SEO 101: 3 simple fixes that can make a real difference

SEO 101: 3 simple fixes that can make a real difference

Jan 23 2015 | by TOM MILLEN

In today’s ever changing world of digital marketing, where everyone is on a mission to keep up-to-date with the latest Google algorithm updates, sometimes the basics of SEO are overlooked.

Many people want to improve the organic traffic to their websites and, sometimes, significant improvements can be achieved by simply looking at a few of the basic SEO fundamentals of an effective website.

Firstly, the images...

Do the images all have ALT Text?

ALT Text describes the image to a search engine, and to anyone with a visual impairment that is viewing the site through a screen reader.

From an SEO point of view, ALT Text provides an opportunity to target keyword phrases.

Secondly, the meta data...

Are the meta title tags optimised?

All the of the meta titles should be unique, and contain the brand name and keywords. The titles should be no more than 60 characters long, so that it is fully visible on search engine results pages.

Meta data

Are the meta descriptions optimised?

Meta descriptions need to be up to 156 characters long and must be descriptive - summarising the content featured on the page in question. They also need to written to entice a user to click though to the site - it’s an opportunity to advertise your business, so make the most if it.

Meta description

Meta descriptions are no longer a Google ranking factor, so it goes some way to explain why it’s so often overlooked. However, click through rates from search engines are a ranking factor, and by simply ensuring that these are optimised, click through rates and traffic levels can be increased.

Is there an XML Sitemap?

Some slightly more technical elements that may have been overlooked could also impact how search engines are looking at a site.

One such technical element is an XML Sitemap. This is a file that, basically, helps the search engines move around and crawl a site. Without one, certain pages on a site may not get indexed:

XML site map

There are several free sources online that you can use to create and download an XML Sitemap. Some content management systems offer a simple way to upload the XML Sitemap - if not, it should be added to the root folder of the website by a web developer.

Once the Sitemap is uploaded, it needs to be submitted to Google and this can be done by using Google Webmaster Tools.

In summary...

Just carrying out the simple tasks described here can have a noticeably positive effect on the organic rankings of a website.

Due to tight deadlines and commercial pressures, sometimes these simple elements of SEO can be missed when launching a site. However, taking care of the basics will build a strong SEO foundation.

Tom Millen

SEO 101: 3 simple fixes that can make a real difference