Lesson 3: What can you do yourself?
There are quite a few things you can, and should, be doing yourself to help boost the SEO of your website. In this lesson we’ll be covering the main 4 you can start learning more about and implementing straight away.
It’s worth noting that you will need to do further research or work to implement some of these things, and you should take these lessons into everything you do on your website in the future.
So let’s get into it!
1. KEYWORDS AND COPY
The best thing you can do for yourself is knowing your brand - know exactly who your customers are and what they are most likely to be looking for. What are they interested in? What are they likely to be searching for?
There are a wide variety of keyword tools that can help with this but, once you have an idea of what your customers are searching for, the most important thing to remember is that you only want to be optimizing each page for one keyword at a time.
A general rule of thumb is to have that keyword in your header, page title, and at least two-three times throughout the copy of the page.
2. DON’T DUPLICATE CONTENT
Having multiple pages of 50-200 words with similar content is only going to hurt you. Ensure that your copy is answering the questions that your user is asking, and you’re good to go.
3. CONSIDER YOUR USERS
“If someone is visiting a site on how to perform open heart surgery, they’re looking for 10,000+ words. Whereas if someone is looking for the top 10 fast food restaurants in the area, they’re simply hungry and 100-ish words will suffice. Think about your user when you are writing your copy.” - Paul Young, Convertus.
Each page should have one major topic - or one target keyword (i.e. don’t put all of your services on one page if they’re different!) and have the topic in the title and in the URL, if applicable.
From there, you want to ensure that it contains unique content, is easily shareable (and share it yourself if you can on your social!), has the keyword you are optimizing for throughout the copy, is user-friendly, and looks great on multiple devices.
Once you’ve divided your site so that each page has one key topic, write naturally about your topic to avoid over-optimization and to enhance the user experience. Doing these things will already put you light years ahead of your competitors.
3. IMAGE OPTIMIZATION
Optimizing your images by adding alt-tag’s to your images, helps you to make them more functional and also more searchable.
Alt-tags are alternative text that will display in place of your image if the link is broken, but are also meant to be accessible to those with visual impairments. So when you write your alt-tags remember that it is not only about the search engine.
If it doesn’t fit naturally into your description, don’t try to stuff your keyword into an alt-tag. Don’t skip the alt-tag either, just try to give an accurate description of what the image is as if you were describing it to somebody who can’t see it - which is exactly why it exists.
At the end of the day, what really matters in terms of SEO is user experience. According to Moz (the leading resource on all things SEO), the top ranking sites have the following in common:
Easy to use, navigate, and understand
Answers the user's query
Professionally designed and accessible to modern browsers
Delivers high-quality content.
If you focus on giving your users a great experience, then the rest will start to follow suit. Be genuine, be thoughtful, and don't spend too much time trying to outsmart the google machine, because it knows when you do that too.
With these few steps, you'll be on your way to SEO genius status in no time! But if you're looking for a little more outside help, Lesson 4 - where we talk about what to look for in an SEO provider - is up next!