The Do’s and Don’ts of SEO, a marketing guide:

SEO or Search Engine Optimisation is a key element of any successful marketing strategy, but what is it? SEO involves optimising your website both via content and technical elements to improve your ranking on search engine results pages and acquire organic traffic. As SEO is a popular and essential element of almost all marketing strategies, there are a number of tips and tricks online on how to improve it. However, one thing to remember is that not all SEO practices are the best, that’s why we’re sharing our top 10 Do’s and Don’ts of SEO to help you in your digital marketing apprenticeship.

What You Should Do:

  • Do keyword research. Keyword research is incredibly important for creating relevant content that suits your target audience. Keywords are also essential for optimising content on your website.
  • Do use alt text to optimise images on site. If you site contains a lot of media, it is important to ensure you are creating high quality alt tags to help boost your rankings on search engines.
  • Do use quality and relevant links. Linking is incredibly important for building the reputation of your website, and it is incredibly important that you prioritise the quality of links over the quantity.
  • Do utilise your analytics. Make a conscious effort to monitor your analytics to ensure your keywords and phrases are still ranking. You can also use these analytics to see how keywords are performing and if you may need to do more research to optimise your content.
  • Do your research and make use of key SEO tools. An awareness of what tools are on the market to help you improve your SEO are incredibly valuable to your strategy. Tools such as Answer the Public, Google Search Console and Ahrefs are all valuable resources that can help optimise your SEO.
Laptop on Desk with Analytical Software

What You Shouldn’t Do:

  • Don’t add too many key words to your content on each page. Not only will adding too many keywords make your writing look less natural, but it can cause your pages to compete against each other. In addition to this, Google’s Crawlers are aware of keyword spam, and it can be very detrimental to your ranking.
  • Don’t Plagiarise. In addition to being bad marketing practice, and disrespectful to content creators, copying content from other websites can seriously damage your SEO ranking. This is because crawlers can easily pick up on plagiarised content, and as it is bad practice, it will harm your rankings.
  • Don’t ignore your core web vitals. SEO is not just about keywords, and having slow loading pages can impact your rankings. It is important for technical SEO that your loading speeds are as fast as possible and that your website is maintained to monitor page speed and user experience.
  • Don’t ignore other devices. Ensure that your website is optimised for a variety of devices, such as mobiles, tablets and desktops. This is important for your technical SEO, as websites need to function across all devices for good results.
  • Don’t forget about meta data. Your meta titles and descriptions are important for improving your SEO. As a result, you should ensure they are being optimised to maintain or improve your rank.

If you want more helpful information to assist you in your digital marketing apprenticeship, browse our website for a variety of helpful resources.

Our Twitter and LinkedIn profiles also provide regular updates and resources that will help in your apprenticeship journey.  If you’d like regular and helpful updates, sign up to our mailing list to ensure you don’t miss the latest news and resources we offer.  

3 Quick SEO Tips to Supercharge Your Digital Marketing in 2021

Image of writing a post on WordPress

You’ve researched keywords, you’ve neatly added your heading tags, and you’ve had a little too much coffee. You press “post” on your latest article, and sit back for the views to — well, they’re not exactly rolling in. They’re trickling at best. But you’ve already spent hours on this content and your manager wants to see results – now. Don’t worry – here’s 3 quick and easy ways you can supercharge that post today!

Add a favicon

Screenshot of Google search results showing a favicon
A bold favicon stands out in mobile search results

A favicon is a little icon next to the url for your site – when you scroll through Google mobile search results, those tiny colourful graphics help your article pop. Industry experts Moz say a high contrast icon is a great way to stand out, and they only take seconds to make using a favicon generator. The favicon applies to the entire website, so make sure your boss is happy before adding it, but they help users visually identify your website in search results and browser tabs in a noisy world.

Make your titles snappier

Sometimes you want to keep all of those must-have keywords in your title (although don’t overuse them!). Maybe every Thursday, you post a Throwback Thursday post, or a Fab Friday Facts listicle, and you put those words in the title, for example: “ApprenticeTips.com – Fab Friday Facts – 5 Ways Social Media Changed The World”.

But is it putting readers off? Moz says yes, it very well could be. In removing the boilerplate text from your title (“the parts of your title tag that repeat every single time”), you’ll create unique titles that are more interesting for the reader.

Image of writing a post on WordPress
Creating a WordPress Post

Link your old content to your new content

Your old articles were great, and your new ones are just as impeccable – but don’t neglect your old content! Update your links in old articles to your new one (where relevant) to refresh your old content. Internal links should be seamless, providing more quality information to the reader and helping them to continue their journey throughout your website.

