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By Carl Heaton

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is vitally important to the future of your business. I cannot stress that enough. Having correct SEO practices on your website will ensure that you are seen by the right people, and thus create conversions down your sales funnel. Without correct SEO, well, let’s just say that as the phrase goes:

“The best place to hide a dead body is on page two of Google”

Making improvements to your SEO is not as hard as you think it may be either. We all know it needs to be done, but finding the starting point can sometimes be tricky.

To help you to improve your sales funnel and overall SEO capabilities, here is a handy checklist of 10 ways to improve your SEO in under ten minutes. We are all busy people, and time is precious, so get going right now and get your SEO up to scratch!

1. Writing specific content for a search term you wish to target

You have heard of the term, “Content is King” by Bill Gates? Another very wise man, Carl Heaton (of Web Courses Bangkok), teaches that “Context is Queen”, and he is very right.

Google has recently updated its algorithm with a whole new package, called BERT.
BERT (or Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers to his friends) has been designed to understand language and apply it to the search process on a deeper level than ever before. This means that your content needs to reflect the search term that you are aiming for.

For example:

bert before and after

Here the word “to” changes the context of the query. It means that the query is about people traveling TO the USA and not the other way around. BERT enables Google to grasp the context of a search and pull up relevant pages and content.

Sloppy or badly written content will not be picked up by Google’s crawlers, which means that BERT cannot help your page rank if your content does not reflect its context.

What you are looking for here is direct answers. So if you write your content clearly enough for Google to recognize it as an answer to a particular question, it will show up directly beneath the search bar.

For example:

digital marketing health checkup

This article was written with the intention of being picked up on searches for its content. The main search terms here were “digital marketing checklist” and “online health checklist”. As you can see, they are very prevalent in the content. The question here would be “how do I do a full online health checklist?”

2. Use Google My Business to improve local ranking

GMB, or Google My Business is a very cool little tool to whack your SEO scores right up. Not only does Google love sites that are integrated with its family of software, but it also tries to match people to nearby services.
This link links back to a superb article all about how you use GMB to improve your business’s SEO. But in the meantime, I will break it down quickly for you.

Making sure that your business has a GMB profile is essential to being found by local searches. It gives you access to a wide range of utilities and greatly improves the impact of your search results. In order to really make use of GMB, you need to:

  • Enter complete business information beyond just NAP. If you are confused, NAP stands for Name, Address and Phone Number. Obviously, all businesses need to have this, but to really be seen you need to totally complete your profile. Add in your work hours, install Google Maps, take the time to fill in all the little bits.
    This article has great info on what NAP is and how it affects SEO. Linking your location to your website using Google Maps and all the other Google utilities means that Google will rank you higher.
  • Verify your locations. The verification process may be a bit tedious, but it is very necessary. Google needs to verify that you are indeed where you say you are. This gives your site more credit and means that it will rank higher than unverified sites.
  • Verify your locations. The verification process may be a bit tedious, but it is very necessary. Google needs to verify that you are indeed where you say you are. This gives your site more credit and means that it will rank higher than unverified sites.
  • Keep your NAP information and opening hours accurate and consistent. Consistency is also King. there are a lot of royals in this whole SEO business! If you have social media linked to your website, ensure that all info is the same across all platforms.
  • Respond to your customers’ reviews. Always respond to your audience on your GMB profile. Whether it is bad or good, you need people to know that you are contactable and really care about them as customers.
  • Add high-quality images of your business. Images are another part of the SEO royal family. Good quality images make your business more relatable and give customers a sense of who you are.

For example

These guys made great use of a high-quality image to showcase their bar, and show that it is open and inviting.

bearweather

3. Use Videos

 

seo video

 

Videos are incredibly underrated when it comes to improving your SEO Google loves videos and will rank sites that have them higher than those that don’t. When you have videos on your site, the bounce rate decreases because people stay to watch the vid. Of course, all videos have to be relevant. You cant put cute cat videos on just to keep the bounce rate low.

Also, did you know that Youtube video backlinks and keywords can rank on Youtube searches in 24 hours?

However, it is important that you

✓ Use the right video hosting platform. YouTube and Vimeo are the main hosting options, but you should be aware that there may be a better option for your specific product. Be sure to do the research.

✓ Create a great video transcript. Checking out what a video is about before it plays is very important. Be sure that all of your videos have good transcripts so that people don’t waste time.

✓ Be sure to have an engaging thumbnail. Remember that you have under 3 seconds to get their attention. Make sure that your video’s thumbnail tells the whole story at a glance.

✓ Make sure that your video’s title and description are good representations of the content of the video.

✓ Make sure your video is relevant to the rest of the content of the page. Google will know if you try and attract users with cute videos that have nothing to do with your content.

✓ Embed your video that you want to be ranked first at the top of the page.

Remember, all websites can get ranked. Not all websites can get ranked in the videos tab. It is much easier to get your site ranked in the videos tab then in the universal tab.

