SEO: Where to start?

SEO is vast – so where should you start? Should you re-write all your tags? Where should keywords in an h2 tag go – the beginning or the end? What social channels do you need? Do I need complicated analytics?

Relax

Take a deep breath. Trust me when I say the complication scales as you learn SEO. This is great because it means you can start small and build up from there. You can also get a marketing firm on board – such as EBS Marketing! – who can hold your hand as much or as little as you require.

Content

Let’s start with content. From now on ‘content is king’ is your mantra. The web is built on content and the better you make that content – be it funny, informative, entertaining – the better chance you have of rating highly for relevance in your chosen field.

Use your keywords, but don’t overdo it. Need help with keyword ideas? Sign up and use Google’s keyword tool. This will give you local and global monthly search volumes for the phrases you’ve entered and importantly variations upon these. This can help you see if you’re using the correct keywords and if you’re missing any potential opportunities for high volume keywords. It may also help you identify long tail keywords – these are keyword combinations that have a low search volume. Why is that good? It’s easier to convert these as competition is lower and the targeting is much more specific.

Length is important on things like blog posts – aim for 400-600 words. Not only is this about SEO, but it’s about good writing: creating substantial content. A potential issue is that frequency is also important, so posting once or twice a week is a good minimum amount. I understand that as a business owner you’re unlikely to have the time to write all week – so try to strike a happy medium or outsource the work.

Navigation

Certain navigation systems can obscure your content as search engines can’t always follow it. Google is the only known entity to support Flash navigation – but that is not 100% guaranteed. The best thing to do is offer an alternative menu in HTML, verify your website in Google Webmaster tools & submit a sitemap. After a delay webmaster tools will tell you if your site has any crawl errors – hopefully none – and the sitemap gives Google an idea of the structure of the website’s content. It does also seem to give it a little bump towards indexing it – almost like a little thank-you from Google for giving them more data!

Where can I go from here?

Feeling confident and want to build up your SEO prowess? Why not take a look at these areas:

  • Page Title tags
  • Image alt tags, captions & filenames
  • Demographic data from Google Analytics
  • Link building
  • Guest blogging
  • Social media
  • PPC advertising

See – that wasn’t so hard was it? Start with your content and your navigation, build up from there and don’t be afraid to ask for help from some self-confessed SEO obsessives.