With over 200 rankings factors and constant algorithmic changes from Google, using SEO to boost your organic rankings is getting more complicated.
However, there are some quick changes that any business can make to their own website that can have a positive impact and increased rankings for your website.
1. Optimise Your Title & Meta Description Tags
Title tags and meta descriptions are one of the most important parts of SEO as this is the first thing a customer sees before landing on your website. These tags tell both potential customers and search engines the topic of the page’s content. For this reason alone it is important that you focus on optimising these tags for your targeted keywords. Here are a few ways to start working on your title and meta descriptions for the best results.
Keep It Within The Character Limit
When optimising your title and description tags, you want to ensure that they are within the character limit set by Google. Google says that the title tag should be between 50 and 60 characters, and the meta description to be within 150 to 160 characters. We suggest making these changes and then reviewing on search results to make sure that all the tags are being displayed correctly.
Make Sure To Include Your Main Keyword
As this is mainly going to be the first thing a potential customer is going to see it is important to include the keyword that you are wanting people to see. Make sure not to over-use your keyword and to keep mainly to one or two keywords to avoid keyword stuffing.
Review & Test Often
Most people assume that once you have created these tags that the job is over. It is important when you make changes to record any changes. We suggest keeping a spreadsheet with each variation of your meta tags with the search engine positions and Click Through Rate (CTR). Be careful not to change these too much as search engines will take time to find these new tags and to determine the relevancy in search engines.
2. Check Your Robots.txt File
First of all make sure that you have a robots.txt file, which can be found at www.yourbusiness.com.au/robots.txt. Once you have a robots.txt file on your website make sure that none of your important pages are being excluded from being blocked by search engines. Most web developers should be able to help you with creating a robots.txt, otherwise, you can learn about robots.txt here.
We also recommend using your Google Search Console to view any issues that your robots.txt may be causing. This will allow you to see if there are any pages that are not being correctly indexed or blocked by search engine bots.
3. Optimising Your Google My Business Page
For local businesses, the Google My Business is important as it gives you the opportunity to show in the Google Map before users see the organic listings. For this reason alone, webmasters need to review their Google My Business Page to see that it is optimised for local rankings.
Google My Business is important as you can update your trading hours, description of your business, review Google rankings and more. With customers making their purchase decisions based on reviews from other people more than ever, it is imperative that you focus on getting your Google My Business Page to stand out over your competitors.
4. Fix 404 Errors
A 404 error is a page that displays when a visitor lands on a page that no longer exists. This not only increases the bounce rate of your website but can also damage your conversion rate and branding.
We recommend a few ways to deal with 404 error pages that come up on your website below.
Create A Custom 404 Page
While this will not fix any broken pages, it can reduce the bounce rate depending on how you create your custom 404 page. We suggest having a page that apologizes for this and provides links to other parts of the website instead.
One of our favourite 404 pages gives customers the option to search for what they were looking for and actually donates money to charity for each 404 page that is found.
Redirect To Working Pages
If you have found broken pages on your website, chances are there is a live page that displays the same content. Most causes of 404 pages are when websites change the url of a page without adding in a 301 redirect.
Depending on your website content management system, adding a 301 redirect from your broken pages to your new pages is easy. We suggest getting your web developer to make these changes if you don’t know how to.
5. Look For Long Tail Keywords
Websites can get so caught up in the keywords that they want to rank for that they forget about long tail keywords. Long tail keywords are a longer variation of a keyword that you are targeting for your current SEO strategy.
Long tail keywords generally will have a lower search history per month than a broader keyword, but generally, have a higher conversion rate due to the targeting. An example we like to use is targeting red shoes, compared to men’s Nike red shoes online. Which the difference in searches per month may be high, the chances of converting on a long tail keyword is usually higher.
These are some quick steps that businesses can implement on their own website to help increase their organic rankings. For more information on getting started, or to request a free audit on your website, contact us or view our SEO Services page.
Richard is the owner and head of digital at Tailored SEO. He has worked in the digital marketing space for over 10 years and has worked with a wide range of clients.