 

4. Check your links

Junk links and disavows can have some seriously bad impacts on your site’s SEO rankings. A site that receives thousands of keyword-optimized anchor text links from other normal sites may raise flags and be subjected to a hand review.

  • Building high quality internal links are often overlooked as a way to improve your backlinking. Link the pages of your site back to the home page.
  • Place these links in the form of CTA’s. That will improve the bounce rate.
  • Make use of a broken link checker, like this one for WordPress. It’s a great way to keep track of all of your links, all of the time.

5. Keywords in copy

It may sound obvious, but use keywords in your copy. They need to be well researched, relevant keywords that show un not only in the body of the copy but the headings too.

google analytics tutorial

For example:

This article uses keywords very well in both its headlines and its body copy. Obviously, the main one is “Google Analytics Tutorial”, which you can see is peppered all over the place.

Some points to remember when using keywords, however:

  • Headings and page names are most important. Make sure that your headings have a good amount of keywords for Google to pick up. Page names too. Name all of your pages carefully and correctly.
  • Keyword stuffing doesn’t work anymore, but quality content does. Gone are the days when we could stuff relevant keywords into every second sentence in order to get Google’s attention. Now you have to write decent content that still includes the keywords, but doesn’t make it unreadable
  • Focus on the phrases your customer will be searching for. Eg: How to build an eco-friendly birdhouse.
  • Title tags are the online equivalent of newspaper headlines. Check your title tags, make sure they are working, and keep them up to date.
  • Check your meta description! Meta descriptions are often overlooked. Don’t be that guy who says “meh, I will do them later.” Do them now!

6. Labeling photos

Another simple little thing that often gets overlooked. Be sure to give your images the correct alt text, and that they are correctly labeled. This will automatically improve your SEO. Google likes everything to be orderly, and this includes neatly labeled images.

Google’s brand new interface for image searches was released at the end of 2018. It now has much more context when searching for images. This means that if your images are correctly labeled the stand a chance of coming up on the image search.

via GIPHY

Here I feel I need to mention GIF’s. GIF’s have exploded in popularity recently, and with good reason. If a person likes your GIF and wants to use it, they have to use a link, as I did above. That is also obviously great for your SEO. So get those GIF’s on!

Did you know that Pinterest is now classified as a search engine?

 

statustics

 

That’s right, the more you get your images Pinned, the more they will show up in a Google search. So be sure that your images are labeled, relevant, good quality, and Pinnable!

7. Sign up and integrate with Google tools (search console, analytics, tags manager etc)

Google likes Google. That means that the more your website is integrated with Google’s vast array of tools and utilities, the more it will rank. Be sure that you have:

  • Install Google Maps
  • Install Google My Business
  • Install Google Analytics
  • Check to see what other neat little tools Google has produced that will help your specific site and niche.

8. Using the Bucket Brigade copywriting technique

The hoozy what now? The Bucket Brigade copywriting technique is a sneaky little way to get readers to jump to the next paragraph without even noticing. This is an old school technique that was originally designed to keep people reading boring sales copy.

And it’s still relevant now!

In fact, I just used it. Let’s see how:

 

That above image has two examples of Bucket Brigade in it. Can you see them?

Basically, it’s all about using colons in your writing and causing the reader’s eye to flow down the page. Pausing to actually read the lines. This increases Time On Page astronomically, which makes Google happy.

Here is another example:

niche topic

And there you go, it’s that easy! Improve your Time On Page results, and make Google love your page more than one who has a huge drop off rate.

9. Link your site to social media

Linking your site to social media is incredibly important. When Google sees that someone likes a brand on a social network, they’re more likely to show them results from that brand or from personal contacts that they have. Be very sure that clear links are visible all over your site, to as many social media profiles as possible.

For Example:

As you can see at the bottom of the page, The Web Courses Bangkok website has a number of social media links. All of which work and are relevant. Google loves this!

 

social media links

 

10. Get blogging!

Google loves freshness. Stale, boring websites will never rank as high as constantly updating ones. Be sure that your images are getting updates, and create a blog page if you don’t already have one. One blog per week should be fine, but, of course, the more the merrier.

 

wcb blog

 

This is our blog page. We update all the time, and it keeps our site fresh and Google happy.
In fact, here is a link to our blog page, that has a large number of very good articles for you to read.

Conclusion

So what have we learned? The fact is that SEO isn’t optional anymore. You NEED to be able to follow at least the basics of SEO best principles. To really get converts down your funnel you need to really understand how SEO works. After all, there is no point in creating the world’s best sales funnel if no one can see it.

Remember that nearly 75% of searchers start their searches on Google. If you aren’t using this, you are missing out. SEO results can take up to 6 months to show, so best you get onto it ASAP! Start with using all of the above tips, and keep your eyes peeled for more great SEO marketing articles from us.

Remind yourself you are in it for the long run and it’s all part of how to become a digital marketer. Happy Marketing!

 

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About The Author

Carl

He is our senior instructor and originally from Manchester UK. Carl teaches our Web Design and Online Marketing Courses.