Get higher in Google
10 simple ways to improve your SEO for free
There are a number of ways you can improve your website and get more traffic by getting to the top of search results (SEO – Search Engine Optimisation). Today, Google is the most visited website in the world, with Youtube a close second (which Google now own).
The beauty of Google is that it is fair – national brands and small businesses play by the same rules. Google has website ‘robots’ that index sites constantly, reviewing their content, authority, and popularity. To get your brand higher on Google is an investment of time and/or money, your SEO strategy has to be relevant. We have made a list of 10 fundamental, simple and free steps that you can use, to start your SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) journey.
Branding discovery phases
- Define your brand’s unique position and core values
What do you?
What are your values?
Why do you do what you do?
We consult with our clients to delve deep into these questions. This helps us to understand your USP (Brand DNA). Defining your Brand DNA is significant to SEO, because it will give you a clear vision of who you need to target, your keywords, and also give you a clear business direction. See how Sail created their brand here.
- Know your audience
Without your audience/buyers/customers, you wouldn’t have a business. Understanding your audience and market and knowing who to target is key:
Who are your customers?
Where are they?
How will potential customers find you amongst your competitors?
What keywords would they type into Google to find you?
How are you going to reach them?
Asking these questions will help you create a relevant and appropriate tone of voice for your brand, both online and offline.
- Tone of voice
Clear communication is key. It’s about what you say and how you talk about yourself. It’s important you use a consistent tone of voice. What personality traits do you want to describe your brand? For example:
Informal and friendly?
Formal and corporate?
Bold and loud?
Decisive and confident?
You will have stronger results and a clearer direction if you work with a strategic branding agency who will provide you consultancy on your discovery phases.
Digital SEO strategy
- Keyword exercise
Once you have a direction for your brand, before preparing your website content, you need to think about keywords. Keywords are the things people may type into Google when searching for your business. Try going into Google and typing in what a potential customer would type to find your service/product. See what results come up. For example, ‘Mechanic in York’. Keep in mind people wouldn’t type in your business name. They wouldn’t necessarily type ‘Autocars Centre’ but they may type ‘MOT York’. List each of your main products and services (in the language of your customers), along with the location (if relevant) to make your list. Your list could look something like this:
Car repairs York
Car servicing York
Mobile mechanic York
Car breakdown York
You can also use an online keyword service to analyse your site: https://www.semrush.com. Once you have your keywords, pick the top five you want to target within your website content.
- Write exceptionally good content
Your website is an opportunity to tell potential clients what, how, why and where you do what you do, along with your USP. We would always advocate getting a professional copywriter to write your content, it will be done strategically, and right the first time. If you are creating your content, make sure you think about each page as if it were to be read on it’s own, be clear and concise. Write it with keywords in mind, but don’t ‘dehumanise’ content or sacrifice readability. Write according to the tone of your brand, be approachable and clear.
A blog is an excellent opportunity to show your expertise, knowledge and personality. It is also a way to keep the content on your website fresh. Although blogging at first can be time consuming, it gets easier the more you do it. You could even have varied blog posts, using ‘guest’ bloggers’, but make sure the tone is still authentic and genuine to your values.
- Google my business
This is a free tool, and an important one. When people find your business on Google Maps and Search, Google My Business ensures that they have access to information such as your hours, website and street address. Go to Google my Business to register. You can add a description about your business, contact details, opening hours and photos. Once listed, customers can leave reviews, another strategy you can use to build trust, which will raise your profile with Google.
Once the site is live, use backlinks to get listed on other websites. Backlinks are inbound traffic to your website, from other websites/places on the internet. Submit your site to reputable and trusted advertisers, local business/news directories or directories that focus on your sector/niche. A few quality directories are:
- Social Media
If you use social media, it can be an excellent tool for building reputation and client following. It isn’t about the quantity of followers – it’s about the quality. Quality followers are there to engage, create leads and be loyal to your brand. To get quality followers provide quality, regular, genuine and valuable content to your audience. If you can position yourself as an expert in your category you will generate quite a following which could increase sales and visits to your site.
Google now owns YouTube, meaning Google loves video. If you get a short promo video (30 seconds) on your website, this will have a big effect on your rankings.
- Google analytics
Once you have put these systems in place you can use Google analytics to measure and report your website traffic. Without getting too focused on data (if you’re providing quality content), it is beneficial to check in every once in a while to review things like traffic, searches, audience, number of visits and how long people stay on your site. This will give you an objective view of your how your site is performing, and if your SEO strategy needs refining.
We hope you have found this article useful. Keep in mind that results can take up to three-six months. A good SEO strategy is an invest time, money and patience. Once you have got to where you want to be, to stay high on Google, it’s important to keep refreshing your content, either by adding different projects, images, reviews or new articles/blogs.
We offer strategic branding and digital services, marketing and SEO. Read our article about the importance of bespoke branding here. A brand or website audit is a good place to start as it will help you understand where you are now, and how you can improve your brand/site; whilst giving us an overview and opportunity to delve into your business and make recommendations about how to get you where you want to be. We also provide digital and branding strategies moving forward. You can speak to us for a free consultation here.