Just like those little touches that go into creating the perfect meal, there are a handful of SEO ingredients that have a huge impact on the way that websites appear in the search engine results pages. And, just like those little touches that go into creating the perfect meal, it’s the small touches that are the ones that can have the biggest impact on the outcome.
Search engine optimization is one of the most difficult (and confusing) aspects of digital marketing. It doesn’t matter if you’ve been in the industry for a decade, or you’re dabbling in SEO to increase the number of clicks your website receives — SEO is hard.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the prospect of climbing through the search results and outranking your competitors, don’t worry, you’re not alone. SEO Sydney experts Safari Digital have put together a list of three of the most overlooked (and most important) SEO factors to improve your website visibility in Google.
1. Target Your Local Market
When starting a new website, it can be tempting to target keywords with the highest search volume and lowest competition, but there’s more to it than that.
According to Google, more than 50% of users who conduct a local search on their smartphone will visit the store within 24-hours of conducting a search. With a further 36% of users who conduct a search from the computer or tablet doing the same thing.
When you think about it, that is a truly staggering number. More than half of all users who conduct a Google search with a geographical component involved, for example, “Local Area + Sushi Restaurant”, are visiting that business within 1 day of making that search.
Since 2017, Google has been placing an increased emphasis on the local component of a search. Businesses who service customers in a local area should focus on creating landing pages that include the location in their page titles, title tags, and website copy. Businesses who are able to service customers in the same area are receiving priority in the search engine results.
2. Prioritize Internal Linking
Building backlinks to your website is hard work. There are a number of external factors that you simply cannot control. One thing that you can control is internal linking.
Internal links are hyperlinks that point to other pages one the same domain as where the link source exists. They are commonly used to improve site navigation, but they also help to establish an information hierarchy and spread link equity around a website.
Internal linking is a powerful way to improve the authority and rank of the most important pages of your website. In other, words you should be using internal linking to raise the authority of individual pages on your website that have the potential to drive sales, leads, and revenue.
3. Optimize Images for Search
As of 2019, Google cannot determine the purpose of images on your webpage without a little help from webmasters.
Optimizing the images on your website or blog comes down to two important factors — image titles and alt tags. Fortunately, both of these elements can be changed and optimized to improve their relevancy and the ranking potential of a web page.
Before you upload images to your website, take a moment to think about what that image is called. If you have saved the image as “image.123123Uasdf.png”, then that’s exactly how it is going to appear on your website. Having images labelled like this may not hurt your SEO efforts per say, but it certainly will not help them.
Before uploading images to your website, take a few moments to relabel the images with titles that reflect what is in them. For instance, if you’re uploading a picture of a red apple, then label the image “red-apple.jpg”. Be as descriptive as you can and make sure that the image is targeting the keywords that your potential visitors are likely to use when they search for your content.
It’s important to remember that images with spaces are usually condensed, so make sure that you are using hyphens between words so that Google can understand where one-word ends, and another begins.
Image Alt Tags
You might have seen this option when adding images and wondered what exactly it was for. “Alt” is an abbreviation of ‘alternative tag’ and can be used to tell Google and website visitors what the image is when the image does not load. If you hover your mouse over a website image, it will usually display the image alt tag.
Describing the image in text format will boost the relevancy of the image and even boost the ‘SEO score’ of the webpage. As Google gets better with reading and understanding images the importance of image alt tags is likely to reduce, however, as of 2019, they still play an important role in the way that your website appears in the search engine results pages.
Small Changes Add up to Big Improvements
Search engine optimization is one of the most confusing and time-consuming aspects of digital marketing. Google is constantly changing the way that it ranks content and, as a result, it’s important to stay ahead of the curve and constantly monitor changes to your website.
While these three tips may seem simple, you will be surprised how many of your competitors are not taking advantage of them. That’s why it is so important to get the fundamentals of SEO correct.