While you can financially invest in a website’s search rankings, with pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, there are many SEO strategies one can use to improve how their website performs.

4 Tips on How to Start SEO for your Website

Here are our 4 tips on starting SEO for your website:

1 Keywords, Keywords, Keywords

When looking at SEO optimisation, you’ll quickly notice that everyone is mad about keywords. These words and phrases capture the essence of a page, meaning that they’re highly influential in how a search engine understands and categorizes a website.

Certain keywords – news, health, business, software – are very competitive. They have high search volumes, therefore it’s harder for a site to keep a top search rank. It may be valuable to spend time doing keyword research, identifying less competitive keywords that are still relevant to a target audience.

Within your content, it’s necessary to repeatedly use keywords. This raises the keyword frequency, suggesting to search engines that your page is in fact discussing what the metadata claims it is. However, abusing keywords is a quick way to irritate readers and search engine bots alike.

  • Page Title: Keywords should definitely appear in the page title, as this is what appears in search results and determines relevance. It’s the best opportunity to show exactly what the page is offering, so keywords must find their way in.
  • Headings: In the same way title text factors into relevance, so too do headings, and subheadings. It tells readers that the information is relevant throughout, as well as allowing them to quickly find the sections they’re looking for.
  • Meta Descriptions: this small chunk of text contributes towards the search result snippet, therefore it’s the second thing seen behind the main title. Including keywords here is another way in which you increase site relevance.
  • Alt-Text: search engines can read, but they can’t see. When you include an image or a video, you need to use alt-text that describes these media elements in a way that bots can understand. Keywords here can improve your rankings.

Keywords are the basis of SEO, perhaps the most significant SEO factor for increasing organic traffic, so pay close attention to how you utilize them.

2 Solid Content for Fantastic User Experience

No one appreciates having their time wasted. Obviously, site visitors first worry about whether the content is relevant to them, which involves good application of keywords. However, it’s also important to structure content in a clear, attractive way.

If the content presented is perceived as valuable, enjoyable or otherwise attractive, readers will be more inclined to stay on your site. This desire is measured with a few metrics:

  • Bounce rate is the proportion of site visitors who land on a single page and do not engage further. A high bounce rate would indicate that a page is low-quality and/or unappealing. This measure is considered to be highly influential for search rankings.
  • Dwell time refers to how long a visitor spends on a page before returning to the search engine. The longer the dwell rate the better, largely because it shows the visitor was given relevant and valuable information. A page is more likely to be shown to others if visitors engage well with the content.

While a striking title and header (H1) will draw the attention of a reader, effective subheadings (H2, H3) will hold it for longer. Relentless paragraphs of unbroken text will rapidly fatigue visitors, capping your dwell time and thus site ranking position. Quality subheadings allow users to enjoy content as a whole or scan for the bits they need most.

There are further ways to present information more effectively, the most obvious being bullet points. You can consolidate ideas or summarize larger ideas in ways that readers perceive as efficient, and therefore considerate towards them.

In order to minimize bounce rate and maximize dwell time, you should maintain a high standard for content, both in terms of the ideas themselves and the way they are visually presented.

3 Top-Grade Links that Visitors can Trust

When you’re setting up or maintaining a site, it’s especially important to establish a reliable linking structure early on. There are two kinds of links on your website:

  • Internal: As websites must have some primary focus, it’s predictable that many of the webpages relate to each other. When you connect your own webpages to each other, it’s known as internal linking. For example, our article on bad backlinks.
  • External: crediting your source, or connecting to other sites as part of affiliate marketing, are examples of external linking. For example, this Forbes SEO article.

Internal links keep visitors on your site, creating a sophisticated network of ideas that ultimately improve the visitor experience. However, it’s important to use both within a website.

While external links take visitors away from your site, they are still valuable for building credibility. While the site being linked gets a nice SEO boost, the ranking of your own website is improved by association.

4 Optimise for Mobile

Websites may be designed on laptops and computers, but most people are visiting them through mobile devices. Google has changed over to mobile-first indexing, meaning the ranking is primarily defined by the performance of the mobile site. A website will crash and burn if it’s not been optimised for smaller devices.

The principle is simple. Users should have an enjoyable, convenient experience on your website. If you’ve aced our previous 3 tips, yet fail to make accommodations for mobile users, expect a high bounce rate and minimal return visitors.

Some items from the Google mobile-friendly checklist are:

  • Ensure the mobile and desktop sites have the same content (and metadata)
  • Provide high-quality images, in the correct format
  • Ensure ads integrate well and don’t obstruct view
  • Separately verify the mobile site in the Google Search Console

There’s a lot more you can do to create a brilliant mobile site. If you use an SEO audit tool, you will be able to see mobile-specific information, as well as various other website SEO errors (Link to Article 1).

Final Thought

The premise of SEO is simple – give visitors a pleasant, meaningful experience – though the execution can be a lot harder. There are scenarios where, perhaps, you shouldn’t do SEO. However, if it’s something you’re interested in, it’s useful to follow these basic building blocks of a successful webpage.

Of course, if you need some assistance in getting your site off the ground, Shtudio offers web development, graphic design and SEO services in and around Sydney, Australia. We’re happy to chat tags, bots, anchors and domains any day of the week!