We use search engines like Google and Yahoo almost daily to find answers to our questions. Whenever we type a query into the search bar of a search engine (google.co.za, for example), a list of results with relevant answers will appear.
When you follow the correct search engine optimisation (SEO) procedures and techniques, you can help your website appear higher up in search results for specific words related to your business.
That, in short, is what SEO all about.
Search engines rank (or index) websites and content according to a number of factors to ensure that the best results appear for your query.
Basically, SEO is a way to make your website appear high in search results.
Did you know SEO is one of the most cost-effective ways to grow your website traffic? While it takes a lot of time at the beginning, SEO is a great marketing tool that will help you get constant traffic to your website.
Why do you need SEO for your business?
Think about it: Where is the first place you turn to when you are looking for answers to any question? Most people usually turn to Google.
For me, it doesn’t matter whether I am looking for a fancy dinner spot in a neighbouring town, or whether I am looking for uses for bicarbonate of soda, or even looking for tips and advice on how to improve my website, I always turn to Google first.
People are online looking for answers to questions, specific products or services and you might just be the right person they are looking for. It is therefore important to optimise your site for SEO.
If Google can’t find your website, then your ideal target audience will not be able to find your website either. While social media is a great fall-back for when SEO doesn’t work out, the main focus on driving traffic to your website should be SEO.
What would happen if there is a cyber-attack on your favourite social media platform and it is forced to shut down?
Will you cry because you are losing that traffic to your blog or website? Because SEO is a search engine feature, so you could consider it a pretty safe bet for driving organic (not paid-for) traffic to your website.
Even though search engines are smart, they often need help too! And in order for search engines to find your website and rank it accordingly, you will need to place a focus on SEO for your website!
Below are my top 5 tips for SEO success:
1. Yoast SEO
If your website is built on WordPress, you need to download the Yoast SEO plugin. It is absolutely free (with some paid-for features you most likely won’t need) and will allow you to do many free things to improve your SEO. It is quick to download and install and is easy to use! My #1 tip for my clients – get the Yoast SEO plugin.
2. Get your own domain and hosting
Drop the .wordpress.com and the .blogspot.com and invest some money into your blog or website to make it completely yours. Not only does it make you look more professional and creates the impression that you are super serious about your product or service, but it also shows Google that your site is trustworthy and authoritative. (See how to start your own blog)
3. Create useful content
The main purpose of search engines is to provide their users with the most relevant and most trustworthy content first. This means that your content should be useful and mind-blowingly awesome. Your content should answer questions, solve problems and be 100% original. Try to be as useful as possible within your content. The better you answer a question, the more likely your users are to click on the share button and the more your content will be read, and trusted by search engines. Build that relationship of trust with your readers and your readers (and search engines) will do the rest.
4. Use text instead of images
Google can’t really see what an image looks like. Google only reads text and code; therefore you should tell Google what your image is about. When you place images in your content, make sure you title them properly so that they can appear in Google Images. Remember the importance of alt text too!
5. Stop stuffing keywords
If there is one thing that annoys the Google crawlers, it is keyword stuffing. Keyword stuffing happens when you overload a post with keywords and bolding or linking those. Not only does this make it difficult to read for your readers, but the Googlebots marks you as a spammer and will rank your posts negatively.
Thank you so much to Imka for writing this piece!
More about Imka Webb Digital Marketing
Imka Webb is my name, and digital marketing is my game. I’m the face behind Imka Webb Digital Marketing and I help small businesses grow their online presence through SEO and social media marketing efforts. I live in sunny Jo’burg, South Africa, with my wonderful happy and our adorable 10 month old. Get in touch and let’s grow your business together!
Need SEO help or advice?
Visit my website at imkawebb.com or send me an email at email@example.com.
Thank you to Hello Love Photography for the images of my office.
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