Firstly I am no expert in the field of SEO. Yes, I maybe a designer and help develop and design websites but typically an SEO specialist will come in to develop this side.
However, like many I don't have the personal funds to pay for a SEO specialist on my own website and blog. So, I got learning and following guides on the internet and this is a mine field! Many say different things and have various methods to develop your ranking. The majority of the articles but a small handful have been honest in that it takes time and lots of it! So, this is your warning, you will need time and patience. Building your rank and traffic to your site won't happen at the flick of a button. It won't happen over night either it will take months before you see a real difference and that's just the beginning of it. You need to keep up the content and keep plugging away but it will be worth it in the end.
This is all free as well! I don’t use an AdWords or put money in to my SEO, the only thing is my personal time and website fees. What I can’t stress enough is, don’t rush to get something published, it may only do damage than good.
Now with that major point out the way let's get in with what you came here to read. Some top points to help develop your website's SEO and bring in more traffic.
Use Fetch as Google (Now the Search Console) and Bing Webmaster tools.
Use the Webmaster tools and keep track of your income traffic to your site as well as submitting new pages to the search engines. You are basically telling Google and Bing to look over here at your lovely new page and instructing them to crawl that page/site sooner, rather than when they might ordinarily do otherwise.
Don't ignore Bing!
It's not all about Google, yes it might be the king of search engines but did you know Bing is the main engine below Windows 10 and accounts for some 33% of all searches. That's a lot! Why ignore a third of something? You wouldn’t leave a third of your meal or cake for that matter? It doesn't take that much more effort to submit to Google and Bing and you're hitting a wider audience. Bing Webmaster is also the platform to roll out through Yahoo and many other search engines. Except Ask. Ask doesn’t do anything…Helpful I know.
Don’t forget about old posts.
It's nice to have fresh new content rolling out but ensure old content is still performing, keep tags updated. Go back and add updates if necessary. Personally speaking, my reviews I write, I will typically go back and add a new parts. For example, a review in Summer for hiking shoes, I will then add in a new Winter section to see how they perform out of season. This then gives me an opportunity to share and bring more traffic in again.
Metadata... Keywords, categories. You get the idea.
Don't ignore it! It's easy to upload 100s of photos to your site but without proper tagging no one will find them. Much the same as on Social media so why would you do it on your website?
What is this firstly? It's where a website points or references your site essentially creating a link between the two. A better term is a referral link. Consider guest writing for other channels or collaborate with someone to create content. Last year I worked with Time to Log Off, Click and Learn Photo and the obvious two Vanguard Photo and Snugpak. All of which we worked together to create content for one another.
SEO titles, descriptions, Headline tags, excerpts.
Ensure you have them set up. Not only does it help your readers understand but the search engines bots can understand it too and makes there life's easier to crawl a page.
Patience, again I can't say this enough.
It will take time it's taken a year of hard work and building but now my website is ticking over a tidy few thousand visitors a month. To keep this traffic of course I need new content to keep the traffic coming but doing all of the above has helped a great deal.
We may not like it but it helps drive traffic and generate engagement. It's easier to engage with brands and share content this way. If you don't use it. You maybe find traffic might be a harder to drive traffic to your site. BUT don’t pour your all in to social media. For example, my websites CTR from social is only 15% a year so I’m not going to spend more than a few hours a month on this area of traffic.
This won’t help your SEO but your readers/visitors to your site will appreciate the honesty. Transparency notices and disclosures.
Are you selling anything on your website through affiliate links or are you brand ambassador or promote products, even reviewing? Then you should have a transparency notice or at least make it obvious its an advert, you work for said company and so on. Did you know in the UK you need to abide by the CMA. You may have seen about celebrities and brands being fined and taken to court as their posts could be breaking consumer laws. Back in September the ASA released a helpful guide for influencers and brands working online how to declare an ad is an ad. It’s surprising still but 80% of people I follow who are ambassadors and share content for the brands still do not have disclosures or abide by these guides.
Finally, use an SEO audit/Website health tool.
There are many free tools to use on the internet but I find the best and most comprehensive which is easy to use and understand with no knowledge is Nibbler. This will help you with SEO pointers, titles, social media and image sizes as it crawls your website to give you a full audit on how your website will perform from a Search engine and visitors perspective.
I didn’t get to no.1 spot for search on Google and Bing for Vanguard Photo UK and Snugpak brand ambassador over night. It took me months to build up the ranking. In addition a number of my reviews are ranked no.1, top 5 or on the first page of Google and Bing, which again didn’t happen over night. Keywords, back linking and social media has helped build this up, on average each review consists of 1000 words, 8 photos, 1 video and multiple links to websites and channels. Essentially each page is full of valuable information for readers and Search engine bots, showing its a trusty and reliable source. So you can’t cram keywords anymore, content is king as it should be (1 paragraph won’t compete against an essay).