SEO services are in high demand. Driving traffic to your website and gaining an advantage over your competitors has never been more important. If you or your team don’t have the time to become SEO wizards here are a few simple tips and tricks you can be doing to proactively affect your SEO.
Reply to all your reviews, both good & bad
Reviews are great. Everyone loves a review. But it doesn’t matter if they’re glittering or a stinker, being responsive is the key.
Being left a positive review is a wonderful feeling. Knowing someone appreciates your efforts, your service, or your business as a whole can make your day. It’s important to acknowledge these and respond in kind. Don’t overthink your response – if it sounds corny that’s fine.
Being left a horribly negative review can cause business owners sleepless nights, especially if the review itself is either incorrect or grossly unfair. How to tackle blatant lies? How to stand up for your business or your team without coming off bullish? It’s important to learn how to respond to these.
To help you address this, here’s a very basic general formula;
- Acknowledge the main point of complaint
- Apologise for the reviewers experience
- Let them know what measures are in place to prevent/deal with whatever problem was identified
- Offer further private communication to deal with the issue fully.
However you tackle it, it’s important to reply to reviews consistently and is a great way to incrementally boost your SEO continually.
Add alt descriptions to all your images
Imagine walking into an HMV (remember those?) and walking up to one of the CD racks (lost yet?) and just seeing row upon row of discs. No covers, no titles, no clue at all to what’s on the discs themselves. This is similar to Google’s view of images on your site if you have no ‘alt descriptions’.
Google knows you have images there but it doesn’t necessarily know what they’re images of. By adding an ‘alt description’ you tell Google what is being presented to the user. Google will then determine how useful this is to users. If it’s useful and pertinent then your ranking with Google will improve.
It’s easy to change the ‘alt descriptions’. Simply open your post on your website dashboard or admin area, select the ‘featured image’ or whichever images you have on the post and fill in the box marked ‘alt description’. This should describe what the image is. For example, if it’s an image of a huge yellow Koi carp called Buttercup you could consider using the words koi and carp in the ‘alt description’.
Remember – these descriptions are there to allow google to assess how useful your content is to the user. Nobody is googling ‘massive yellow fish called buttercup’ but they may be googling ‘golden koi’. Pick your wording carefully around what your audience is likely to be looking for.
In case you were thinking ‘that’s a very specific example’, meet Buttercup!
Set up Google My Business and update it regularly
Google My Business, or GMB, is a great way to improve your local SEO. Keeping it up to date with new images, responding to reviews, updating opening hours or contact details – all of these very simple tasks will improve your SEO.
Setting up a GMB takes about 10 minutes, although verification of the account may take a few days. Don’t be surprised or think you’ve done something wrong when it wants to verify you by post. I know that seems insane, but that’s the way it is! Nonetheless, it’s a simple job to be done over a morning coffee that is easy to update and maintain.
Here’s an example of one of our client’s basic GMB;
Add optimised post titles and meta descriptions to all your posts
I know adding the word ‘meta’ to anything instantly makes it feel much scarier – don’t worry.
Post titles and meta descriptions are basically the things you see on SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages). When you pop a search into google the titles you see and the little bit of text underneath and the post title and meta description.
You can have these say whatever you want.
The classic titles that include ‘Top 5’ / ‘Life Hacks’ / UNBELIEVABLE / How To… etc etc typically get good engagement, and a succinct overview of the content within the post will make a good meta description. Remember, it’s all about providing value or answering a need or question from your audience.
It’s amazing how many people ignore this element of their content, despite it frequently being the first contact a user has with their digital business.
Google will rate your titles and meta descriptions based on how valuable to the user they appear to be. So be helpful.
Re-optimise and update your old blog posts and create evergreen content
On the subject of being helpful – I’ve left this one until last as (despite the title) it does take a bit of time and a bit of expertise.
Re-optimising content is fairly straightforward. Find content that needs updating and then update it in a way that provides more value to both you and your audience. This could mean including links to products or services, changing the keyword focus, or updating information that may be out of date or incorrect.
It’s also important to keep in mind your keywords. If you don’t have the time to research your keywords regularly you could take a stab at what is likely to be searched for but it is always best to either do the research or invest in someone else to do it for you as part of their SEO services *cough*.
Creating evergreen content is a bit trickier. Evergreen content means it is constantly relevant and continually serves the same purpose without the need for updating.
Sounds simple but it can prove challenging to come up with engaging content that stands the test of time. Try to think of a constant issue or question you’re always asked and answer it.
Don’t waste your time on SEO if your website isn’t optimised for conversions
And that’s it! A few simple changes, some regular updates over a morning coffee and you’ll begin impacting your SEO positively.
However be warned! If you begin driving more users to your website without it being able to service their needs it will negatively impact your score with search engines as well as your reputation with your audience.
CRO – Conversion Rate Optimization – is the other side of the coin to SEO and just as important. If you’d like to talk about how SEO and CRO can be used to increase the money you make from your website get in touch!