For most small businesses your website should be a source of new business.
Because of that, you need your website to figure well in the search results so that new customers find you when they search for what you’re selling.
Search engine optimisation (SEO) is often thought of as a mysterious, complicated subject (and you can, indeed, get bogged down in infinite details and technicalities).
But, for normal people (with apologies to SEO gurus!), you can apply the Pareto Principle and get 80% of the way there with some simple steps.
Simple, Non-Technical SEO Steps
So this is for non-SEO gurus, who don’t have SEO tools (such as keyword planners) but who want to improve their website page ranking in the search results.
Here they are, then, 18 simple, non-technical things you can do to help your website figure better in the search results:
- Establish an objective for each page you write – what is the key message you want to get across?
- When you have your key message think about what someone might type into a search engine to find it (often called search terms, keywords or key phrases)
- Type these search terms into a search engine to see if they bring up pages on a similar or related subject
- Find some variations of your search terms (a Thesaurus is useful for this)
- Except for shopping and gallery pages, aim to have 400 or more words of textual content on each page of your site, and make sure the same content is not repeated on different pages.
- Include the search terms you came up with, and the variations, in the text you write – but don’t go over-board!
- Understand the difference between the Page title and the META (or SEO) title (details here)
- Write attention-grabbing Page titles that will stand out in social media news streams
- Base your META (or SEO) title on the search terms you came up with earlier
- Make sure the META/SEO title of your page is no longer than 70 characters (including spaces)
- Add a META description of each page in no more than 150 characters. Think of it (combined with the META title) as a classified ad persuading people to click the link when it shows up in the search results (more information here)
- Create the content of each page in Word or another word processing package and run the spelling and grammar checker before transferring it to your web page. The search engines can recognise poor spelling and grammar and they penalise it
- Make sure images on your pages are optimised for web display to help speed up the time it takes to load your page – this page will help with optimising images
- Make sure your images have ‘alt’ tags – textual descriptions of the image to help the search engines understand what the image is depicting
- Break up your content using headings and sub-headings to create a roadmap through the page and make it easier to read online
- Make sure your headings and sub-headings are created using H tags, not bolding – e.g. H1, H2, H3, etc. These tell the search engines that they are headings, and the search engines need to know that!
- Make sure your H tags (headings and sub-headings) are nested properly – more information here
- Keep your site and access to it secure so that it doesn’t get hacked. Hacked websites are banned from the search results by all the search engines
OK, you don’t need any special tools to do any of those. But if you have any questions, or need me to clarify anything, please don’t hesitate to get in touch: