6 steps to boost your SEO without a developer

Tips to rank higher on Google

Even though you might think SEO is best left to the realm of developers with technical knowledge of the inner workings of Google, think again, as the truth is it isn’t as complicated as you might think, although many SEO companies would like you to think otherwise.

Google’s algorithm is not published, which means nobody but Google truly knows the inner workings; however there are many companies claiming that they can make you’re your business rank number one on Google. That’s a pretty big claim, considering there are multiple companies claiming to guarantee this. It’s pretty obvious that doesn’t add up.

In fact I was recently asked if I could make a clients’ website rank number one in a Google search ranking for their business niche. I said sure, if you have more money than your competitors then you can outspend them and rank number one for your niche using Google Ads. If you want to rank number one in the organic search listings, however, that’s a whole different kettle of fish. I’ll show you how you can rank well, and I have an SEO partner that can help boost your ranking, but it will take time, you’ll have to work at it on multiple fonts, and I cannot guarantee you’ll be number one. He didn’t get back. We’ll, you can only educate.

The morale of the story is, be very careful when anyone promises you they can make your business rank number one on Google organic (unpaid) search results – to guarantee this is impossible.

So, what can you do to boost your SEO ranking without a developer?

Well, you’d be surprised how easy it really is.

1. Google my business

It is essential you have this setup. It will not only improve your SEO, but it will provide your customers with information they need to find your business easily. You’d be surprised how many people neglect this one.

All you need to know can be found on the Google My Business website. That part of the equation is relatively straightforward – sign up, enter you details, and wait for Google to list you. Of course if you would like your profile professionally written, or you would like some guidance we can help there also.

The second part of this is to ask your customers to leave a Goole review. This is crucial if you want to build your Google Business profile. So when appropriate, ask your customers kindly if they could leave a review on your Google business listing, Google has an article on how to provide a link where your customers can leave you a review which will help.

2. Start Blogging

I’ve had a wide range of reactions to this piece of advice. When I first mention blogging can improve your SEO, even some of the most seasoned marketers wonder why I mention this. It’s quite simple really. Google rewards websites with better rankings if they have fresh content. It’s what the internet is built on and if you’re not adding value to your customers by producing valuable content, then you’e missing a huge opportunity to grow your business.

Just to be clear, blogging is not writing about what you did last week. It involves research, planning and understanding your customer. It involves producing content that solves your customers problems, provides information that helps them achieve a specific goal, and ultimately builds trust in the purchase journey.

It sounds easy, but finding time to blog can be difficult. We recommend locking out your calendar to produce content on the very minimum, a monthly basis but weekly is much better. It’s what we do and what we recommend. But of course, if you still can’t find the time, we can help. Ask about our blogging packages. As a bonus, here is our content creation cheat sheet word doc to help you produce content fast. (see what I did there?) If you’re running a mac, here’s the Apple version.

As a bonus, make sure you mention keywords and phrases related to your business in your articles that are relevant what your customers search for. For example if you own a coffeeshop you might use the phrase : “the best coffee in Sydney” on your webpage. Be sure to make it sound natural, that’s the key.

3. Engage your users on social media

You would think most businesses would have nailed this one, but some haven’t made the connection that you need to be active on social media to improve your search rankings. The best advice we can give you is to engage your customer’s on their platform of choice, although we do recommend spreading yourself across multiple to maximise your exposure. We recommend being active across two to three channels, but at the very least sign up for a facebook business page and create your profile as Google weights social signals heavily in search ranking factors. Facebook is a tool which can also be leveraged to target your customers very effectively so it is good to get started early.

4. Use WordPress heading tags correctly

This is perhaps one of the most widely misused aspects of WordPress that we see everyday that users can quite easily fix. It’s not overly complicated, but can really make a difference when it comes to Google crawling your page.

Yoast explains it well, but essentially your heading tags are very important for Google to understand your content. The tags H1 – H6 are used to weight the importance of the content in your document. That’s right, the headings in WordPress have nothing to do with the font size, it helps you structure your document for search engines to understand.

The most important point to take away is – You should only have one H1 on your page (which is by generally reserved by WordPress as your post title). So when you’re inside the WordPress editor, you should only focus on using the H2’s and H3’s to break up your content. The H2’s as a subtopic and H3’a as a section inside the subtopic. H4’s can be used to highlight something within the subtopic section. You get the picture. Paragraphs should be used normally and you should bold words or phrases of importance (think keywords). If you need to, you can adjust the font-size of the headings and you’re good to go.

5. Broken Links

When you write blog posts, you’ll link to other webpages or even other pages within your website – well at least you should be to improve your SEO. This means there is a potential that some of these links will change and no longer work. This means when Google crawls your site it sees that you have broken links on your pages and weights your page with a lower ranking. This is why you need to be vigilant and search for broken links and repair them when they crop up (and they will) and replace them with fresh working links. You can use this Broken link checker on your website to identify any issues.

6. Sizing your Images correctly

This is perhaps THE most common avoidable problem that slows down websites. Large file size images take a long time to load, and the longer your images take to load, the slower your page, the lower your Google ranking and the worse the experience for your users. It’s a no win situation that is entirely avoidable with a little understanding. Here is a good article from Kinsta that goes into detail about optimizing images for the web correctly so that you don’t slow down your website. Canva also details how to size your images for the web which will help also.

In a nutshell you need to know how to resize images and save them at the correct file size if you have a website. We recommend photoshop or Affinity photo but generally the principle is the same. You need to save images with a maximum file size of about 100KB with dimensions that are close to the size you need on the page. This can be a little tricky in the beginning, but will pay huge dividends later on. Check out the above links with more detail on how to do this.

To round off, here is 2018’s major Google ranking factors according to Search Engine Journal, the industry standard. It’s a fair bet that they are correct, so it is well worth have a look at. As you’ll see, content is number one and perhaps the lowest hanging fruit to improve your SEO without a developer. You know what they say, there is not time like the present, so sit down and write that blog post and build your content empire!

We hope you found the above helpful. As always if you need any help or advice on how to implement any of the suggestions above, or would just like to say hi, feel free to reach out to us: stephen@switchedonwebdesign.com

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