White Hat SEO: Top 5 Tips on improving your SEO

White Hat SEO
White Hat on a computer monitor

What is White Hat SEO?

‘White Hat SEO’ is the term used for SEO tactics that are in line with the terms and conditions set out by major search engines, including Google. Equally, you can brush up on what SEO is on our post ‘What is SEO and why is it important?‘.

The opposite to to this is Black Hat SEO. Black Hat SEO is the term for SEO tactics that are not within the search engine’s terms of service. White Hat SEO refers to any tactics that have been approved by the search engine’s terms of service. Additionally, this will increase the search rating of your website whilst maintaining the integrity of your website. These tactics are in line with the guidelines Google has outlined and you can find more information on all of them here. These tactics are the best way to increase your search ranking without even spending a penny though it may take some time to kick in. It can be up to 6-12 months before you will start to see the effects, regardless, don’t let that put you off because these will work in the long run.

White Hat SEO just out of the top 5

  • Have compelling Title Tags and Meta Descriptions – These are 2 of the most important Tags on your page. If these are not enticing, people will not click on your page.
  • Optimise your Images – Make sure to use the best file format, compress those images, add in Alt Tags and lastly, use lazy loading to make sure crucial content in displayed
  • Loading Speed is Key – Use Googles PageSpeed Insights tool to analyse you pages loading speed, as this is a primary ranking factor
  • Internal and External Links – Make sure to build an internal link structure to establish a hierarchy for your website. Also the right External links will increase your credibility

Our Top 5 White Hat SEO Tips

1. Be familiar with the webmasters SEO Guidelines.

To make sure you are adhering to the White Hat SEO tactics laid out by the Webmasters. You can see Google’s Guidelines to help you understand what you will need. By sticking to this you will not enter the ‘grey’ area of Black Hat SEO.

These guidelines inform you on how Google finds, indexes and ranks sites. Learning about these will give you an insight into how and why Google ranks sites an will allow you to optimise your site safely. It also details illicit methods that can lead to your site being blacklisted or banned permanently.

You may want to consider performing an SEO Audit of your website. Tips on how to do this can be found in our post: How to Do an SEO Audit: The Ultimate Checklist. This process will help you further your understanding of SEO and help you improve the effectiveness of your current strategy.

2. Publish relevant, unique and quality content

Publishing original content that is unique and helpful to the users. That does not mean that it has to be in depth and extremely long. Though Google doesn’t recommend a specific post length, we think, for the best results you should aim to hit at least 1000 words. Try to solve hard problems and share your learnings, data and challenge the way that people think.

A great way to do this is to find topics that are relevant and trending in the industry and tackle them from a different angle with new data and perspectives. Having great quality content that is unique will need to be relevant to the users, this will be touched on when we talk about the User Intent. In Contrast, if you decided to produce content that is ‘low-quality’, often duplicated and only intended to get people to a page, this is Black Hat SEO. Stay clear of this as is those bots at google catch you, you will have to start all over again.

3. Use Keyword tools and place them strategically and organically

Using keywords is important. Using them organically and strategically is better. The best tool to use for this is the Google Ads Keyword Planner. Conducting keyword analysis will help you stay away from keywords that are overly competitive and identify the best short and long-tail keywords to use on your site. This will also help you to match the User Intent (there’s that phrase again).

Another good way to brainstorm long-tail keywords is to go to google and search for something. Google will then give you options on how to finish off the search. These are the most common search’s related to what you’ve typed already. E.G. If you type in ‘Harry’, google will list the most common search’s i.e. ‘Harry Potter’, ‘Harry Kane’, ‘Harry & Megan’ and ‘Harry Styles’.

Begin to type the words you want to rank for note the phrases that Google suggests, these key phrases tend to be less competitive whilst also being more appropriate to your page.

To use keywords organically on your page try to utilise them in page titles, meta descriptions and image alt tags. This is very important as it will boost your SEO greatly. Additionally, you don’t have to have the exact match keyword in your content. For example, if your longtail keyword is ‘Vegetarian pizza recipes no tomato‘ then this could be hard to get into a sentence naturally. Search engines will recognise those words within a sentence like this ‘these are the best recipes for vegetarian pizza with no tomato that I’ve ever tried’.

It is important not to over do it with keywords as this would be classed as ‘keyword stuffing’. Overuse of the keywords in Titles, Headers and meta data is deemed as a Black Hat SEO technique. Try to incorporate them naturally to avoid any danger.

