You may have heard the term ‘SEO’ thrown around several times and thought, “What does it even mean?”. SEO, or Search Engine Optimisation, really isn’t as scary as you think. It’s not limited to the expertise of your IT team or a website expert, anyone can do it.
Good Search Engine Optimisation is not technical, it’s about having interesting content that people want to read and helping the right people find it. We’ve written up a few tips to help you.
1. Keywords - they're quite important
What would people search to see your content? What search terms would they use? What questions are they asking that your pages can answer? It’s really important to make sure your content contains relevant keywords so you can help people find your page and answer their questions.
You should also consider where these keywords are in your content. Add them to your titles, page URLs and headings to help make them more discoverable to search engines. It will also boost the relevance of your content.
Don’t overdo it though. Putting too many of the same word on a page is called ‘keyword stuffing’ and can be picked up by search engines. To avoid this, you don’t just need to think about your specific keywords, are there synonyms or similar terms that you can include as well?
Sometimes it can be hard to brainstorm lots of different keywords. You can always use keyword research tools to help you, such as the ones produced by Moz and Google Ads (you’ll need an Ads account to use it). Even a thesaurus can help sometimes.
2. Who are your audiences?
Think about who your audiences are and how does this affect what they search? This is where the audience personas you will have worked on at your strategy day in London will come in really handy. What Goals have you set for them and how will this influence their search questions? How will your content answer them? For example, professionals might use different search queries to your fundraisers.
You should also be thinking about how people search, not just what people search. With more people now using voice search (with the growing popularity of Siri, Alexa and Google Assistant), you might need to think more about how people might word their questions and search queries. For example, if they want to know what the weather will be like today, they might type ‘weather’ but with voice search they might say, ‘will it rain today?’ Can you make your content more conversational to meet this growing trend?
With more people now using voice search you might need to think more about how people might word their search queries.
3. Linking within your site
When you create a new page, make sure people can find it on your site. This could be in the menu, a listings page or linked from another page. Search engines crawl websites by jumping from one link to the next; making sure that these links are in place will mean that your site will be more visible (and will also make sure your users are being taken on a journey).
4. External links - building trust
If high quality websites are linking to your website then this shows that your content is relevant and of high quality. If you have any articles about your organisation on news websites, make sure they link back to you. This will help your site appear more authoritative and trustworthy.
5. Make your summaries relevant
The Summary box in your blog, pages, events and news posts can also act as a meta-description.
This means that it will show up in your search result, like the example below. Make sure you have a summary description on every post and that it is accurate, as it will help the searcher choose between search results. Keep it to just a sentence or two and make sure it has your important keywords.
6. The importance of social media
Links to your website from social media can help people discover your content and increase those all important links to your site. Make sure you are linking to your website content on your social channels and encourage others to share where possible.
7. Images matter too
Your images are also very important for SEO. When you’re adding images to the media centre you should be adding a short description of the image to the Alternative text field. This alternative text (also know as alt tags) tells search engines what your image is about and will contribute to the overall quality of your page. The name of the image you upload should also be relevant to the topic of the image. You can learn more about how to use the Media Centre in our Knowledge Base.
8. Use Search Console
Google Search Console is a great way to help you monitor your SEO. It can show you what search queries people are coming from, who is linking to your site, your mobile usability and also how many links you have internally. It is a great tool to help you understand how your SEO is doing and where you need to improve. Bing also has a similar tool, Bing Webmaster Tools.
9. Create a Good Experience for Users
It’s not just about what people read on your pages, it’s their experience once they arrive on your site. Make sure there aren’t any broken links and that you have a call-to-action on every page so you can take people to the next step. The easier your site is to navigate, the more likely people are to come back.
10. Content is King
It’s become a cliche, but it’s the truth. Search engines are incredibly advanced, so it’s not worth trying to beat them with complicated technical strategies. As long as your content is engaging and authentic, it will be found by the people who are looking for it. A great way to keep people coming back is to post fresh content regularly. Frequent blog posts, news articles and making sure all the information on your site is up-to-date are great ways to keep search engines crawling your site.