How To Do Organic SEO Well
If you’re wondering “how can I improve my SEO organically?” – you’re not alone. As we pointed out in our recent blog on using PPC effectively, getting found on Google is one of the most important things you can do for your business. But with so many companies competing for attention online, making yours stand out – not just for a few weeks, but consistently over a long period – can be a real challenge.
Here, we delve into the sometimes dark art of search engine optimisation, looking at how to maximise your SEO and use it to improve your brand reach.
However, first it’s important to get clear on the term ‘SEO.’ Specifically, how it compares to the other popular way to get seen online, pay per click advertising (often called simply PPC).
What is better, SEO or PPC?
The real answer to this is they both have their strengths and weaknesses. So it really depends on what you need from your search results.
PPC is a quick hit that can get your products and services seen quickly in the paid-for ad spaces at the top of Google search results. However, PPC can also be a loss leader if done badly by bidding on ineffective keywords. It’s especially suitable when you have a limited-time promotion or need a launch to land with a bang.
Search engine optimising your website organically meanwhile works over the longer term and, when done correctly, can help you appear high in Google’s organic search results just below the paid-for ad spaces. It can take time for Google’s ‘web spider’ to crawl your site and rank it for the search terms you want, but the upside is it’s inherently free, and adds significantly to your business’s credibility when you rank highly by organic means.
Both SEO and PPC have their place, but a solid SEO strategy is foundational and can, in some circumstances, negate the need for a costlier PPC one. Conversely, a PPC strategy that targets all the right keywords can still be undermined by a poorly designed website which hasn’t been optimised effectively. You might want to use PPC occasionally, then, but you need an effective SEO strategy.
With that in mind, here we’ll be sharing how to do SEO well, with a real focus on the solid fundamentals that we’ve found can count for so much.
How to improve your SEO: five top tips
While a truly definitive guide on how to be better at SEO could stretch to days of reading, these are some universally successful strategies we use daily here at One2create on both ours and our clients’ websites.
1. Write each page to include relevant keywords
Getting found on Google starts with the words you choose across every page of your site. The actions to take here include:
- Incorporating a handful of highly searched, highly relevant key phrases into body copy: You can use Google’s keyword planner to target the most well-searched and applicable search terms. If you’re eagle-eyed and thorough, you might spot some particularly popular ones that have a low level of competition. Take those and write each landing page, blog post, news story and more using the ones relevant to the page’s subject matter.
- Getting your H1 tags right: Your H1 tag is the very first title on the page and the first thing Google looks at to establish the page’s content. Those keywords or key phrases you found for the body copy? Use at least one of those here, too. As a firm rule, you should only have one H1 tag per page.
- Optimising SEO titles and meta descriptions: Your site’s H1 tag and its SEO title aren’t the same thing, but the latter should contain the text from the former. One of the quickest tips we can offer on how to improve your SEO quickly is to make sure this is the case, while keeping the SEO title under 60 characters (including spaces) – including your website’s title. This allows the title to show in search results, without getting cut off abruptly.Your meta descriptions meanwhile are the explainer text that appears underneath the title in a Google search result. While they don’t (currently) contribute directly to your search placement, they can have a big impact on click-throughs. Be brief but offer all the context you can with these – without going over 160 characters.
2. Link your social channels and post on them regularly
Another important top tip for how to maximise your SEO is to produce content regularly. If you don’t, Google might think you’ve gone out of business and stop prioritising your brand in search results. Yet while this might seem obvious for your website, what people know less about is that Google actually treats your social accounts and website as one entity in many important ways. So, if you have a Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or LinkedIn page and they’re linked to from your site, make sure you post updates on them at least several times a week.
Conversely, because social is so important for your SEO score, we’d suggest focusing only on the ones most relevant for your business, content, and audience. Empty channels with months between posts look bad to Google, so you’d be better off deleting any you aren’t using and doubling down on the ones you are.
3. Set up your local schema tags
Our third piece of advice on how to do organic SEO well involves setting up the info in your site’s back end that tells Google (and other search engines, like Bing and Yahoo) where your company is physically based and the geographical area your business serves. It can also tell search engines the kind of work you do, the kinds of products you make/sell, and the kind of organisation you are or the kinds of events you run. Not sure where to start? Learn more about Schema at the Moz website.
This can be an especially good approach if you have different areas of your business and a limited budget. For instance, if you offer several different services and one of them needs more exposure, you can flip to investing in your PPC for that area. It’s a little like advertising on TV even if you already have a well-known successful product, because TV gives credibility with the brand. PPC ads appearing at the top of a Google search can function in much the same way.
4. Keep tabs on your competition
Once you’ve set up your Schema you’ll be ready to be found online by people near you. However, you can also bet your competition has done that, too. Our fourth top tip on how to maximise your SEO is to research your competition, know who they are, and see what they’re doing both well and not so well. By doing this and continuing to keep an eye as they adapt and evolve their web presence, you’ll be well placed to adapt in kind and keep above them in the search rankings.
5. Do your regular SEO tasks and review them often
The monthly tasks we at One2create recommend for good SEO behaviour include:
- Keeping your site up to date: This can mean updating things like plugins, themes, or equivalents in your back end CMS (content management system) to make sure you’re running on the fastest, most fully-featured and most hack-proofed form of software available to your site
- Reviewing your keyword performance: This requires specialist tools like SEM Rush, which often come with a monthly subscription fee
- Link building: Literally getting other trusted sites that operate in an equivalent space to link to your pages. This shows search engines that your content is valued by other trusted brands and influencers, raising your credibility along with your spot in search results
- Researching recent SEO changes: Google is constantly changing its search algorithms, which means you’ll need to stay on top of the relevant best practices if you want to be found by thousands of people over a long period. A great example is the Core Web Vitals rollout that happened in 2021, which businesses spent months preparing their sites for.
Helping you get found on Google
To sum up this article in a nutshell, the biggest advice we can offer if you’re investigating how to improve your SEO is to:
- Set your site up for success to best practices
- Constantly stay on top of monitoring changes
- Adapt as quickly as you can when Google or your competition throws a curveball
- And absolutely NEVER leave the SEO side of things unattended. (the web is fast-moving, and any early SEO successes you encounter are highly unlikely to keep playing out on autopilot).
Of course, if all of that sounds like a lot of work to do alongside your day job… that’s because it is!
However, that’s also where we come in.
Our experienced team has the digital tools and SEO know-how to take your SEO from strength to strength. So why not let us do it for you?
Take a look at our SEO page or the blogs below to find out more, or get in touch for a more specific chat about how we can help your business to get found on Google.