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5 simple ways to improve your SEO

SEO is hard. It’s a vast subject and managing it is a full time job. If you don’t have time to immerse yourself into the world of SEO to learn all the do’s, don’ts, best practices and guidelines. But there are simple things you can do to create a decent foundation for your website to perform in the organic search results.

Without further ado, let’s dive in.

Use Google Search Console

In my experience this is a highly under-utilised tool. It’s free, straightforward and gives you a direct insight into how Google is understanding your site. You can see the queries your website is ranking for, its average position in the search results and see how many people are clicking through to your site (as a percentage).

With this data, you can make decisions on how to change your website to improve rankings and drive more traffic to your website.

Beyond your website’s performance in the search results, you can also see how Google is reading and indexing the pages on your site. It’s critical to know which pages Google is crawling and indexing: what if some of your most important pages were inaccessible? Google Search Console is the place to check.

 

Use Google My Business

If you have a physical store or presence, Google My Business is an absolute must. Not only does it help people find and interact with your website (and business), it’s also a strong factor for local searches. Use it to post images, repurpose your blog posts and interact with your customers via the Questions & Answers section. For ideas and inspiration, see what your competitors are doing. Check out this complete Google My Business optimisation guide here.

 

Get Your Website Healthy

Your website is the lifeline of your business, so you need to keep it in good shape. Here’s a quick checklist of things to check, fix and monitor.

  • Broken pages – pages with a 404 error are broken. Be warned – these pages can still rank in the search results. Any broken page needs to be 301 redirected to the most relevant, working page on your site. You can see any broken errors in Google Search Console.
  • Keep it looking good – your website needs to look good, but more importantly function correctly, on all devices. Check your menus, buttons and pages to ensure they can easily be clicked and navigated, especially on mobile.
  • Is it fast? – ensure your website loads as quickly as possible. People hate waiting for websites to load, and Google respects that. If you site is slow, you’re already behind. Use Google Page Speed Insights to see how your website performs against others in your niche.
  • Make sure Google can read it – there’s not much point in a website if search engines can’t find, read and index it. A quick way to check is to Google: site:https://www.yoursite.com. That will return all the pages on your site that are in Google’s index. You might be surprised; Google never forgets a URL!

 

Forget Keyword Research

Almost every article about SEO stresses the need to research the best keywords for your niche. And it is valuable. But it’s easy to get lost in it and then, you become overwhelmed. Often, it’s counter-productive. So, don’t bother with it. You know your business, your products, your services. Just write about it naturally, make sure there’s plenty of useful content on your site, and the keywords will come naturally without even trying. Google is smart enough to understand the topic and rank it accordingly for searches. Use Google Search Console for guidance.

 

Get Your Brand Out There

To reach position 1 in the search results, your website needs links. Chances are you don’t have time for outreach – but the chances are you have relationships with other website owners. The company that built your website, a happy client, a friend in a similar niche. Offer them a review for their website and include a link to yours. Make sure your business is listed on local directories, and any specific niche directories – such as capterra for software companies. Search and you will find.

 

Conclusion

Do these things and you’re on your way to improving your SEO. Remember, it does take time – and whenever you’re doing anything with your website, SEO should be a consideration. Don’t stress too much about it though. Focus on providing value and a great experience for your users and the organic results will come.

If you do want to dig more into SEO, check out the beginner’s guide to SEO by Moz and Search Engine Journal’s SEO guide.

Learning Spanish

Ola!

I’ve started learning Spanish and let me write it here for all to see – I’m sticking to it!!

I’m a bugger for starting something, committing to it for a few days and then letting it fall by the wayside. I’m sure I’m not alone in that! It’s not that I lose passion for whatever it is – exercise, a certain book or some task or other – I just don’t get round to it. I’m determined to keep up with learning Spanish – and updating my blog.

The reason I’m learning Spanish is quite a nice story. Mr P’s brother, who I’ll call Mike, went on holiday to Spain in April, with his mate. Just a standard lad getaway, you know. On their second night they spotted a couple of girls at a bar, but the lads didn’t know Spanish and the girls didn’t know English. So they used Google Translate to get chatting and what not.

