Before I discuss the main topic of SEO tips and tricks let me first explain why SEO is important for your website.

How SEO helps your business

O ptimising your site for search will attract more visitors and will generate more business leads for you.

So how will SEO improve your site?

An SEO optimised website ensures that your content is targeted to problems that your potential customers have. By writing articles that solve problems for your prospective customers you increase the chance you can convert them into paying customers.

Today search engines are used daily by almost everyone, young and old. Consumers use search engines for pre-purchase research, product/service comparison and detailed specifications. Visibility for your business online among your potential customers requires that they can find your website, otherwise, they will not be aware you exist.

SEO is a vital tool for any business that has a website.

Search Engine Ranking

Many factors are taken into account when Google and other search engines rank a page. Google uses over 200 “signals” to determine your ranking position.

Google will display the most relevant search results on the first page. Most users will not bother looking at results beyond the first page so it is important for your business to rank as highly as possible to attract visitors to your site.

SEO Basics

The fundamentals of SEO are:

  • Fast, the faster the better, but try for 5 seconds or less (user attention starts to run out after just 2 seconds but it can be hard to achieve that when you are loading Facebook tracking pixels, google ads, analytics scripts as well as your web page scripts and images)
  • Mobile Friendly, it’s essential that websites display properly on mobile devices. Otherwise, you will not succeed in attracting new clients that access your website using a mobile device.
  • Easy to navigate website, it should be easy to access all the content on your website without having to decend too deeply through menus and pages. There should not be any broken links on your website.
  • Social Media Integration, make your content easy to share so your visitors can help promote your content. Include links to your own social media accounts on your website.

SEO Tips and Tricks

  1. Write high quality original content
  2. Write frequently
  3. Choose your keywords wisely
  4. Ensure keywords are used throughout the article
  5. Title
  6. Internal Links
  7. Anchor Text
  8. Broken Links
  9. URL
  10. Duplicate Content
  11. Image Alt tags
  12. Image URL
  13. Headers (H1, H2, H3)
  14. Have a chosen keyword in your domain for a big SEO boost
  15. Word Count
  16. Do outreach so other websites will link to your articles
  17. Use a table of contents (like this one!)
  18. Check the spelling and grammar
  19. Create a sitemap
  20. Redirect old, broken links to the most relevant page on your website
  21. Take time to write a high quality meta description
  22. Keep your content up to date
  23. Use images
  24. Don’t use Flash
  25. Link to other sites
  26. Short paragraphs
  27. The faster your website the better
  28. Mobile Friendly Design
  29. Social media sharing buttons

Write high quality original content <-- most important tip!

T he most important task is to write new content that provides original information to a visitor. Copying or duplicating other content from other websites does not work. Google can detect duplicate content and will penalise your article.

Please remember to rank highly in Google (and other search engines) write FRESH and ORIGINAL content.

Write frequently

Writing more content means Google will index more content from your website. Each page gives you a chance to receive search traffic.

Your website visitors frequently do research on a product or service online first, before contacting you. The more content you have available online the more likely you will get visitors who are considering purchasing from you.

Singaporeans research products and services online before purchasing

first awareness of product or service

How did people first learn of the product they purchased during product research?

Source: The Consumer Barometer Survey 2014/15

Tip: Be careful to avoid using the same keywords on different pages. Each page should be about a specific topic or subject and should not conflict with other pages you have on your website.

Choose your keywords wisely

F ocus your articles on keywords typed into Google and other search engines. You shouldn’t go for the obvious keywords because they are highly competitive and you will find it nearly impossible to rank for them.

In addition, highly competitive keywords will probably attract many ads which means organic search results will appear half way down the page and not even visible on mobile devices unless the user scrolls the page.

Ensure keywords are used throughout the article

Keywords should not only appear in the title, they should appear in other places on the page as well. Here are the places the keywords should appear:

  • Title (H1)
  • URL
  • Sub headers (H2, H3)
  • Body of the article

Don’t stuff the article with keywords it will be detected by Google and will make your articles less readable (and less shareable).

