking.
Unfortunately, some of these SEO experts have played upon the naivety of website owners in the past and have charged absolute fortunes for their services. I recently heard of a small business being charged thousands for a couple of simple suggestions and no real work on a site.
But do you really need an SEO expert for your site to get it on that first page? Not necessarily, there are a number of tasks that a website owner can undertake themselves before calling in the big guns.
To help you out, we have compiled a few little tips that most website owners can have a crack at themselves. However, to attempt the following, you need to have access to the back-end of your site via a Content Management System (CMS) such as WordPress or Joomla.
If you are using WordPress, you need to install the Yoast SEO or All-In-One SEO plug-ins. If you are on Joomla, I recommend Xmap or SEOSimple. These add extra functionality to your page editors allowing you to customise each page according to the content on each page and how you want people to find that information. Your web developer can install these if you are unable to – all new Rusty Mango sites have the All-In-One SEO plug-in installed already.
To give your site that boost you are looking for in the search engines, you can try the following options:
In the general setup options for your SEO plug-in (you will see these titles):
Add a Meta Description – This is an actual sentence that describes the content of the page to both search engines and visitors. It is also the segment of text that you see under search results in Google. Make sure that you include two keywords and a maximum of 100 characters.
Insert appropriate Meta Tags / Keywords – In the general options, add a maximum of five words, separated by commas. These stored in the head (start) of the web page document. Be sure to also include these five keywords inside the content text of your site. With the plug-ins mentioned, you will also be able to add keywords to each separate page of your site as well.
Use key words in your Page Titles – displayed at the very top of the web browser. It must contain at least two of your keywords, with a 70 characters maximum. The titles should also be unique for each page.
On individual pages of your site:
Make sure that all images have ALT Tags – These tags are the alternative text shown for when an image cannot be displayed. They are usually for visually impaired visitors but they are also examined by the search engines. Make sure that the tags you use are tied into the overall keywords for the individual page.
Check your H1 Titles – This is the largest title for each page and it is usually displayed as the title at the head of your content. Make sure they are unique to each page and try to limit the number of words used.
As you would expect, there are no guarantees that these will be sufficient to push your site to that number one position but if after a few weeks (be sure to give Google some time), there is no real change in your ranking, maybe it is time to call in the heavy artillery. Ask your fellow business owners and networks for recommendations because, as mentioned before, there are some rather unscrupulous SEO companies out there.
If you need any more information on SEO for your site, or if you just want to leave me some feedback, leave a comment below and I will endeavor to answer any questions you have.