Your new website is ready to be welcomed by new customers. How will anyone find your website if they don’t know where to look?
Search engine optimization (SEO), or the ability to earn traffic via search engines, has been a topic of great importance for site owners for more than 20 years. Many websites rely on organic traffic for their survival.
SEO is not as easy as flipping a few switches. SEO is not a one-time thing. It must be part of your ongoing marketing. You can also find a lot of information online. How do you start?
This is why we have put together this SEO guide. The same basic advice applies to most websites. We’ve collected the best to help you get started. We have added links to additional information and our favorite tools for getting the job done.
The good news is that most site owners don’t do any SEO, so a little bit of dedication can get you ahead of many of your competitors. These ideas don’t require a deep knowledge of code.
SEO may seem daunting, but anyone can learn the basics. No matter your level of skill, SEO can help you improve your website.Are you ready to get started?
How can you measure SEO’s impact?
How do you get traffic to your website? Setting up SEO for your website. This does not mean that you have to change your website. We’ll start by listing some tools that are available. Many of these tools can be downloaded from search engines. These tools allow us to see what’s going on right now and provide data for what we can do next.
SEO is a complex discipline. Even experienced professionals can struggle to know which tools to use in what situations. These tools are vital for any campaign, no matter how old you are or how new your site is.
1. To track website traffic, set up Google Analytics (GA).
Installing analytics software is the best SEO tip. Free, flexible and powerful, Google Analytics lets you track how many people are using your website, and what they do when they are there.
It tracks sales, which content is most popular with your audience, and how they found you. Getting started with Google Analytics does require a little bit of technical know-how, but if you are using one of the most-popular content management systems (CMS) such as WordPress, there are plenty of tools and in-depth advice to make it easy.
Google Analytics is a vast topic that needs its own guide. However, we recommend starting here and reading this small business guide which contains many useful articles.
2. To see what Google does with your site, set up Google Search Console (GSC).
What if I told you that Google has powerful tools that will tell you how often your site is crawled, what it’s about and even give you suggestions for things you might have problems with. It’s your right to have it! Is it possible to get it for free? It’s what you’d want, isn’t it?
Well, you can – Google Search Console is a free service to help monitor and optimise your site’s performance in search results. This is basically free advice from people we want to impress.
Getting started is simple. By adding a meta tag in your website’s HTML code and uploading a file to a server, or using your Google Analytics or Google Tag Manager setups, you can verify that you are the site owner or administrator.
Give it a few days to gather some data, and a host of options are yours. Search Console allows you to verify that Google understands your content and to see what queries drive traffic to your site (plus how many people click on it in the search results), to monitor spam issues, as well as who is linking to your site. Although Search Console is often forgotten, it can make a big difference.
3. To get more information, use Bing Webmaster Tools
Here in the UK, Google is by far the dominant player in the search engine market. There are millions of searches that Microsoft’s search engine can be used every day.
Another way to improve your SEO is to understand what your visitors think about your site. Just like Google, they have a great tool, Bing Webmaster Tools, with free information.
As it gives different data to Search Console, you can also get different ideas on how to improve your website. You will also find SEO reports and an SEO Analyser, which can help you make actionable suggestions. Just like Search Console, there are different ways to verify your site to register and get going.
What are the best ways to research keywords?
Keyword research is a key part of SEO that many people have heard about. Since we search engines use keywords, it is essential that we know what a keyword is.
Keywords are a key part of many SEO campaigns. Knowing what your niche audience is looking for is an advantage. We’ll use tools to find the actual words that people search for in search engines. You will reach your audience by speaking the language of the people you are talking to, not technical jargon. This is the same way as offline.
Once you have a range of keyword ideas, then you can use them to do on-page SEO. This includes improving your content, creating helpful pages, and finding sites that are relevant to your niche.
1. Your website can be a place for all subjects.
Let’s start with something practical. Think about all the topics that our website covers. Do not try to come up with every keyword variation. Instead, group your ideas into topic buckets. Each bucket covers a page or set of pages.
You will need a bucket to cover all the main topics you blog about, such as Edinburgh restaurants or cake recipes. A bucket is needed for every product or service that you offer if you have a website.
These topics can now be expanded into a list. Think of the many ways that someone could search for each topic. How would you like your site to rank? Think about your audience. What words would they use to find your content?
You should ensure that your main topics are covered in a home. This will allow you to think about how your visitors will find your content, product, or service.
2. Check out which keywords are most visible on your website:
You can start by looking at what keywords you rank for before searching for new keywords. These are topics Google and Bing think you are relevant to. This can be a sign that you haven’t been found yet, some topics you might be surprised by, or areas where you have made progress.
You can see which keywords your website is visible for by using third-party tools like SEMrush and Serpstat. Although you might not rank high enough for these rankings to bring in traffic, it is a good idea to get started!
