Go From Zero to SEO Hero: Climb Search Ranks Now

SEO can be a very daunting process to start, especially without appropriate training – so where do you start? Read through PlastikMedia’s five first steps to find your feet, and the first page of Google!

First things first, what actually is search engine optimisation?

Search engine optimisation, commonly referred to as SEO, is the process of improving your website to make it more visible on search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo- leading to more clicks and website traffic.

There is no universal approach to SEO, but our initial advice is to start with the worst segment of your website and work through the remaining vital elements. But how do you know where you’re performing well, and where you have room for improvement?

The five elements below we deem to be the most important and hold the heaviest value when trying to move your company website up the search engine rankings. 

Whether you have just launched a new website or decided to dabble in SEO for an existing site, the following tips will help drastically boost your rankings, leading to more site visits, enquiries, sales and projects.

 

1) Give your website a quick health check!

 

Several websites can help you perform an initial audit of your website and give you a good starting point for your campaign, allowing you to identify and focus your future work where it’s most needed. 

Some recommended services are:

  • Seoptimer  – Provides a quick health check for your website to highlight potential improvements.
  • SEMrush Site Audit – Offers comprehensive analysis for optimising your website’s SEO.
  • Ahrefs Site Audit – Scans websites for SEO issues and provides actionable insights.
  • Neil Patel’s SEO Analyzer  – Presents an in-depth SEO assessment to enhance site performance.
  • AIOSEO’s SEO AnalyzerDelivers instant SEO analysis for better optimisation.
  • Seomator – Gives a detailed SEO evaluation to help pinpoint and rectify weaknesses.

 

These tools are a great initial step to understanding your website’s health and will help you prioritise the below tasks depending on your current performance.

 

2) Get Tag-Savvy and Boost Google Ranking

 

The work of an SEO expert mainly revolves around keyword research and quality on-page content. Correctly using ‘tags’ (short pieces of code that act as descriptions, hidden from the website user) on items on your web pages allows you to communicate to the search engine crawlers the purpose and intent of your website content, enabling them to link relevant users to your pages more efficiently.

Websites with incorrect or incomplete tags will be punished in search engine results, as the search engine cannot be fully confident it delivers relevant results to its users. Likewise, a website with complete and relevant tags will be rewarded in the rankings, so optimising your tagging is an essential SEO step.

Correctly tagging images with alt tags, for example, also benefits users with visual impairments or disabilities, allowing the use of screen readers and audio/visual descriptions, furthering the reach of your content, and increasing its inclusivity.

However, be prepared for a long-haul process to optimise your tags for every website page, especially for websites with many pages!

Optimising these tags will give you a great starting point:

  • Meta title tags
  • Meta description tags
  • Image alt tags
  • H1 heading tag

But be careful! Copying and pasting your headers can have a detrimental effect on your rankings. Keeping your headers unique and relevant to the content on the page will positively impact the website’s rankings, meaning the tags should be specific to the page and content and not generic, where possible.

 

3) Speed Matters: Don’t Snooze and Lose

 

A fast website improves user experience tenfold. Did you know, 40% of visitors will leave your website if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load? Search engines understand this behaviour, and that’s why they have adapted their algorithms to put more emphasis on site speed over recent years. You will now be penalised in the search results if your website takes too long to load (as well as having impatient users leave your website if they have found it already!).

Multiple free tools can be used to understand your current page speed:

  1. Google PageSpeed Insights – Analyses your site’s performance and offers recommendations to make it faster.
  2. GTmetrix – Assesses site speed and provides actionable suggestions for improvement.
  3. Pingdom Website Speed Test – Offers detailed insights into your website’s load time and performance bottlenecks.
  4. WebPageTest – A comprehensive speed test tool that delivers in-depth reports and optimisation tips.
  5. Dareboost – Analyses website speed, offers best practice guidance and monitors site performance.

Once the problematic areas or pages are identified, actions can be taken to reduce the size of content and images using compression, or by changing the order or situations in which page elements are loaded. With many minor improvements, a substantial overall impact can be made in your loading times, which search engines will reward by providing higher listings and fewer users ‘bouncing’ away from your website once they arrive.

If any pages take over three to four seconds to load, move this task to the top of your list! 

 

4) Seeing Double? Ditch Duplicate Content!

 

Many websites have issues with duplicate content, when words and images are repeated on multiple pages. This is punished by search engines, who instead reward original content. Once duplicated content is identified in a website crawl, users can reword, rework and reorganise their content to remove duplication, and move up the rankings.

Fixing issues with duplicate content can be a big job, but it’s worth it. If you ignore repeated content, all your SEO work could be for nothing, as search engines will punish you for your unoriginality. 

Checking for duplicate content regularly will make the task much more sustainable and make it easier for you to track the progress.

 

5) Going Mobile: Don’t Get Left Behind in the Mobile Movement

 

Mobile website use has exponentially risen in the past 10 years – so much so, that search engines will now penalise you if your website is not mobile-friendly. If your website users have a bad mobile experience, your search engine ranks will drop, and you risk alienating many visitors.

If you can make your website mobile-friendly, you will significantly improve your online interactions, ultimately improving your conversion rates. Did you know, in 2021, mobile devices generated 54.4% of website traffic globally, 61% of users are unlikely to return to a site they previously had troubles with, and 40% of those user going to competitors’ sites.

You can test your mobile compatibility with a multitude of different tools for example:

  1. Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test – Google’s tool for assessing how mobile-friendly a website is. 
  2. Bing’s Mobile Friendliness Test Tool – Microsoft’s search engine tool to check for mobile compatibility. 
  3. MobileMoxie – A tool that visually represents your site’s appearance on various devices. 
  4. BrowserStack – This allows you to test your website’s mobile responsiveness across different devices and browsers.
  5. Responsive Design Checker – Displays how your website looks on various screen sizes, ensuring mobile-friendliness.

 

The main thing to remember about SEO is that it takes time, there is no overnight hack. It is not about chasing quick wins, but these points will help build your foundations and kickstart your SEO journey.

Discover how PlastikMedia can raise your online presence with our industry-specific SEO and digital marketing services at SEO Services for the UK Plastics Industry | PlastikMedia

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