Top 10 SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) Tips for your Website.
With so many new business start ups and ventures happening each year, getting online can be a massive benefit to anyone, if used correctly. There's thousands of different methods, widgets, programs and templates all aimed at improving website Search Engine Optimisation. With this sea of different methods, it can become confusing, overwhelming and straight up just difficult to sift through it all to learn what you need and what you can skip.
To help you out, we've come up with a Top 10 list. Here's 10 SEO Tips for your new (or existing) Website!
Number 1 - Speed
First and foremost, remove anything that slows your website down. Studies show that as little as a 1 second delay in page loading time can be the equivalent of a 7% loss of conversions. A single second. Take that up to 3 seconds and around 40% of potential leads get fed up and click out of the website. When you've got a slow loading website, on the customers side it seems unprofessional, and the causes of the slow website, if it's a load of plugins or widgets or images that are taking ages to load, it might also look unprofessional!
It's not just your leads and customers though, it's search engines too. In 2010 Google stated that Site Speed was one of the most important ranking factors. So basically, it doesn't matter about the quality of your content or how valuable it is if you've lost Google and Traffic before the page has even loaded, you'll lose out on revenue and your rank on Google if your website is too slow!
So how can we fix it?
Well, start with a good host. Don't opt for free domains and hosting, Google doesn't like it anyway but you aren't paying for that reliable service.
On top of this, build a solid Framework or Theme, chances are if you've gone with one of the main themes from a website builder (Wordpress, Wix etc) then the template you've gone with is already pretty good in terms of load speed. Some of the fancier more flashy ones can have a lot of features that are active and coded in, but aren't even being used. So tip number 2 for a faster website, is just KISS (Keep it simple, stupid!). A gutted site can feel minimalistic, and trendy. Just make sure you're posting quality content and you've got the features you need.
Another WordPress plus, is a PlugIn called WP-SmushIt. It reduces image size but doesn't lower quality. If you're not on WordPress you can use Yahoo!'s Image Optimizer, Smush.it instead.
Keep your homepage clean, show exerts from posts instead of full posts and let leads click into the full post on its own page. Keep the amount of posts on the home page minimal, between 5 and 10.
Lastly, take out widgets you don't need and get rid of unnecessary links and widgets in your sidebar.
Number 2 - Link outwards
Link to other sites with relatable content.But keep it minimal. If someone has a really good article of a blog post that happens to fall in your niche, link out to it. Throw a hyperlink in there or share their content with your audience. You will obviously have some of your traffic flowing through you and to another website, but you'll get a boost to your SEO result by having quality links, and its just good networking practice.
By linking out to other sites and blogs, you're more likely to get other people and website owners linking back to your content too by getting on their radar. You'll share a section of each others websites audience, which leads us to number 3.
Number 3 - Link back in
Encourage other sites and people to link back to you.
This is called "Backlinking". It's basically inbound links that direct other people to your website and it's really important for website ranking as it shows that your site is a source of interest and relevancy. Links from other websites and social media can help you greatly in reaching the top of a Google Search. So if you're a builder, get on the "Find a tradesman" sites, get on review sites for your business, get on directories. All of this, if you can link it back to your site will stand you in great stead.
Number 4 - Analytics
Have some form of Analytics in place at the start.
They're helpful, really helpful. They'll give you a run down of what your websites doing and track your traffic coming in and going out. You'll also get a run down of your audience including age, gender, location, devices used and where they came from, be it another blog, Facebook, Reddit.. wherever! Google Analytics and Google Search Console work wonders!
Number 5 - Meta Description
The Meta Description is the bit of text people will see on Google when they're browsing searches. Having a good hook here will give intrigue to potential leads and get them into your website. There's a character limit so think carefully on what you say. You'll need a meta description for each page on your site, and you should never duplicate the same description as Google will penalise you for this.
Number 6 - URLs
Keep your URLs short, Basic and Meaningful.
If users don't understand your URL, then search engines can get confused as well. Keep them short and concise and avoid numbers such as ".com/article/23412312". Instead, opt for dashes to operate words, title your URL like you'd title the page, e.g ".com/business/20-ways-to-grow-online". Try to stick to between 2 - 8 words, it keeps it short enough for people to type manually and helps programs analyse it. It's also a good way to throw out a couple of key words!
Number 7 - Socialise
While officially, Google doesn't take into account Social shares, likes, tweets, pins etc. in their rankings, many studies suggest that it actually does make a difference. It's not a definitive way to help, but it does count towards the ranking.
Here's some tips on getting social media traffic:
- create quality content
- encourage people to share
- create campaigns and contests to get more shares
- Mention bigger companies and influencers and link them to your posts
Number 8: Alt Tag your images
Use the right key word tags in your images
Google has an entire section dedicated to images, it takes image tags very seriously. That doesn't mean that you should stuff your images with key words, but use relevant ones that people searching for you are likely to use. Remeber that relevance is more important that creativeity and key words don't always have to be singular words. Long tail tags are a great way to knuckle down on your niche.
Number 9: Quality Content
Produce quality and engaging content regularly
It kind of goes without saying that what you post should be good, but not many people think to post often. Producing a variety of engaging content consistently leads to something called Fresh Factor. Fresh Factor is also something that attributes towards engine rankings for that specific page. If your business is solely online, then creating regular, unique and helpful content and posts should be mandatory.
Number 10: Update often
This one kind of comes off of the back of number 9. Search engines are trying to pair searches with results that are most up to date. They favour sites that are updated regularly with quality content, for example those that post content regularly. But they also value those that update posts regularly. If you have content that's become outdated or incorrect, don't make a new post for it. Alter the post you already have as this still counts towards that Fresh Factor but keeps all the analytical data of back links and things. Over time your links will see a lot of traffic (hopefully) so they become quite valuable assets on your website. Don't replace, just update.
First and foremost, create high quality content, use graphics to break up the text and give the eyes a rest. Update old content often if it becomes outdated, and post regularly.
Research tags you can use, use them in your URL, your blog posts, your images and your meta description.
Branch out with linking out to other sites, build that network with other site owners.
Promote on social media and run campaigns and competitions to get more shares and likes.
Set up Google Analytics and monitor your sites statistics, that way if you make a muck up and need to edit something, you'll know sooner instead of leaving it for a while and wondering why it hasn't gained much traffic.
And lastly, keep your website simple but effective, cut out anything that slows down your website. Widgets, excess posts, fancy effects etc.
With all this in mind, we hope that we've helped you understand the most important aspects of SEO for your website, now go out there and take the internet by storm! We're rooting for you!