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7 Things You Can Do to Improve Your SEO Now

7 Things You Can Do to Improve Your SEO Now

SEO

SEO is a series of practices that requires patience and consistency in order to get results. The time and resources required to do this can be quite a hurdle for many businesses. The good news is, there are a number of activities you can do yourself now, to improve your SEO. Chris Surridge - director at Whitefish Marketing in Folkestone runs through some of these techniques below.

Many of these SEO practices can be put in place yourself, if you have a reasonable handle on your website. You could also ask your developer or call on the help of an agency for some project work.

So, here are 7 SEO tasks you can get cracking with today:

Internal linking

Linking your pages internally across your website is how search engines know which of your pages are relevant. Google for example considers pages with more links directing to them as more valuable.

You can use a free tool called SEO Review Tools to check your internal link network on your site and then tweak this as necessary. You should aim to link from landing pages to your most important pages to improve their relevance on your website. These might be product pages, service pages or category pages.

NAP protocol

NAP stands for name, address and phone number and relates to anywhere on the internet where your businesses details are listed. This might include your own website, a local business listing and other citations, such as Google My Business, Yell.com etc. The more places you are legitimately listed as a business, the more credible you look to Google, which is a big rank signal. The common identifier though is the NAP, so this needs to be correct across all listings to be consistent. This means if you abbreviate "road" to "rd" on one listing, you must do it for all.

Content culling

Whilst having a site with lots of content is good, if it’s not relevant, it’s worth culling it as it could be doing more damage to your SEO performance. Sometimes unwieldly content comes from having an old website that has accumulated content over the years and where your brand has perhaps changed direction. Using a free tool such as Screaming Frog or Xenu gives you a rundown of all your sites pages. If you can identify your page content by the URL formation, you can quickly find the pages that are not so relevant. Otherwise, you could just work through each one by clicking the link and seeing what the page is about. If it’s of no value, remove it.

Another way to check for poor pages is to look at your Google Analytics stats, to see which pages have the lowest traffic or the highest bounce rates. Be careful here though because there could be other reasons for these stats.

Inbound link clean-up

Link building is an essential part of SEO and a link back to your site from a really good, trusted source can help to propel that page up the SERPs (Search Engine Ranking Position). However, low quality sites linking back to you could actually be damaging your site’s performance. Remember, quality over quantity. The quality of backlink is directly proportional to the authority of website.

Building a network of high quality links is a long-term strategy, but for now, you can analyse the links you have and seek to remove those that may be harmful. To do this, you can use a tool like Moz (free trial offered) to research backlinks, find link-building opportunities and discover potentially damaging links. You can remove the damaging links by contacting the website and asking for removal or asking Google to disavow these links. This means you’d prefer these links not to be taken in account when assessing your site. You can do this via Google Search Console.

Minimise plugins

Whilst it’s nice to tailor your site with lots of handy plugins on your admin panel (WordPress etc), too many or poor-quality plugins can seriously slow down your site’s load speed. For every plugin you use, a server request must be sent when each of your readers loads a portion of your website. Page load speed is a significant ranking signal and Google favours pages that load faster than 3 seconds. A high volume of plugins or use of poor-quality pluginsincreases the load speed and could even cause your website to crash.

Check through your admin panel and work out which plugins you use most, which are most useful and then weed out any of the others. You can remove some and test load speed to get the right adjustment.

Minimise redirects

Another thing that slows down page load speed is redirects. A redirect is manually put in place when a page breaks and produces a 404 error to a user. Webmasters generally redirect these to a working page, using a 301 (permanent) or 302 (temporary redirect). The problem comes from redirecting on top of an existing redirect.

Don't use more than 3 redirects in a redirect chain. Google Bot will not follow 301 redirects over multiple hubs. Using too many redirects in a chain is also bad user experience.

Header tags

No-one likes to have to read through large chunks of text and this also applies to search engines. If you threw block text at the eyes of a user or a Google bot, you will make it harder for them to get the information they need. And why bother when other webpages on the net make this so much simpler?

Adding header tags to your HTML code highlights the headers and sub headers in an organised hierarchy. On the front end, seen by users, this looks easier on the eye and enables people to quickly scan for the content they require. To bots, it looks at the hierarchy of content to understand what’s most important. Header tags are coded as <H1>, <H2>, <H3> etc and should be wrapped around your headers and sub headers. Make sure your headers and sub headers contain your keywords.

An SEO audit is a great way to highlight the weak areas in your website’s performance online. This gives you a good steer on where you should be focusing your attention. This is useful for businesses who haven’t done any SEO work, but also for those who have an SEO strategy in place and want to hone this, to get the advantage over their competitors. Whitefish Marketing has a FREE SEO audit tool and can advise thereafter on the findings in your website report.

Need help with your SEO strategy? Whitefish Marketing agency in Kent work with businesses in the south east to improve their online visibility. Call us on 01303 720 288. 

Visit Chris and the team at the Maidstone and Medway Business Show and join them for a FREE SEO audit – for more information and how to book go to www.maidstoneandmedwayshow.co.uk

If you have a great Kent Business news feed, blog, podcast or video channel that you’d like us to include in Business Kent, or if you have any ideas of new Kent Business topics that you’d like us to focus on in the site, then please just contact us at info@bestbusinessevents.co.uk with details!






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