How to Improve Your Website SEO – 5 Actionable Steps to Boost Performance
What is SEO – Search Engine Optimisation
Search engines, such as Google, need to display the best websites to users when they make a search. The website needs to be trustworthy, useful and ultimately provide the information that the user is searching for, quickly and easily. To do this, the search engine must index billions of web pages and rank them accordingly, deciding if-and-where they will appear in the search results.
Search engines have complex criteria which outline what makes a good website. Bots or spiders will crawl each webpage and determine its suitability and quality. Search engine optimisation (SEO) is the process of optimising your website to fit into the search engine’s criteria and therefore increase your rank or position in the results pages.
Your best chance of being found online, is to have a professional website designed with SEO built-in at the very first stages. SEO will be at the forefront of the developer’s mind and the design will specifically integrate the criteria of the search engines, right down to the coding of the web pages and images. If you’re going to invest anything into a business, then a professional website is the best place to start for the most valuable ROI.
How to improve your website SEO
It’s important to note that SEO isn’t something that you can just do at the start and then leave. Even if you did pay for a professional SEO-optimised website, that isn’t the end of it. Search engine criterias and Google algorithms change regularly and your website will disappear from the rankings if it does not keep up. It’s a full time task to keep up with the changing demands of the main search engines, and that’s why it’s always best to appoint a digital marketing agency who specialise in websites and SEO to keep your website ranking well. If you don’t think it’s worth the investment, remember this:
More than 90% of online web pages receive absolutely ZERO traffic whatsoever.
Nada. Zilch. None.
I think you can guess what the other 9% are doing.. Yep, SEO.
There are billions of active web pages online and competition is fierce, so it is definitely worth the time and investment to get your website in front of your audience. Think of SEO as a way to speak to Google. SEO tells Google why your website deserves to rank above other similar sites. If you’re not talking to Google and others are, it’s not going to pick you. You’ll be forgotten.
Whilst a digital marketing agency is needed to really drive you to the top spot, there are a few things that you can do yourself to help with your SEO performance. Below, we’ve listed five actionable points that you can follow in-house.
Focus on the mobile version of your website, not the desktop
It’s easy to forget about how your website looks on a mobile when you’re sat at your desk on your work laptop monitoring your site; but the likelihood is that your customers are checking out your site while they’re on the go, using their mobile. It is no longer acceptable to have a website that isn’t mobile responsive, and if this isn’t your main concern, then it’s unlikely that your website will work for you.
The design of your site should fit the screens of all devices, including mobiles and tablets, whilst still looking attractive and being easy to use. Google prioritises mobile-first website designs because it understands the increased trend of mobile searches.
When monitoring your own website, do so using different devices to check everything is displaying how it should be, and contact whoever is managing your website if something isn’t right asap if you can’t rectify it yourself.
Think about how customers search for your products
If a customer was searching for the product or service that you sell, what would they have to type into Google to find it? For us it could be search terms such as:
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Think about what your potential customers are searching for, and include these search terms and keywords in the copy of your website. This could be within product descriptions, blog posts and page headings and paragraphs. There are tools that you can use to help research the best terms and keywords relevant to your business, but just be sure to include the results naturally on your website. ‘Keyword dumping’ will cause the opposite effect and may actually result in your website being penalised by Google which will drop you down in the rankings. Quality, valuable content is key.
Create clear URLs
When search engines are crawling your website, they need to be able to read your URLs to know what that webpage is about. Creating SEO optimised URLs when uploading new webpages is a simple and effective way to make a real difference to the ranking of that page.
For example, the default URL of this blog post may be:
But the SEO optimised URL would be:
Top tip: You can’t have spaces in URLs, so replace them with hyphens like in the example above.
Add alt text to your images
Good images make a world of difference to your website, but if they’re not optimised, they won’t be helping people find your website. When you upload a new image to your site, you’ll be given the option to add a description of it using alt text. This is used to describe the photo to Google, as Google cannot see an image, but it can read its code.
Top tip: Be careful not to upload huge images to your website – if the image files are too big, they will slow down the speed at which your site loads and negatively impact your SEO.
Banish repeat content from your website
If you copy the content from one page of your website and paste it onto another, that’s repeat content. Likewise, if you take text from another source on the internet, and copy it onto your website, that’s repeat content too. Google will penalise you for having duplicate content on your site so avoid it like the plague. You need to make it clear to anyone that has editing access to your website, that nothing can be copied, and everything written has to be unique. This includes how you describe your business, business articles, contact sections, page intros, headings and product descriptions. Google needs to know that your website provides genuine value to someone searching for your product or service, and if your site is filled with duplicate content, this will be seen as spam and will not be ranked well.
These basic tasks are essential foundation blocks for your website’s SEO. If you find that your site still isn’t performing well enough, and you can’t get it to the top of the Google results page, give us a call and we’ll be happy to help and discuss your SEO needs.