If you’ve gone to the trouble of creating a website, you want people to find it. While there’s a whole industry dedicated to optimizing websites for search engines, there are plenty of ways of improving your rankings without specialist knowledge.
In this article, we will explore search engine optimization and outline some easy tips to help you understand the subject and help you implement them on your website.
What is SEO?Search engine optimization (usually shortened to SEO) means refining the structure and content of a website to improve its showing in search results.
The better your site satisfies a search engine’s algorithms, the stronger it will be ranked. The higher up a search results page appears, the more likely it will be clicked on. When was the last time you looked at page two of Google Search?
The art of SEO continues to evolve alongside the search engine’s algorithms. Still, we do know a number of factors that are consistently important, and many of these are relatively straightforward to address.
One major factor to consider is the impact of AI on search engine optimization.
8 SEO Tips For Personal TrainersExplore our key SEO tips to enhance your grasp of SEO and unleash its potential for optimizing your fitness website.
- Use Google’s free monitoring tools
The giant of search engines provides two free tools for getting your basic SEO groundwork in place. Google Search Console is designed to help you understand how your site is performing on Google (including how well it works on mobile). At the same time, Google Analytics enables you to examine site stats to learn more about your users.
Both tools offer a wide range of functionality, but you don’t need to be an expert to set up and use them. Yoast’s How to Use Google Search Console: a beginner’s guide is a great starting point, as is Google’s own Google Analytics for Beginners.
- Keyword research and placing
Keywords are the words and phrases people type into search engines to find what they’re looking for, so they are fundamental to SEO. There are two parts to this: researching the keywords that will work best for your business and putting them in the right places to get picked up by the search engines.
There are lots of free tools to help with keyword research, such as the Moz Keyword Explorer. As for where to put them, see our previous article on unlocking the power of keywords for more detail.
- Understand your target audience
It’s important to remember that you’re writing for people and algorithms, and search engines have gotten better at recognizing relevant content. Understanding your target audience is one of the foundations of SEO; it will inform your list of keywords and help you create high-quality content. Read our article on How to identify your target audience for guidance.
- Keep your content fresh
We already know that posting regular, targeted content is important for audience engagement, but search engines also highly value providing a positive user experience. The role of fresh, updated content in SEO is quite complex; if you want to find out more, this article from the Marketing Insider Group on How Fresh Content Impacts SEO in 2023 is helpful. You need to focus on scheduling regular new content (blog posts are great for this).
- Think links
Search engines love links – internal links, external links, backlinks – as they help validate the relevance of a piece of content. So keep this in mind when you’re writing content, and include some links to other pertinent pages on your website as well as others. Backlinks are harder to achieve (these are links to your site from others), but there are ways of trying to encourage them, for example, by posting expert/specialist content.
- Make the most of meta tags
When you create a new post or page, make the most of meta tags such as page title and meta description because these are top-level pieces of information used by search engines to assess the relevance of your site. The meta description is the summary text on the search results page, which is also vital in helping people decide whether to click through. For more on this, see WordStream’s article on Meta Tags – How Google Meta Tags Impact SEO.
- Describe visual content
Search engines won’t know what your visual content is all about (and whether it is relevant) unless you tell them, so add titles, captions, descriptions, and alt-text to all necessary photos, videos, and infographics. Additionally, it is important to remember that Google Images, in itself, is an additional search engine for your visual content to be shown in
- Keep your site in good working order
We know that user experience is important to search engines, so check regularly for things like broken links, out of date information, ease of navigation and accessibility of content.