You might not have the time and resources to implement an all-out SEO strategy. I get that. But that doesn’t mean you can ignore SEO completely.
Search Engine Optimisation is essentially a means to driving as much traffic to a website as possible, with that traffic having the intention of performing a desired action on the site such as making contact or buying a product. To do this, a website has to be highly relevant to a specific search query on search engines like Google.
An SEO strategy can really span as far and wide as you want it to, but it’s rare for a business to have the time and resources to do everything. If that’s the case for you it really might just be a game of picking the simplest and most impactful things to do in order to increase your rankings in Google, and get more relevant traffic to your site.
So even if you’re a marketing manager or business owner without that much experience in SEO, you should be able to implement all 5 of these high-impact, quick to implement SEO tips which are the first big steps to ranking on the first page of Google… for a few terms at least.
This blog post is for you if:
- You know that SEO exists, but you don’t know how you can apply it to your website yourself
- You know that your website needs SEO, but you don’t have the resources to hire an SEO agency to implement a full SEO strategy
- You have access to your website’s CMS, or have a site admin who can access and make changes to your website
I’ve laid down a marker of how long each activity might typically take for the average website admin or marketing manager – but this is obviously subject to variance between websites and industries.
When reading these points, I want you to really think about each point, and try to apply it to the current state of your website. Make the necessary (and quick) changes, and check the results a week or two later.
Caveat: In order for you to benefit from reading this post, you need to at least be able to access the CMS of your website in order to change content and add pages etc – either yourself or through your site admin.
Okay, let’s get right into it.
1. Title-Tags (1+ hours)
This is the title shown in Google for your website’s page, as you can see below:
Title-tags are a surprisingly strong ranking factor. I only say it’s surprising because for something so easy to change, it can have such a large impact.
Depending on your industry, a new and optimised title-tag in Google can potentially jump your site up to the first page almost overnight (depending on other factors as well, of course). And they’re not difficult to change – this is done directly in your websites CMS (content management system).
You can find basic tips on title-tag optimisation tips all over the web. But here’s two important ones:
- The maximum character limit is about 65, before it gets cut off
- The words on the left-most side of the title-tag is where most of the emphasis is placed (So since we want to rank in Google for the terms ‘SEO & PPC Agency’, we’ve placed those keywords first, rather than starting with our brand name.
If you’d like, you can read more title-tag tips here.
2. Create Content in the Right Way (5+ hours)
– This is the actual writing or text on your website.
I can’t stress enough how important it is to get this one right. The content on your site plays a huge role on whether your website will rank highly or not, since it’s essentially what tells Google what your pages are about in order to satisfy a search query.
2.1 Have the correct site architecture
You need to write about each product or service that you’d like to rank for in Google on its own page, rather than having them all listed on the same page.
For example if you’ve got a plumbing website, people aren’t going to search for “services by plumbers”. They’re going to search for an individual service, like “plumber to fix leaking pipe”.
This means you’ll want your website to have a dedicated page for fixing leaking pipes, in order to rank for the search phrase “plumber to fix leaking pipe”.
So by dedicating an entire page to each of your products or services, you’ll have better chances of ranking in Google for each product / service.
Basically, make sure you don’t have one of those websites that are literally just one long page. Users need to be able to click through to deeper pages on the site.
2.2 Word count
This is a fairly simple concept, but a vitally important one. Pages with higher word counts are generally deemed more valuable than pages with only 200 – 300 word. Given that the content written is relevant and useful to users, you’re going to want to make sure you don’t have a service or product page that has thin content, since that page is unlikely to be deemed valuable by Google.
Also remember to have a lot of content on your homepage, as it’s the homepage that will most likely rank in Google for a large number of terms.
If you’re struggling to come up with enough content; start thinking outside the box. You don’t only have to write about the product or how one can buy it. You can write about its history in your company, what people have said about it, or even other websites where you can get something complimentary or something different.
Get that word count up.
1.3 Know what keywords to use in your content
Ask yourself the question “what would a potential customer of mine be searching for?”. Then use those keywords in your copy.
If you’re feeling extra proactive, I’d recommend actually using the Keyword Planner in Google AdWords to find new ideas for keywords. This would however mean creating an account in AdWords with a payment option and everything – but you don’t have to actually make a payment to use the Keyword Planner.
