Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is a long-term strategy. It’s not a ‘set and forget’ tactic. You’ll need to consistently monitor the results you extract from your analytics, analyse them and then tweak your website and copy accordingly, says Sensis senior manager of SEO Kavit Shah.
Remember, if you’re not constantly updating and staying fresh, your competitors will be. It’s only a matter of time until they begin to outrank you and take your share of the online traffic, says Shah.
To ensure that you’re always front and centre of your customers at that critical point, here are the top five tips for making SEO work, according to our SEO expert:
1) What’s your point of difference?
Using the power of your content, communicate a unique and attractive identity online to differentiate yourself from competitors, says Shah.
Describe your products and services comprehensively to guarantee the search engines “crawl” that content and are able to put it up front of searches.
Ideally, your website should be optimised for display across multiple devices and screens so that users can easily read and navigate through it using any device – whether it be the traditional desktop, laptop, tablet, smartphone or another smart device.
3) Internal Links
On an individual page, search engines need to see content in order to list pages in their keyword-based indices. They also need to have access to a “crawlable” link structure, not only to allow users to click through and navigate your site, but also for Search Engine “robots” (also known as spiders) to follow and crawl your content, says Shah.
Without such links, the Search Engine spiders hit a virtual “dead end” on your website and are forced to leave the site with their crawl unfinished.
This prevents them from seeing the entirety of your website, potentially stopping them from showing your content on their Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs).
4) Measurement tools
Ensure that you have some sort of analytics and tracking on your website so that you are able to see what pages are most visited and what pages are getting the most referrals from Search Engines and why, says Shah.
“This will give you insights into the user’s mindset and their behaviour. These insights will then help you tweak and change your content and layouts to better suit the users.”
5) Forget keyword stuffing
“Do not spam the search engines by stuffing your content and pages with keywords for the sake of ranking. This will not help you rank. Keyword stuffing is shunned by search engines,” says Shah.
Google’s algorithms are now clever enough to recognise when a sentence or paragraph is written solely for the purposes of ranking and will be useless to a human user.
“Search Engines often penalise such sites and pages by removing them from their index of results.”