When you first start an SEO campaign it can be hard to know where to begin, and definitely if you’re a local business and want to target your city (eg. Brisbane), it can be quite tricky. Before you get overwhelmed by the prospect of long-term search marketing strategies, there are some effective quick-wins you can use to give your campaign a strong start and boost your local relevance in the rankings, so Google can easily pick up that you’re based in Brisbane. Couple these tips with long-term strategies and you’ll have a kicker of a campaign.
Alternatively, if you don’t have the time or energy to do it yourself, you might want to look into hiring a local SEO agency like Matter Solutions to do the job for you! At least you’ll know it’ll be done right.
A robots.txt file indicates which parts of your site you don’t want search engine crawlers to access. If you’re blocking bots from crawling important parts of your site, you’re going to undermine any efforts to get these pages ranking. Start by checking your robots.txt file and making sure crawlers can get through. You can use the robots.txt Tester in Google Webmaster tools to check whether your file is blocking Google web crawlers. If you need help getting technical SEO fixes right you might like to call on the help of a search marketing agency.
2. Onsite Optimisation
Basic onsite optimisation can make a big difference to your website’s rankings and also works wonders for user experience. In other words – do it. Here are some basic tips to get you started:
- Make sure your website is easily navigated by using menus logically and placing internal links in relevant page copy.
- Target keywords
- Use naturally (don’t repeat words multiple times and fall into the trap of keyword stuffing)
- Target a particular keyword or phrase on each page
- Use keywords in title tags and headings
- Ensure primary keywords appear in page URL
- Fix broken links
- Change spammy titles that use keyword chains and words/phrases used repeatedly
- Ensure your title tags are kept under 55 characters – Google will normally display the first 50-60 characters. Also, try to start the title tag with your keyword.
They may seem like small things, but they will make a noticeable difference to your SEO performance.
3. Increase page copy strategically
Search engines like good quality text. Adding more copy (particularly to key pages) gives you an opportunity to target keywords better while providing your visitor with valuable information. Identify pages that are low on copy and craft some new content that contains related keywords and synonyms – but don’t get carried away padding out text and using redundant phrases.
If you are struggling for content ideas then try to think from a customer perspective, what would you want to know about the product or service? You can use Google prediction to find out what people are searching for by starting to type related phrases and seeing what is suggested (don’t forget to open an incognito window so your history doesn’t impact it). Answer common questions and cover unique selling points. What don’t your competitors do? Get creative and offer tips and tricks on how customers can get the most out of your product; all of this content can really add value to your website.
4. Build links
Building good quality links is a time consuming process. The good news is, there are some quick link building wins you can get started with. The longer your business has been around, the greater chance you have of being mentioned on other websites. You can find out where your brand, website or even employees have been mentioned by using Google search or tools such as:
- Fresh Web Explorer
- Talkwalker Alerts
Another great link building method is to crawl through your competitors link profiles and see who is linking to them. Tools like Ahrefs and Majestic make it super easy to find valuable linking opportunities.
5. Remove duplication
Having duplicate content on your website isn’t going to cause you to get slapped with a Google penalty, but it can result in loss of rankings and traffic to your page. When text is duplicated (whether within your site or with competitors), search engines don’t know which version should be indexed so they will choose the version they think is most relevant. Google, for example, will choose one page to list and as a result the ranking of your site may suffer and even be removed from the Google index. You can find duplicate content issues using tools such as Screaming Frog or Google Webmaster Tools.
These tips aren’t the be all and end all of your campaign, but they will give you some nice wins at the start of your campaign and a great foundation for future SEO efforts. Start on the right foot and get satisfying results from the get go.