SEO is not dead and there is unfortunately no silver bullet approach. There are however a few simple, easy to follow, rules any business owner can adopt to get you most of the way there so you can focus on building your business.
Keeping up with changes in Google algorithms and best SEO practices can be a challenge for any business owner. If you’re beginning your business my advice would be to focus on defining your website's purpose then attracting an audience. Then over time you will learn to develop and sharpen your SEO skills while growing your content organically.
Let's dive into 10 time proven SEO guidelines you should be aware of and adhere to when writing your website content.
1. Include your targeted keywords in your page title
Your page title should be unique within your website and blog. Be sure to include your targeted keyword or keywords when deciding on the title.
2. Use a meaningful permalink
Also referred to as a page-slug, your post or page permalink (URL) should be meaningful and include your targeted keywords just like your blogs post title. Be sure to use a dash to separate words and not an underscore.
3. Keep you page title under 70 characters
The simple reason for this is that Google only indexes the first 70 characters of your page or post title. Anything outside 70 characters won’t be shown in the search engine result.
4. Limit your meta description to less than 160 characters
Write a description that would both inform and interest users if they saw your description meta tag as a snippet in a search result. Be sure to write a custom meta description of needed and make it meaningful.
5. Use as heading tags throughout your copy
A typical blog post will have the post title included in the page as a heading 1 (H1). When breaking up your content, be sure to use heading style tags from H2 to H5 where and when appropriate. This makes it easier for the user to scan your content and gain a quicker understanding of what the page they're visiting is about.
6. Use your keywords in your page intro
Be sure to use your targeted keywords in the beginning of your page copy. Ensuring your targeted keywords are in the first 100 and last 100 words says to Google that the content backs up your keyword selection and is not off topic.
7. Anchor your links
Anchor text is the clickable text that users will see as a result of a link and is placed within the anchor tag. Make it descriptive and concise. The anchor text you use for a link should provide at least a basic idea of what the page linked to is about.
8. Optimise your use of images
Ensure all your images have a unique, distinct and descriptive file name. Be sure to include ALT tags and descriptions on all your images and remember — if they don’t add value, don’t use them!
9. Keep your word count above 300
A blog post or web page should be as long as it needs to be to get the message across. A blog post or web page of less than 300 words is seen to be less informative then one with a greater word count. If you do choose to elaborate on your topic, be sure to keep it relative and contextual.
10. Use consistent page title naming conventions
The structure you choose when it comes to your page titles can vary however, choose one and stick with it. I would go with Google’s suggestion of: [page title] — [website name]
If you’re using WordPress to power your blog, the process on on-page SEO can be made a lot easier for you by using the WordPress SEO plugin by Yoast. I personally recommend this plugin to all my clients.
These are just my top 10 tips to get you started and on your way. These should be enough to get you writing you website copy or blog posts confidently if you're just starting out. Later on, if you need to, you will engage with someone that has the time and skills to help you take your content to the next level.
Now it's time to go and focus on your business and create some great content that only you can.