Easy SEO tips that you can do TODAY
SEO (search engine optimisation) seems like a huge, scary topic. You’d be excused for thinking that the only way to ‘do SEO’ is to get a consultant or a specialist in. That simply isn’t true. Of course there’s layer upon layer of SEO and the deeper you go the harder it gets, but there are plenty of layers that DON’T require an expert that you can get going on today.
Before we go to the tips, here’s a few important notes;
- SEO is all about ranking better on search engines like Google or Bing. It means you have to be very literal with those search engines about what your business is offering, so that it can deliver you as a result to the right people. Think of it like a friend recommending to another friend. If they understand your business see that you are behaving in a genuine manner, they will likely recommend you, even though they haven’t personally worked with you before.
- SEO is like an cargo ship or an oil tanker. It carries a LOT of weight but is not manoeuvrable. The efforts you put into your website to rank better on search engines take TIME to work, at least a few weeks, but more likely 6+ weeks. Have patience!
- SEO works best if your website & business are listed on ‘Google My Business’. This means that you can compete with JUST local businesses (rather than national or international) without having to put your location into every keyword (see keyword mapping below).
SO – here are a few tips to get you going. These are fundamental activities that can be applied to ANY website by YOU. If you built your website yourself or have access to the back-end (or CMS) then you should be able to action these straight away.
That alone sounds scary right? Well it’s not – don’t believe the hype. All it means is that you need to decide on a single keyword or key phrase for the main pages of your website. If I were you I’d start with your home page and then move onto any pages that describe the services or products that you are offering. Eventually you can keyword map your whole site, but let’s save that for a rainy day!
Example – what keywords shall we choose for the a website of a photographer and teacher based in Brighton
- Home page keyword; brighton photographer (have included ‘Brighton’ to hammer the point home)
- Photography teaching page keyword; photography lessons (Google will apply ‘Brighton’ if registered on Google my business)
WHAT EXACTLY IS A KEYWORD?? – these keywords (key phrases) are what we expect the photographers potential customers to type into search engines. If we do the SEO right, this website will be served as a result. So Joe Bloggs from somewhere near Brighton goes to Google and types in ‘photography lessons’ and our website is served as a result.
Also sounds scary, but again, this is easy! You’ve found your keywords, now get them onto your pages using these 5 SIMPLE SEO BASICS;
— ACTION ONE —
1 – ensure the page has at least 2 mentions of your keyword in its text (this is called ‘keyword depth’). If you haven’t got any text (sometimes called ‘copy’) on your page – you really should (if there’s no copy, then Google has nothing to read!). Write a paragraph or two and put it anywhere on your page (doesn’t have to be at the top). Make sure you pop your keyword in at least twice, but don’t be silly with it, make it genuine!
Here’s the beginning of our photographer’s first paragraph;
“Brighton photographer, Jamie Jefferies, has been working professionally for over 20 years for a variety of clients and projects…..”
And later in the second paragraph;
“not just a Brighton photographer, Jamie has travelled the world with work including far-flung destinations such as….”
— ACTION TWO —
2 – write ‘alternative titles’ for any images on that page. You might need to go into your media library on the back-end to add these. The titles, sometimes known as ‘Alt Tags’, ‘Alt Text’ or ‘Alt Headings’ are important for two reasons. First and foremost, for accessibility, allowing people with impared vision the opportunity to understand what the image is (through a voice tool that literally reads your Alt Tag). Secondly. it tells Google what the image is, and remember what we said about giving Google something to read – it’s very important!
When giving your images Alt Tags, try and include your keyword for that page. For example;
Alt Tag – “photography lessons – working with light at sunset”
Alt Tag – “photography lessons – a young student with a retro camera”
— ACTION THREE —
3 – have a headline for that page that includes the keyword. A nice easy one – write a title for your copy and start it with your keyword.
Make sure to use the ‘title’ options when writing your text, so that Google knows it’s a ‘title’ and therefore more important than the rest of the copy. It should look something like this;
– side note, only use each of these ‘headings’ once on each page. If you have two ‘heading 1s’ – how does Google know which is the most important?
Example title; Photography Lessons – affordable, fun and creative!
— ACTION FOUR —
4 – make your URL the same as your keyword (jamiejeffries.com/photography-lessons) – you can do this as you create the page OR retrospectively any time after the creation of your page, but if’s retrospective, make sure to update anywhere else that you’ve saved/shared/hyperlinked that page (across your site, on social media profiles etc.)
– DON’T do this on your home page.
– if you’re setting up a business or your domain isn’t that well known yet, then the best bet is to include your MAIN keyword in your URL (instead of jamiejefferies.com, try to get the domain brightonphotographer.com)
— ACTION FIVE —
5 – write your meta title and meta description. Another one that sounds a bit scary but it’s dead easy. Head to your page on your backend and you should find the ‘meta’ section. If not, have a quick google for ‘how to write meta for my page in XXX (xxx being whatever you used to build your website, ie wordpress, wix, squarespace etc.).
Include your keyword at the beginning of the title and within the first sentence of the description.
Our photographers meta title;
Brighton Photographer and photography teacher – Jamie Jefferies, affordable photography services for all occasions
An the meta description;
Jamie Jefferies is a Brighton photographer and teacher, available for a variety of work including weddings, events, portraits and corporate projects. Jamie also gives group and solo photography lessons for any level of enthusiast. Fun, affordable and creative.
So there you have it – you’ve just completed some on page optimisation and improved your SEO – well done you!
If you’d like to learn more about these tips, plus more ideas and actions for basic SEO, then subscribe to our podcast; Marketing 101 – BIG steps for small businesses.
Thanks for stopping by!