Posted On 17 Oct 2018
Marama Carmichael

SEO strategy may seem like a constantly shifting landscape, but the fundamentals don’t change that much. Follow a sound strategy in the following areas, and you’ll boost your Google rank and bring more readers to your site.

Content and metadata

The place to start is with the content of your pages.

The title tag is the single most important part of your page. It needs to say clearly and briefly what the page is about. Imagine looking at your own title as if you didn’t know anything about your company. Would you understand what it’s about? Would you care? A good title says who you are and what sets you apart. Let’s say you’re a truck rental company in the Brisbane area. A good title tag could be “Cargo van rental in Brisbane — Jones Rental Company.” It gets specific in a few words about what you rent out, where you are, and who you are. It’s at the high end of acceptable length; try not to go over 60 characters, or the title may be cut off in result pages.

The content should include a good set of relevant keywords, including “long tail” ones which are specific to your business. In the truck rental example, mention the makes that you carry and the towns you serve. Avoid keyword stuffing. Google is really good at detecting attempts to game the system.

Make the site known

Publicising your website is a critical aspect of publicising your business. Your Web address should be on every piece of material you send out. This isn’t quite the same as link building; it’s laying the ground where links will grow.

Establish a strong social media presence. Don’t use it just to direct people to your site, though that’s part of it. Assign someone with professional communication skills to engage with people, responding constructively to both praise and criticism. You’ll get more followers, and they’ll give your posts more visibility. A community will grow around your activity.

Extend your activity to business review sites. Make sure comments and questions get answers. Everyone gets some negative reviews, but just a reassurance that you’re concerned about any problems will take the sting off them. Knowing that your business is there to respond will encourage people to take a reasonable tone. A positive experience will get more people to link to your site.

Regularly post content

Content is one of Google’s top criteria for ranking. Fresh material on your site boosts your search rank. It needs to be relevant to your site and have some substance. Blog posts and videos, and not only show Google that your site is active, they tell people that you care about keeping them informed.

Blog posts should be at least 300 words long. Longer is better, as long as their content justifies the length. Writers can put more keywords into a long post without resorting to stuffing. The articles will touch on secondary topics, increasing their relevance for a range of searches. It’s worth spending some money to get good writing.

Outbound links help with search rank, if they’re to high-quality sites. Be careful, of course, not to link to competitors’ sites or to articles that promote them.

Promote link building

Along with content, inbound links are near the top of Google’s ranking criteria. Having lots of inbound links lets your site appear in more search results. Remember, though, that quantity without quality will hurt you. If you appear to have created a link farm just to point back at your site, you’ll get a worse rank than if you had done nothing.

Link exchanges with business partners will get you quality links. Google considers the relevance of the linking site. If a link comes from a business which is related to yours, it’s worth more. The better known the site is, the more its links will help you. If you can get a site which is considered an authority in the field to link to you, that’s worth a lot.

Don’t waste time commenting on blogs just to get a link in. Google can distinguish between editorially placed links, which are part of the site content, and visitor-placed links. Even a list of links in a sidebar has limited value, though it’s better. What you really want is to get mentioned in other sites’ primary content. If you offer to do the same for them, you can often get that. Granted, it isn’t easy to get links of this kind, but that’s why they’re so valuable.

SEO is an ongoing part of your business, and there’s more to it than just the content of the page. Be sure that your business is paying attention to every aspect of it, from page content to publicity. You’ll be rewarded with more visits to your site and an enthusiastic audience. Contact us to learn more about how we can help to build your digital marketing strategy.

Filed Under: Marketing, SEO, Small Business

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