Search Engines Optimisation (SEO) basically means getting your website in shape so that it’s picked up by search engines. I love sparkly lights and like to use them to explain how SEO works. Thinking sparkly lights is way more fun than using terms like “mobilegeddon” or “spider” and “bot”.
If you think about a bricks and mortar shop, no one will know it’s there if there are no lights on and the shutters are down. To get your business seen online, you need to make sure it’s shining brightly so everyone can see and know about it. And that’s where SEO comes in.
SEO can seem complicated and overwhelming if you get caught up in all the details. But it doesn’t have to be that way. And that’s why I like to use sparkly lights. Each little tweak you make to a part of your website helps the string of lights shine brightly so that they’re picked up by search engines. Which is where I come in. I’m going to show you how to improve your ranking and authority by making small, easy changes.
Use keywords to improve your SEO
The main way to improve your chances of search engines picking up your website and showing it high up in results pages is to include the right words in your copy and content. The right words are the ones people are typing into search engines when they’re looking for a solution to a problem they have.
Think of yourself as a consumer not a business owner. What do you do when you want to know how to get your child to sleep through the night? Or if you want to book yourself a massage or counselling session? You get your phone or tablet out and type something like “tips for getting a toddler to sleep through the night”. Or “holistic therapies in Gateshead” into a search engine.
If you’re an infant sleep specialist, a blog post entitled “Tips for getting your toddler to sleep through the night” is likely to get your website showing up in that person’s search results. So the first step is to spend some time doing some keyword research to make sure the ones you’re using are what people are typing into search engines.
If you don’t have the time to do research like this, ask the audience! Do a post on your socials and ask which words the people who follow you would use (or did use) to find your services. You could do the same in an email to your list. This is actually a really good way of making sure you’re using the right words because it’s coming from the people who wanted your help with a problem they have.
Using the right keywords is just one part of getting your website shining bright and showing up high on results pages. Search engines want to make sure they’re ranking websites that have authority in their field. Improving your authority takes time. Making small tweaks to your lights will help you to do this, as well as having regular, fresh, engaging content that answers the questions your audience is asking.
Use blog posts to build your authority
If your audience trusts you, they’re more likely to want to do business with you. Showing that you know what you’re talking about and letting people get to know a bit about you and why you do what you do, is a great way to do this. The more visitors you have to your website, the more authority it gets as lots of visitors show search engines that people want to listen to what you’ve got to say.
Make sure you’ve got social sharing buttons on your blog posts so that people can share what you’ve written. The more people who read a post, the better that looks to search engines. And don’t forget to share your posts on your social media channels and in your newsletter too. But don’t just share it once. Do it regularly. Don’t be fooled into thinking everyone who follows you will see everything you share. Only a small proportion will and not everyone will click and read the first time.
Make your posts easy to read
Make sure your text is easy to scan and that your sentences and paragraphs are short. Aim for no more than 150 words per paragraph. Make sure your writing flows well and is easy to read. Adding in images can help to keep your reader’s attention – the vast majority of us skim read so having relevant images and headings helps them to get to the part they want to read.
Keywords are there to get your post picked up by search engines. Your reader shouldn’t notice them so don’t be tempted to stuff them in every sentence. As a general rule, use a keyword five or six times in an 800-1000 word post. Adding too many will also be picked up by search engines and can count against you. Ideally, your main keyword will appear in your headline and then dotted around the rest of your post.
Subscribe to Simple SEO for more tips
If you want regular tips to help you brighten your sparkly lights and build your authority, subscribe to my weekly newsletter Simple SEO. It’s full of tips, information, chat, and news about my latest offers and services. As a thank you for subscribing, I’ll send you 3 things you can do today that will help you to improve your SEO. And if you’d like to read more about writing for your business, head over to the blog section.