We often get asked how much SEO costs, and this can be a very tricky question to answer. Why? Because everyone has different expectations as to what SEO includes and provides. To some, search engine optimisation is purely about on-page tactics such as keyword use, fresh content, performance optimisation and the likes. Yet to others, it is a comprehensive SEO program including on and off page tactics such as link building, guest blogging, social media marketing and more. To try and reach a middle ground between these two opposing sides, here is my list of 9 essential SEO tactics that every website needs:
1. Proper Indexation by Search Engines
Make sure that your website can be ‘crawled’ and indexed by Google, Bing and other search engines – otherwise you are in trouble. Ensuring your website has a robots.txt file, is clean of any errors such as mistaken additions and pages that are broken. Google’s Search Console is an invaluable tool when it comes to testing your sitemap (robots.txt), identifying errors, and monitoring results and performance. Be ready to troubleshoot if and when these errors arise, and deal with them in a timely manner to avoid negative impact on your rankings.
2. Site-Wide Performance Optimization
Your website’s performance has a huge impact on your authority with search engines. Your site needs to be able to load correctly across all devices (eg. it has a responsive design) and all browsers (Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, etc). In addition, it’s important to ensure that all content such as images and video load correctly for users – again, regardless of device and/or browser. Site security such as having an SSL in place also plays a part in your authority, but most importantly your site speed and ease of navigation are important and can all add up to a significant impact on your search engine rankings.
3. Meta data and Infrastructure
Whilst meta data isn’t visible to people who visit your page, it provides critical information to search engines about the content of that page and of your website as a whole. Page titles and descriptions allow Google to categorise each page of your site, and in turn present that information to searchers. Keeping your navigation and site structure organised is important here as it helps Google also understand the hierarchy within your content, and impacts the priority of some content. Avoid using lengthy URL’s and do not include strange characters. Internal linking is also a great tool to help Google understand the connection between pages, and also take your visitors on a journey through your site with relevant content.
4. Page-level content
The content on each page, particularly the written component, has a significant impact on your relevancy within search engine algorithms. It also impacts the overall authority of your site. As a general rule, each page should includes at least 300-500 words. Whilst that may not seem like much, but when it comes to certain pages within your site you might well discover otherwise! All content should be detailed, original and relevant to the topic and keyword you have chosen for that page. Stay focussed and clear with your writing so that both your audience and search engines know the intention of the page. Be careful not to “overstuff” your page content with keywords, but ensure you incorporate them within header tags (H1, H2, H3, etc), content and meta data.
5. Ongoing on-site content
Search engine optimisation is not a “set and forget” arrangement. Search engines like to see active sites – that is, websites that are consistently and regularly updated with fresh content. This has a double-pronged effect. Not only are you improving your site for visitors by providing additional information, but you are also providing more high-quality pages for search engines to crawl and index – all lending to your authority and ultimately ranking. Great content also opens the doors for outside authorities to link to you, in turn working towards a link building strategy.
6. Off-site guest posting and link building
Links are necessary if you want to rank in organic search results. As far as SEO tactics go, links provide one of the best opportunities to enhance your authority with search engines. Links pass authority to your domain and pages, and without that authority, you’ll never rank for a relevant search. Guest posting allows you to build links in a safe and reliable way, so long as your content is valuable and the site/s where your articles are published are noteworthy. A link building strategy takes time, but over time it can product some very strong outcomes. is by far the safest, most reliable way to build links – as long as your content is valuable and your partners are noteworthy. Whilst link building is a highly effective SEO tactic, it is also resource intensive.
7. Periodic link cleanup
Whilst your link building strategy may be robust, there is no way to avoid the occasional questionably links that crop up. These links can actually drag your authority with search engines down – obviously working against you. Using link removal and disavowal tactics to remove and clean up your links is a worthwhile SEO maintenance task.
8. Social media alignment
Social media indirectly supports your SEO tactics. There are a few reasons for this. In the first instance, social media provides multiple channels to amplify your website content – allowing you to earn more inbound links. Social media also allows you to connect with influence and potentially initiate the opporutnity for a guest posting strategy. It is important that your social media strategy aligns with your wider digital marketing and SEO strategy so that your content is consistent with your brand, keywords and priority of messaging.
9. Ongoing analytics and troubleshooting.
As with all marketing efforts, ongoing performance monitoring and optimisation is critical. Search engine optimisation is often referred to as a “slow burn”, meaning that taking regular measurements of tactics and results allows you to review and improve your tactics. We use Agency Analytics and SE Ranking to track search engine rankings and performance, and whilst SEO is not a perfect science with the opportunity for things to go wrong, its important to stay in tune with performance in constantly seek that upward curve.
If you leverage these SEO tactics efficiently and in line with a robust keyword strategy, then you should have no difficulty in achieving stronger search engine rankings and an increase in organic search traffic. Regardless of the tactics that you employ, it is essential that you remain committed and consistent with your efforts, allow them time to have effect, and then watch the fruits of your efforts over time.