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Five Step Guide To Optimise Your Website For SEO

Over the past few years we have seen remarkable changes in how people perform queries and in how search engines like Google crawl through websites, index and rank pages.
It’s possible that you have been contacted by SEO firms who weren’t fully above board. Due to underhand practices by both marketers and SEO companies, Google has repeatedly changed its algorithm, and today, Google’s algorithm is more complicated than ever.
Google have openly come out and said that there are over 250 factors in their ranking algorithm, and no one but a select few in Google know exactly what they are.
Your goal is to have your website on the front page when someone searches for you. But there are no SEO secrets – there are only methodologies to outrank and beat the competition. At the end of the day SEO is still just marketing your business … dressed up in a fancy buzz word.
The core purpose of a search engines is to provide the most relevant results in response to what people are searching for.
Our main tip is to continually remember that all you are trying to do is help Google and other search engines to help people find exactly what they are looking for!
In order to give you some actionable steps we have broken SEO down into five main pillars that can help you, help Google provide the most relevant search results.
1)      Technical

So the first step is to make sure your website is technically sound and that there are no technical issues stopping the crawlers finding, reading and understanding your site.
Firstly ensure your website is on a good platform with well written code, secondly ensure that the page load time is acceptable and thirdly ensure that all of the technical elements such as title tags, alt tags, header tags and internal linking are in place to make the site crawlable.
2)      Content

Content can either be writing on a page, a blog post, images, video or a combination of all of those. Remember that search engines can only read text, so if you have a video then you are probably best to try and transcribe it and have that text on the page too.

You need to optimise for users first and foremost, so they actually click through your listing to your website and, once they click through, stay there. To keep visitors on your site, ensure you’re publishing content that’s personalised and relevant.
You should also make sure your website is intuitive and easy to browse (in other words, accessible by both crawlers and users).
Also, don’t make visitors look for what they need. Provide clear calls-to-action, and you’ll convert those visitors into contacts, leads, and eventually, into customers.
Here’s a handy tip for titles for your blog posts, consider how people search and match that in your title. Google has identified that people are now NOT just searching for stand-alone keywords .. Such as dog walker! They are now searching for phrases and questions, such as, ‘Where is my closest dog walker in Manly?’
So the key is to think about what are people searching for and then make sure that your website is answering these questions.
3)      Social Sharing

Once you’ve got content the trick is to start making it shareable and by sharing it yourself. Once you get your content out on social media, you’ll start getting more visitors and more links to your site, if it is done effectively.
Make sure your content is suitable for the network you are posting it on. So if you think about how content would appear in a Facebook news feed, people only want to see short snippets of information, or if it’s on twitter its only 120 characters plus the URL.
The aim is to get people to see you as a credible source of information and that you provide content that people want to share and forward on.
Basically if other people think your message is worth sharing then Google will rank you highly.
4)      Trust
This is to show Google that you are the real deal and do in fact know what you are talking about. So to generate trust with both the user group and with search engines think seriously about including testimonials, peer reviews and case studies, create quality content and focus on consistency throughout your site.
5)      Linking

Back in the good ole days, external linking used to be the main way that you could control your SEO. This was how Google ranked you and could tell that you were the real deal. But with new algorithms in place, linking has become just one, of the many indicators for how Google ranks your site.
So your goal moving forward is to get relevant links back to your content from other reputable sites. Just remember, NEVER PAY FOR LINKS, unnatural looking links are easily recognised by Google and are likely to incur a penalty, penalties that are extremely hard to have removed.
If you can take one thing away from this article let it be this. More than anything else SEO is about the overall experience for the searcher. Your job is not to think analytically about how you can beat Google, BUT to think about how you can make the job easier for Google to provide relevant search results to the searcher.
To find out more about SEO and other opportunities to better make use of the digital landscape please visit www.depgreatersydney.com.au
This article is written by Jessica Blake, Senior Marketing Consultant, Australian Business Consulting & Solutions and Trainer and Coach for the Digital Enterprise Program.

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