What is SEO?
SEO, or search engine optimisation, is a way of adapting your website to ensure that the highest possible amount of people come across your website.
The better your SEO, the higher it will show and rank higher on search engines when people search for topics related to your organisation.
Ranking highly on search engines is important because it means that more people will find out about you. This will lead to more engagement and ultimately more support for your brand or organisation.
There are lots of different techniques that can be used to increase the traffic to your website. Some are more technical than others, but there are also some simple improvements that can be made to boost this.
Here is a short summary of the easiest things you can do to improve your website’s SEO.
Linking between different sites and pages increases SEO. There are two types of linking, internal and external.
Internal linking involves including links on website pages to other pages within your website.
As you write new posts, link to older posts which may contain more useful information. Don’t forget to also go back to old posts and add in links to newer pages, so that your internal links are two-way.
This will improve SEO through increasing the amount of time visitors spend on your website and the amount of views each page gets. A search engine will also think a page is more important or high authority if there are a lot of other pages linking to it, so it will rank higher in searches.
External links are between your site and elsewhere on the web. They can also be two-way.
Outbound links from your website to another website should all be linked to ‘trustworthy and authoritative sources’ ‘and the more recent the better.’ Search engines will favour your page if it is seen as a trustworthy source of information.
This means that you should include links to other websites within your pages or blog, and get other people to link to your site if you can.
External linking can also be helped by promoting your website on social media. Encourage other people to share your posts too and this will help your overall visibility and reach as well as your SEO.
Keywords are an essential factor in SEO, as you want to ensure that the words used on your page match with what people are most likely to search for.
Although you may be able to make educated guesses about what people will search most, there are many programmes out there which can give you more concrete data about keywords, such as https://neilpatel.com/.
Start by researching broad keywords relating to your sector or area, then narrow down. As the words get more niche there will be less competition as less people are talking about those topics.
The keywords which might be most useful for improving SEO are those which have a high search volume but low competition. This means that people often search for the words, but there aren’t as many web results, meaning that your page has less to compete with and is more likely to rank higher on the search engine.
Once you have found the best keywords for your website, plan your content around this, and integrate these keywords into your posts.
As well as the specific words you use, where you use them can also help to improve SEO
It is best to include keywords:
- In headings
- In subheadings
- At the beginning of articles
- In the meta description of articles where you succinctly describe the content of the page
However, make sure you don’t overload your articles with keywords. If your writing becomes unnatural or there are too many keywords that aren’t relevant to the topic of your page, it could have a negative effect on your SEO.
Most people have extremely short attention spans and will leave a website within seconds if it is not easy to read or understand.
Therefore, make it as easy for people to read your content so they don’t lose focus, and spend more time on the page.
Here are some aspects which will improve readability:
- Headings and subheadings – people usually scan across the page for information and headings will help them to easily find what they need
- Short sentences
- Small paragraphs
- Conversational tone – if your writing is too formal or academic, it will be much harder to read. However, writing that is too conversation or written exactly how you speak can be awkward and jarring, so it is important to find the right balance
- Lists and bullet points
- Good punctuation
IMAGES AND VIDEOS
Images and videos also improve readability in a way.
They are extremely useful for breaking up text, so it is easier to scan across pages.
Visual information is also easier for human brains to understand and process, so will get information across much quicker.
Having multimedia on pages also makes it more engaging on the whole, meaning that people will stay on the page longer, which also will improve SEO. Using ALT tags on your images and videos also imporves accessibility but also SEO.
HIGH QUALITY AND ENGAGING CONTENT
If your content is high quality and gives people the information they need, it will increase the engagement with your website, which is good for SEO.
Posting regularly and keeping relevant will also ensure that people come back to your website. Blogging is also a great way to grow a faithful readership.
Time spent on a website is called ‘dwell time,’ and depends on unique, entertaining and informative content.
It has been said that longer posts are better for SEO. Posts with a limited amount of words will be seen as less useful as they contain less information. Therefore, aim to make each post as extensive and comprehensive as possible. If this information is broken up and presented well, people will still be able to find the specific information they need.
Titles are also important. Try to make titles click-worthy by making it clear what the page is about while also being engaging and appealing to readers’ emotions. It is even better if your title directly answers a question that your audience are likely to search.
There are many other ways to improve SEO, which can be understood using the plethora of information and resources online. These include:
- Changing URLS
- Using plugins
- Using spam blockers
- Improving website speed and security
- Using optimised images
- Optimising websites for mobile devices
REFERENCES (some external linking to trusted sources!):
Agency For Good are an ethical marketing agency.
We provide completely free marketing consultancy, coaching and training to 3rd sector organisations to help you focus and improve your income and in turn your social impact.
In 2019 we delivered 419 hours to 111 charities and social enterprise and we want to increase this to 500 hours this year so please get in touch.
We also provide high quality but subsidised web design, graphic design, video, social media, SEO, PR and copywriting services.