Are you a website owner who, would like to have a greater insight to your own website keyword rankings but you don’t know where to start?
Well I’m going to guide you through how to get your site ranking better and give you an insight to the tools us professionals use to manage SEO.
Achieving strong SEO rankings for websites is a complex process in a competitive marketplace and generally requires a dedicated SEO professional to complete this work for you, however the good news is, as a website owner, there are many things you can do without an SEO expert to assist your site’s organic rankings.
So here’s my SEO DIY guide to achieve organic rankings for your website:-
Selecting keywords for SEO
First things first! What are the keywords you want your site to rank under? Think like your clients think. What would they type into a Google search when looking for businesses like yours?
Now you need a good SEO tool to help analyse the best keyword combinations. You want to choose a SEO tool which shows you variations on the keywords you have selected, whilst also showing you the keyword search volumes, meaning the number of times each keyword is searched. When selecting your keyword, you want to choose a combination of keywords with large search volumes but also some niche keywords with lower search volumes. The reason for this is that keywords with lower search volumes will be less competitive and therefore, most likely, easier for you to rank under.
In terms of a reliable and easy to use SEO tool, personally, for my clients I use a tool called SE Ranking. There are a lot of others you can choose from, however for me, I find SE Ranking has access to excellent and reliable keyword ranking reports and auditing reports with an easy to use interface. At $5 AUD per month with no annual contract it’s a bit of a no brainer … or you can just use their free 14 day trial however you’re going to want to track your keyword rankings over a longer period of time and we’ll discuss this in a minute but now you have your keywords you need to run a website audit.
Essential to your site’s performance is that your website’s SEO set up is optimised correctly without any errors or issues which may be causing blocks in your site’s communication back to the search engines. SEO is all about ensuring your website is feeding the correct information back to search engines. Right now, if your site is not ranking, it is probably because you have your front door closed and the blinds down … it’s time to open the door and let the search engines know you’re open for business!
The first step to assessing and resolving any issues is to generate an SEO audit report on your website. An audit can be automatically generated via a good search engine analysis tool and will automatically assess all the important SEO factors required to allow search engines to find your website and provide recommendations on what needs to be improved.
These factors include:
- Domain overview
- Website health check
- Page analysis
- Meta analysis
- Content analysis
- Links analysis
- Image analysis
- Optimisation across all devices
If you are using SE Ranking, run the website audit and start working your way through the results. Your audit will give you an overview as a % showing you just how much or little work needs to be done on your SEO setup. You may need to go through some of the results with your website developer but as a starting point have a look at the “health check” overview before going through your pages analysis, images analysis and meta analysis. For the moment this is where you should focus your attention as these are updates you can manage yourself. You’ll need access to your website CMS and if you don’t know how to add an image alt information, or meta data, just ask your website developer and they should be able to let you know. I provide my clients with training videos showing them how to do these updates, so if you run a WordPress or Joomla website, send me an email and I can provide you a training video.
Keeping track of your keyword rankings
Keeping track of your keyword rankings is easier than you think but what you need to remember is SEO is a long term and ongoing strategy for your website. Rankings don’t happen overnight and your rankings will fluctuate. You need to focus on your rankings improvement over time, rather than day to day. Personally, I work on a month by month basis with my clients so that they can see improvements over each month. When a site is first starting to rank, the rankings my go up one day and then decrease the next however generally you want to see an increase over the month when the month is looked at as a whole.
To measure your rankings you, again, need a good SEO tool which will keep track of this for you. Your ranking tool should show you your daily rankings plus your rankings over a time period you choose. When using SE Ranking I can view my client’s website rankings in a table and a graph for the past 4 days and I can generate reports showing me any date range. Generally I look at the past month and then the entire duration that we have been working on the site’s SEO.
This is by no means a comprehensive guide to SEO and it is not meant to be. This is a starting point. Before moving onto other aspects of SEO you need to create a strong foundation for your website’s SEO. You are looking for long term and lasting SEO results and this is the best place to start. I’ll cover more specific SEO strategies in another blog soon!
SSL Certificates are the backbone of securing websites and protecting your data and sensitive information as it is being transmitted.
SSL Certificates are essential for protecting your website. They provide privacy, critical security and data integrity for both your website and your websites users’ personal information.
Back in 2014, as part of their effort to promote a more secure Internet for all Google called for “HTTPS everywhere”. They further encourage websites to use SSL certificates by giving preferential search engine rankings to websites with SSL certificates active.
This month with the release of the latest version of Chrome, Google introduced a new warning message for all non-HTTPS websites and the browser now marks all sites without SSL certificates as “not secure”. As a website owner this is a huge deterrent to your online customers.
What is an SSL?
An SSL Certificate (Secure Sockets Layer), creates a secure link between your website and your users browser. The SSL Certificate encrypts data being passed between the two therefore preventing hackers from stealing your clients sensitive information such as credit card numbers, email addresses etc.
When you add an SSL certificate to your site, you’ll be changing your domain name from “http://sitename” to “https://sitename.”
This change will happen automatically for you and all traffic will be automatically redirected from your unsecure http:// address to your secure https:// address.
All web browsers give a visual cue as to whether a website is secured by an SSL or not. You’ve probably noticed a lock icon or a green bar, to make sure visitors know when their connection is secured.
When customers see the green lock, or secure text next to your website URL they know they can trust your website and that their data is secure. This is not only essential for ecommerce sites but any website which collects customer data … even if only via an on-line contact form.
85% of Online Shoppers Avoid Unsecured Websites
SEO Advantages of SSL Certificates
Following Google’s recommendation for all websites to install SSL certificates will not only benefit your website security but can also provide SEO benefits. Let’s have a look at these:
1. Improved Rankings
Google has specifically stated it will provide prefer search rankings to HTTPS sites over HTTP sites.
2. Referral Data
Google Analytics becomes even more useful with HTTPS since unlike HTTP, the security data of the website that referred to you is saved–meaning that referral sources won’t appear just as “direct traffic.” For SEO alone, this gives HTTPS an edge.
3. Security and Privacy
SSL Certificates provide security for both website owners and their users. This security helps you avoid monetary losses, data theft and damage to your website’s reputation.
What does an SSL cost?
The cost of an SSL certificate is generally under $100 annually and you will most likely have a small installation cost.
How do I get an SSL?
Setting up an SSL certificate on your website is an easy process however this will need to be completed by your web developer or server as it requires access to your site’s files and hosting. SSL certificates can be set up quickly and once active need to be renewed annually.
Need a hand?
Feel free to contact me and I will assist setting up an SSL Certificate on your website or leave any questions & comments below.