5 top SEO secrets that you need to know right now

In today's age, SEO or Search Engine Optimisation is an essential part of any website development. Search engines, such as Google, rank your site according to certain on-page and off-page factors. A search engine optimised site will make your website more visible to those looking for what you offer.

And why is this important? Because the majority of online traffic to websites is driven by search engines, only a small percentage comes from social media and paid advertising.

So, keeping this in mind, where do you start with optimising your website?

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1. Choose a good domain name
If you haven't chosen a domain name already, it is important to be careful when choosing one. Make sure the name isn't easy to misspell (or easy to confuse when the word is said out loud - two vs. the number "2"). Keep your domain name short and memorable. Having keywords in it isn't as important as it used to be thanks to Google's EMD update which reduces the number of low-quality exact match domains.

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2. Publish Relevant Content
This is a golden rule when it comes to SEO. The content you publish should make your site both valuable and fresh to those using it. Quality content created for your intended audience will help improve your site's authority and relevance.

While crafting your content, it is also important to consider your keywords. Think about who your target audience is and what terms people are searching for. There are also useful and free sites that you can use to do keyword research such as Google's Keyword tool.

Catchy titles, quality content, unique topics and relevant keywords are all aspects of good content that you should keep in mind for SEO purposes.

However, you should be aware of "keyword stuffing" as search engines can view this as "spam." Never sacrifice the readability of your content for the sake of keyword optimization. Your content should incorporate the relevant keywords but more importantly, it should be logical and easy to read.
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3. Update your content regularly
On-page content development is one of the most effective SEO tactics. Keeping your site up-to-date is another way to ensure that your website remains relevant - it is even a good idea to have a set content schedule so that your content doesn't become outdated. Doing a regular SEO audit of your site is also recommended.
4. Make sure bots (and people) can understand your your content
Google can see your page the same way that a user does. To optimally render and index your site, make sure that Google can access the JavaScript, CSS, and image files used by your site. When creating your website, make sure that your page titles are accurate and unique - this lets both bots and users know what your page is about.

Additionally, make use of meta-tag descriptions so that it accurately summarises the content on your page. These can extend to alt-text on images too. Lastly incorporate headings, subheadings, and a good layout into your site to make it user friendly.

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5. Backlinks
Google and other search engines have started to look at off-page factors such as backlinks to rank your site. These are essentially the links that point to your site from other pages. Backlinks used to be a numbers game, but now Google values the quality of backlinks over the quantity of inbound links. For local SEO, it is important to receive inbound links from businesses or organizations that are influential in your area.

To generate valuable backlinks, an idea is to identify leading organizations in your area of expertise, make connections with these organizations or businesses, and get featured on local blogs in exchange for a discounted service or product. There are also free tools such as Moz to see what sites are linking to you.
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6. Page Speed
How quickly your page loads is another aspect that impacts your SEO, especially since Google's Algorithm Speed Update. Not only will a slow website loading speed impact your rankings, but a slow page will most likely lead to an increased bounce rate - as frustrated users often will leave a slow-loading page.

Great SEO does more than drive traffic to your website. It helps build your brand reputation, ensures that your users have a good experience on your site, and can help your brand achieve its goals. Keep in mind that the majority of online experiences start with a search engine, such as Google. It doesn't take much effort to start with SEO basics, but if you ignore how valuable it can be, it could be undermining to your brand's online presence and visibility.