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How to optimise your website, blog and Facebook presence to keep one step ahead of Google AI.

Veronica Lind on SEO Vermilion Pinstripes

The days of simply keyword stuffing your website to rank in Google's search results are long gone. As Google’s search AI continues to evolve, the criteria it judges your website is getting increasingly sophisticated. This is because of Natural Language Processing.

In the past, you would search for a particular restaurant but now you would ask "where to eat tonight?". Search engines are now smart enough to identify and serve content based on that search providing the user recommendations of restaurants with reviews or by cuisine type.

To get ahead of the SEO game you need to have a consistent SEO strategy in place for your business. This is the modern way to do marketing.

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At a recent Micro Business Forum in Port Macquarie, Vermilion Pinstripes Business and Marketing Strategist, Veronica Lind gave an overview of the top SEO Trends in 2018.

I’ve just picked out the top 5 to get you going, but you can download a free eBook with the entire strategy at the end of this article.

We’ll quickly look at some on page and off page SEO tactics that can get free organic search traffic flowing back to your website.

In no particular order.

1: Fix Your Website

You can always pay for search traffic (search engine advertising). Your foremost objective is to do everything you can to improve the free organic search traffic. In other words, when people search google, you want your site to rank at or near the top of the SERP (Search Engine Results Page).

Click here for a website audit.

The one thing that can break your SEO and search ranking is duplicate pages, broken links and badly tagged images.

To see how Google ‘sees’ and rank your website pages simply type:

site:yourwebsite.com into your Chrome or Safari address bar.

Google will give you a list of pages by rank. You can then audit these to see if there are any duplicate content or broken links. You may find you have duplicate home page URLs or old pages that have been removed but are still searchable. To fix this, use customised 404 error pages and permanent 301 redirects.

Here's 24 clever 404 error pages from real websites.

2: Fix Your Images and Video

The web is a visual medium and the use of images throughout your website can make your brand POP. You’ve got to take care what images you choose to place on your business website. The biggest mistake to make is selecting images that are simply not interesting or relevant and are not aligned with your brand personality.

Technically, you must ensure your images are properly sized. If your image is too large, it will affect the speed your web page loads and will make Googles search AI push your ranking down. You can check your page size here: https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights/

One simple SEO tip is to ALWAYS include alt-text on your images. This provides relevance to your image and also makes it easy for people with vision impairment to understand your message. The bonus is Google will  push up your search ranking.

3: Check and update your META tags on every website page

When you search google, the information that is displayed on the results page is taken from the pages META tags. They ensure the information about your webpage is displayed in a consistent way on Google SERP (Search Engine Results Page). If you don’t have META tags, Google’s AI will just scrape the first few words from the top of the page. Obviously that is not an ideal message for the customer that finds you by search for the first time. 

 Good SEO means controlling every bit of information Google searches and indexes your website by.

It’s very simple to take control and edit your page META tags. If you’re using Wordpress, the free YOAST SEO plug-in lets you set this. Other platforms like WIX, Squarespace and Hubspot have this functionality that help you create META tags easily. 

META tags help you describe each page clearly and are broken down to Title Tag, Meta Description and SLUG.

Remember to use key words, and provide a clear CTA (call to action) in the Meta Description.

4: Be trustworthy

Add a Privacy Policy page. This is easy to do and will quickly boost your search rank. Google Search AI sees that your website is more trustworthy if it has a published privacy policy. Being seen as trustworthy is very good for page rank. You can buy a privacy policy template on-line and simply add your own business details. Make sure the template you buy, conforms with the legislation in your state or territory. Add a privacy policy link to it in your footer and sitemap and you’re done.

Have a safe and secure website. You may now be seeing the Chrome browser giving out warning alerts that a site you are visiting is not secure which means sites that are not HTTPS. HTTPS is the protocol that ensures your website is being viewed over a safe connection. To be able to add an S to an HTTP web address, you need to acquire a SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate. This will make it possible for a site’s visitor data to be encrypted and secured. MOZ predicted that by end 2018, 66% of secure sites will rank on page one of Google. So secure your website now.

5: Demonstrate your business authority by blogging

Business blogging is a low cost way to build your authority around matters that relate to your business. Done well, you can create new opportunities for people to find and engage with your business (and even be converted from readers into customers).

Don’t overdo it though. It’s much better to blog quality content once a month than bombard people with uninteresting content daily or weekly.

ALWAYS have a CTA (Call to Action) at the end of your blog post. A CTA is a way for the reader to further engage with the content. It can by a free ebook, or consultation.

So that’s the top 5 tips you can take away right now to start building your free search rank result in Google. 

Click here for a website audit.

More SEO tips are available by clicking on the image below to download our Free eBook SEO Primer 2018 TRENDS (tip! this is OUR CTA for this page).

Download our Free eBook SEO Primer 2018 trends

Vermilion Pinstripes is a sales marketing and communications agency based in Port Macquarie, Australia and in Singapore.
Vermilion Pinstripes is a partner of Hubspot, Active Campaign and Kounta point of sales software. It's amazing how we have a team who use maths, science, creativity and psychology in this modern marketing era to help small businesses and B2B organisations connect with MORE of their most profitable customers using a simple, clear and structured purpose-driven sales, marketing and communications plan to gain brand clarity so that they can grow their business and achieve returns on investment (RoI).
We are proud to count growing local, regional and global businesses gain business confidence. Let's build yours! 

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