3. Use Internal Links (30+ mins)
An internal link is when page A on your website links to page B on your website, within the content of page A (so this excludes links from the main menu navigation).
Why is this important?
Many websites will find that it’s their homepage that ranks for all the keywords or search phrases that they want to target. This is sometimes even the case if they’ve created product pages which better target those keywords, and therefore have the potential to rank higher than the homepage.
But Google will often deem the homepage to be the most important or highest authority page on a site.
So, in order to have your individual product or service pages rank for their respective keywords, the first step would be to link to those pages from your homepage.
This will tell Google that the page is of high importance in your website, since it’s being linked to by the homepage.
So in a very basic example: if this page was our homepage below, we could write some copy like this:
“… we also offer the following services:
As you can see, we’ve linked to each service page which would increase the authority of those pages, giving them a better chance to rank for the search queries that they solve.
4. Make yourself easily contactable (1.5+ hours)
It’s not always the case that your website visitors are overly enthusiastic to make contact with. They might only realise they should probably get in touch on the site of contact form.
This is why it’s definitely worth placing contact forms on various pages on your website (especially product or service pages) so that your visitors know that they can make contact within seconds.
Case study: Having worked on a client of mine, we added contact forms to the individual product pages, as well as the various product category pages. While traffic to the site only increased by 17% over the first 2 months, the rate of visitors making contact increased from 2.3% to 8.8% (which is a 282% increase!). That right there is the power of being easily contactable.
If you’re using WordPress as a CMS, downloading a plugin called Contact Form 7 will allow you or your site admin to easily create contact forms which can be placed anywhere on your site.
5. Check Your Site on Mobile (5+ minutes)
If you’re not aware, about 37% of product search queries are typically made on mobile phones.
What you want to do is visit your website on a mobile device, click around to various pages, and just check that everything looks in order. This is a simple exercise which could make a big difference if you find that something doesn’t look right.
For another website I’ve worked on, visitors couldn’t see the menu items in the main navigation on mobile, simply because the text colour was the same colour as the background, so it looked like they weren’t even there.
This means that for over 5 years, about 37% of their visitors would visit the website on their mobile phone, and immediately exit having nowhere else to really go. A huge price to pay for a fairly quick fix.
Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test can be used to test the mobile-friendliness of your site, but you should be able to tell yourself whether your site is easy to use on mobile devices.
Other Important Notes
If you want to go a step further, there are two more things you can do – but this gets a bit more advanced, if you’re unfamiliar with Google’s available tools.
1. Setting up Google Analytics.
Doing this will allow you track important metrics like visitors to your site, and which of those visitors made a desired action such as making contact.
It’s not that difficult to set up. Just go onto the Google Analytics site, follow the instructions.
To get started, if you’re using WordPress, an easy way to allow Google Analytics to track visitors on your website would be to download the WordPress Plugin called “Google Analytics Dashboard for WP (GADWP)”.
Having done that, you’ll be on your way to knowing the ins and outs of your websites performance.
2. Setting up Google Search Console
Google Search Console is the platform where you can almost have a relationship with Google.
Without going into too much detail, you can do things like submit all the pages on your site that you would like Google to show to searchers, and you can also tell Google when you’ve made changes to a page, so that they can take another look at it, and decide if they’d like to improve it’s rankings (by using the Fetch as Google option). But there’s a lot more you can do as well, which I won’t get into now.
You’re also able to check your rankings by opening Google on private browsing mode, and seeing where your website ranks having types in important keywords.
Well done for making it this far!
If you are able to setup Google Analytics and Google Search Console, that’s great. But by doing the five main tips mentioned above, you should hopefully be in a pretty good position to improve your rankings, and start getting some more valuable traffic.
There are of course other aspects of SEO that become important such as building links to improve your website’s authority, as well as taking advantage of social media and regular blogging. But these are all longer term strategies, which I promised I wouldn’t get into for this article.
If you have any questions on these tips, please drop a comment below, to which I’ll gladly respond to.
Tags: contact forms, content, content marketing, digital marketing, google, google analytics, internal links, keywords, links, marketing, mobile, mobile first index, search engine optimisation, SEO, title tags