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Search Engine Optimisation For Website

Search Engine Optimisation For Website

 

Search Engine Optimisation For Website: 20 essential things you need to optimize your website

Today I will look at some basic concepts you need to know for search engine optimisation, something that  everyone in your business should be aware of, or preferably have some good understanding of.

 

What is Search Engine Optimisation?

Simple: SEO covers all methods you can use to improve the visibility of your website and the content on search engine results pages, or “SERPs”.

These range from technical things you can do inside your website (on-page SEO) to all the stuff you can do outside your website (off-page SEO) things like link-building and  social media marketing etc…

In this blog, when I mention visibility, I mean where on  SERP your website will appear for search phrases in ‘organic’ search results. So, by organic, I mean those that appear search result without ad spend. 

Search Engine Optimisation For Website Search Engine Optimisation For Website

Paying to show up in search results is also effective but not what we are dealing with here. 

Why might you want Search Engine Optimisation?

If you have good site architecture and clear navigation, this will help the search engines know how to index your site. Perhaps more importantly, it will also give visitors to your site a more enjoyable experience while using your site and make them want to return. The mighty Google also values user experience more and more.

If you ever get to see your traffic stats, you will see that a large portion of it will come from organic search and I suppose that in itself is reason enough to want to improve your SEO.

In 2015, some data analysis was completed that found that 90% of organic traffic comes from Google originally . This points towards strong SEO on Google being your number 1 priority. Is this conclusion correct.

Accorgding to some prominent studies, the top 5 results usually get upwards of 60% of clicks where the next 5 only get ~3%

Search Engine Optimisation For Website

Search Engine Optimisation For Website

So how’s that for pointing out the cost of not having SEO – you need to be in the top 5.

There are a good few tips here and we’ve split them into two main sections. These will get you rolling up the ranks into the elusive top 5.

First section is about what the search engines want to see?

Number 1: Relevance

The search engine’s instrinsic value to a customer depends on how relevant the result is to their customer. So, your pages need to be relevant to a query – these can vary from simple queries to more complicated. 

Search Engine Optimisation For Website

Search Engine Optimisation For Website

So in essence, if you want to be showing up in search results, your page needs to be relevant to the user search query. You can take into account: location, price information, related topics etc… that will help the algorithm artificially understand if your page is relevant

Number 2: Is your content quality or not?

Are you writing useful content designed for your target consumers on a regular basis? Are you basing your writing on the user experience or is it all purely designed to show on the search engine> You need to be improving the length and quality of your content in general..

Overall, don’t be stuffing your blog full of keywords and ignoring how your users will experience the blog.

Number 3: Experience of the user

OK , so there is more to be said for having clear navigation structures within your website than you realise. Allowing your users to easily navigate around the different interesting elements in their site will give a much better user experience.

Number 4: Page load speeds

There is a ton of benefits included with improving your site speed. Do you think anyone wants to wait 10 seconds for a page to load? Similarly, search engines will reward sites that have fast load speed with higher position in the ranks, because it improves the enjoyment of the experience… There is also a new feature called AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) which allows pages to be stored in google’s cache so they load almost instantly on mobile devices

Number 5: Does your site load on different devices?

This used to require separate styling for each different device and i remember building 5 different version of one website for 5 different types of device. Luckily now, there is responsive design which not only is google’s preferred format, but allows you to build one design and have that “respond” to different devices.

Number 6: Links to other pages in your site.

One of the points we mentioned earlier was that having clear navigation improves the user experience. Another way to improve this and gain more trust signals from Google is to increase the amount of internal linking within your site. So for example, linking from one of your blogs to another when you think another blog can explain a topic in more depth. 

There are some distinct advantages to having internal links:

It gives your consumers more options. It can also help to improve your bounce rates as it prevents people from leaving after visiting just one page!
So, search engines are getting better at recognising semantically-related phrases – (phrases which sort of mean the same thing) so you can create various links off your page and to your page using anchor text which is semantically related – this will help the algorithms know more securely that your page is related to the main keyword.

