There are many articles and info hubs online that offer you all the very best advice on SEO, the on page, the off page, the H1, the user journey, the meta this, meta that, oh, blah blah fish paste!
In reality we are all looking for that hack, right? That “one button fixes it all” thing. The hack that defies the need for you to be a rocket scientist. We want instant gratification. Whilst it may look as though I am defeating the ends of justice here, or that this magician is revealing her dark arts, the fact is that these dirty little hacks are totally within your control. Totally.
So here it is, the low down dirty SEO hack guide:
Content is and always will be king. If you have crap content, nothing on this list is going to serve you in any way. Create valuable, informative, rich content and Google will not penalise your search rankings for low quality content. Research has shown that long form content is working better on desktop than this short snackable formats we have become accustomed to. Title your content with short enticing yet descriptive titles, like this article.
- Alt Tabs and Descriptions:
When loading content, make sure that you fill in all the area’s, IE: The name of the piece, the description and the ALT tag, as this allows for content to rank for different keywords and terms, as I’ve mentioned before in previous articles.
If your content is authentic and relevant to your audience, your keywords will naturally populate your content, Google has a myriad of checks in an algorithm, and keyword stuffing falls directly under their radar, so make sure your keywords are only mentioned 3-5 times in a copy.
- Tech Stack Compliance:
Now this one is a killer, there are so many web developers out there, all offering the most amaze graphic design and artwork, with no idea about SEO, search visibility, google algorithms, code & language, and how this affects search visibility. What I mean is this, if you go to a building contractor and say “build my shop here”, he is not going to enter into a conversation about foot trade and parking, entrances and exits to the roads is he? No, he is going to build what you tell him to. Same applies for web developers. Make sure your sites technology stack is Google friendly, if not, most of this list is probably obsolete for you.
Hmmm, yes the sitemap is very important, without this guy, Google spiders are lost, and the result is the site is literally “lost” in search results. The sitemap makes sure that all of the links and content on your site are indexed in a manner the bots understand and easy to find and follow, the low down dirty hack here is that it should be at the bottom footer on your website for a prime “crawlable” presence.
- Local SEO:
It’s not as hard as you think, and it’s not a dark art, it’s a geographical locational listing, called Google My Business. It’s a simple process: Go to your browser, search for Google My Business, and follow the instructions. Google will send you a personal code in the post, you go online to the address given and enter code, VIOLA! You can set up your business on Google.
- Site Speed & Mobile Readiness
Google are issuing a bright red “SLOW” tag to all sites that are too slow to load, this is very visible from search results especially from a mobile search. As you probably suspect this is in aid of mobile search, dominating search globally, so make sure your site loads fast and that it is either responsive, mobile or you have a mobi version. The dirty on this one is, make sure your site loads in milliseconds, and Google bots wont penalise your site in desktop or mobile search results.
These are what we call Accelerated Mobile Pages and these are pages that are designed to the mobile page’s load much faster, and now with the emphasis on speed and user experience, AMP’s will definitely have an influence on search results. If you’re a WordPress user, there is a plugin for AMP, check it out.
- Internal Search Data
This is a wealth of juicy data, the pot of gold, that will allow you to craft the content related to the user’s actual search terms on your site. Need I say more?
- Social Media
Social search is taking the globe by storm, and as I’ve mentioned in previous articles, Tweets can now be found in search results by adding a # to your search term. In Facebook the same applies, if you add a # to a term and a reader click’s on that, that user is taken to all the hash tagged content in that category and or topic! So use your social media platforms to generate site traffic and SERP’s, by staying on top of social media like Twitter, and having valuable share worthy content, you would have achieved what most hope for in search visibility.
As we can divulge, there really is no quick fix to SEO, no low down hacks, but there definitely are simple and effective processes one can do to have a positive effect on your SEO.