You've finished your shiny new website! Dotted the I's and crossed the T's. Polished every page to pixel perfection. Submit to Google and off we go...
But what are the best ways to improve your ranking (search position) in Google? Search engine optimisation is often seen as an expensive, complex and specialist add-on. And it certainly can be! But follow some basic rules and you'll lay the foundations for a stable start.
Here's 10 helpful pointers to set you on the right path:
- Design responsively - It’s important not to overlook the importance of this. Ensuring your website is responsive and works flawlessly on mobiles does two key things for your SEO: It gets you the all-important “mobile-friendly” tag in Google search and It helps provide a better user experience for visitors. If your site doesn't work on mobiles then Google takes a very dim view - down the rankings you'll go....!
- Research your keywords - Does your website actually contain the kind of keywords people type into Google to find you or your service? How can you research this easily? You can use dedicated keyword research websites or - just use Google! The easiest way to get ideas for relevant website content is to head to google.com and start typing. Let's say you're looking for relevant copy for your Web Design Blog - type 'web design' into Google and BOOM! In less than a second you'll see a list of the most relevant keywords people type in to Google - themes, templates, software etc. This is a great starting point.
- Use ALT Tags for every image - Not as complex as it sounds. ALT Tags (alternative text) is simply text added to a website that describes an image. Although primarily used to describe an image for visually impaired visitors, ALT Tags play an important part with SEO. Thinking about keyword research above, using relevant keywords for image descriptions can have a positive SEO benefit. Users can often stumble across your site from an image search on Google Images, providing you've described your image correctly.
- Keep it fresh - this takes dedication and time but the results are worth it. Its one thing building a flashy website but Google loves fresh content (and so do visitors). Regularly updated content is viewed as one of the best indicators of a site’s relevancy. Give people a reason to return time after time to your site - write new blog posts, add new products, services or testimonials - basically, keep it current.
- Use readable and meaningful URLs (page address) - If users can’t read or understand your URL, then search engines may be confused as well. As Google take an increasingly human approach to reading pages and content, then the same goes for page address's. Take a look at the URL of this very page https://www.connectcreative.co.uk/post/top-10-ways-to-rank-higher-in-google it might be long but it describes the page content perfectly. An example of something less successful could be https://www.connectcreative.co.uk/post/24574dsggh53. Simple!
- Write relevant and unique page descriptions - Known as Meta Descriptions, they're one of the most important SEO tips that is often neglected. The meta description is the first section that people see when Google serves up your page to search users. Having a descriptive and focussed page description helps users find what they're searching more more easily. This brings us back to point no. 2 - effective use of keywords!
- Remove anything that slows down your site - high quality images, animation and video might look great but unless they're all optimised efficiently chances are they'll have a negative impact on your pages load speed. A one second delay in page load time can yield 11% fewer page views. To put that into perspective, if your site typically earns £100,000 a day you'd lose £2.5m in sales every year!
- Use analytics from the start - Unless you know precisely how your sites performing, you'll be unable to make relevant and effective changes to meet your goals. Services like Google Analytics and Google Search console are free, powerful and effective ways to monitor a sites performance. Outside Google, there are many free and paid services to monitor how visitors interact with your site - one of our favourites is https://www.hotjar.com/
- Social media - Share your content on social media platforms. The more social media links that are referring to your website, the better! This can improve website traffic, engagement, and visibility in the search engine Results. Consider running an effective Social Media campaign in tandem with your website. Linking to/from posts in your site is a great way to grow site visitors. Social Media is a fantastic platform to engage with targeted, active visitors. Social Media marketing is also cost effective.
- And finally - Content is King - an often overused quote but so true. There can be no compromise with content. Ensure you write relevant and compelling content for higher results. Consider the mindset of your ideal client and provide valuable and relevant information for them. Consider working with an experienced copywriter
This is just the tip of a very large iceberg! It's important to remember that getting ranked number one in Google does not guarantee you any visitors to your site. You’ll only get people coming to your website if your result gets clicked on!
For help with any aspect of your Search Engine Optimisation get in touch today 0845 643 6219 or email firstname.lastname@example.org