A new year, a new you. People write theses about SEO and page ranking and the top consultants earn thousands of pounds per day to share their knowledge, but there are a number of basic things you can be doing to tweak your site and tweak your rankings as you head into the new year. Here’s five to get you started.

  1.  Don’t be Flash

We’ve said it before here, but Flash is a dying format. With the uptake of tablets that can’t view Flash the final nails are being driven into it’s coffin and with it goes one of the other downfalls of the format, its poor Google ranking. It is possible to rank well using a Flash site, but it takes time and a lot of expertise and most small businesses won’t know or be able to afford that expertise. Yes, Flash looks good – to those who can view it – and makes a great first impression but remember people need to find your site first, so ditch the Flash and watch your rankings and thus overall traffic improve.

  1.  Keep it useful

Trendy, news-worthy content is great when it happens, but it won’t give your site longevity. Even if you feature current keywords and phrases it still makes your content and therefore your site disposable. To keep your site attracting traffic back to your content and to increase the potential of backlinks for years to come you should be creating authorative content that is not time-specific.

  1.  Review your profiles

Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Facebook… your company and employees probably have profiles on all of these and more but are they all singing the same song? Take time out to check where you have profiles and at least make sure they are up to date, all carry the correct URL and link to one another. Individually these may not make a big difference but address them all and you could see a marked improvement on your rank. At the every least you can be sure the information about your company is correct.

  1.  Go local

Google, Yahoo and Bing all offer benefits for local businesses. You may have a global operation but many searchers will still be swayed by the opportunity to use a local company over one hundreds of miles away. It is well worth you securing your free local listing on each of the search giants. Many are claiming the future of search is local and with the uptake of local business profiles still low, by registering now you have a great chance of getting ahead of the competition.

  1.  Be original and then promote

OK it may sound a bit like discovering penicillin but, with a bit of thought and a lot of drive you could make your own breakthrough in the SEO world. The stats suggest that 25% of all keywords have never been typed into a google search before, but that’s not to say they won’t be. If you are looking to buy keywords, obviously the less popular the better value, so what about choosing a less popular one and trying to make it popular? Find a word that sums up what you do and use that as your push for the next 12 months. Use it in tweets, blogs, emails, even adverts and you will be surprised how quickly it can fall in to common usage and more importantly be instantly recognised with your brand.

That’s just a few ways to improve, there are many others, search engine optimisation is a whole science (or art) in its own right. What is important is that you regularly review your own site, how it is ranking and check you have the latest relevant keywords included somewhere.