SEO has always had a little mystic about it and yes it’s true it can be complex, especially when delving into the realms of technical optimisation. However, leaving aside the technical complexities it is possible that there are a few basic things you can do to help your website get higher in search rankings.
If your site is regularly on the first page in search, then visibility is maximised. Think of when you’re doing a search, very often none of us clicks past the first results. Now we’re not going to say it’s easy to get on the first page and if you’re going down the organic route, this is especially made difficult because most often Paid Ads are given preference. Also, local searches will produce different results and rankings. So if your rankings are looking pretty gloomy, then its time to think about doing something about it!
Regular SEO Audits
Get into the habit of doing regular SEO audits to weed out and fix any problems that might be affecting search visibility. Make sure you keep your website updated, current and in line with your own business objectives and the needs of your target audience. Traditionally a website would be launched and that’s it, quite often it would be forgotten. A more effective website and one that will provide better returns is a project that’s constantly evolving and is flexible enough to align with your company and prospective customer needs as they emerge. SEO is the same, its constantly changing, Google will inform the public of large implementations such as HTTPS or ‘mobile-first indexing’ but on an ongoing basis, there are many micro-changes, the effects of which will only come to light through doing regular auditing.
SEO That’s Data Driven
Data driven SEO is important, it is the basis for understanding what is working and what needs to be improved. Data can provide information on the following:
- page-level factors including user engagement
- content factors – length, backlinks, page links, keywords etc
- find duplicate content & missing metadata such as snippets and image tags
- site credibility & trustworthyness
- sitemaps & domain factors
A word of caution, improving ranking doesn’t happen overnight in fact, only a small percentage of web traffic makes it to page 1. Even with some SEO tweaks, it can take time to pull through and show the results, so even with the best will in the world, don’t expect an immediate effect from some of the changes you make.
So What Quick Things Can You Do To Help Improve Search Rankings
If you are new to SEO and want to do a little yourself then the best place to start is ‘on-page’ SEO and improvements to the basic site structure. Forget the technical stuff for now because it can get really complex, plus the changing nature of what crawler bots are looking for and algorithm updates can result in knowledge being out-dated very quickly.
One recent change you should know about first
Google’s Mobile-First Indexing for example, is significantly changing the way Google indexes websites. Without knowing this, or understanding what it’s about will result in SEO efforts being directed towards the wrong thing.
Google will now use your mobile site for indexation purpose, whereas previously it would crawl the desktop. This change directly reflects current browsing habits and the fact that browsing from mobile devices has superseded that of the desktop. Therefore it is the mobile experience that Google is more interested in, so make sure your mobile site is fully optimised. Our blog on mobile-first indexing will explain more about its implementation and how it could affect site rankings.
Some Key Features of SEO Friendly Websites
SEO friendly websites should be structured logically so that it’s easy for the user to navigate. If a user can navigate easily and have a clear understanding of what the site and its pages are about, then so can a Google Bot when it crawls your site in order to match it to a search query.
Not to be confused with mobile-first indexing websites should be mobile-friendly and provide a positive user experience. Google prefers websites with a responsive design, which will render the display differently based on the screen size.
SEO friendly websites have search engine optimised content. Google takes a whole host of factors into account when it crawls to index your web pages. These include but are by no means limited to:
- Length of text – the days of short content with little context in order to quickly produce current information, is no longer applicable. Google rates content on quality and therefore tends to rate higher longer more informative content that has a clear context.
- Frequency of posting – Producing regular new content is an important SEO feature. This is why the news/blog section of a website is so important.
- Well researched keywords – they need to be strategically placed within the content so that Google can quickly identify what the page is all about. This will increase the chances of that page being shown in relation to a search query.
- Images – use alt text where appropriate.
- Quality links – include both inbound and outbound.
- Readability– don’t be too clever with the text, make it so that it’s easy to read and structured.
More quick tips on how to write good web content
There is a mountain of information on the internet about how to make your website SEO friendly, but for most business owners, investing time and energy in researching and implementing the advice (not to mention keeping up with any changes) is just not practical. This is why many business owners are choosing to outsource their SEO to specialist digital marketing companies.
If you would like more information about anything you’ve read in this article or would like some general advice about SEO and any other marketing areas, then please get in touch our details are here or take a look at our SEO Services