3. Find out which keywords drive traffic to your website:
You can get keyword ideas for free if you have Google Search Console or Bing Webmaster tools.
These tools display exactly which search terms were used to bring up your site, as well as how many people clicked on your result.
For example, Search Analytics data details the queries you’ve appeared for, the average ranking position of your page and how many folks have chosen to click on your result.
4. Related searches can help you expand your keyword target:
Google’s data for every search is a great and inexpensive way to find new keywords for your niche. Searches that are related to any Google search will be found at the bottom of every search. You can use any of them to improve your content.
Google’s suggestion functionality can also help us get many ideas. This is the list of ideas Google displays when we start typing in our search bar. These terms are frequently used by Google.
Keyword Tool and Ubersuggest allow you to enter your seed keyword, and then find multiple variants based on real searches.
Even better, some of these tools let you do the same thing for YouTube, Amazon, Wikipedia and more to get other search types such as video or retail terms.
5. Compare your competitors
You can also check out what your competitors rank for in SEO. You can use one of the tools to see our rankings. However, you should also enter a competitor’s domain. You will quickly be able to see which terms are driving traffic and you can also take the best!
You can search the internet for your top keywords targets to find out who they are. Sites that rank consistently well in Google searches are worth a look.
If you don’t like looking through mountains of data, don’t create a website selling many products such as Amazon. You should choose someone large enough to be able to use a lot keywords but small enough to specialize.
It doesn’t necessarily mean that a competitor ranks well for a keyword. It must be relevant to your audience and site. This is an effective and quick way to leverage the hard work of others to discover audience interests.
6. Select the most appropriate keyword targets
You will eventually have many keywords. It is important to choose the most relevant keywords. This will allow us to have a mixture of long-tail and head terms.
Head terms are more commonly searched, usually have fewer words (3 or fewer in most cases), and are more generic and competitive. Long-tail keywords are more specific and longer phrases (commonly exceeding 3 words). Long-tail keywords tend to be less common, but we can often tell what the searcher wants. Consider shoes vs. brown chelsea boot for men.
To find keyword volume data, there are many tools that we can use. These include Google’s Keyword Planner (which requires a Google AdWords account), SEMrush (paid or free options), and WordStream (paid or free options).
These can be used to eliminate keyword ideas with too low or too high volume. They also help you generate a healthy mix between long-tail and head targets. You can also check the competition and find new ideas.
What is On-page SEO? And what are its principles?
On-page optimization is one of the most important SEO improvements that you can make.
On-page SEO, which is the process of making your pages more relevant to search queries to increase traffic, is something that everyone can do. The goal of our page is to help the searcher reach their goal by answering their query. Your efforts should be as helpful and relevant as possible.
Websites can be of any size, but regardless of the subject matter or page layout, these on-page principles will apply.
1. Create better title tags:
The title tag is the first thing a searcher sees when they visit your site. It’s not visible on the page. When a page is shared via social media, the title tag appears as the blue link in search results. This allows us to optimise it in two different ways.
First, you can include your main keyword subject(s) to it, which will show search engines what page this is about.
We can also create titles that are engaging and catch attention. This can help us get more clicks by standing out in search results. This will depend on the audience and page type. Title tags for a product description page or a blog post may have different titles.
Take a look at the titles on all of your pages. Do you make the most of your keywords to attract visitors? Are they relevant and interesting? Each page needs a unique title tag, and tags should be 65 characters or less in length.
2. Use interesting meta descriptions:
Similar to your title tags, meta descriptions are a simple, but highly effective way to improve your SEO. Meta descriptions are the text below the page’s title that appears in search results.
These descriptions are intended to give a brief description of the contents of the page. They do not affect ranking factors, but they can influence click-through rates – a great meta description makes a result stand apart from its peers.
It is important to take the time to revise your meta descriptions and make sure they are as compelling as possible.
To get started, look in Search Console for descriptions Google think could do with improvements. Next, we will use software called a crawler to view the whole website and search for pages that lack or are poorly described.
3. The meta keyword tag don’t matter.
A piece of advice that refuses to go away – despite what some guides will say, don’t worry about using the meta keywords tag, it doesn’t help for SEO.
4. Use sensible URLs with keywords
This is a more technical topic. Most sites can optimise URLs for new pages. It is easy to optimize URLs by making them short, easily readable, and keyword-subject rich.
There are a few guiding principles, such as using hyphens instead of underscores and adding your primary keyword target – especially in the first few words. If possible, keeping them short and simple while reflecting site hierarchy is best.
A common error is to use auto-generated URLs in many CMSs. These can use codes to describe products where we would prefer descriptive text.
5. Take advantage of your images:
Your new website has beautiful images. But are you using them to their full potential?
