Choosing SEO services?
SEO services have a long and not always illustrious history. Way back in the dark ages of the internet (around 2009 or there abouts) it was possible to trick Google’s algorithm into showing your page at the top of the results. Less scrupulous organisations – known as Black hat SEO companies – took advantage of these tricks to push their clients’ pages to the top of the results.
Inevitably, Google eventually became wise to these tactics and in response they introduced ranking penalties. Sites that used black hat link building techniques were pushed down the Google results. In extreme cases Google removed sites from the results altogether.
These changes are good news for sensible businesses. Build a good website, write the content well in a way that is helpful to your visitors, and the search engines will be happy. However, there are still a number of things that you can do to make your website more ‘Google Friendly’. These steps are a world away from the ‘Black Hat’ techniques of old. In fact, some of them come from Google’s own guidance to webmasters.
Write clear, useful content
Google likes websites that people like. Actually, it’s a bit more complicated than that but those six words are a good place to start when you’re writing a new page. The first tip in the Google document we linked to is ‘Give visitors the information they’re looking for’. We couldn’t put it any more simply.
Every page on your website should be useful and relevant. Avoid using flowery and technical language and resist the urge to keyword stuff. Dropping the search term you want to rank for in the middle of your articles doesn’t work anymore. By all means include your search terms where it makes sense, but writing clumsy, awkward sentences to fit them in is a waste of effort.
A good way to tell if your writing is hitting the mark is to use the Yoast plugin. We run all of our pages and posts through Yoast before they go live (including this one!).
Use Schema Markup
This is where companies offering SEO services are worth their weight in gold. Use Schema markup, which is is a type of code that tells Google more about your website and your business. For example, if you’re a business then you can use schema to let Google know your address and opening hours. Using the Schema markup will increase the odds of your site appearing higher in the results for local search terms. You can find the full list of Schema local business markup on the Schema website.
Use paid advertising
Writing about paid search engine marketing in an article about SEO services might seem like an odd thing to do but hear us out. AdWords is about much more than what company is willing to pay the most money. Google will sell you website visits for much less money if your page has a good quality score. This means that you’ll be able to buy much more good quality traffic for less money.
Google decides your quality score using similar algorithms to the ones that decide where your website appears in its organic results. Therefore, by witting good content, using schema and following our other SEO tips you’ll improve your quality score and reduce your costs when it comes to paid advertising online.
If this all sounds a little daunting then worry not. We’d be happy to review your website completely free of charge and give you a few pointers. Just request one of our free website reviews. You’ll receive your free, bespoke review within a week – it’s a fantastic starting point for improving your website’s ranking and making plans for what you might do better in your digital marketing in 2017.