Every business owner goes to sleep at night dreaming of more website visitors. It’s the perfect gateway to raising brand awareness and bringing in sales. A steadfast way to increase your website’s visibility online lies with three important letters: SEO. Short for Search Engine Optimisation, it’s the art of honing your website so that you are more visible on Google, and therefore increases the quality and quantity of traffic to your website through organic search results.
By having a long-term SEO strategy, not only will users find your website more easily, but they’ll stay on it longer and be more likely to convert into a sale. Win, win, and win again.
In addition to increasing your Google search rankings, SEO is important for a variety of reasons, including:
- SEO practices improve the user journey on your website
- Appearing higher up in Google searches gains trust from potential customers and positions your website as a credible source of information
- SEO is a free marketing technique, meaning you aren’t relying on costly PPC campaigns to get clicks
Whilst all the above demonstrates the need for search engine optimisation, the key is not to overcomplicate the matter, and instead use the right techniques so that the right people find you. To help with this, we’ve compiled our top five secrets to improving the ranking of your website or blog posts on Google.
There’s a lot to cover, so let’s dive right in!
1. Ensure all your content is original
The first step in walking the SEO walk is making sure all content on your website is authentic, instead of copied or rephrased from somewhere else.
Not only does original copy elevate your level of expertise to your audience and provide greater opportunity for you to add keywords relevant to your exact business, but Google has a habit of ranking ‘fresh’ content more favourably in its algorithm. In simpler terms, say ‘hello’ to page one of search results.
2. Optimise your website for mobile
Chances are, you’ve already heard that your website needs to be mobile-friendly if you want to be competitive in today’s online market. According to Statista, 51.73% of website traffic this year so far has come from mobile, meaning on average half of the prospective clients that find your website will be experiencing it on their mobile phone. Is your user journey set up to cater for that?
If not, there’s still time to make mobile-friendly amends! In their most recent update, Google made an even larger shift to mobile and declared it would crawl the mobile version of websites before the desktop version. Eek! Therefore, if the Google bot finds your website journey hostile to mobile users or if pages load slowly on mobile, you’re going to lose rank.
3. Tag all of your images. Literally every single one.
Images are one of the most powerful sales techniques in the world. With a large part of the brain focussed on visual processing, humans are able to absorb images at incredible speed.
So if you’re sitting here thinking to yourself, ‘my website is full of long-form text’ – then now is the time to change it! The key to a customer’s heart is through images, and the key to Google’s heart is through SEO optimised images.
The first step in optimising images is to ensure you use pictures that are relevant to your text, as this will help it rank better for the keyword it’s optimised for.
Once you have decided on your image, make sure you save it with a filename that is both relevant to the image and includes your business-specific keywords, as this helps Google know what the image is without even needing to look at it. It’s simple, if your website sells bikes and your image is of a red, mountain bike, then instead of having your photo saved as ‘IMG562519’, save it to your computer or cloud as ‘best-red-mountain-bike.jpg’.
The same goes for uploading your image to your website or blog, as here you’ll get the opportunity to add an ‘alt text’ to your image, which again should be keywords that you want your website to rank for on Google.
4. Have links on every single page
According to Google, link building is one of the 3 most important factors in ranking your website. And if Google says it, it must be true. Literally. Not only does having links on your pages keep users engaged and moving around your website, but it sends an alert to Google that your site is structured well, and they thank you by ranking you more favourably.
The key to this is making sure all links around your website lead to the correct destination URL, and not to your 404 page – which is known as a ‘broken link’ and is the arch-nemesis of SEO.
Another key part of link building is something that requires a little more graft and a longer-term strategy. Backlinks refers to the art of getting other websites to reference and link to your website, thus positioning your website as ‘credible’ and ‘authoritative’ in Google’s calculating eyes. This can be done by guest blogging, contacting relevant sites with broken links and asking them to reference you instead, or by just posting awesome content that will naturally attract links.
5. Maintain a good structure at all times
Every website has a ‘structure’, which usually reflects the personality of its owner. Some are regimented and streamlined, others are winding and convoluted/chaotic, but all of them group content and present it to users in a breadcrumb-like trail for them to follow through your site. A good site structure makes information easy to process and provides your website with sitelinks, which in short is a listing for Google to crawl your site better and find the relevant content quickly, which will help it rank on search pages.
The best way to improve your site structure is to remove old, cluttered content, and ensure that your internal linking structure means that pages are never more than three pages away from your homepage, with pages feeding out in linked categories. After all, it doesn’t matter how good looking your site is, if users find it difficult to navigate!
Our bonus tip when looking at your site structure is to also ensure that all pages have a clear structure too. Make sure headlines and page titles summarise the page titles, with H1, H2, and H3 headers being used in order, with content divided into clear paragraphs.
So there are you are, our top 5 SEO secrets … If you would like any further information or are looking for some help with SEO we can work with you to build a Covid-considerate, high-performing website.
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