You should make them as small as possible. This will allow them to load quickly. Next, give the file a descriptive name and use alt tags to describe what the image is.
6. Clear headings are important:
Your page’s main heading tells search engines and visitors what it is about. Heading tags let us mark up what is a heading or sub-heading on the page, and we can use the h1 tag to show the primary header. This is done by most CMSs automatically.
If necessary, review all your h1 tags on your site. You can use a crawler for a quick search. Are they accurate descriptions of the page? Are they using the keyword target? Do they use the keyword target?
It is a great way to get people to leave your site. Tell them something with the title tag and then not meet their expectations with the main heading. Do not repeat keywords in your sub-headings. Instead, use natural language and variations to describe your content.
7. Enhance your content
This is a big topic and one of the most difficult to cover. Take a look at the content on your page. Is it comprehensively covering the topic? Are all relevant keyword variations addressed? Does it address common audience questions? Does it address common audience questions?
Quality content is what search engines are looking for so make sure you’re making every page as beautiful as possible. Take a look at the top-ranking websites for your keywords. How can you make a resource that is clearly superior? How can you solve problems?
How can you make links?
SEO campaigns are based on the ability to attract attention and bring in links after a thorough review of the site’s technical and on-page elements.
Why is linking so important? Links are, first and foremost, the main way to get from one website to another. A link linking to one site from another is a citation. This means that it shows that the target site has some value or interest. These citations are regarded by search engines as a sign that authority.
There are many ways to create links. Many old methods are no longer effective due to Google’s ban on spam links. Link-building can now be done in the spirit of good old-fashioned marketing, promotion, and PR. These are the first steps you should take.
1. You can find out who links to your site.
You should first know your current link profile. You may not have enough links if your site is new.
Search Console has a report called Link to your site that can show you which domains are linking to you. If you like what you see, you can continue to look at them. You will need to do more if you are shocked at what you see.
You can also use a variety of backlink tools to assist you in further research if you wish to delve deeper.
2. Take a look at the backlinks of your competitors:
Look at your competition to understand what it takes to rank high in your niche. You can learn from your competitors what they have done to earn links and how they did it.
It is possible to get a rough idea of the number of links that you will need and how authoritative they are in order for your site to be competitive. You can use the link: command to search Google for your competitors’ most popular URLs. If you want to go further, use one of the many backlink tools to search for the most influential links – a good starting point is Open Link Profiler which gives you a lot of data for free.
3. Compile your assets (or design some):
It is a great way to get links. Create something that your audience will find useful or interesting. They are content pieces that entertain or educate us without being the main product of a website. We have all seen them.
You have a lot of great resources that your audience will love. Get thinking if you don’t. What could you create that would be of interest to your target market? What would others share with their readers? Your business’s assets will help you get attention. Building links is easier when there is content that is worth linking to.
4. Design a link-earning strategy:
Now you know what links your competitors have. Now, it’s time to build your profile. You must set goals and ensure that they align with your overall marketing focus.
Spend some time researching where your audience is online so that you can create content that appeals to them in a format that they like. Building links takes time and results don’t come overnight.
How can you get started in technical SEO?
Technical SEO refers to work that improves the non-content areas of your website. These are often the hidden elements that visitors don’t notice, but can affect their experience on the website.
Technical SEO is primarily concerned with the way a website functions and how search engines can crawl and index it. Technical SEO is the foundation of your website. Without it, any beautiful building you build won’t be as strong as you would like.
It can be overwhelming to learn technical SEO. Understanding the principles is crucial. You may be able to try certain parts or work with your developer.
1. Perform a monthly SEO health assessment:
Search Console can be used to perform basic SEO checks even if you don’t sign up for any third-party tools.
It can be used to check for major issues, such as traffic drops or to determine if your website has been penalised by Google. Search Console will email you with major issues, but proactive checks will keep you ahead.
There’s a wide range of improvements that you can make to your SEO using Search Console information. A weekly inspection (which takes only 5 minutes) will help you keep your website in top shape.
2. Is your website mobile-friendly?
Today, smartphone usage is so huge that more searches are done on smartphones than on computers. It is vital that your website is mobile-friendly.
Google is looking to reward sites that offer a great experience on a phone. They even now have separate search results for phone users. How can we tell if our site is mobile-friendly? There’s a handy tool to check. You can test your site and then work with your designer on the necessary improvements to be successful in the mobile-first search world.
3. You can create a site that is extremely fast:
Everyone has experienced the frustration of slow-loading sites. There is ample evidence to show that slow-loading websites perform worse.
You can quickly audit your site with tools like Google’s PageSpeedInsights and Pingdom’s Speed Test to quickly compile a list to give your site more speed. If your hosting provider is causing you problems, you may need to revise it.
