How can I make my website rank highly on search engines?
It’s a question that we get asked time and time again, and understandably so. A beautiful, functional website is great but if people aren’t finding your business then it all that investment and effort can be wasted.
Particularly for those who rely on online sales, the ability to rank highly for terms relative to the product and service offerings is key to grab the customers away from your competitors.
So, How Do You Make a Website Rank?
Unfortunately there is no one-size fits all answer to this question. A quick fix for search engine optimisation (SEO) doesn’t exist for two reasons:
1. Algorithms used by Google and other search engines are continually changing to avoid black-hat techniques.
Google has stated multiple times that the best way to rank highly is to make your website as user-friendly as possible. Following old fashioned techniques such as link buying and keyword stuffing will have a negative effect. You should view SEO as an on-going effort that requires you to understand changes causes a website to be penalized and what will rank.
2. No two websites are the same.
Each website is unique. The way it has been designed and developed, the age of your domain, the content, backlinks, etc. etc. all matter to building a high quality website. If you are thinking of employing a consultant or SEO company to improve your website’s ranking the first step they should always do is complete a site audit to understand your current rankings, problems and areas that can improved.
What Can You Do?
Once you begin to understand the complexity of SEO you will see that it is a bigger challenge than you may originally perceived.
If you plan on taking on your website’s SEO compliance yourself the best place to begin is to break down the process into manageable areas. Your business may benefit from external SEO and digital marketing at some point however there are a number of initial stages you can review and try to improve yourself to enhance your website. We have covered six of these areas below.
Six Simple Ways to Improve Your Website’s SEO
1. Start With Tags
An important step in your quest to improve your website’s ranking is to build a list of relevant keywords. To do this you will need to change the way you see your website, i.e. each individual webpage should be viewed on its on and you should target it specifically to what that page is about. If your page is for a particular product then all keywords should be focused around that. Creating pages targeted to long-tail searches can deliver more focused and interested customers.
Once you have a list of keywords relevant to the page then you can start editing your Title Tags and Meta Descriptions. These two areas at like the title and blurb for the page. To write a good title tag you should think of it like this: if the whole page was covered and I read the title does the page then deliver on what was promised? Avoid keyword stuffing where possible and use snappy short sentences (max 70 characters inc spaces).
2. Audit Your Content
Duplicate content either from your own website or copied from another website will result in your website being penalized. To avoid this happening you should go through your whole website and check for duplicate content. You can do this using tools such as Copyscape. You should then look out for pages which are lacking in content e.g. under 200 words and either add to, or merge with another page (*be wary of current rankings before deleting pages).
3. Does Your Website Have Broken Links?
Broken links (links which don’t work) are bad for two reasons: Firstly your customer may exit the site if they arrive on a 404 page = bad user experience and secondly they stop search engine crawlers from crawling. If they find a broken link they stop crawling and move onto the next one. If pages haven’t been crawled they won’t be indexed and won’t receive a ranking.
4. How’s Your Navigation?
When people land on your website they want to be able to quickly find what they’re looking for. If you run an Ecommerce website category titles such as ‘products’ or ‘services’ aren’t particularly useful. They want to see what you offer, so spread these across your navigation bar. Pages like your blog and about page can live in your footer. People will find these if they want to.
Making your navigation instinctive will help reduce your bounce rate by improving usability which ultimately will improve your rankings. New Google updates suggest that your website’s bounce rate can impact your ranking, so reducing this is a key area to improve SEO.
5. Check Your Website’s Speed
Site speed is an increasingly important part for search algorithms. As previously noted, good SEO is about good user experience and the faster a website loads, the better the experience will be for your users. People have become fickle about waiting for a site to load, generally expecting around two seconds to be enough time for an Ecommerce website to load. Check the size of the images on your page, overly large images or an abundance of videos can slow down your website’s loading time.
6. Is Your Site Mobile Responsive?
Nowadays a non-mobile responsive website can have a negative impact on your search ranking. Some businesses have adopted a ‘patchwork’ style fix to make their website display on mobile devices. At one point might have been OK however if you really want to improve your ranking a website designed for mobile and desktop is key. Mobile search has been slowly overtaking desktop search for the past couple of years and your business needs to react accordingly.
Does Your Small Business Need Some SEO Help?
If your business has already tried the steps above or doesn’t have the time or resources to do so you may benefit from working with SEO consultants who can boost your website. Adeo Group are a digital agency with offices in some of the world’s most creative hubs; London, Glasgow. Newcastle and Dubai. To speak to us about a new website design, website update or digital marketing services please contact us: firstname.lastname@example.org