This month (September 2018) Google is celebrating its 20th birthday. To help this search engine giant throw a bit of a party I want to share 20 SEO tips with you to help Google love your website to bits!
It’s crazy to think 20 years ago when Google was created, I was about to turn 13. I was obsessed with Buffy the Vampire Slayer and I knew the song Never Ever by the All Saints, word for word. We also had one of those dial-up internet connections at home that everyone in the house could hear dialling up.
Wow times have definitely changed and there’s definitely no way I would have guessed that 20 years down the track, I’d be doing this. I don’t think we even talked about the internet during studying for my Bachelor of Communications. I guess my admiration of Buffy Summers and cats, may have been a slight precursor to my love of all things online and Google though.
For Google’s birthday, I am going to share some totally awesome SEO tips to help you get your website on track when it comes to attracting people to your website who are searching for businesses like yours online.
1. Optimise your metadata
Metadata is the snippet of words that show on the search result pages. This important content is the very first impression someone sees of your business and website when searching through Google. It’s made up of a title and description (Google can sometimes opt to show their own description based on the content on your page FYI). Adding a unique meta title to your web pages is vital and this title should accurately reflect what the page is about. It’s so important you optimise these, especially for pages you want people to click through to directly from the search result pages.
Ain’t nobody got time for a slow website! Shaving a few seconds off your page load times can make a huge difference between someone buying your product/contacting you and leaving your website to only go and do that on your competitor’s website. Speed is key for both desktop and mobile websites.
4. Optimise images
Images are typically one of the biggest culprits that slow a website down. They are also a great visual search tool for anyone searching on Google images. Therefore, make sure your images are as small as possible prior to uploading (under 100kb if possible), give them a relevant file name and add ALT text after uploading to your website.
5. Mobile Friendly
This should be no surprise. More and more people are searching from mobile devices. Which means your website needs to be accessible and usable by people on a mobile. Make sure to check your website regularly.
6. Website tracking
What is your website doing for you? If you’re throwing money at it, then it should be adding value to your business right? Using tracking, like Google Analytics, will help you see how people are finding your website and how they are interacting with it. From this data, you can then craft your digital strategy to get the best results from your investment.
7. Internal linking
The GoogleBot is a crawler which crawls websites to see how they are structured and what’s on them. With this information, it then adds your web pages to Google’s index. By adding internal links on your pages, like if I was to link to this post on SEO friendly blog post tips, it’ll help Google understand my website better and pass value between my web pages. The anchor text (words that you hyperlink) should be over words that explain to the user and Google, what they should expect to see on the linked page. Also, don’t forget to make sure people can see where your internal links are. Make them stand out.
8. Backlinks from other websites
When another website links to one of your pages, it’s like a vote of confidence in Google’s eyes. Therefore if you have a lot of relevant websites pointing links to your website, not only will you be getting referral traffic, but Google will think higher of you. You can obtain backlinks via media mentions, online business directories, guest posting and more!
A site: search is where you type into Google, site:grandcrudigital.com.au, but replace my domain with yours. By doing this, you’ll see all the pages on your website that are in Google’s index. From here you can check all your important pages are listed and also see how your metadata is looking.
11. Use Google Search Console
Google Search Console is a free tool from Google. It helps you understand how Google sees your website and if there are any red flags which may be hindering your performance. If Google has any important updates that may affect how your website is indexed, you’ll also get notifications in here.
12. Interesting, useful & easy-to-read content for your customers
Content is important to SEO because Google reads your content. But the key to having content that Google will love is that the content is useful, interesting and easy-to-read for your customers first and foremost. Make sure all the content on your website is written for your customers and that it will help them on their journey with your business.
13. Use heading tags
Heading tags are typically shown in content management systems as ‘heading 1’, ‘heading 2’ etc. The heading 1 on a page should be your main title, and subheadings in order of importance should be made as heading 2, 3, 4 etc. This helps to tell Google the hierarchical structure of your content.
14. Add structured data markup
Structured data is code that goes around your content. It tell’s Google directly what elements on your page are, such as an address, a phone number, a blog post, etc.
15. Structure your website pages
Most websites have a tree-like structure. Your homepage is the trunk and you have the main topics coming out of this and under these your sub-topics. In web-speak, we call these ‘subfolders’. Basically, all your content should be grouped into specific sections on your website.
16. Add breadcrumbs
Breadcrumbs are a small row of internal links typically at the top of the page under the main heading. They show where you are on the website. A user can then click to go back to the main topic or the homepage. Google also loves breadcrumbs as again it helps to explain the structure of the website to the GoogleBot.
