Working on your website’s SEO can be very daunting if you come from a non-technical background.
SEO has been portrayed as a very technical skill that involves a huge time investment in both learning and executing it.
But I’m here to tell you that you can start doing it right now. Today. Now!
But before we start, here’s a few things to know:
- Google wants you to serve the most relevant content to users when they search for something
- Google uses user activity on your website as a data point. More user activity = more relevance = better search ranking
- Users gravitate to content that most appeals to their intent at the moment
- Keywords placed nearer to the start of sentences are given more weight than those placed at the end of sentences
- Having a high bounce rate is not good. Bounce = when a user visits your website and immediately leaves.
Now that we know that, here’s 10 things you can do right now:
1. Use HTTPS
If you are still using HTTP instead of HTTPS, make the change now. Ask your developer how you can do it.
HTTPS has encryption that indicates to Google that you are very likely secure and reliable.
This sends Google a good signal and paves the way for your search ranking.
2. Get Google Search Console
Google Search Console is free and will give you valuable insight such as search terms users are using, which pages are being served to these search terms, click through rates etc.
With this data, you can find relevant high potential keywords to your business that you have missed out.
3. Optimize your title
Identify the main pages that you use to attract users and adjust their titles.
Make them between 50-60 characters.
Important keywords up front, less important ones behind.
Try to communicate your ability to address their pain points.
4. Optimize your description
Just like page titles, optimize your meta descriptions.
Make them around 120 characters. Why 120?
Maximum 160 characters is ideal for desktop. However, on mobile, anything more than 120 will be trimmed and replaced with “…”.
Once again, important keywords up front, less important ones behind.
With your meta description, you can be more liberal with the texts that you use.
More characters = more flexiblity to communicate your solutions to your users.
5. Use only one <h1> per page
A common mistake when building a website is using random header tags (<h1>, <h2>, <h3> etc) liberally without a systematic hierarchy approach.
Another mistake is NOT using header tags!
Use <h1> for text that has the highest impact on a page.
Keep it short.
6. Use <h2> and <h3> for sub headers
Just like your MS word documents, use <h2> and <h3> for sub headers.
Sub headers typically have a slightly longer length than main headers (<h1>).
You can use as many sub headers as you like. But take note of the hierarchy!
7. Use <p> for long sentences
<p> stands for paragraph text.
Use <p> for texts that are not headers. These will become mini descriptions when Google generates sitelinks for your website.sitelinks are sublistings that appear below your main URL’s search results.
In other words, sitelinks give you more real estate and visibility on a user’s search results page.
8. Get a CDN
Your website speed affects your user experience. Slow speeds are proven to increase your bounce rate exponentially.
CDNs (Content Delivery Networks) will take your website data and make copies of them in servers around the world. Your website is then served to users from the closest server to them.
For example, if your users are in Malaysia but your hosting is based in the US, your Malaysian users will have to ping the US server, send a request all the way to the US, and load all the assets from there.
With CDNs, they will make copy your data to servers around the globe. So instead of your Malaysian users loading assets from the US, they will be served from the closest server to them (e.g Singapore).
This can tremendously improve load speeds and indirectly, your conversion rates and bounce rates.
Check out https://www.cloudflare.com/
9. Upload your sitemap.xml
For Google to know you exist, you need to upload your sitemap to the Google Search Console.
A sitemap is a layout of your website. It tells Google what pages exist and where to find them.
Once Google crawls your website, it will periodically crawl it without the need of a sitemap.
Google’s bot will jump from one page to another, exploring all the possible internal links within a website until it has nowhere else to go.
So you just need to upload it once and you’re good to go.
However, it is generally good practice to update your sitemap regularly since some pages may not have internal links linking to it.
To get started:
- Create a Google Search Console account
- Google for a sitemap.xml generator
- Upload it to your website
- Link to it in Google Search Console
10. Compress your images!
Website load speed is super important for SEO.
Take the images from your website and run them through an image compression service like TinyPNG.
Then reupload them to your website.
Most of the time, image files are unnecessarily huge. Compressing them improves your website load speed. If you use lossless compression, the image files reduce in size without sacrificing image quality. So it’s a win win situation!
If this is all just too much, get in touch with me and let me help you out with your SEO 🙂