Optimisation… it’s the keyword in the term Search Engine Optimisation (SEO); it’s the Holy Grail of achieving online search success; it’s the difference between being found in search engines and lagging behind on pages two, three or, dare we say it, oblivion. 
Did you know that of the millions of internet users in the UK, 92.44% search via Google? Yes, there are other search engines available, Yahoo! and Bing are just two more in the UK, but it’s fair to say most people use Google. So, this gives you a good idea of how important optimisation is for business success and why it’s crucial to get it right. 
 Top SEO Tips 
If you run a small business, aren’t particularly technically minded or don’t have much time to study the ins and outs of SEO, don’t worry. Here are our top SEO (optimisation) tips that will get you well on the way to reaching that golden first-page position in SERPs – that’s Search Engine Results Pages if you didn’t know. 
Would you be happy to link back to your website? None of the optimisation techniques you implement will be particularly effective if you don’t have a website you would be happy to link back to. If you don’t want to, then it’s highly likely other authoritative sites won’t want to either. So, audit your website thoroughly and make the necessary changes. Then build your internal and external links. 
Make use of your alt tagswe all know that visuals are far more effective in grabbing customer attention than reams of text. But Google is just an algorithm, and it loves text – it can’t read images and videos. So, you must tell Google precisely what each image and video on our website represents so it can understand and rank your business (we’ll come to ranking shortly). 
Don’t forget your metadata what we’ve said above about your images and videos needs to be applied to your website pages. So, all your page titles and content must incorporate your metadata. You must include the relevant keywords within that metadata, but make sure it is natural and not forced – Google spots that! 
Get keyword savvy talking of keywords, Google’s algorithm is clever these days. That means you need to be savvier when choosing your keywords. It’s no longer enough to just add the keyword/phrase ‘websites’. It’s a competitive world, so you need to be more specific, like ‘websites in Windsor’, ‘website designer near me’ or ‘custom built websites’. However, at all costs, avoid keyword stuffing and the use of invisible text – Google won’t like that at all! 
It’s a cliché, but content really is kingthe content you post online, be it your website, social media platforms, directories, videos, or anything else, has to be relevant, authoritative and targeted. It must deliver value, be engaging, and be educational; it must be content that your audience and website visitors want to share with others. 

What free tools can I use for SEO? 

The good news is that you don’t have to pay expensive subscriptions to access a wide range of useful SEO tools. There are plenty of great free SEO tools you can use, including: 
Google Keyword Planner Not sure which keywords and key phrases you should be incorporating into your content? This handy free tool will search the latest volume trends and the historical data of different keywords and phrases. 
Google Search Console – a great tool that allows you to monitor your website for server errors, site loading problems and other issues that may occur. 
Google Trendsanother useful keyword research tool but it also helps you identify the latest trend variations and discover how stable that search term is. 
Google Analyticsno website should be without this fantastic free tool which gives you valuable insights into activity on your website, including visitor numbers and conversions. If you haven’t upgraded to GA4 (Google Analytics 4), now’s the time to do so, as Universal Analytics (UA), the current version, is being phased out next year. 
ScreamingFrogwhilst this is a paid-for platform, they do have a free version which is good for reporting broken links, duplicate content, as well as missing titles and descriptions. are a way of labelling your blog post and grouping similar blog themes under the same heading, making them easy for the reader to search for. I usually add 2 or 3 tags per post and they should be one to three words long. Don’t use more than six tags per post. No need to hashtag or to add several tags around this same topic. 

What are Google’s ranking criteria? 

The next crucial step in maximising optimisation and reaching the first page of SERPs is understanding Google’s ranking criteria. This is a list of attributes that Google’s search bots look for to match against a user’s search query. 
The algorithm’s bots will crawl every page of every website, every post on every social media platform, every image or video, and any other online content to find the most relevant information related to a search query. In addition, those web crawlers then store that information for later searches – clever! Now you understand the importance of your alt text and metadata. 
Once the bots have gathered all the relevant content from your website pages and other content, they will index it by relevance to the search query. At this point, your content is ranked by Google according to relevance, authority, usefulness and many more factors; in fact, there are over 210 known Google ranking factors! But let’s focus on the most important ones you need to know about. 
High-quality content 
We said content is king and does matter. It’s not just about the quality of the content either, although that is important. The length of content is also a key part of ranking highly. Neil Patel’s study revealed a link between content length and page one Google search positions. 
These are one of the most prominent ranking criteria for Google. The more authoritative the backlinks you have (that’s other leading authority companies/people linking back to your website), the higher the potential to reach the giddy heights of top positions in SERPs 
It’s all about the speed 
The faster your website loads across any device or computer, including images and videos, the better the ranking. You have just 3 seconds for your website to load correctly before you potentially drop down the ranking list. 
Are you mobile-friendly? 
Yes, your website must be mobile-friendly, too. 61% of users won’t return to a website that isn’t mobile-friendly – that’s a statistic you really can’t ignore. 
Keywords are key 
Optimising your keywords is a sure way to get noticed by Google’s bots. That said, overuse of keywords of Black Hat SEO could lead to Google penalising you. 
Other criteria you need to consider are domain authority, website structure, navigation, and search intent. 
We take SEO and website optimisation seriously at It’seeze Windsor, a website design company that delivers professional web design and landing pages you can trust. We understand its importance to your business’s success and incorporate it as part of our ongoing support package. We also offer a free Website Health Check that will decipher the areas where improvements can be made. Call us today to create the website of your dreams and turn your business into a success. 
We look forward to hearing from you. 
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