4. Consider User intent

User intent (also called ‘Search Intent’) is highly important to understand when creating your content. This is the search query that the user has typed into their search engine. The better the match to your page, the higher you will appear.

Firstly, understanding what people are going to search for and satisfying search intent is a top priority for Search Engines. By doing this you will pass their test and be much more likely to appear on the first page on the SERP (Search Engine Results Page).

Also consider how people search for what you are providing. Test it out on colleagues, family and friends. Furthermore, use Googles search function to pinpoint the best way to match the users Search Intent.

There are 4 common types of search intent:

  1. Informational – when users are searching to learn about a subject
  2. Navigational – when users are looking for a specific page or website
  3. Commercial – when users are trying to learn about a product before making a purchase
  4. Transactional – when a user is intending on completing a purchase or action.

Also make sure to use this along side step 3 and match the Keywords to the intent of the user.

5. Strive for a positive User Experience (UX)

The User Experience (otherwise known as UX) plays a big role in improving your Search Rankings. Google would much rather send you to a page that users find easy to use, loads quickly, is well structured and is mobile friendly.

There are several ways to improve your UX as shown above but the mot common ones to look out for are:

  • Headers and Sub-headers – using these will help build a structure to the website that helps the likes of Google to better understand your content. Using Sub-headings within headings (H1, H2, H3) will make the text more accessible an readable to users.
  • Make the Content Visually Appealing – Visuals like Images, videos, screenshots and infographics will also help readers understand your content better as it will help segregate the the content and get the points across
  • Avoid using intrusive pop-ups – In 2017 Google introduced guidelines that would penalise sites that use intrusive pop-up ads. They can be seen as annoying and cause users to leave the site. It is wise to use these sparingly. Find out more on this here.
  • Use White Space – Including white space on a webpage will increase legibility, branding and focus. The Interaction Design Foundation stands by this in their article and so does Google! Using white space in fundamental in a good design.
  • Mobile Friendly Sites are Key – 99.4% of the UK used mobile phones as of January 2021 so if your site is not mobile friendly you could be missing out on a huge audience. However, it is also crucial when it comes to UX because Google uses mobile-first Indexing. Use Google’s mobile-friendly test to check your site.

These tips will help you improve your UX. Not to mention that you Loading Speed will also have an impact on your UX.

If you found this information useful and would like to learn more take a look at our other posts helping with a variety of Digital Marketing tips.

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Digital Marketing: How to optimize a blog with SEO

So you’ve just started your Digital Marketing apprenticeship, and you’ve been tasked with producing a blog post to help with a client’s SEO… But you have no idea where to start? Fear not, we have created the ultimate Digital Marketing guide to Maximizing a blog post for SEO

SEO can be a very confusing thing to get your head around to begin with, especially if you’ve only just started your digital marketing journey. It’s crucial to remember that SEO is constantly changing from industry to industry, so it’s unfortunately not a one size fits all solution.

That being said, SEO does not have to be all doom and gloom, and there are a few easy steps us Digital marketing professionals can take to optimize your content so that it reaches more people!

1) Digital marketing basics – How do search engines work …

Lets go back to the Digital Marketing basics and look at how search engines work.

There is 3 main processes:

1) Crawling: When someone first enters a query into a search engine such as Google, the search engine will use computer programs known as Crawlers, Spiders, or other bots to pull together relevant information on the internet

2) Indexing: The Crawling bots will then source a mixture of sites, images, maps, videos, and other forms of content and media and produce a list (or index) of sources relevant to the search

3) Ranking: The search engine bots will then look at the relevant results and rank the content in order of relevancy and deliver it to the searcher, this will be based on a mixture of keywords, titles, Paid/organic content, and several other factors

2) How do blog posts help SEO in Digital marketing?

Whilst on your digital marketing journey, it is likely that your clients will ask you to work on their SEO through blogging for them. Some of the main reasons that businesses start and maintain blogs include factors like:

  • Increasing traffic to websites or social media pages
  • Good quality blog posts help with search engine ranking
  • Blogs can result in increased brand awareness
  • Conversions (Sales, Email subscriptions, Signing up for events..)
  • Product launches or feature releases
  • Educational or step-by-step instructional content (Such as infographics or e-books)

When producing high-quality content, blogging can have great long-term impacts and can be a great way to keep traffic coming through to your website for months and years after publishing. High traffic rates can help with SEO by building authority for your website (which we will discuss later in this article) and can help you rank higher on search engines like Google and Bing. This can help you provide great results to your clients throughout your digital marketing journey

Hubspot studies also show that:

  • Companies who maintain a blog receive 97% more links to their website.
  • Marketers who prioritize their blog are 13x more likely to see positive ROI.
  • B2B marketers who blog get 67% more leads than those who don’t.
  • Websites with blogs have 434% more indexed pages (hint: this is huge for SEO purposes.)

