20 Apr 2022 / Mar-Loes Mantoua
SEO, or Search Engine Optimisation, has an enormous impact on the success of your business. Your SEO strategy determines how easily your target customers can find you. You want to be at the top of those search results lists, don’t you?
Here are a few simple and practical steps you can implement to make sure your SEO strategy is on point!
1 . Check your visibility on google
Yes, we are focussing on Google here as they hold over 90% of the total search engine market share. Is your business website ranked on the first search engine result page on Google’s? How can you ensure that your website will be visible on Google and be ranked on this essential first page (75% of people never scroll beyond the first page of search results)? Here’s how: Ensure that each page on your website targets specific topics and uses keywords to make this known to Google, who notices relevant websites that are best suited to specific searches.
Keyword research is the foundation of any good SEO strategy. If you know how to use keywords effectively, you can develop content that attracts more people to your website.
2 . Check URLs and Meta description
An effective URL (basically the address of your webpage) should tell your audience what your website is about, show the audience where they are on your website page, and if possible, it should include your target keywords. Users might decide whether to click or skip your page based on these alone.
The meta description appears below your link in Google. This description needs to be engaging, descriptive, and includes your target keywords. A solid meta description can help convince your searchers to visit your page. Altogether, a compelling meta description and SEO-friendly URL can improve your appearance in search results.
3 . Analyse titles and headings
Your title and headings are essential, they are there to tell the audience what they are about to read, help the audience find what they are looking for and whether the content is of value to them. You’ll need to create magnetic headlines that attract your audience. The title of your page should include the content, have the main words of the content in your title page and the content should not be too long nor too short. This will help your overall ranking on Google and help reduce your spam score (see point 5).
4 . Evaluate incoming links
Link evaluation is about setting priorities and goals for the links you want to pursue and do well. The right links can help drive traffic to your website. If someone adds a backlink (external links leading to your site) to your website, their readers are likely to click on that link. The right links can also help your website rank higher. This is because links tell search engines that your website has authority on a certain subject, therefore the more links your website has the better your website will rank on the search engines. Of course, these links need to be valid ones and useful to readers. Bad backlinks will result in a higher spam score (see point 5).
5 . Analyse your spam score
How do we lower our spam score and what are we doing wrong to increase it? When we overuse SEO’s capabilities, we start to over-optimise our website, making it hard to read. This leads to bad User Experiences (UX) and can increases the site’s spam score.
The higher the spam score, the less likely Google will be able to crawl your site, view your pages and rank your website. Only up to 5% is acceptable for SEO when reviewing your spam score. A few tips on how to reduce your spam score: The meta description length is important (also see point 2 above). If it appears too long or too short this can be considered a negative point for the site. The site fonts should be fonts recognised by Google. Luckily most are, but if you have a fancy font, this could be another reason for your spam score to increase. Lastly, the number of pages your site has, as well as the content on those pages, will link directly to your site’s ranking and will either gain a positive or negative score.
6 . Check your internal links
Internal links are links that point from one page to another on your website. They are there to make customer journeys as easy and as straightforward as possible.
Remember that a “Click here” link has no search engine value beyond the attached URL, whereas descriptive links rich with keywords will improve your search engine rankings as well as the ranking of the page you are linking to. Always use descriptive links by linking keywords—it not only improves search engine optimisation, but also adds value to your readers.
7 . Investigate for broken links
A 404 is a “page not found” error, is something you do not want your customers to come across. This is usually caused by broken links and/or broken images within your site. For example, if a page on your site is linked to an image or content that has been deleted, anyone who clicks on that link will get a 404 error on their screen. Keep up to date with your links and replace those that have since been deleted.
An easy way this can be done is using a spreadsheet on excel. Check all links in your website and record your link findings, e.g. if there are any broken links or how many internal links etc. These will then have to be fixed and upgraded. Make sure you upgrade them on other social media platforms as well, ensure that relevant SEO related backlinks are preserved where possible. Link upgrading is a big task but the last thing you want is a customer coming across a broken link on your website. They will simply move onto the next company on their list to get the information they are looking for.
8 . Analyse your web content
Quality, original, comprehensive, authoritative content is the number one driver of your search engine rankings and there is no substitute for great content.
To analyse the web content, you need to do a content inventory of all the content that you have created for your website. You want your user to have a good experience on your website, content is the most important, so make sure that it is always organised, relevant, and up-to-date. Regularly updated content is viewed as one of the best indicators of a site’s relevancy, so be sure to keep it fresh. We suggest you check your content on a set schedule and make updates as needed.
9 . Audit your images
Always describe your image and video media using alt tags, or alternative text descriptions. They allow search engines to locate your page, which is crucial—especially for those who use text-only browsers or screen readers. Pictures attract and appeal to customers AND Google likes them. Ensure that when you have images on your site, you have appropriately named the image with a description.
