How To Improve Your Website’s SEO
- Google Search Console Tool
- Google Search Console Performance
- Scanning for Missed Opportunities
- Altering your Existing Content
- Content Best Practices
- Useful Links
Welcome back to another technical deep-dive blog post with your host Aaron, Website Developer and Digital Creative at Truly Content.
There are many times when I load up a blog to check the website’s SEO by viewing their existing posts and I’m blown away by the amount of missed opportunities within their post content.
I completely understand that writing a blog post whilst making sure to hit key SEO pillars can be a daunting task for those new to SEO, such as business owners trying to get a lead on their competition, which is why it’s my job is to help you understand how to look back over your existing blog posts and seize these missed SEO gems in your content.
When rewriting old posts you need to make sure that the new content is up to date, relevant and as comprehensive as possible. This way you are making the most out of the posts’ SEO.
Google has a FREE suite of tools exclusively built to help you improve your performance on their Google search engine results.
This specific tool reports on exactly how your site’s pages, posts, speed and content is doing by providing you with analytics that you can then utilise in order to make optimisations such as altering your existing content to improve your website’s SEO.
Google Search Console is imperative to improving your pages’ SEO as you can target individual posts to see how well they are performing, what people are searching to find your page/post and look for missed opportunities.
Below is a short, three-minute introduction to Google Search Console in which Daniel Waisberg explains the basics of Search Console and how to utilise it to succeed in search and on the web in general, no matter your role – a small website owner, someone responsible for building or maintaining a large website or an SEO professional.
I would highly recommend using this tool, it’s easy to set up and opens up a whole range of useful analytics. Google even has an easy-to-follow guide on setting up Google Search Console here.
After signing up and verifying ownership of your site you’re ready to go!
Google Search Console Performance
For altering existing content we will be using the Performance tab to look at individual pages/posts. Below is what an example Performance page will look like on Google Search Console.
It provides you with a general overview of Total Clicks, Total impressions, Average Click Through Rate and Average Position. Below that you can see a list of tabs which contain various ways of filtering your analytics to pin down a specific opportunity.
The default tab is Queries. This shows what people are typing into Google to find your website. To make this specific to our blog posts we need to use the Filter option as this will allow us to look at their data specifically.
Doing this is simple. If you look near the top of the page you should have two green boxes followed by a “+” and the word “NEW”. If you’re struggling to locate this, I’ve added a screenshot below.
Click “NEW” and then select “Page” from the dropdown menu that appears.
A popup box will appear and this is where you need to copy the URL of the blog post that you are looking at.
For my example, I have used (https://www.targetsurveys.co.uk/curzon-street-station-birmingham/) so I enter this into the text field and select “APPLY”.
This will then reload the Performance page specific to this URL and you will see all the data and analytics relating to this post only.
In the Queries tab, you can see all the things that people have typed in to find your page. This is useful for rewriting your post as it gives you possible new keyphrases or keywords to use in the new content that could potentially boost your click-throughs. Also as a useful point, you want to be looking for the ones with the highest impressions as this means they are getting the most exposure.
As you can see from the table above this post has only got one total click-through in the last three months and just over 370 impressions. By altering the existing content we are focusing on increasing all four columns’ analytics to be higher
than they currently are, as there is a lot of room for improvement here.
Scanning for Missed Opportunities
When looking for missed opportunities you need to make sure you have an understanding of what you are looking for in order to see if your post has all of the required goals for it to rank successfully.
In short, there are a few key requirements that search engines look for in a good post and I have outlined these below:
- 300+ Word Count – Search engines generally don’t consider crawling a page that is less than 300 words as these won’t be comprehensive enough to contain enough useful content for them to be ranked. I would aim for a minimum of 500 words which really isn’t that hard to write.
- Outbound Links – These are links to other websites and come in very useful for the website’s SEO. You should include outbound links in every page/post on your site and I would aim for around 7 or 8 in a 500-word post.
- Inbound Links – These are like outbound links, except instead of linking to other websites, you should link to other pages/posts internally on your site. Again, I would aim for around 7 or 8 in a 500-word post.
- Video – In recent years the importance of video in a website’s SEO has become widely acknowledged. Embedding a video in your page/post where possible will add visual context to the static customer experience and leave a lasting impression.
- Images – Images have been a large part of SEO for a while, and it’s very important to utilise them as much as possible by including images wherever possible with relating alt tags. They also improve the user experience and can help to build trust with your readers.
- Including your keyword/phrase – You should include your focus keyword or phrase in your content a few times but not so many as to oversaturate it. Doing so can result in a penalty from search engines.
Altering your Existing Content
For my example, I am going to use the following website post which I wrote last year.
First, take a look at the page and have a read through to see if you can pick up on the keyword or phrase I used for the post. Take a look for images and specifically their alt tags. Check to see if there are any videos on the page and have a look at the general layout. Is it interesting to read, or did you get bored after a few seconds?
Upon rereading your post from a client’s perspective it can often become clear that there are mistakes or missed opportunities where you can alter your existing content to improve your website’s SEO.
From the link above I can see that the alt tags are not relevant and there is no video whatsoever. I know there are definitely a lot of resources about the post topic so there will definitely be a video online I could embed here.
I could also make use of the Google Search Console Tool we looked at earlier to identify key search terms with the highest impressions and change the focus keyword/phrase on the post to match, before altering the existing content around this new keyword/phrase.
Content Best Practices
As a conclusion, I just wanted to briefly touch on some best practices for writing content.
There are three things you need to keep in mind when it comes to content. Firstly, create content that is easy to update. When writing new content for a post or page make sure to structure your content in a way that will be easy for not only you, but any editor at your business, to update.
Using bullet points with anchors can massively improve the layout, structure and navigation of the post/page as well as giving the reader a much more positive experience. This will drive up your page/post’s view time and decrease your bounce rate.
Secondly, refresh your content as often as you can to keep it relevant. I wrote a post recently called “Why SEO during covid-19 is more important than ever” which looked at Evergreen Content and how it is the key to success for many businesses.
Lastly, focus on your most popular content first. Take a look at your website’s Google Analytics to see which of your posts is performing best and target them first.