Moz says if you’re trying to rank for a particular keyword, use Google Search Console to see which of your articles are already ranking for that keyword and add links to the new content. The hard work’s already been done, and Moz says a quick update of your articles can add relevance to your content and boost your domain authority.

Domain authority is Google’s way of checking if your content is what the reader is looking for. If you can clearly answer the reader’s question and provide top quality, interesting information, Google will reward you by pushing your content to the top of the search results pages (SERPs).

If you have a little more time, impress your employer with an in depth SEO audit to keep track of your content and see if you can fill any gaps between and within articles.

Not getting results quickly enough?

That’s normal. There’s lots of things that can affect SEO, and don’t forget – improvements to SEO can take months to show on search engine results pages. It’s not instant, but these tips are quick and easy to implement, and the marginal gains each improvement makes can push you further up those search results!

As part of a Level 3 Digital Marketer Apprenticeship, you can be sure you’re learning the latest in industry developments from experts in the field. With the SEO landscape constantly changing and evolving, staying up to date with the latest advice will help you to get results that will amaze your employer and ensure your skills are cutting edge!

5 SEO tips my Digital Marketing Apprenticeship taught me

Search engine optimisation: SEO Tips from a Level 3 digital marketing apprentice

I found it particularly refreshing and interesting to upskill in inbound marketing with my Level 3 Digital Marketing apprenticeship, specifically Search Engine Optimization (SEO), as I work in paid media. You may ask yourself

“How do I show up first on Google without paid ads?”

The answer is, through SEO. Content you publish on the web can be optimised around certain keywords or search terms, but it doesn’t stop there. Here are my 5 top tips to get your brands’ content to the top of Search Engine Result Pages (SERPS).

SEO Tip 1: Stay up to date with the latest trends

Search Engine Optimisation is often optimised itself! Search engines evolve and update. Make sure you keep up with the evolutionary arms race of Search Engines and get the latest SEO trends to ensure your content is as optimised as possible. The best resources I have come across for exploring the latest SEO trends are SEMrush, Neil Patel, and ahrefs. These blogs also cover a range of marketing topics and are worth exploring to widen your Digital Marketing Knowledge.

SEO Tip 2: Good things come to those who plan

The key to ranking high on SERPs is in the planning. You should center your content around cultural and contextual relevance. Here’s a SEO content template I created to help you with your very own content plan. I always work with a calendar of events and center content around key dates and around keyword research. I use multiple sources to explore what the brands’ audience would want to know relating to the brand/product, and answer it. Whether you need help with your digital marketing apprenticeship SEO implementation, or if you want to improve your brands’ SERP ranking, this template will hopefully get you to position 1.

SEO tips: blog content planning template, content calendar

SEO Tip 3: Internal links should be embedded seamlessly throughout your content

The more you link to your own content, the more optimised and connected your content will be…but be careful to avoid content cannibalisation. Make sure each post answers a different question. Optimise towards different keywords on different posts so your content isn’t competing with itself. The more insight-based and relevant content you can provide, the higher chance you will have of boosting your domain authority, thus ranking higher on SERPS. You can complete an SEO audit to keep track of your content and identify any gaps. Linking to your own content can also encourage readers to continue their journey through your site. You can map out consumer journeys and direct leads through your content, down the sales funnel. 

SEO Tip 4: Link to relevant, and trusted, external content

Internal linking is not the be all and end all. Linking to external content, especially to pages with high domain authority, can boost your Search Engine (SE) ranking. It’s even better if you can get them to link back to you. The higher the domain authority of the site linking back to yours, the more your domain authority is boosted, and SERP position improved. You can use this link to test the domain authority of any URL.

SEO Tip 5: Optimise your images

One tip that often gets pushed aside is image optimisation. Alt text allows the visually impaired to ‘hear’ or ‘read’ your images, but it also allows web crawlers to understand what’s in the image, increasing their understanding of what’s on your page. By adding alt text to images, you increase the chances of ranking at position 0. You also increase traffic to your site through image searches.

Position 0 on Google search engine result page (SERP)

Conclusion

These 5 SEO tips only scratch the surface. For more information on SEO to help you with your Level 3 Digital Marketing Apprenticeship, or SERP ranking, read our blog on the factors affecting SEO.

Completing the digital marketing apprenticeship has been a great experience. Whilst I have found the content useful, and some of it new, I can recognise the greater value the course has to a school leaver, in replacement of university. I would urge school leavers, or graduates totally new to the field, to earn while they learn by exploring the Level 3 Digital Marketing apprenticeship