News & Tips

SEO Tips

One of the questions we get asked on a regular basis is ‘what do I need to do to rank highly within a Google search?‘.

Now days there are many things to consider when it come to SEO (Search Engine Optimisation). A well planned SEO strategy which adheres to Google’s guidelines will give your website the best possible chance of ranking well. Please see below for a list of the things we recommend implementing on your website for the best possible SEO foundation.

  • Gain an insight into your target market & decide upon a short list of the key words & phrases that you wish to be target within a search. Provide this information to your copywriter & web team for reference.

  • Create unique page titles for each individual page. These should accurately describe & communicate the topic of the page’s content. These page titles will be displayed in search results. Keep these titles brief but at the same time descriptive to inform your users.

  • Create unique page descriptions for each individual page, which are added to the ‘description’ meta tag.  The aim of a meta description is to give your users & search engines a summary of the page. These descriptions are displayed under the title & URL of the page in the search results. Once again try to make this fairly brief (around one sentence) but descriptive & informative of the page’s content. Avoid using the same description for multiple pages on your site.

  • When creating individual pages, name them appropriately so the URL is reflective of the page content. For example, the ‘About Us’ page could be ‘about-us.html’ or /about-us/. Avoid using confusing or generic URL’s such as ‘/page-139/’ or ‘page-139.html’.

  • Plan, design & build a clear navigational structure, that is easy for users to navigate & know where they are on your website. A well planned navigational structure will not only help with your sites’s SEO, but also allow your user’s to find the information they are after quickly & give them an optimum experience. There’s nothing worse than getting lost within a website that has a confusing navigational structure.

  • Add quality page content. Keep your copy interesting & descriptive. If you are having trouble doing this or want to take it the next level, we recommend hiring a copywriter. They will also usually be able to optimise your page’s content for SEO. Please do not try to write your content based around just your target search phrases. In other words write your content for your users rather than for search engines. Please do not add content that is duplicated, hidden or non-nonsensical to users as this will imply a penalty from Google. Also let’s be extremely clear, the days of page keyword stuffing are long gone.

  • Page content should be properly formatted & broken down into appropriate sections. This will allow a users & search engines to easily understand & digest the content. For example, use one main page heading (h1) then use sub-headings (h2 , h3, h4 etc) if appropriate. Please use these headings sparingly. Use paragraph tags & other HTML text elements along with CSS to effectively lay out your content. Avoid adding large amounts of text without the above formatting.

  • Add unique & descriptive alt & titles to your website images. Keep these image tags very brief but descriptive. Also optimise your images for quicker load times & save them in the correct format. Common web file formats jpg, svg & png. Avoid using text as images rather than HTML, as this text cannot be read by Google.

  • Add outbound links if appropriate to your content. These links should be easy to understand & give the user an idea as to where the link is pointing.

  • Develop your website to be mobile friendly (responsive). This will also give your users an optimum experience when viewing your page content on different screens & devices.

  • Develop the code in HTML5, using the correct HTML tags in the right situations & also for the correct content. For example, use the <nav></nav> for the navigation, <footer></footer> for the footer content, <blockquote></blockquote> for testimonials <article></article> tag for individual articles etc. Also use Aria Roles, for example <nav role="navigation"></nav>.

  • Add content on a regular basis. Both users & search engines like websites that have fresh content on their website, as it show’s the website is active & informative. It will also help covert your users into returning visitors.  A great way to do this is to add a ‘blog’ or ‘news’ section to your website.

  • Add links from your website to your social media platforms & vice-versa.

  • Add videos to your page if appropriate. You can easily embed YouTube or Vimeo videos.

  • Effectively use a robots.txt file to tell search engines which sections of the website to crawl & what not to crawl.

  • Add your website to Google Search Console to track any errors with your website.

  • Submit a XML Sitemap on the Google Search Console & also create HTML site map for the website.

  • Submit your website’s URL to Google.

This subject is very in-depth & there are many more things that could be done. Consider employing an SEO specialist if you want to take things further.

You can read more on how to make your webpages Google friendly on Google Support.

Google Adwords is also a great option if you have the budget. This is the listings displayed on the right column of a search. You will pay per user click. See the pricing for Google Adwords here.

We also often get asked the question ‘Can you please make my website rank at the top of the first page on Google?‘.

There is no way to guarantee a certain listing on Google & any person/company that claims this is lying (with the exception of using Google Adwords). All you can do is optimise your website & website’s content in the best possible way in terms of SEO. If you stay active with your SEO, over time your website will usually increase it’s ranking as Google will list more established & active websites with higher importance. It also depends upon your competitors websites & their level of SEO.