Anyway, long story short – Mike and his senorita totally fell for each other. In the months since they’ve been keeping in touch via WhatsApp and started to learn each other’s lingo. Mike’s been out there a couple of times since and his senorita came over in October to meet all of us. Mr P and I were pretty excited to meet the woman that has stole Mike’s heart because he’s an independent guy – not the type to just randomly fall in love. So we knew it was special.

Now Mike’s moved out to Spain to be with her so me and Mr P are dying to go out there for a holiday – you’ve gotta make the most of these situations right?! We’re going out next year and I’m adamant that I’ll be able to communicate in Espanol, so that’s why I’m learning Spanish.

Wish me luck!

A Dog’s Purpose

This week we had to say goodbye to our beautiful Becca-Becca. Although she was old it came quite out of the blue: one day she was fine, the next a bit poorly and the day after that in a really bad way. When the greediest, most food-obsessed dog I’ve ever known won’t touch her food you know there’s something seriously wrong. We took her to the vets and he pretty much confirmed what we knew but didn’t want to hear.

I won’t go into detail but we stayed with her until the very end.

She has left a hole in our lives and our home. It feels much more spacious without turning round to see her standing there, or tipper-tapping endlessly around the kitchen while tea’s on. Her settee is now free to actually use. I’d say we can safely leave food about now but we can’t; the cats are just as bad as Becca for scrounging and stealing food but it’s worse because they can get on the worktops!

Becca has been my shadow for these last 7 months whilst I’ve been on maternity. She was always there to stroke, talk to and get under my feet. She was Mr P’s baby for 8 years and his first child, as he called her.

It’s incredible how big of an effect a doggy has on a household. They’re part of the family that goes without saying, but their presence is so much more significant than puppy eyes and a wagging tail. A dog is always there for you, waiting for playtime and cuddles (and a treat of course!). No matter what type of day you’ve had, or even what kind of person you are, your dog will do everything they can to cheer you up. To them, you’re one of the best things in the world.

Dogs are as unique and individual as us humans and their personalities should be celebrated and embraced, even if they do your head in at times. They love unconditionally and find excitement in everything. If we borrowed their perspective the world would be a better place that’s for sure. As for pets – if you have any now go and give them a cuddle. Even if they’re an arse at times, or all the time, they still love you. And we love them – more than we realise.

Sleep tight, Becca old lass. We miss you.

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Small Moments Matter

I just had a beautiful moment with my son.

He was tossing and turning after waking up so I went in to give him his dummy. As I was pulling my hand away he reached out and grab my finger. Doesn’t it just melt your heart when they do that? He was gazing at me in quiet contemplation and I could tell he was in a talking mood; by which I mean he will look at you and say ‘ah’ in exactly the same way a few times.

So he did say ‘ah’ and I repeated it back to a few times as you do, then he spat his dummy out so this wasn’t a bit of small talk, he wanted a full on conversation. I was happy to oblige because why not, yes it’s bedtime but if Pudding wants to talk to me it’s no big deal.

We continued the conversation in the same way but now I was actually saying bits of things back to him and he was enjoying it more, understandably. Have you noticed that when you speak to babies you tend to say yeah a lot? I do. That’s what I was doing now and it seemed like Pudding clicked – he starting saying ‘eh’ instead of ‘ah’. I was like, ‘You’re saying yeah aren’t you?’ and his eyes lit up and he did an excited little jog with this legs like he knew that I knew he was copying me. We conversed a bit more with him saying ‘eh’ and a big gummy grin.

As much as I was loving it we couldn’t carry on forever because he had to go to sleep as I told him it was bedtime and went to gave him a kiss, he grabbed my nose and started laughing. We had a good laugh together with him still holding my nose until Mr P appeared and asked what we were up to.

Seeing it written down looks a bit crap but it was honestly a magical moment for me. It makes me think that no matter how busy I am or stressed I feel in the future, I always want to make time for my son – even if the moments are inopportune. Small moments matter – it means everything to them and will to you too.