When it comes to starting off with SEO for your website, you’ll first need to know everything that’s wrong/what Google doesn’t like about your site. To do this, you’ll need to conduct a website audit.
Now, there are some great paid tools out there which do this for you. But these can be quite expensive so to start out using some of the following free tools is a great start:
What these tools will do is break down the backend of your website and highlight which pages have errors and issues which need to be resolved. Some tools will even tell you how to resolve them.
Regardless, after you have identified what the problems are, you should Google how to fix them or consult your web developer in order to fix them as soon as possible to get your site nice and healthy so that search engines will not hesitate to recommend your content in the search results.
Once you’ve gotten your site all cleaned up, you’ll need to consider what kind of keywords you want your website to rank highly for.
Overall your keywords need to…
- Be relevant to the products or services you sell
- Be a term which people are actually searching for
- Ideally not be too difficult to rank for
A great tool to help you find keywords which people are actually searching for whilst also being able to ascertain how difficult it will be to rank for is Ubersuggests.
For example, if you sell dog toys, you can put in ‘dog toys’ as your core keyword into Ubersuggests and from there you can find out how many people searched for that term each month, and whether this is a competitive keyword or not. Here’s a quick guide on how Ubersuggests works if you’re still a little bit confused.
Whatsmore is that this tool will also offer you numerous keyword suggestions based on your core keyword such as ‘outdoor dog toys’ or ‘dog toys for puppies’. This means you can build up your keyword list fairly quickly and easily.
What will help you with your SEO and indeed your keyword research will be to take a look at what your competitors are doing and what keywords they are targeting.
Again there are both paid and free tools out there where you can pop in your competitors’ website URL and get a breakdown of what they are ranking for and where there might be an opportunity for you.
Keep it simple and pick 3 competitors to analyse so that you’re not overwhelmed with data.
Plan your content
Now that you have your keywords and understand what kind of keywords your competitors are trying to rank for, you’ll need to assign your keywords to individual website paged and/or blog posts.
Taking the ‘dog toys for puppies’ keyword, for example, you could plan for a blog post titled ‘Top 5 best dog toys for puppies’.
You can repeat this process for each of your chosen keywords and have your content planned around them accordingly.
Writing SEO friendly content
Writing SEO friendly can be quite complicated and different depending on what website builder you use. However, there are some basic guidelines you should follow…
- Longer content tends to do better – aim for over 300 words per post/page
- Include your exact match keyword or variations every 100-200 words or so
- Make sure your content is original and not copy and paste
- Make your content useful, valuable, enjoyable, and shareable
- Make sure to link to other internal pages and external URLs
- Include images and videos if they’re relevant
- Make sure your meta description is fairly brief and includes your keyword
- Have your SEO meta title include your keyword
There are tonnes of more detailed advice on writing SEO friendly content and what these terms mean, some of which you can find here.
Get good backlinks and get rid of nasty ones
Once your content is written it is not job done. You’ll need to try and get other websites, bloggers, press etc to share it and link to it in order to get what is called a backlink.
Backlinks are incredibly powerful because they essentially tell search engines like Google that your linked-to content is of good quality and is supported by others. If you get a reputable source to link to your content like a news site, this is even more powerful as it acts like an expert recommending what you have produced.
Update your content
A final thing to remember when you’re starting out with your SEO is that it is a dynamic process and needs to be consistently worked on in order to see results.
As such, you should update your existing content every 3-6 months in order to keep it relevant to your audience and to ensure that Google considers it to be the most up-to-date and best content out there.