Google looks at your URL structure so keep it organised. Create folders/ file names for your images by topic or keyword – https://the-right-mix.com/the-right-mix-team/ . Lastly use original images where you can. Google prefers original content including images! Therefore, using stock photos that other people have used on their websites will not help your SEO.
10 . Check your page speed
Page speed is an important part of user experience. But as important is the fact that Google uses site speed (and as a result, page speed) as one of its signals used in its algorithm to rank pages. How can you increase your speed? By optimising your code, including removing spaces, commas, and other unnecessary characters, as well code comments, formatting, and unused code.
You can also increase your page speed compressing your images, the larger the image size the longer it takes to load your site, hurting your ranking on Google. Or try lazy loading – a strategy to identify resources as non-blocking (non-critical) and load these only when needed
Lastly, check for common mistakes that could be slowing down your website. Improve your server response time. Your server response time is affected by the amount of traffic you receive, the resources each page uses, the software your server uses, and the hosting solution you use. Find bottlenecks and fix them.
Google PageSpeed Insights is a free SEO tool that scores your desktop and mobile page speed on a scale of zero to 100, with 100 being the fastest.
11 . Analyze current content and engagement
When creating your content you need to be thinking and ensuring that it is specific to your target audience, do they want to see this? Will my content benefit or help my audience in any way? AND is your content up-to-date with the current trends? If you can tick all of these boxes this will help ensure that your content will be engaging with your target audience.
12 . Analyze current sharing options for users
Is your content shareable? You want to be posting content that is valuable to your audience. You want engagement, get more likes, get more shares and gain more followers. If your content doesn’t promote this then what is the point? Here are a few types of content that will give your users something to share; Infographics – are the most socially shared form of content. Interactive content – this is producing content that your users can better engage with. Content that evokes a strong positive emotion – If your content doesn’t evoke an emotion for someone or create a personality then it most likely won’t get shared. Lastly, content with images – image-rich content is extremely sharable. Now you know a few shareable types of content which one are you going to use first?
13 . Analyze social media profiles
Do the research and find who your competitors are, and who is your competition? From there find out what platforms they use, once you have narrowed down who your competitors are. The next step is to gather data, analyze your competitor’s activity and create a competitive analysis. Now with all of this information you are now able to compare your profiles to your competition and use it as a guide to help gain that competitive advantage.
14 . Check your images for SEO and social media
The images that you put out are just as important as any other content that you put out. There are many things to think about before you upload your image on social media. So make sure it will benefit your SEO. First of all, is your image the correct size? Too big and it will take too long to load you need to try scaling down without losing too much of the quality. Optimizing image file name, before uploading any image, you must name the file with the relevant, descriptive keywords to get the most out of your SEO power. Include captions, this may not have a direct impact on your SEO, but they are visible on your social media and they can add to the user experience. Using unique images, and unique content is better for your SEO. And lastly, ensure that your text complements your image, the copy on the page will help search engines determine the relevancy of your images and therefore improve your SEO
15 . Check current client relationships through active conversations
This is essential for building your client’s trust. So, how do you do this? Keep records of communication between potential and existing customers, understand what your client’s goals and wants are, and keep those in mind, keep your clients in the loop and up to date with any changes, communication is key and clients like to know what is going on and lastly follow up on every meeting an email follow up or just a phone call this will help build the relationships as well as help the communication. These small tips will ensure that there is no confusion or miscommunication on any projects/ deadlines or missed goals.
16 . Evaluate your social media marketing operations
Goals? Matrix? Get SMART about your core objectives, ensure that they are; specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and have a time frame, this will help keep you on track with your goals and objectives. Focus on having interactive content when creating a post, social media is a form of socializing the more interactive your content the better. And lastly, Set priorities for your list of tasks
17 . Check social media post captions
Are they compelling? Are they relatable? – When it comes to social media captions the copy needs: an engaging hook that will draw in your audience, Emojis to bring your text to life and add a bit of fun, a CTA (call to action) this will encourage and help interaction, language that reflects your brand personality and lastly bitesize text and easy to read when scrolling through social media.
18 . Analyze keywords and related keywords for relevancy
This is a great way to help identify what your target audience is searching for and the keywords that they are using to search these things. After doing this analysis you will be left with the relevant terms and phrases for your SEO and you will get a better insight into your target audience.
19 . Analyze hashtags for relevancy
Identifying the relevant hashtags is essential when it comes to social monitoring and engagement. By ensuring this people searching for those specific keywords can easily find your post and might end up following your account. Hashtags aren’t some simple trend, hashtags help to increase engagement.
20 . Check above against competitors
It is always a good idea to see what your competitors are up to. While analyzing your competitors, you should know what you are looking for and why or how this will help your business. This is not about stealing your competitor’s ideas, but rather figuring out what their strengths and weakness are and finding out what your competitive advantage is. A few tips are: analyze your competitor’s SEO and social media strategy, find out your competitor’s strengths and weaknesses.