( Source: Hubspot’s How to create a successful blog guide)
SO, now we’ve covered the SEO Basics… let’s talk about HOW we can enhance SEO in a few simple steps…

An open laptop showing a pie and line graph on the screen. A digital marketer is typing on the keyboard

3) Don’t forget about code!

Did you know that HTML and other back-end coding of your website are super important when it comes to SEO?

Throughout your Digital Marketing journey, you may be required to manage your clients website, whoch means you may need to understand the code on the back end of the website to help you maximize your SEO performance. A great place to learn more about simple HTML is Free Code Camp

This is a resource I found helpful when starting my Digital marketing journey, as understanding the basics of coding such as HTML and CSS can make a big difference when it comes to SEO.

But, if you are a beginner, or running a website yourself, a few good places to start are:

Title elements:

Using the HTML5 title element can help search engines determine what content your website provides.

For example:

<title> How to maximize a blog post (4 steps for beginners) <title/>

Here I have embedded my title within the <Title> Element in the HTML code on the backend of my website. This will help Search engines understand what my content is about and therefore bring it up in relevant searches.

According to Moz “Google typically displays the first 50–60 characters of a title tag. If you keep your titles under 60 characters, our research suggests that you can expect about 90% of your titles to display properly.”

Text elements:

Relevant body text should be embodied within the text element in HTML with specific keywords (which we will discuss later) so that search engines can determine what your blog post is about

For example:

<text> Here is a paragraph as an example of how to use the text element within HTML, Using this Element along with relevant Keywords can help search engines determine what your site is about and help it rank highly within Search engines <text/>

Relevancy is important when it comes to SEO, so make sure your body text is relevant to your audience and buyer personas, and that relevant keyword are used.

Meta Descriptions:

Meta descriptions are a HTML attribute that gives Search engines a summary of a web page. Many search engines will present the meta description in search results, just underneath the title.

Although Google has confirmed that Meta Tags don’t have an impact on a site’s SEO, they can increase click-through rates. For this reason, it is worth including them in your HTML

For example:

<head> <meta name=”description”

content=”Here is where you will write a description of your site, blog post or content to be read by search engines and visitors.”></head>

According to Moz“Meta descriptions can be any length, but Google generally truncates snippets to ~155–160 characters. It’s best to keep meta descriptions long enough that they’re sufficiently descriptive, so we recommend descriptions between 50–160 characters.”

Image Alt attributes:

If you use images on your website, it is important that the coding behind them is relevant.

Images within your website/ blog posts should always have Alt text (alternative text) included within their HTML coding, Alt text is an alternative text that is shown when your website has trouble loading your images to website visitors for certain reasons (i.e poor connection)

Search engines aren’t able to see images the way humans do, so adding Alt text to your images explaining what the image shows allows the search engine to determine what the image is, and can help with SEO ranking.

For example:

<img src=”SEO.Jpeg” alt=”This is where you describe your image”>

The alt element also makes your website more accessible for people who have sight difficulties, as it allows screen readers to provide a description.

To write a good alt text description, make sure you provide a specific description that isn’t too lengthy, but not too vague. You also want to include at least one keyword, but not too many as this can flag up as spam for keyword stuffing (which we will discuss in the keywords section)

4) Use Relevant Keywords

Next, let’s talk about keywords. Keywords themselves are their own topic, so today we will brush over the Digital marketing basics of what keywords are, how to use them, and what to avoid.

What are keywords?

Essentially, your SEO keywords are the words and phrases included in your web content that make it possible for people to find your sites and blog posts on search engines such as Google and Bing.

Implementing good Keywords is important for SEO performance. Without them, your customers will land on the many other pages of your competitors on the internet, rather than yours.

Like most things regarding SEO, Keywords can take a lot of trial and error to find out which words work best at bringing traffic to your website.

Because of this, it’s important to spend time throughout your Digital Marketing career doing in-depth keyword research to find out what sort of words your customers and buyer personas are searching for to find content similar to yours.

