“SEO is the set of theories and methodology required to get search engines to rank you highly and send you free traffic,” says Adam Stone, serial entrepreneur and chief executive of Speedlancer.com, a freelance marketplace connecting outsourcers with freelancers.
While he has plenty of experience using search engine optimisation techniques to maximise the site’s rankings, he is the first to admit that the process is more of an art than a science.
“There’s no magic formula, but there are ways to do it wrong – namely, by doing nothing at all… The benefit of SEO is that it’s often easy to tackle the ‘lowest hanging fruits’ and still reap significant rewards.”
Here are Stone’s seven essential SEO tips that should set your site in good stead when it comes to being ranked in search engine results:
1. Get your content right (both on-site and off-site)
Take your industry knowledge and expertise and turn it into engaging content that is easy to share. Create blog posts surrounding high-traffic related keywords, gain a social media presence (including Facebook, Twitter and Google+), and get articles referencing and linking to your site from quality news sources. In addition, include outbound links in your posts to show you’re an authoritative source. Also never use duplicate content.
2. Learn how to improve your rankings
Make sure your top keyword is in the meta title and description of each page. Wherever possible, try to create headlines that compel people to click, because there is also some evidence indicating the more people who click on your link in search results, the higher your search results will appear.
3. Become a valuable source
Gain backlinks by providing value on other sites and forums. For example, become a Quora writer and include your link in each post where relevant.
4. Help search engines find you
If you are getting a custom-built website, make sure page structures and sitemaps are created by your supplier. If you need these sorted, talk to your web developer for more advice.
5. Set up Google Webmaster Tools (and go through the wizard)
This allows you to track important SEO indicators. It’s so important to do this and check it regularly as you will find interesting insights.
6. Go mobile
Due to Google’s mobile-friendly update making things more competitive, it is now more essential than ever to have your website fully mobile responsive.