4. Google will show you how your website looks to Google.
How can you check if Google can crawl your content? By looking into their eyes.
There are two options. Firstly, use BROWSEO and put in your page. This browser acts as a basic browser and displays all tags and content of the site without any design elements. Search engines may not be able to read some of your content. This is something you should investigate.
Search Console is another option. You can use the Fetch and Render tool to enter your URL and choose whether you want to view the mobile or desktop version. Then, Google will return the results. This allows us to spot differences in how Google views the page and how they believe a human would see it. It also helps us determine how a browser displays it.
5. Fix broken links:
Pages change over the course of a website’s life. While it’s normal to delete pages, visitors can find their way blocked by dead pages. Even worse, a page removed by search engines loses all importance.
You should check your website regularly for broken links and pages. This can be done in Search Console to view errors Google has detected, or you can use a crawler for your own search. After you have found them, edit the internal links to point to the correct page. Next, consider what to do about the old URL. You can redirect it to the successor URL if it was valuable or has a direct substitute. Although this sounds complicated, it is very simple with most CMSs.
6. Upload an XML Sitemap
It would be wonderful to provide Google and Bing a list with all pages that we wish them to notice. With XML sitemaps you can do just that. This is a file you add to your website (normally at yourdomain.uk/sitemap.xml) that lists the URLs for a site. Many CMSs will automatically create one for you and allow you to choose to delete certain pages.
Once live, you can upload to Search Console or Bing Webmaster Tools. To spot potential problems, you should regularly check the indexing status of all pages that have been submitted.
7. Correct duplicate content problems
One common SEO issue that can be tackled is duplicate content. This happens when you have more than one way of reaching the same content on your website.
If you do not set up your CMS correctly, some CMSs allow you access the same content from multiple URLs. Search engines can’t decide which version to use, and this causes problems. Sites that have duplicate content are not penalised for being spammy or unoriginal don’t usually get penalised.
The authority of the page will be diminished if it is linked to by other websites. There are many causes of duplicate content, but also some excellent fixes. To find duplicate content problems, check your site’s indexed pages by using site: search. Often a tidy of your settings or use of what are called *canonical* tags can help remedy the situation.
8. Robots.txt file
All sites need a robots.txt file. This small but handy file lives in the root of your server (yourdomain.uk/robots.txt) and is used to instruct robots crawling your site where they are allowed to go.
Have a look at yours – are you blocking any pages you want search engines to see? Is there any section of the site that you want to restrict access to? Search Console has a handy tool to test your robots.txt file and see if its working as you expect.
How can you optimise for local SEO?
Many UK websites were built to support offline businesses. If that’s you, you’re going to want to spend a large portion of your initial SEO effort on local SEO.
Local SEO means promoting your website at the right time potential customers are searching for your product in their area. It is about showing up in the search results and in the map listings when potential customers use a local search term such as plumber Manchester,, or whenever a search engine can determine their location.
Although local SEO may have its own rules and tactics, many of the core principles of SEO still apply.
1. Make sure your NAP is accurate & consistent
Local SEO must be consistent. This means you should have the same NAP (name, address, and phone number).
Your citations (online references to your business, including your NAP), must be consistent. Before you begin building them (see below), ensure that your NAP is correct and the same so Google & Bing can find the connection.
Start with your footer. Your contact page or footer should have your Nap.
2. Register for Google My Business to claim your spot
You must claim your Google listing if you’re just getting started with local SEO. You will see the business listings in Google Maps when you search for them. That’s what we’re going to grab through Google My Business.
It allows us to add photos, update our NAP, add opening hours, collect reviews, and place our business in the correct category. It takes several days to verify your business.
3. Create citations
Building local SEO listings is the core of your campaign. In other words, the amount of places you can add your business, and get a citation. Often it is assumed that only business directories count, but actually there are number of ways to expand your portfolio.
You can also do competitor analysis by searching their name and postcode to see if they have taken a listing elsewhere.
For example, to see all the places SitePie have a local citation, we’d do a search for “sitepie AND eh1 -site:http://www.sitepie.co.uk/. This will show us all the locations that appear, while also removing any results from Sitpie’s site.
4. Encourage customers to leave reviews
Although it might seem scary, reviews are an important factor in improving local SEO. Google favors sites that have more reviews in their local packs.
Encourage or encourage people to add more reviews on places like Yelp, Google Maps, and Yelp. Fake reviews are a big no-no, but there are strict guidelines for what is acceptable.
5. To earn local links, target the community by creating content
After you have started your local SEO campaign, the next step is more in line with the rest of SEO: creating content for your audience. In this case, we’re looking to create content of interest to a local reader.
Your backlink profile can have a significant impact on your local SEO rankings. Local content can help you target your community and get local media attention. Neighbourhood guides, local events, sponsorships – there’s a range of options to try!