Techniques for improving SEO are constantly on the move, with search engines regularly refining how they understand and rank websites. Here are top tips on how to make your website more search engine friendly.
- The homepage is often 'the gateway' to the rest of your website - if your homepage does not give search engines clear and informed access into the rest of the website, this can hinder your efforts to improve SEO. Therefore, make sure your most important pages are easily recognisable and accessible from your homepage. Your home page is the most important page of your website.
- Ensure your web pages load quickly - search engines (particularly Google) use site speed in web search ranking. After all, who wants to click onto a website from search engines which takes far too long to load?! There are various techniques which can be applied to improve page load throughout your website. Some of these include; keeping image file size to a minimum, avoid having too many animated elements on your pages, consider using YouTube or Vimeo to host and handle the loading required for any videos on your websites.
- Sitemap page - this is a page that exists to provide search engines (and your website visitors) with an overview of your website and how all the pages are linked together. Have a look at our sitemap page for an example of this.
- Blog - a blog (or advice section) on your website is a great way to grow your website and provide search engines with new information related to the keyword phrases you are targeting. There are many ways in which a blog or advice section can benefit SEO.
- Clearly defined headings and introductions - throughout your website, ensure that each page has a clearly defined heading and (ideally) an opening paragraph. Within the code of your pages, these headings should be placed within what's called the HTML header tags.
- Link related content/pages - throughout your website, you are likely to have certain pages which are different yet closely related to one another. It is therefore important that these pages are appropriately linked to one another. In doing so, you provide search engines with a better overall understanding of your website (similar to the purpose of a Sitemap page).
- Be cautious with link exchanges - search engines are far more clever than what they were years ago, and are likely to penalise your website if you link with suspicious websites, or websites lacking in quality. Therefore, only link to another website if there is a genuine reason for it, and provided the website appears to be genuine and of good quality.
- Make sure you have content for the keyword phrases you want to target - there is no use in hoping or attempting for strong search engine positions for keyword phrases which are not related to any of the content on your website. If you want to rank highly for a particular keyword phrase, there are a number of steps and processes (both initially and ongoing) which you'll need to implement; however to be in with any chance at all, you must have at least one page on your website which provides content specifically related to that keyword phrase.
- Utilise social media networks - getting your business established on relevant social media networks (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.) is a great way to engage with potential customers/clients, and to naturally build incoming links into your website. When considering social media as a technique for improving SEO, it's important that you first take into consideration which social networks are relevant for your business, and which would most effectively allow you to reach your target market. The great benefit of social media for SEO is that once you are providing fresh, engaging and informative content to your subscribers, they are then likely to share your website content with others. It is tough, however, to know where to start with social media and how to grow your presence on the relevant social networks. Our Digital marketing service exists to create a tailored communications plan for your social media marketing.
These are just some of the many key techniques to consider for improving the SEO of your website. These techniques evolve and adapt regularly, and so it's important to stay on top of knowing what techniques are worthwhile and how they should be implemented. In addition to these techniques, it's important to remember that SEO is not just about getting traffic to your website, but analysing the response to your website once they are there. With this in mind, our SEO service is very much focused towards converting visits into sales, in addition to getting your website onto Page 1 of search engines for your most relevant keyword phrases.
Let me know what you think of the above techniques, and if you think I've missed any major ones out!