What is SEO anyway? SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation, and knowing your way around how to optimise your content for the web can make all the difference in whether your content appears on page one or 14 on search engines. We’ve put together a few easy SEO hacks to get you started.
If you’re an SEO novice, here are a few quick strategies and tools that will put you on the pathway to having a more prominent online presence.
Let search engines know you exist
Contrary to popular belief, search engines do not find your website (or webpages) by magic. For example, if you want Google’s search engine to find your website and crawl your pages for search queries, you need to go to Google Search Console and paste the URL of your website in the field so Google search knows what to “crawl” for. You can even tell it to crawl (robots.txt) specific pages, such as a “subscribe” page, a home page, or the main page of your blog.
Hack: In addition to registering your website to be searched, Google Search Console also lets you see valuable data and insights, such as queries that led users to your website, impressions and clicks.
Regularly publish focused + genuine content
Search engines prefer websites that are updated on a regular basis. For example, if you post new content twice every week, search engines will rank your site higher than if you bulk post 10 articles on your website every six months. It’s all about consistency!
Being “niche” helps your search ranking as well. The more you establish yourself as a leader in a specific field or topic (this is where those keywords come in!) the better your SEO ranking will be. In addition, adding variety to your content with videos and images will also help your ranking.
Hack: Search engines prefer long-form content. Try to regularly publish articles meeting at least 750 words or above for a better SEO ranking.
Optimise your content
Every website has an HTML foundation. When search engines like Google and Bing crawl and dissect HTML pages, they are looking for a few things that factor into ranking:
- Headings (h1, h2) for readability
- The meta description in the header with keywords
- The page title (also implementing keywords)
- Names of image and video descriptions, otherwise known as “alt text”
When it comes to optimising your content for SEO, the devil is in the details. Being specific about which keywords you use for an article, keeping meta descriptions within the word limit, and even naming your files correctly (for example, naming the cover image for your article interhacktives_2018_new_to_SEO_four_easy _hacks.jpg instead of 33349rjgmckr.jpg) can improve your SEO.
Hack: Yoast is a free tool for WordPress that covers a lot of the areas mentioned above, specifically keywords and meta descriptions. Google Trends is also helpful for planning keywords and phrases you want to use
Website speed and responsiveness
Search engines are very harsh on websites that take too much time to load. You also want to be sure you have a template that is mobile-ready, or “responsive”. This means that whether someone is looking at your website on a desktop, tablet, or mobile phone, your website will “respond” to fit each format.
Hack: Try Google PageSpeed Insights to see how your site currently ranks in speed and quality. Simply paste your website URL into the field, click “Analyze” and Google will tell you how you rank for page speed and what could be improved. The issue could simply be that you need to use smaller image sizes.
We hope this article was helpful for those of you getting your feet wet with SEO. Did we miss something? Tell us below in the comments!