What can you do that’s quick and easy so that you can increase your websites search engine rankings? Getting to the top of the search results is the main objective of every business with a website, and is probably the question I get asked most frequently. Here are some things that you can do to help get your website to top spot.
Things to understand
The first, and possibly most important thing to understand is that there is no magic fix for SEO – it takes time and effort to reach the top.
The second thing is that all search engines will have their own, unique and highly top secret algorithm and filters (maths and computer stuff for getting the user the best and most relevant result for them). As these are secret to the search engine company nobody outside of those companies know exactly how they work. That being said, there is a lot of speculation, guesswork and trial and error and most SEO experts agree that the details matter and will help you increase your ranking.
Your site’s content is king. Search engines love websites that are full of valuable content. It needs to be informative and authoritative on the subject you are writing about. No longer are websites something you create for your business and leave it to work its magic for a few years, and then update the website again. Your website should be a living, breathing source of information and products, updated regularly with valuable, informative information.
When writing this content, try and select three to five keywords to focus on throughout the article or post. You can select as many as you need, though be aware that the more you select, the lower your keyword density becomes which can do more damage than good.
Make sure that your content title is keyword rich and descriptive of your content. Not only do search engines still think titles are important, ultimately the reader needs to find your title informative and helpful to their needs.
Your content and articles should revolve around ideas and not keywords. While keywords are important, your content should be valuable and informative and you’ll tend to find that when you’re finished, your content will naturally include keywords about the subject.
To get the most out of this content it should be structured correctly. I’m not necessarily talking about how it reads to users, but more the HTML structure of the webpage.
WordPress is a great place to start for SEO. It utilises <article>, <section> and <header> tags which helps break the content up for search engines and makes sure that they are categorising the content correctly. A good theme or template for your WordPress site is essential because those tags are included as part of your content and in the correct place without you having to worry about them which lets you focus on writing great content.
Heading tags are different to both <head> tags and <header> tags. Without getting into it too much, heading tags range though <h1>, <h2>, <h3>, <h4>, <h5>, <h6> and they format text to be a heading or content title. The numbers represent the importance of each heading for search engines and helps the reader break the content into logical sections.
The most important heading on your page should be a h1. Everything else on the page should then be a h2 or lower. There should only be one h1 tag on each page. This will help search engines rank your content appropriately and allows you to control the importance of your keywords and content.
Search engines love websites that load quickly so a really easy win is to improve your website speed. Most of the time the largest improvement can be made by correctly optimising images as they are huge files when compared to text content.
Pictures & images
As well as correctly optimising image size to make them load faster, another great tip for SEO is to make sure that you use the alt attribute for images. In a nutshell, the alt attribute stands for alternative and is a descriptive sentence which is used in place when images fail to load or are replaced or removed for any reason.
Search engines love mobile friendly websites and will rank them higher in search results. As over 50% of page views are on a mobile device, it makes sense that search engines put so much importance on this.
Any good web designer or developer will make sure that your website is mobile friendly, mostly from a user experience point of view, although be aware that it will also impact your search engine ranking not having a mobile friendly website.
Try and link as much of your relevant internal content as possible. This will help search engines establish a structure to your website and your content, and also allows users to find more useful content.
If you’re able to link to other reputable sources of information and other small businesses with some good content, then do so. If they can do the same in return then that can quickly help increase your search engine ranking.
Stick with it
As mentioned at the start of this article: there is no magic fix for SEO – it takes time and effort to reach the top. If you follow these quick wins and top tips for SEO and keep posting regular, valuable content then hopefully you will start to see an increase in the amount of traffic to your website.
Alongside all of the above quick wins and top tips, there is still plenty more than can be done for SEO. A good web developer or SEO specialist can help even further. As part of my design and development service I also ensure that all of your content is optimised for search engines.
If you want to find out more, then contact me for a chat or a quote.