How to do SEO?
“How to SEO?”, “How to get to top of Google search results?”, “How to reach Google’s 1st page?”, “How can I overtake my competitors’ organic listings in Google’s search results?” – These are some of the questions we frequently get asked by entrepreneurs and small business owners who are trying to get good visibility for their businesses in crowded markets, often up against larger and more well-established competitors. Savvy business owners know that having a great product or service is usually not enough. The “if you build it…” dream https://bit.ly/1lya0gu doesn’t materialise for most businesses. You need to get your business, and its offerings, as much exposure and visibility as possible. In the current age, there’s no better way of doing this than through Google – and when it comes to utilising the biggest search engine’s reach in the most cost-effective way possible, SEO is the ideal strategy.
Our free website analysis tool gives you a detailed report showing you the different areas that need to be worked on to ensure your website receives optimal search engine rankings and results. Once you get the report, you can decide whether to optimise the website yourself or hire an SEO specialist.
Basic SEO Steps
Time needed: 8 hours.
Below are a few simple steps for you to take that would take you a long way towards getting good organic visibility for your website in search results:
- Verify the site with Google
The purpose of this step is to prove ownership of your site to Google. Site owners are entitled to private Google Search data, which is imperative for understanding the statistics of your site and how it can be optimised. In Google Search Console, a site or application is represented as a property, with each property being tied to one or multiple verified owners. Once your ownership is verified, you can claim access to Google Search data.
To verify a site in Google Search Console, a property must first be added to your account. Access the property selector dropdown (which is available on any Google Search Console page) and click on + Add property, then submit the URL of your site.
A verification pop-up will then show up, and you must choose one of the multiple ways in which you can claim ownership, then follow the instructions and submit the necessary files. Google Search Console will have a recommended method of verification depending on the property, followed by other options. Note that if different protocols and domains are supported by your site, they must all be added as different properties.
Understand that if website ownership can no longer be verified, permissions will expire after an indeterminate amount of time.
- Create and submit a complete website sitemap to Google
A website sitemap is necessary for smart crawling, as it provides Google with vital information about your site. This information includes factors such as file and page details, and how all these factors are connected.
A sitemap can be built manually or with automatic tools that can build a sitemap for the user. If done manually, the user must decide on the format to be used, which is commonly done in XML, but can include others such as Google sites and Text files. A sitemap can be tested and verified either through Google or other third-party methods. The Google Search Console has a sitemap testing tool specifically for this purpose.
Lastly, there are multiple ways in which the sitemap can be submitted to Google. One way is by adding the path of the sitemap on the site’s robot.txt, using the following format:
Another way is by directly submitting it through Google Search Console. This is done by adding the sitemap to the specific property.
- Create a “robots.txt” file
The purpose of this step is to guide search engine bots. In order to do this, create a text file using notepad (or any other text editor), indicate the bot your instructions are meant for and type in your instructions.
For example, you can type the following code to tell Google to index the whole website:
If you would like to hide any particular folder then write the code below:
Disallow: /(NAME OF THE FOLDER)/
Note: Make sure you use the exact name of the folder you want to hide.
Once you’ve finished typing your instructions, save the file as “robots.txt”, and upload it to the root folder of the website on your server.
- Resubmit website URLs (multiple pages) to Google for re-indexing
Once changes have been made to the website, you need to request re-indexing from Google, so these updates can be reflected on the search engine. While the process of re-indexing can take days or even weeks, progress can be checked with Google’s Index Status report tool at any point in time.
Using Google’s URL Inspection Tool, a re-indexing can be requested. The URL is first examined to detect any possible issues, and if it’s free of errors, the process of re-indexing will begin.
- Make minor adjustments to the visible part of the website
Minor adjustments can include making modifications to the website text to include more relevant keywords and / or ensuring that the website content is relevant and detailed.
- Eliminate broken internal links
Broken links refer to the links to webpages that contain nothing or are no longer available. These pages return a blank page or 404 error when users click on them, and thus are of no help to users nor search engines. Therefore, all broken internal links should be eliminated.
