8 Jun, 2016

Understanding SEO: Tips, Tricks & Tools

When you’re starting out with SEO, deciding where to start and which tools to use to measure your progress can be a bit of a hurdle to overcome, so here are some tips, tricks and tools to help you.

Where to Start

If we take a fairly simplistic view of SEO, then there are essentially 5 core elements any good SEO strategy should consider, if your website is going to be successful with search engines. These cover the technical elements of your website, the on-page features of your website, the usability and user experience of your website, the off-site SEO supporting your website and the content on your website.

Of these 5 categories, on-page SEO is perhaps the easiest place to start, as this is a good way to make the most of what you already have established, before moving on to new strategies and ideas. It also requires less development expertise to manage and improve, than other SEO techniques like technical SEO and usability.

On-site SEO in this case would cover tackling things like your Meta Data, establishing good, relevant internal links throughout your website, optimizing images appropriately, looking at placing the right kind of schema mark-up on your website and establishing areas where fresh content can be regularly added and updated.
In a perfect world, you are aiming for the majority of pages on your website to have the following:
  • A unique, optimised page title
  • A unique, optimised meta description
  • A single heading tag (H1)
  • Optimised images with unique titles and alt tags
  • Good links to other pages of your website either through the navigation or via in text links
  • At least a paragraph of useful on page text

Useful Tools

Your greatest ally (and biggest nemesis but that’s another story) when implementing any SEO strategies and improvements is Google. The search engine provides a wealth of FREE tools and platforms to help you measure your successes. The most commonly used is Google Analytics.

It is important to have Google Analytics tracking in place on your website so you can see where your users are coming from and what they are doing on your website, but just installing the tracking code isn’t enough. It needs a little extra set up if you’re really going to get the most out of it.

Our top tips for setting up Google Analytics include:

  • Setting up three views: a test view, master view and an unfiltered view
  • Integrating your Google Analytics account with your Google AdWords account (if you are running Pay Per Click (PPC) ads) and your Google Webmaster Tools account, sometimes called the search console
  • Setting up goals and conversions for your site. These metrics aren’t just for e-commerce sites. Every business and therefore every website has a purpose and that means every website has a goal, which Google analytics should be able to track. It could be anything from email sign ups to time spent on particular pages, whatever behaviours are valuable to your business
For more help getting grips with SEO, check out these easy steps to help improve your organic search results and if you’re new to Google Analytics, there here is a quick blog post to help you understand it better.