17. Create a useful custom 404 page
Someone lands on a 404 error page when they click on a broken link. It’s best to try to avoid this at all costs, but it’s just one of those things that can happen. So it’s best to be prepared for it. By creating acustom 404 page it’ll help users navigate back to your website, hence, improving the user experience.
18. Simple and SEO friendly URLs
A URL is the website address for a particular page on your website. Where possible you want to keep these short and simple. If someone were to see the URL it should convey what they are going to see on the page. Avoid using unnecessary numbers and underscores (use hyphens instead).
19. Promote your website
If you’ve got a website and you’re actively making sure it’s the best thing since sliced bread, then make sure people know about it. Add it to your bio on your social media profiles, to your business cards and on business signage. You can even look at sending out email newsletters to let people know when you add new content to the website.
20. Read Google’s SEO Starter Guide
And last, but definitely not least. If you’re going to DIY SEO or you’re going to hire an SEO consultant to help you, make sure you/they have read Google’s SEO Starter Guide. This is the bible to SEO best practice and should be followed at all times.
I really hope these SEO tips help you get on the road to becoming great friends with Google. I’d also like to point out that I share plenty more tips on my social media channels. If you require an SEO consultant to help you with your website on an ongoing or one-off basis, then please don’t hesitate to get in contact today.
Casey is an absolute delight to work with. We've seen incredible results across our SEO and Google Ads, and would definitely recommend Grand Cru Digital. Casey really goes over and above for her clients. Thank you, Casey!
GLOW AND GIFTS
01:29 05 Oct 20
Casey is amazing!!1 month of working with her and I know it's going to be a successful partnership with her looking after our SEO. The communication is second to none and she always has answers for my (many) questions.The results from our first month working together have made me so excited to continue working with her, but also excited for the future SEO achievements I know the website will (now) make.Thank you so much Casey! You're a gem!
04:41 05 Aug 20
As a small family run online business, we have worked alongside Casey for many years and cannot speak highly enough of the service that she provides. This lady and her skill set are the reason we can sleep easier at night, knowing that our online presence is in the hands of someone so professional and personable, who gives 100% to what she does and has the results to show for it!
18:36 24 Jun 20
Awesoma and educational posts, nice personality <3
12:52 17 Jun 20
Although I have not yet used Casey's expert services, she is my go-to for knowledge, advice and SEO tips. She not only is amazing at what she does, she really knows how to run a good business.
05:12 08 May 20
Casey has been looking after my SME business SEO for more than 4 years, and I could not be happier with her efforts. She has been instrumental in growing our business, which she has come to know very well. She is on target with her suggestions, thoughts and ideas for us to continue to grow our online presence and we could not operate in the digital age without her expertise. Having Casey work 'side by side' with my business, allows me the time to get on with the business without the day to day time and worry of SEO. As far as I am concerned, Casey is an absolute star!
08:25 12 Feb 20
Casey is just the best. She always goes above and beyond and has helped me more times than I can count. The results I've seen since we've in the past year can be directly attributed to her efforts. She's a rock star. Highly highly recommend.
23:34 02 Jan 20
Casey is AMAZING. She always goes above and beyond what is asked for, she is super friendly and efficient. She has helped me set up google ads/analytics for my business and actually helped make sense of it all (not an easy task).
04:09 23 Dec 19
Working with Casey from Grand Cru Digital has been fantastic in continuing to enhance my on-line presence. Casey is innovative, knowledgeable, enthusiastic and incredibly efficient !
04:12 06 Dec 19
I originally came into contact with Casey through her blog the Travelling Corkscrew. Casey has been a great supporter of our businesses and has over the last several month given me lots of complimentary snippets of information that have greatly helped us improve our business, web presence and social media content. Casey is also just a really, really nice person! Looking for useful & meaning information give her a follow! You won't regret it. Kind regards Karen Civello @MrMustangHire and @MsMu5tang
09:17 24 Nov 19
Casey is a lifesaver! She's helped me on a couple of occasions now where my SEO needed a little TLC - she's thorough, detailed and super smart, and she absolutely knows Google inside out. Plus she's also the nicest person you will ever work with! If you have a small business I would highly recommend Casey as your SEO and Google Ads manager!
Clare Wood Coach
04:03 18 Nov 19
Casey is absolutely fantastic! She is knowledgeable and very thorough in her approach and really goes above and beyond. And she does it in a really friendly manner! I highly recommend Grand Cru Digital
05:12 04 Nov 19
So very happy with Casey's services for SEO on our new webpage. Casey went above and beyond to deliver us with the right targets for our audience and worked seamlessly between our project manager and website teams. We highly recommend Grand Cru Digital for all your SEO needs.