A great place to start with Keyword research is by using tools such as:

  • Google Keyword Planner This tool allows you to input information on your website and pull up analytics on what keywords are working well for your site, as well as what ones to include in the future
  • Word streams Free Keyword Tool will suggest keywords relevant to your site and show you how competitive they are
  • Bings Webmasters tool provides several SEO tools, including keyword research tools and analytics

Long-tail keywords

Keywords must be reviewed on a regular basis, and high-volume, competitive keywords that are used by many other businesses similar to yours, can often be replaced with long-tail keywords to target more specific customers.

Long-tail keywords are highly specific and targeted phrases that are commonly searched by your customers.

For example, let’s say you run a Gourmet Bakery based in Kensington, and are releasing a new Blueberry Muffin on your menu. The competitive Keyword – “Blueberry Muffins” could be turned into a long-tailed keyword by changing it to “Gourmet Blueberry Muffins in Kensington”.

These specific phrases are designed not to bring in just any visitor to your site, but exactly the right visitors, who are looking specifically for your product or service. Therefore, it is worth including Long-tailed keywords in your blog posts to reach out to customers who are highly interested in what you have to offer.

How often should I use keywords?

Keywords should be included throughout your content at a normal cadence, that does not seem robotic to the reader. They should appear naturally within your writing, Image alt text, headings, and meta tags.

You mustn’t overuse keywords as this can appear as Keyword stuffing and could flag up as spam, meaning that Search engines will not show your site in search results.

5) Build Authority

When search engines are going through the indexing phase, they take into consideration 3 things. A sites Relevance, a site’s bid value (only necessary if you are using Google Paid ads, which we will discuss in another post), and Authority.

Authority is important as it can change whether your website and content will rank at the top or the bottom of google.

Authority is based on several things:

  • How many links you have to your blogs that are talked about and shared on social media often
  • Content that is referred to other websites or blog posts, otherwise known as backlinks. The more backlinks you have from good quality relevant sites, the higher you will rank on search engines.
  • Content that is cited by other works (for example press links)

Gaining authority is not something that happens overnight, and takes some work. You can help your clients gain authority through your digital marketing efforts with SEO, as compelling, unique, and high-quality content is more likely to be shared by other content creators and social media users than a website alone would.

You can measure your web site’s authority by looking at the link volume, page views, and time spent on different pages of your site.

You can use tools such as Moz’s link explorer to help you discover backlinks to your site, as well as help you discover links that may be damaging your site authority.

This is also a great tool that provides an estimated rank of your site’s overall authority on the internet by looking at the number of unique websites that have backlinks to your content.

Another great way to monitor backlinks is to set up a Google Alert for any mentions of your site throughout Google.

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For more Digital marketing and apprenticeship tips and advice, be sure to check out our other blog posts by clicking here

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4 Tools You NEED as a Digital Marketer [2022]

The title reads '4 Tools You Need as a Digital Marketer'. The image shows a phone with different tools and software shown. Apprentice Tips logo sits in the bottom left.

As a digital marketer, your primary role is to define, design, build and implement digital campaigns across online and social media platforms. Creating and tracking campaigns require essential digital tools such as content creation software, design tools and analytic trackers.

This guide will outline the vital tools you need to use, as well as our top recommendations for the best software out there to level up your marketing – let’s begin!

1. Canva

A demo of how to use Canva is on the right and the Canva logo sits on the left.

Canva is an Australian graphic design platform, used to create social media graphics, presentations, posters, documents and other visual content. It also allows users to upload templates for other marketers to use.

This is one of my favourite design tools, as it is user-friendly and produces professional content without the cost of a top-end graphic designer. This is great for businesses with a small budget, who prefer to do in-house design rather than out-sourcing.

Canva allows you to collaborate with your team on the same platform, giving you the option to share directly with team members or set permissions on who can edit the content.

The tool is free to use with some features being restricted to a premium plan. This includes but is not limited to:

  • Removing the background of images
  • Resizing
  • Full access to photos, elements and fonts

Canva Pro is £99.99 a year and is limited to one person. Canva for Teams is £129.90 a year 2+ people.

2. Mailchimp

If you’re one of the 8/10 marketers who use email marketing, Mailchimp is for you!

Mailchimp is a marketing automation platform which is designed for businesses using email to reach their target audience. It’s an all-in-one tool, allowing you to manage mailing lists and create email templates. Being a web-based application means you don’t need to download and install any software to your devices, and instead can use it on any web browser.

If you’re not clued up on everything coding, Mailchimp offers a range of readymade templates to use in your email campaigns. You can change colours, fonts and structure without needing to know HTML, CSS, or JavaScript. This is the perfect fix if your company is without an in-house web designer.

