SEO, otherwise known as search engine optimisation is a form of marketing that focuses on obtaining organic search traffic. Organic search traffic, by definition, is the traffic to a website, which is generated via search engines such as Google. Unlike paid ads, organic results are natural results, which means they are not directly paid for. Paid adverts on search engines such as Google will instantly remove themselves after you stop paying. In addition to this, paid adverts have a lower click through rate when compared to natural/organic listings. This is a reason why many marketers focus on SEO to drive traffic and generate business.
If you are a marketer or if you own your own website, chances are, you will be using SEO as a method to obtain web traffic. You may or may not be struggling to reach position one on Google for your desired keywords. This article is for those who do not yet have position one on Google or for those who wish to learn more. Furthermore, in this article, we will cover simple SEO tips that are very powerful yet often neglected. Below are the simple SEO tips and tricks that you can use to rocket your organic growth online.
UTILISE A BLOG
A blog is a great way to draw in extra search traffic. A well written blog post has the ability to rank extremely well in the search engines. This is why it is very important that all websites should have a blog feature, as there is no industry that would not benefit from having a blog.
Often people attempt to justify their reasons for not having a blog with comments such as “My industry is just not exciting enough”. Whilst some industries may be more boring than others, it certainly does not mean you should not be talking about it. For the person searching your industry, your content is exactly what they are looking for. One man’s junk is another man’s treasure, so to speak.
If you lack the creativity to write about an industry, you should hire a content writer to do so. In time, your return on investment will grow.
It is worth mentioning that a blog is not a platform for strictly text. A blog is a place in which a variety of media types can flourish. You may create video content, or maybe even a podcast with transcripts. The aim of the blog is to grow your traffic and reinforce your brand.
SWITCH TO HTTPS
July 2018 saw the introduction of Chrome browser version 68. This version of chrome will mark any websites as “Not secure” if they are not using an SSL certificate. An SSL certificate is a form of encryption that is designed to help keep your users safer when they browse your website. This helps protect information being intercepted by hackers when it is submitted via a form on your website. LetsEncrypt provide free SSL certificates, which are generally easy to install. If you are not tech savvy, I would recommend hiring someone to install the certificate for you.
Once an SSL certificate is correctly installed, your website URL will switch to https instead of http and a green padlock should appear to signal that your website is secure. Google favour websites that are using SSL certificates, which is evident in Chrome 68.
IMPORTANT – Remember to 301 redirect any previous http URLs to your new https URLs. This can be done via the .htaccess file or by using plugins on a CMS. If you do not know how to do this, hire a professional to help. This is important as Google will otherwise view the two URLs as separate duplicate pages. In order to retain your previous search rank efforts, you would need to redirect the old URLs over to the new URLs. A 301 redirect should be used as this is a permanent change. This stage can be confusing and requires technical SEO knowledge. It is recommended that you hire an SEO company for complex tasks.
OPTIMISE FOR MOBILE DEVICES
It is no secret that search engines such as Google favour websites that are optimised for mobile devices. A Google update dubbed by many as “The great mobile armageddon” deranked many websites which were not mobile friendly. There is no excuse for a non device friendly website in this day and age. If your website is not optimised for smart devices, you will need to make changes. If you cannot do this, then hire a professional to do so for you. Test your website on various devices and also use Google’s very own mobile friendly test.
REDUCE YOUR LOAD TIME
Your websites load speed could be affecting more than just your conversion rate. Your average user will not want to wait for a slow website, and why should they? Google understands the wants and needs of a user and therefore places an emphasis on the speed of your page. A slow loading website is not user friendly and therefore will lose its ability to rank well on the search engines. Test your websites speed and make changes to enhance performance.
You can improve your websites speed through a number of ways. For example, you could compress your images to reduce load speed. In addition to this, you could tidy up your code so that it is more efficient and faster loading. The settings of your server can also be tweaked to enhance performance. There are many ways in which the speed of your website can be improved. Google pagespeed can be used to test your website. Google pagespeed is used to highlight issues with a website as well as give tips to repair these issues. You can attempt to fix this or hire a professional to do so.
These four simple yet basic tips can widely aid your SEO efforts. Google will naturally rank websites that are beneficial to its users. A user friendly website that is packed with engaging, interesting and unique content will do well online. If you focus on providing the most value to your target audience, then your audience will follow.