Number 7: Domain or page authority

If you can get links from authority websites, you will have more value in the yes of the search engines. Authority website are generally websites that have a lot of traffic, are trusted institutions and have the respect of the search engine companies, for example national newspapers, educational institutes, government bodies etc…

This topic has been debated much recently and whether it is still as relevant as it used to be. Just to think, the original search engine algorithms simple counted how many links you had – how easy it was.

Number 8: Use meta data – titles and descriptions

Meta data boils down to mainly three things on your page: meta title, meta description and meta keywords. Most website CMS programs have an option or plugins where you can include you meta data. It’s simple – the title is what shows up in the clickable link of the search results. The description is the short blurb that shows directly under that in the search results. You need to create phrases there that will encourage users to click. 

Number 9: The Schema.org project markup

A few years ago, search engines got together and created a markup that allows you to include various rich snippets in your page data – the schema.org project. You can find plugins and guides on how to include schema data in your website and it can help your search results stand out and get attention.

Number 10: Tag those images

Google and friends cannot quickly and easily understand all the code that is used to create your image – so there is a very simple and quick way to help them understand – tag your images with relevant keywords – this is the alt-tag – stands for alternative text tag. 

Search Engine Optimisation For Website

Search Engine Optimisation For Website

Number 11: Design your content for the long haul

Rather than creating flash in the pan content that maybe is relevant for some passing fad, create something that will last the test of time. Search engines can keep showing your content for years in high ranking positions if it has true value. 

Number 12: Subdomains or categories

Apparently using subdomains, e.g. xyz.domain.com rather than using an internal category such as domain.com/xyz can actually hurt your search results, so if you are going to build tons of domains to try to expand your content and reach, do this using categories rather than subdomains. 

Number 13: Size of your headlines and relevance of permalinks

Article headlines are best if only a few words around 60 characters in total length. In relation to permalinks, (this is how the url ends up appearing – in this case https://www.webmarket.ie/search-engine-optimisation-website/), google even recommends using a few (3-4) keywords putting the most relevant ones first. 

Number 14: Do you switch off your comments

Turning off comments is a big mistake. As your blog expands it’s reach, you want to grow a thriving community of commenters helping your blog to reach more and stay relevant. Just be careful you don’t approve spammy or irrelevant comments where people are just simple looking for link juice.

Number 15: Optimising for “local”

One of the simple things you can be aware of is that Google and the others are paying more and more attention to the location of search results. So, if people are looking for web developers and searching in Wexford, the search results will usually show a bunch of google businesses at the top located somewhere nearby. Get on “Google My Business” and create a relevant profile for your business.

Number 16: Get visible on social media

There are of course many social networks out there where you can easily boost your visibility by growing an audience and providing relevant content on a regular basis. This is a quick way of getting organic or paid traffic to targeted or interested audience. 

Number 17: Watch out, don’t stuff your page with keywords. 

It used to be the case that you could just shove the same keywords in 20 times to your article and it might even show up in the number one spot because nobody else was optimising for that phrase. Of course, this ain’t the case no more and nowadays, it is best practive to keep the incidence of your target keyword under something like 5%.

Number 18: Paying for links or getting them from exchanges

There are service out there where you can get thousands of links on demand for a price or one big link farm where you share their link, they’ll share yours. Don’t bother – these sites are often getting slammed and you could run the risk of having your entire website de-indexed. Is that worth it? 

Number 19: Get rid of overbearing ad settings on your site

More and more websites have ridiculous amounts of ads, which not only seems intrusive, but actually makes the experience less enjoyable. I used to continually check out the posts from mashable on my mobile facebook feed, until they started having these tricks, which actually force you to click on their ads by mistake. Do i want that? No – I have unsubscribed to their feed as a consequence.

Number 20: Plagiarism

Watch out for duplicate content. It’s not allowed. Google seriously frown upon copying content directly from other sites so if you are going to do that, you could find yourself de-listed and worse than that, you could end up in a lawsuit. Write your own content – set a schedule, do it regularly – in the long run, it will pay off.

That’s it for my twenty tips. Thanks for reading. You want any help or have any feedback leave me a comment. Or of course, drop me (Steve) an email on info@webmarket.ie – feel free to share too!

 

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