05:00 18 Sep 19
Very happy with Grand Cru Digital, so refreshing dealing with someone like Casey who is constantly proactive and creative to benefit your on line presence.
01:51 08 Aug 19
Casey at Grand Cru Digital is amazing! Efficient, effective and also friendly. Everything is executed promptly, results are shown and explained, accurate timeframes are advised and all done in a professional and caring manner. Thank you.
10:48 05 Aug 19
Casey is awesome! She knows her stuff and is a dream to work with! Highly recommend her services!
04:23 18 Jun 19
I highly recommend working with Casey if you need assistance with SEO & Google Adword campaigns. She was great to work with and knows her stuff. We are already seeing terrific results with my businesses online presence and brand awareness and l look forward to seeing this grow. I have learnt alot about SEO & Analytics in my time working with Casey which will be hugely benefitial...Thank you Casey you are a star!
03:47 13 May 19
Oh my god this women is seriously amazing! Thank you Casey for being such a pleasure to work with. Casey knows exactly what she is doing and was very happy to explain to me as if she was explaining it to a 5 year old haha cause I was way out of my depth. I'm so glad I paid for a service that was able to take control, give me exactly what I wanted and take away the stress. The extra bonus is how lovely Casey is and always willing to go the extra mile. Thanks Casey x
10:50 22 Apr 19
Casey has been wonderful to work with. She held our hand every step of the way and gave us so much information to manage our Google listing. With her knowledge and support we have managed to increase our online presence in an new location that we have been targeting. We couldn't recommend Grand Cru Digital highly enough. Thanks Casey!
00:06 27 Oct 18
Casey was a dream to work with - really efficient, incredibly informative. Huge relief to deal with someone competent in this area. Highly recommend! Thanks Casey!
Budget Self Pack Containers Info
04:15 26 Oct 18
Casey at Grand Cru Digital is extremely knowledgeable and experienced in providing SEO and online marketing support. She is brilliant to work with - she responds quickly to all queries and always provides well thought out strategies and suggestions. We have seen a marked increase in traffic to our site since having Casey advising us and her services are excellent value for money. We would highly recommend her to anyone wanting to improve their online presence.
02:18 25 Oct 18
Grand Cru Digital is fantastic to work with. Casey is pro-active, results driven and always making valuable suggestions to improve leads and traffic to our business. An excellent company to work with.
Clarity Essential Wellness
07:08 29 Aug 18
I didn't even know SEO existed till I spoke with Casey. A friend passed her detail on to me. After talking for about a minute I knew this girl was onto it. Casey explained the ins and outs of what she does and why I needed it. Honestly I had no idea about half of what she was saying, haha, but trusted her instantly. And that was one of the best decisions I made. This girl has opened my eyes to the world of GOOGLE. Casey works so hard behind the scenes to make sure everything is spot on. I cant thank her enough. She has quickly become someone I respect wholeheartedly but more importantly a great friend. I cant wait to see what she has in store next
01:36 30 Jun 18
Casey is very generous with her knowledge, extremely helpful and her customer service is second to none! Highly recommend for small businesses who want a personalised approach.
06:23 04 Jun 18
I hit a big problem with the traffic on my website, and every SEO specialist I spoke with wanted to sell me a big support package, whilst I felt I had a fire I needed to put out first. Casey suggested an SEO audit, and uncovered so much useful information in such a short space of time, and got everything back on track. She knows her stuff and was brilliant to work with.
Cat Haven WA
06:15 31 May 18
Casey from Grand Cru is efficient and so helpful! She helped us optimize our website at Cat Haven and walked us through what everything meant and how to complete each stage, resulting in a highly optimized site. She was also able to help apply for our Google Adwords grant and apply the grant so we now have our site showing right at the top of Google search pages. Fantastic service, great result -so happy and highly recommend.
Renee Brown Brown
02:51 31 May 18
Casey is terrific at what she does, one quick audit, and we were ranking organically on first page ! No google ad spend (yet- we might do that later) we couldn’t be more pleased.We are ranking higher than some of the “big boys” in our market.Thanks Casey!
06:03 15 May 18
Casey from Grand Cru Digital is amazing! Her expert knowledge of SEO and GOOGLE is second to none! Casey helps you to grow your business online, whilst providing a personalised service you can trust! Thanks Casey for all your help! I have loved having you as my new online marketing specialist!