I'm pretty new to this, and as such would always accept any advise or help from anyone who knows more about it than me. But during my website overhaul (which has finally started to sell some prints as a result) I did a some research on the best top tips on how you can improve your search engine ranking without having to spend any money doing it.
So here goes:
Some key SEO tips designed to help get the best organic SEO results.
1. Generate content that has keywords and anchor links in the body copy throughout the website. Use these to link out to SM networks, etc. to help create backlinks.
Use external review sites to create further backlinks/authenticity.
2. Ensure top line navigation (permalink structure) utilise high ranking keyword - for example: http://www.examplewebsite.com/youtube.
The ‘youtube’ keyword is currently ranked no.3 in the Top 500 keywords collected by major meta crawlers and MBL has a YouTube channel it should be linking to.
3. Improved CTA and click-throughs to other areas of website.
Your website needs to ASK your visitor to do something – either Call Now, or Buy Now, or Get a Free Quote Today! Making your CTA a click takes your customer one click deeper into your website.
The further into your site a visitor goes, the better it looks from Google’s perspective. So make your CTA a clickable link that takes your visitor to a form to fill out or a shopping cart page.
This also provides better opportunities for new and regularly updated content and keywords which can also provide anchor links within the site.
4. Use Propriety Social Sharing Buttons - not 3rd Party.
Social networks prefer use of their own sharing buttons over a third-party solutions and the share count will be more accurate on a propriety button rather than a third-party button. Perhaps the biggest benefit of using the proprietary Twitter button is the ability to set account attribution to each tweet. For example, when a post is buffered it can be set to include a “via @username” in the body of the tweet. Many third-party tools attribute tweets to their own service rather than the originator of the content. This provides opportunities to back link to website.
5. Social Media Interaction.
Google prefers websites that uses social media icons and links out to social sites. Google also prefers websites that features your Facebook/Twitter feed on your website, or your Google+ reviews link for example. When they find this type of interaction, they know that you care about networking, that you care about your customers, and that you are actively reaching out.
6. Install a Google Sitemap plugin.
This gives a full map of all your posts, pages and archives. This automatically generates the sitemap for you at regular intervals and then submits it to Google, Bing, etc. on your behalf giving them a map of your site so they can index it better.
Google owns YouTube. If you have a YouTube channel, you can have it dynamically filter into your website. Videos can cause visitors to stay on your site for an additional 30 seconds to 2 minutes. You can create backlinks from your YouTube Channel to your website pages.
8. Improved header tags helps Google index the website better.
At this point, if anyone has anything to add or improve these hints and tips, please feel free to comment or email me.