Mailchimp is free to use, with certain features being restricted to those who pay for the premium plan.

3. Yoast

A demo of how to use Yoast is on the right and the Yoast logo sits on the left.

If you’re familiar with WordPress, you will be familiar with Yoast.

Yoast is an SEO plugin, designed to help businesses optimize their websites for search engines. The plugin makes it easy to write titles and description tags inside of website pages. It also shows you a ‘Snippet Preview’ of how the page will look on Google’s search results page.

SEO is all about keyword research and Yoast allows you to set a ‘focus keyphrase’ to analyse the web content on a page. It determines how your content scores on different factors. For example, the length of text, using internal links etc. It then organises these scores using the traffic light system, with helpful tips to improve your rankings.  

Yoast is free to use with certain features being locked for Yoast SEO Premium members at £99 a year.

4. HubSpot

HubSpot has several marketing tools at hand, with everything you need in one place.

HubSpot offers a full stack of software, including a CRM, Marketing Hub, Sales Hub and a Service Hub. Coined as an ‘all-in-one marketing software’, it provides tools that can help your company with blogging, SEO, social media, email, landing pages and web analytics.

The ‘holy grail’ of inbound marketing, HubSpot’s tools can help you to grow your traffic, convert leads and prove ROI for your inbound marketing campaigns. With everything in one place, it couldn’t be more ideal for a digital marketer.

HubSpot offers a ‘free tools’ package, as well as other premium packages to unlock more features – starting at £38/month.

A hand holding a phone that has software logos on it.

Final Thoughts

Marketing doesn’t have to be overwhelming, and with the right digital marketing tools, you can create a marketing strategy with ease. Incorporating social media marketing, search engine optimization, email marketing and consistent content gives your business the best chance to succeed and grow.

Digital tools are always changing, so be sure to keep up with trends and have an updated list of tools at your fingertips.

Is there something we missed? Do you have a great tool that you want to recommend?

Help us keep this list updated by leaving a comment with your favourite digital tools. For more information on digital careers, check out our blog.

Core skills and SEO

With any given scenario you are always required to show and utilise your skills. Over time we learn and pick up on a wide range of skills to be able to use it on a day to day basis. As an apprentice this is no different and you are required to meet the skill sets and use them through your journey.

What are core skills?

Core skills are known to allow you to provide a service within a role. It is an essential part of your job and shows your capabilities at any company. Here are a few examples of skills that are required in a job and how it helps you to perform your role.

Communication: To be able to communicate effectively in a job role is essential in the delivery of tasks and projects. Communication is dependent on the role you are in and the sector of work you are in. You will be required to work and communicate with your colleagues and in some instances you are required to speak with external clients and partners.

Another valuable skill to hold is in SEO. SEO is a key technical skill which is applied in many digital marketing roles. It helps a businesses website grow and bring in customers which leads to an increase in awareness and sales. Having a high traffic can increase the visibility of your brand and bring more awareness of your other social platforms. It can help you to stand out against your market which in return leads to higher sales. The digital world is continuously growing and without an online presence your business can struggle to reach an audience and grow. It can also delay the growth of your business as you will need to acquire a fan base.

Technical skills in a digital role – SEO

What is SEO and how do we use it? SEO stands for Search, Engine, Optimisation. It is used by businesses that represent their brand online and allows them to feature at the top of users’ searches. For example, if you are a startup business and you market makeup products, you must stand out from the crowd. Therefore, you must optimise your site well through the use of keywords in order to rank high on searches.

Now let’s move onto content relevance. Is the content you are publishing and sharing relevant to your brand and business? When pulling for searches to show, Google filters through the content. By featuring certain terms through your website it will help to indicate how well this relates to what is being searched for. It will give an indication of whether the topic searched on the internet can find answers through your content. 

There are 3 main components of SEO; Technical, Content and Off page SEO. This relates to the format in which Google analyses a website and ranks it on the search pages. Technical SEO refers to the structure of a web page. It can highlight things such as any clustering on your page, the page format, speed etc. On page SEO refers to the content that is produced on your site. You must feature information that is relevant to what you do or sell. This enables Google to understand what and where to feature your site. Off page SEO links to the backend of your website. It is third party websites linking to your content and increasing your ranking. 

Overall SEO is a fundamental part of building your brand and online presence. As more businesses are moving to a digital form there is much more competition across search pages. Building a strong SEO helps your business stand out from the crowd and brings you organic followings.

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)


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