There are several reasons as to why broken links show up in a website. Regardless, eliminating broken links is very important for SEO purposes, as it results in higher search ranking and a better user experience.
The easiest way to find broken links is through using an online tool; we will use BrokenLinkCheck.com in this example. Visit the page, paste your URL and click on “Find broken links”. It will take a few minutes depending on the size of your website. Once it has finished, all the broken links of your website will be listed.
We recommend you check for broken links regularly for better SEO and user experience.
- Optimise back-end coding of the website to help make it more search engine friendly
If you look at the source code of your website, it might look scary. But it is not. It tells the web browser what to display and search engines what to crawl.
Let’s break it down to see how to make it SEO friendly.
The title tag
If you right-click to view the source code of your website, you will find the title tags at the beginning.
It not only tells what your website is about, but also tells the search engine what to display on the SERP (Search Engine Results Pages). Thus, it is very important to craft your title tag carefully, so it has a better chance of being clicked on when people see it.
The meta description looks like this:
This is another piece of code at the beginning, which will describe your website in more detail. This information will also be displayed on the SERP. Therefore, this is also a good tool to attract people to your website.
H1 Heading Tag
The H1 heading tag is like a title for a single page; you should always give a specific and distinguishing title for a page.
Links and Anchor Text
When you click on a link and jump to another page, this is how the code below works.
The content nested by the tag is the anchor text. Design the anchor text with care, as both the customers and search engines will look at it to understand what the page is about, as well as your whole site.
Image Alt Tag
This is also a very important tag, as shown below.
This information will tell the search engine what this image is about. Imagine when you are describing an image when people cannot see it.
In conclusion, you should carefully design your tags. It will make your website much more readable for both search engines and customers.
- Improve the backlink profile of the website – build high quality backlinks and disavow bad backlinks (if any)
A backlink profile is a set of links from other websites that link to your website. Google looks at it as an important factor for ranking. It’s as if other websites vote for you so you can obtain a higher ranking.
There are some basic standards for a good backlink profile.
Natural looking: Google will detect and raise a red flag when there are too many links of one type, for example, backlinks from blog comments. Your website will get penalized if you do this.
Authoritative links: The more authoritative the website you are linked from is, the more value you will get. Authoritative websites include .org, .edu and .gov websites, as well as famous publishers.
Varied anchor text: If you use the same anchor text all over all the backlinks, you will be penalized. Make sure you use natural and varied anchor text.
Relevant sites: This is another thing that Google will check. It doesn’t make sense for your website to have a backlink from an irrelevant site.
“dofollow” links: The link must be marked as “dofollow” to be detected by Google.
Measure your backlink profile quality
There several good tools that help you measure how good your backlink profile is, for example, Ahrefs and Moz (both provide free trials for you to test them). SEO specialists use these tools, but they are also very useful for beginners.
How much does it cost to do SEO?
If you need any assistance to get started or if you face any roadblocks along the way, we are here to help. Feel free to contact us and we’ll be happy to provide you with expert SEO advice and support for a very affordable fee.
Professional SEO services
If you’d prefer to concentrate on areas of your business that need your attention, you can leave the entire website optimisation work to us. Our experienced SEO consultants can work closely with you, carrying out detailed and thorough on-page and off-page optimisation work for your website, delivering tangible results that make a huge difference to the success of your business.
Our Internet marketing specialists can ensure highly successful results for your online presence, by providing the best SEO solution for your website – boosting the website’s organic search rankings in major online search engines, especially Google, Yahoo! and Bing. Achieving higher rankings in organic search results would enable your website to gain greater prominence and most importantly, drive more targeted traffic to your website over a sustained period of time, helping you attract more leads and generate more sales.
You will also be able to tap into our SEO specialists’ knowledge gained from years of experience, to help devise more successful and efficient long-term digital and online marketing strategies, enabling you to achieve the desired results in your Internet marketing campaigns in the future, and establish greater brand recognition online.