Companies spend thousands of £££s on search engine optimisation. Essentially it is the art of making your website and your web pages as attractive to Google as possible for the keywords you want your website to be found with. It does depend on what industry you’re in and how tough your competition are, but is it possible to optimise your website on a very limited budget?
Essentially, yes. Depending on your technical know-how and how much free time you have to dedicate to optimising, but there are some simple steps you can do, which will have an impact on your website. For the purpose of this post, I’ll be concentrating on WordPress websites, although for most content management systems it is similar. I’ll also be concentrating on Google here, although other search engines are of course available (Google has the lion’s share of the market though by quite a way).
Before you start any SEO work you’ll want to check that your website doesn’t have any fundamental issues, like links that go to dead pages (404 errors), page timing out issues (500 errors) and no duplicate content. To check this you can use Google Search Console. It will show you the basics and allow you to fix any issues. There are more detailed tools like Moz Pro available, which the professionals would use.
Keywords are basically the words or phrases that someone types into Google, hoping to find your website (for example, I’m a website designer and search engine optimiser, based in Romsey, so a good keyword for me is “search engine optimisation Romsey”).
You need to know what your keywords are for your company, therefore you need to carry out Keyword Research. You can do this with a number of free or paid-for tools. A good free one is Google’s Keyword Tool which can be found in an AdWords account (it’s free to set up a Google AdWords account). When carrying out the keyword research what you’re looking for are the most relative keywords with the most searches and the least amount of competition.
Once you have your list, you’ll probably be looking for around 50 keywords for your website (any more and it’s hard to track unless you have the right tools). Check the keywords are relevant by searching with them in Google and seeing what sort of search results come up (hopefully companies and information to do with your industry).
These are now your keywords and you can create a spreadsheet with these in.
Track the Keywords
With your keyword spreadsheet, you should track how these perform every week or month. As there are only 50 keywords you could do this manually, although there are paid for tools that would do this for you, like: Moz Pro, Searchmetrics, SEMRush and Ahrefs.
Tracking the keywords every week or month will show you how the work you are doing is having an effect on the page rankings in Google.
On the keyword spreadsheet, assign the keywords to a page on your website. I tend to assign a main keyword and then have 2 or 3 other keywords that are relative. Once this is done, it will give you a content map and allow you to see what keywords you should be focusing on for that page/post. Obviously the keywords need to be highly relevant (e.g. there’s no point me focusing on “website design” for a page that talks all about search engine optimisation, or email campaigns.
Essentials on each Page and Post
Up to now you’ve been doing all the preparation work. Now is the time to actually put the keywords into the pages and posts. There are obviously a lot more on-site SEO work that can be carried out here, but here are some essential on-site work that you can do which would have an impact to your website’s page rankings.
- Ensure that the page content has the keyword you’re targeting and is focused around this subject
- There should be 2 or 3 other keywords that are within the content too
- Ensure the main keyword is in the Page Title (the page title isn’t the main heading, it’s what appears in the browser tab at the top of the screen)
- The Meta Description is an important part of SEO. It’s the main text that appears in the search engine page results just underneath the main page title (if there is no meta description text, Google tends to use the 1st line or 2 of your page content). By making this text focused and interesting you can entice the person to click onto your link instead of anyone else’s.
- Does the content of the Page or Post really deliver focused content (this is similar to point 1, but as Google wants to deliver the best search results possible, the content is very important to the success of the page)
Essential SEO Plugin
There are many SEO plugins for WordPress, but for me Yoast SEO is the one to use. It gives you a lot more than just making it easy to enter your Page Title and Meta Description. It also allows you to enter your focused keyword and will then accurately rank how your page is performing for that keyword. It will tell you how long your Title and Description needs to be. It pretty much manages your SEO work in WordPress.
Quick and Easy SEO
The message I’m trying to get across here is that it’s better to do some SEO than it is to do none. If you don’t have a budget, or have a very limited one, you can do some of the work yourself. If you have a limited budget you can ask an SEO professional to concentrate on the points above and this will have an impact on your rankings. Sometimes the page rankings can change very quickly, but I see most gains happen after a couple of months.
If you would like to know more about search engine optimisation and what Pink Fin can offer, please feel free to contact us.