I am writing this SEO Cheat Sheet as a way of giving you some idea of things you can do yourself to help your SEO. I am also including some concepts as there is so much misinformation regarding SEO.
Search Engine Optimisation is the practice of optimising your web pages for Search Engines. Whilst the aim for everyone using SEO as a marketing channel is to get page 1 result, preferably Top 3 placement, the result you receive is up to the search engine algorithm. An algorithm that regularly changes
SEO is not a quick fix; it’s complex and challenging and if you are focused on Google, the algorithm is constantly evolving so what works today may not work tomorrow and your Page 1 keywords can be Page 5 next week.
There are many studies that say it takes 3-6 months of consistent work to see good results with SEO and it’s after about a year you see your best results. Which is why most SEO companies have a minimum of 6 months sign up.
SEO may be a long game but it is one of the best ways to get targetted traffic to your website and without SEO you need to use other marketing channels such as paid ads and social media.
Paid Ads on market place websites or directories are essentially websites selling you their website traffic, the traffic they usually get from their SEO efforts.
The term SEO is regularly thrown often by people with no clue what it entails or how much time, money and work are involved. If it was super easy, everyone would be at no 1 for everything, right?
A lot of the mistruth are sales pitches to sell services. For example:
- Hosting location: Hosting location is unimportant.
- Domain Name is something that is important for your brand & should by chosen for brand strategy, not for google ranking. An exact Domain Match can be an easy SEO win tho
- Keyword in Domain: Putting keywords in your domain name can do more harm than good.
How does Google rank pages?
Google has spiders crawling the internet. What the spiders find is organised and indexed and shown on SERPs (search engine result pages).
Want to learn more? Check out the SEMrush academy course with Gregg Gifford, he explains how search engines work with easy to understand analogies.
Links from one page to another is how Google spiders discover these pages.
There are an estimated 200-500 different things that Google looks at when ranking a page. A lot of them are technical so unless you have the skillset or want to learn the skills, save yourself the grey hairs & headaches and pay an experienced professional, like Me 🙂
If your website and pages aren’t accessible to Google, they are not crawled so everything you do to your website is pretty pointless.
I wish SEO was a more exact science but it just isn’t. There are entire news sites dedicated to SEO such as Search Engine Land & Search engine Journal plus 1000’s of forums, chatrooms, groups and blogs. As an SEO I spend a minimum of 10hrs a week reading and interacting with the SEO community. I don’t mind, cause I love it, SEO is my hobby as well as my job 🙂
4 Important Tips
- Google is Blind Google sees code & content, google cannot see your pictures (always remember to add alt tags to images)
- KISS (Keep it Simple Stupid) Google best practises are also people best practises. Make your content easy to read; use headings, small paragraphs and check your spelling and grammar
- You need Speed You want your website to be fast & lean. Buy the fastest, best quality Hosting (my recommended hosting) you can afford. Always optimise your images and remove things that are causing your site to slow down. https://www.webpagetest.org/ is great to check your website performance.
- The answer to every SEO question is ‘It Depends’ What works with 1 site may not work with another.
Things you can do yourself
Your Meta Title and Meta Descriptions are people’s first impression of your site on google. Snippets are your SERP sales pitch; telling people why they should look at your website?
Add Quality Links
LInks are kinda like votes. You want them but you also only want them from credible sources. 1 link from a quality website helps you more than 1000 links you bought for $10 on Fiverr
Unique & Content Quality
The better quality your content is the better it will do. 2 sentences of crap aren’t going to work out. Aim for 600 words on a page and make them the best you can. Make sure there is no spelling or grammatical mistakes
Use Unique Images
Google wants uniqueness, so don’t steal an image off the internet and use it on your own site. Google won’t like that and it will affect your rankings. Remember Google is blind, so you need to tell Google what the picture is about. Give it a name, add ALT text
Make sure you have SSL on your site, SSL certificates are free with most hosting companies these days.
Track your Data
Add Google Analytics and Search Console to your site and learn how to use them
Search Console is a free webmaster tool, you can see how many keywords you are ranking for, helps you track your positions plus tells you when you have errors on your site you need to fix
Google Analytics helps you track your website metrics. See who is visiting your site, where they came from and what they looked at when they are on your site
In the Google Analytics Aquisition areas you can see how you got the visitors:
- Organic – traffic from search engines, mostly its google but there are other search engines you can work with too such as Bing, Yahoo and Yandex
- Direct – these stats maybe you working on your own site or clients that know your URL who are coming back for more info
- Social – Twitter, Insta and any other socials you have
- Referral – Traffic from other websites; these are a bit of a tricky metric with adult sites. The referring sites often use a link tag with ‘noreferrer‘ which is good for security but stops you seeing these traffic stats.
Work on your Site Speed
Site Speed is crucial in SEO, a faster site = higher ranking & increase in crawl budget.
I have seen sites drop rankings when they lose 1s speed so I do speed tests on my client’s sites every Monday without fail.
Optimise your images and make every page on your site as fast as you can. Delete any images you don’t need. Images slow you down, if they serve no purpose, get rid of them.
The base of your site speed is hosting and Hosting choice definitely matters!
Hosting quality and speed is crucial if you want to see SEO gains. Whilst I personally prefer Cloudways, technically it’s a little tricky for non-techies to set up themself.
I have also been working with WPX since they opened an Australian Data Centre and they are great.
We also recommend WPEngine to our business clients. They have an amazing suite of tools that help businesses with workflow & time. Whilst they are more expensive than some other hosting options they save you $s with all their inclusions not to mention the customer service and knowledge of there support team is fantastic. They only do WP so every support person is a WP expert. So great if you are not on a website care plan with your web developer
Stay out of bad hosting neighbourhoods
The other sites that are on your hosting service affect your SEO. Whilst this comment will probably get me some haters I am going to say it anyway lol
Host with a large company that is not owned by the EIG group. EIG own Godaddy, BlueHost and many others. They are known for their poor quality, high pricing and constant sales pitch of things you don’t need
Often smaller companies are reseller hosting is when a business owner purchases hosting from a big company that they can whitelist (they put their own name on the label) and sell to others however they wish.
You can find many different packages online, its usually around $50 or so a month for 30 accounts, so there is some good profit there for the business owner but its not so good for you if you want to rank.
Whilst site builders like WIX are awesome; if SEO is the top priority for your business, you really want to go with something more robust.
If you are going to DIY go with WordPress, its superior in every way for SEO. It’s far harder to learn WordPress but if high search engine ranking is what you really really want, spend time learning how to do a WordPress site with SEO best principles. Google’s Starter Guide is a good place to start.
If you have money pay an experienced SEO and Web Developer knows how to get your site crawled, ranked and indexed high.
Minx is more expensive than Fiverr or some of our competitors, but our clients are sitting top 3 for competitive keywords and that is not by chance. It’s due to technical skill, experience and hard work!
Not all websites are created equal and for SEO the way a site is developed is important!
I hope you have found this SEO Cheat Sheet Helpful
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