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Website Improvement Series
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Mastering SEO Basics for Better Results

Introduction

If getting website traffic from people searching on Google is important for you, then SEO can be a great way to get more evergreen traffic to your site.

SEO is great for Local businesses. Local service businesses, dentists, gardeners, accountants, builders, plumbers, and more specialised or niche businesses are also available. 

These could be dental marketing, mortgages for self-employed business owners, ice cream companies, or anything more niche and specialised. 

If there is a market, people will seek answers and services. 

Even in highly competitive spaces like marketing, sales, or business development, SEO can be a game-changer. If you’re a global player, it may require a more substantial investment in content and backlink building, but the potential for success is there, even when competing with bigger brands.

In this step, we’ll cover SEO basics on your website so it’s set up for success in organic search results.

Research, implementation and tracking

SEO can be complex, especially since Google always changes the rules, but making sure that your site is doing the basics well will reduce your impact on Google algorithm updates.

You’ll need an SEO tool for all of the things we’ll cover here. In these videos, we’ll use a tool called SE Useking. You can take a FREE 14-day trial to run these tests and help implement your plan. 

Get SE Ranking Here

There are lots of SEO analysis tools on the market, and they all have similar services.

  • SEM Rush
  • Ahrefs 
  • +Many More

We like SE Ranking due to the number of tools available, the level of reporting, and the fact that it’s a lot cheaper than the competition while having the same tools. We also run all of our SEO clients through this tool.

If you dont want to pay for an SEO tool, let us do it for you –  book your free SEO audit here.

Ready to get started? Let’s look at the first crucial step of SEO basics.

1. Getting Your Tools Set Up

Connect Your Site To Google Search Console

This tool is a great free tool to help show the performance of your SEO efforts with Google Directly.

It allows you to tell Google about your site by adding sitemaps and highlighting key areas needing attention.

You’ll also see your search results and what people find your site for.

Follow this video to see how to set up and add this to your site. If you already have this in place, move on.

Google Analytics

Another free tool by Google is to help you see important metrics on your site and track performance. 

Things like site visitors

  • Pages viewed 
  • Demographics like location, gender, age, devices 
  • Conversions
  • + so much more

It’s a powerful tool, so let’s connect it to your site. Follow the video below to set this up and add it to your site.

Now, we have our tools set up. Let’s dive into the fun stuff.

2. KEYWORD Research

Keyword research is the most important part of determining whether SEO can work for you and whether it is worth the investment. 

Know what keywords you want to get found for, what people are searching for, the intent of their searches, and where you rank now.

Getting this right is crucial. Most people pick keywords based on what they think they should be, but you need to do the research and find the right keywords that people are using to search for your products or services.

Let’s say you are a gardener in Southampton who offers a wide range of services.

You want to research if people are searching for gardeners in Southampton and local areas.

If you optimise for keywords with low search volumes, you’ll put in a lot of effort for limited return.

Key things to look for when doing keyword research and building your keyword lists

  • Intent
  • Volume
  • Difficulty
  • Competition
  • Do we rank currently for this

Your products and services

List all your core services and the associated keywords you think people will search for. 

Then, list down your competition. 

We’ll use both of these in our research.

What do you rank for now?

In this first video, we’ll research what our website is ranking for and build our keyword list.

Tools you’ll need

  • SE Ranking
  • Google Analytics
  • Google Search Console (Not sure what this is and how to set this up click here)

Keyword Research & Finalising Your Keyword List

Now we understand how our site currently performs. We can start doing additional keyword research and create our finalised list.

3. Technical SEO Performance Audit

Running an SEO technical audit on your website is crucial because if your site has many SEO issues, this can negatively impact your SEO efforts and prevent your site from ranking. 

seo technical audit

From my experience, fixing technical issues on your site is highly important. You can create amazing content and do all the on-site keyword optimisations, but a site with lots of technical issues will

A technical audit will highlight the key areas that need attention so you can fix these.

In this video, we’ll run a technical audit and highlight any key areas that need addressing. Warning: this part can get a little technical.

4. Creating an SEO Plan

You can create a content strategy once you choose the keywords and determine your site’s technical performance.

A content strategy will include the following things.

  • Do we need to create pages?
  • Improve pages
  • Create more content
  • Improve website health
  • Improve Page Structure
  • Or build backlinks more aggressively

We need to create pages that match a keyword we want to rank for or a page that already exists that we can optimise for.