Tip: Use keyword variations and synonyms so your article can rank for related keyword searches.

Title

The title length should not be more than 70 characters (otherwise it will appear truncated in the search engine results page).

It should include the keywords you are trying to rank for. Be careful that the title is natural and you haven’t just inserted the keywords in the title.

Internal Links

Internal Links are links within the article to other pages on the same website. They make it easy for visitors to navigate around your website.

Tip: Use one of your high performing pages and link to other content on your website you want to get more traffic to. Of course, the link needs to be relevant.

Anchor Text

This is the link text, it is better for it to be descriptive rather than “click here” or some other generic phrase.

Broken Links

E nsure your content doesn’t include any broken links, by broken I mean links that are invalid or no longer work. You can get plugins for your browser to quickly scan every link on the page. If you find any broken links then either remove or correct them. You can use a chrome extension to easily check for broken links on your page, I use Check My Links:

check for broken links
Check my Links Chrome Extension

URL

This is the web page link you see in the browser address bar. Use a descriptive url that contains the keywords you are trying to rank for. Words should be separated by hyphens (-) not underscores (_).

Duplicate Content

G oogle can detect duplicate content and it can adversely affect your ranking position. It’s okay to use small amounts of text from other sites if you are quoting but your content should be original as far as possible.

Image Alt tags

All images should have an alt tag which describes the image. This is needed for screen readers and it allows Google to index the image using the alt text for reference.

Image URL

The image url should be descriptive, like the article URL. Use words and separate with hyphens. The url should describe the image.

Headers (H1, H2, H3)

HTML defines six headers (H1, H2, H3, H4, H5, H6) to help provide structure to the document. For SEO purposes only the first three headers are useful. In general, an article should have one H1 and multiple H2 headers. If the further subdivision is necessary H3 headers can be used.

Word Count

W ord count should be at least 300-400 words. Otherwise, Google considers the article to be low quality.

Ideally, to rank highly on the first page of Google, the word count should be 2000 to 2500 words. Google prefers more in-depth comprehensive articles.

Tip: Write a ‘How to Guide’ on a subject you are an expert on.

Have a chosen keyword in your domain for a big SEO boost

B uy a domain with one or more of your most important keywords included to get a big SEO boost. Potentially you can get on the first page of Google quickly if the keyword is not too competitive.

Do outreach so other websites will link to your articles

G oogle considers external links to your articles to be a vote of confidence in the quality of your article. The more links you get the higher you can rank in the search results. The best way to get backlinks is to send emails to other websites to ask them to link to your article if it is relevant to them and is high-quality content that will be useful to their readers.

Use a table of contents

After the first paragraph of text on the page include a table of contents that links to all the sub-headings. This allows visitors to quickly skim the subsections and jump to a particular section they are most interested in.

This page has a table of contents section here: Table of Contents

Check the spelling and grammar

You don’t look professional if you content contains spelling mistakes or bad grammar. Ensure you have thoroughly checked your content before publishing it. Tools such as Grammarly can help you with your grammar and spelling.

grammarly chrome extensions

Grammarly Website

Create a sitemap

A sitemap provides a list of all the content on your website that search engines can use to crawl your site. It’s not essential as search engines can find your content by following each link starting from your home page. However, some content may not be linked to from other pages so will not be visible to a search engine (unless an external website links to the content).

Tip: Submit your sitemap to Google, this saves times as Google does not need to crawl your entire website, it can get all the content by processing your sitemap.

upload your sitemap to google for indexing

Your sitemap can be uploaded here: Google Search Console (you will need to verify your website first with Google before being allowed to upload a sitemap).

Redirect old, broken links to the most relevant page on your website

Y ou may have deleted some content or changed the links (especially if you have migrated from an older website). Google will have indexed the old content but because the link no longer exists you will not be receiving website visitors or they get directed to a 404 Not Found page. Configure your web server to redirect broken links to point to the most relevant pages on your website. Redirects will help you retain search traffic that would be otherwise lost.