For example, you offer Landscaping but need a dedicated page. Creating a page on this for your site would be a wise move.

Creating regular content on your site (Blog posts, case studies focused on our keywords) 

Watch this video to help create an SEO action plan.

You can also use this SEO audit spreadsheet to help you plan this in more detail.

5. Onsite Optimisations

Now we have our technical SEO audit done, the keywords list ready, and the content plan, let’s start optimising our site.

Installing an SEO tool

There are lots of SEO tools for WordPress.

Now, these tools don’t magically do SEO for you, but they can be great guides in helping you improve your rankings. But they include various tools to help you improve your site, simplify implementing the basics and fixing content issues, and many more SEO optimisation features.

The most popular is Yoast, but our preferred option is Rank Math.

If you already have an SEO tool, stick with what you have. Switching SEO tools can cause unnecessary issues and a lot of work if you have a big site. If your site is small and has hardly any optimisation work, then now would be a good time to make the switch. You can download Rank Math here.

If you dont have one, I recommend using Rank Math. The free version is great; you can upgrade to the pro plan once the basics are set up and you’re comfortable with the tool.

In this video, we’ll install Rank Math and run you through the basics.

Meta Data – Titles and descriptions

You need to ensure these pages have the keywords in the meta titles. These are what show in the browser tab and tell search engines what the page or post is about 

Avoid trying to cram all of your site’s keywords into every page. Google is smarter than that and will penalise you for it. For example, if the page is for cat toys, adding keywords for dogs is pointless.

The title and description should be specific to the page or post.

Watch this quick video on how to optimise your titles and descriptions.

Image Alt Tags

It is wise to name your images and add keywords so that the file name relates to your products and services and the page to which it is added.

Let’s say you have a page for Landscape Gardening In Southampton.

You want all the images on this page to have these keywords.

Landscapers in Southampton 

Rather than image 34566 or file 1

These will tell Google that your site and page are much better related to landscaping and help connect the site to your locality.

Manually doing this can be tedious, but the good news is that tools can make it much easier.

Watch the video below to learn how.

Internal Linking

Internal links help build pathways through your site and create links to your main content; they help tell Google and other search engines what content is important. 

Let’s say you have a blog post about common mistakes in building a website. It could be in-depth content that mentions your services and products.

Using this content to build links to other service pages or posts can help users find your services and build links to your main pages. The more links to your main pages, the better.

This also helps you eliminate pages or posts without links (orphan pages), which can impact your rankings.

Link your keywords

You want to place links or keywords not on phrases like click here.

Example 

Good way

Click here to find out more about our landscaping service in Southampton.

Bad way

Click here to find out more about our landscaping service in Southampton.

Again, it can be tedious to do manually, but it can also have benefits.

The good news is some tools can help automate and speed this up dramatically. 

Link Whisperer is a great tool for this. It allows you to search for keywords and link them to specific posts. In this video, I’ll walk you through setting up Link Whisperer and building links for your keywords.

Content Score

Google values the quality of your content highly. They want to serve the best results possible.

It relates to the relevancy of the content vs the keyword. 

If your content is light and fluffy, it will score poorer and rank lower.

Creating in-depth content with strategic keyword use is a proven method for boosting your ranking. This improves your visibility and increases the chances of attracting your target audience. 

In this video, I’ll show you how we can check for this and improve your content score. 

Backlinks – An Overview

The final part of improving your SEO rankings is getting backlinks. I won’t cover this here because it’s part of the wider SEO strategy. 

But here is a quick video to explain backlinks and their importance in getting better results.

Conclusion 

By now, you should have all your SEO basics set up.

There is much more to SEO than these basics, content scores, and backlink building, but we’d need a complete course. 

Using these basics to get your Keyword research right, fix your site, and develop a plan you can implement over time is a good idea and will serve you well compared to your competition.

SEO is an ongoing process of content product, optimisation, and backlink building, and it requires time and effort.

Is SEO too much work for you?

If you want to improve your SEO rankings but this all sounds like too much hard work, or you dont have the time, then Speak to us about our SEO Optimisation service. 

You can also book a free SEO audit here. We’ll run a few audits to assess your site’s health and determine whether SEO could work for you.

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