Tip: After removing a page from your website, e.g. old product you no longer stock, don’t forget to redirect to another relevant page. Consider redirecting to a newer version of the product or the product category page instead.

Take time to write a high quality meta description

T his is the text that appears below the link in Google’s search engine results page. Although it doesn’t affect search ranking position it definitely does affect your CTR (Click Through Rate). It should accurately summarise the content of the page. Spending just a few minutes making sure you have a brief summary of the article content can make all the difference so don’t skip this task.

Tip: Make your meta description as enticing as possible so visitors want to click on the link

Keep your content up to date

K eeping your content fresh will help boost your search rank. Fresh content is more likely to be relevant and timely that old out of date content. Don’t just minor updates, if needed, make major updates including adding or removing sections that are no longer relevant or useful.

Use images

A picture is worth a thousand words. Your article will be more appealing if it contains images, especially if they are relevant to your content.

Images help break up the text and offer a variation from paragraph after paragraph of text.

Don’t use Flash

Flash is not supported on iOS devices such as the iPhone and tablets. Flash content cannot be indexed so it is useless for acquiring search traffic.

Link to other sites

P roviding 100% of the information your visitor is looking for is probably not possible or desirable so link to other sources that can help them find what they want. This makes your article more useful and therefore higher quality.

Tip: Provide links that can explain a subject in more depth.

Short paragraphs

T ry to write no more than two to five sentence paragraphs. Large paragraphs can be intimidating resulting in the visitor leaving your site. Aim to make your article as easy to read as possible so short sentences, paragraphs and simple words help.

Plugins for your website such as Yoast SEO can calculate Readability scores for each page, a high readability score means your content is easy to read.

Readability score (for this article):

yoast seo readability score

Yoast SEO readability score (this article)

Yoast SEO plugin (highly recommened if you have a WordPress website)

The faster your website the better

Fast websites rank higher than slow websites. No one likes to wait for a page to load. Mobile users, in particular, have limited patience and expect a page to load in two seconds or less(!). You should expect to lose a large percentage of your audience if your web page takes too long to load.

Tip: Remove unnecessary plugins or other non-essential content to speed up your website.

Mobile friendly design

M ore than 50% of your website’s visitors will be reading your content on a mobile device. If your website is not mobile-friendly they will not have a good experience.

The text will be too small, it will be clipped and they will have to scroll horizontally. The page could take a long time to load. It will be a frustrating experience for them which will reflect badly on you.

Mobile Centricity of Singaporeans

mobile centricity of singaporean consumers

Source: Consumer Barometer, Mobile Centricity of Singaporean Consumers 2016

Social media sharing buttons

Although social media sharing buttons don’t directly affect your search ranking position the more links to the article (from social media networks) the more highly your article will likely rank. So making it easy to share your content will boost the chances of getting a good search ranking position.

Robots.txt

There is a special file on your website (or maybe not, it isn’t required). If it exists it will be at this location:

mysite.com/robots.txt

This file is not meant for humans, it’s meant to be read and understand by robots, specifically search engine robots.

Google and other search engines will look at this file before crawling your website to check what files and directories it can crawl. Directories and files can be blocked from crawling by using this file.

Ensure, if this file exists, it doesn’t have the following line:

Disallow: /

This will block Google and other search engines from indexing your website. It’s surprising how many times you see this line. The reason is, during website development, developers add this line to temporarily block Google from indexing half finished pages, or when the site architecture is not finished. Unfortunately, the developer can sometimes forget to remove this line.

SEO Specialist

SEO is a difficult subject as you have probably figured out if you’ve managed to read the content so far (congrats!). There is a saying that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing so if you are not confident in applying your SEO skills then you can always pay for the services of an expert.

Final Thoughts

L earning SEO techniques will help your website rank higher in Google and other Search Engines. This can directly affect how successful your business will be so SEO is a vital technique to learn.

Need help with SEO for your website?

We provide monthly plans to help you with SEO, keyword research, keyword tracking and other techniques to boost your search engine rankings. We can also provide content writing services if you can’t find the inspiration to write high-quality content for your website.

We’d love to work with you! Contact us today.

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