Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is all about how visible a website is when using a search engine. Google, Yahoo! and Bing are all popular search engines who will use a series of algorithms to promote the most relevant websites in the search results, when a user is searching for a specific term. A website owner will benefit from being listed on the first page of the search results, as it allows consumers easy access and navigation to a website. SEO is made up of a collection of factors that search engines will take into consideration when they rank your website.
How to get your website visible to search engines
Keywords are an important aspect of SEO, however they are not as heavily relied upon as they used to be. Search engines will take other aspects into consideration, such as how trustworthy a business is and whether they have expertise in their industry. Keywords are still important though, and they should not be overlooked.
So how should you use keywords for SEO? Let’s break it down:
A page title is the name you give to your page when it is created, this is the name that will appear in the search results and should appear in the URL. This title should briefly outline what the page is about; here you can use a short formation of keywords that are relevant to your page’s content. Each page on your website should have a unique page title.
Page headings differ to page titles in that they are the heading at the top of your page's content, this may not necessarily match the title of your page. For example, your page title could be 'Home' but the heading on that page could be 'Welcome to WebBoss Websites'. Your page headings will be seen by search engines in the code, so it is worth thinking about your page structure when you are creating content. Heading 1 (H1) is your main page heading, you may notice ‘Heading 1’ as an option in your text editor, this is what will be visible in the code to search engines and so it is very important that your most relevant keywords are used within this heading. Each page you create should have one unique H1 heading.
Try and make your keywords unique to your website/ business. Sometimes the most popular keywords may be too generic, and you may get lost amongst other websites using the same keyword. Try and think about what your page's content is about, are you answering a question for your users? If so, try and add the question your user would ask as your page heading, your demographic may be searching for this. Try and create headings that make sense as a sentence or phrase so you don't confuse your users, as you do this also think about the order of your keywords, try and put your most important ones at the beginning of your headings. For some guidance on finding highly relevant keywords, I suggest conducting some research into popular keywords or phrases that are related to your website, company and page content; Google Ads Keywords Planner is a very useful tool for this.
Heading 2 (H2) this is your second heading or subheading. Similar to H1, this will also appear in the code and therefore to search engines, so it is vital that you also include your keywords within this heading on your page. You can use as many H2 headings as you need on your page, but to make the most impact be sure that they contain important keywords. Don’t be afraid to duplicate your keywords once or twice as this will show the search engine that the content on the page is covering a topic in depth. However, try not to use the exact keyword or phrase formation as your main heading (H1), because this will be very confusing to your users, you will want it to look natural. You can also use H3, H4, H5 etc. However, the more of the headings that you use, the less important they become within the hierarchy of the code. Similarly to H1 headings, you will not want to duplicate H2 headings on multiple pages.
Like page headings, meta descriptions are also stored within the code. While sounding complicated, these simply describe what your pages are about to both search engines and users. When your web page is found in a search results page, the meta description is the small bit of text that is shown under your page title, and should give the user a brief explanation of what information is on that specific page. These should be written strategically, so they can include some important and relevant keywords but also explain exactly what is on the page. Including your most important keywords or phrases at the beginning of your meta descriptions is favourable to search engines and users, as generally only up to 160 characters are displayed. This will help to increase your chances of being selected from a search engine results page.
Linking to other websites within your own website’s content can greatly increase your credibility with search engines. Sourcing the work of others and externally linking to other websites will show the search engine how important that web page is. In addition, if you have created some very interesting content then other websites may link back to your web page and increase your credibility. Other types of linking can include, social media links so including your website link within your social media posts, can increase your website traffic. You could even create a presentation and submit it to SlideShare with a link to your website.
Google, and other search engines, will be looking for websites that are considered ‘trustworthy’ and so having a secure website will be beneficial for this. A way in which you can ensure an SEO boost is by having a SSL (Secure Socket Layer) certificate on your website, this is a security measure that protects the transfer of information from your website to the hosting server. This is the new standard of web security and is highly recommended. WebBoss Websites provides a SSL certificate with every website that is ordered! Get in touch.
As technology has improved and with the rise of 4G data networks, searches from mobile devices have overtaken searches from desktops in recent years, so having a responsive website is more important than ever. Especially as search engines, such as Google, may even penalise websites that are not mobile friendly, resulting in you being pushed down the page in the search results.
You will know this from running your business; reputation is important. The same can be said for your business when it comes to SEO. How trustworthy you appear as a company can affect your search engine ranking. Simple things like ensuring your website contains pages such as ‘about us’ and ‘contact us’ will show search engines that your company has a history and that you are easy to contact. This not only helps from a SEO perspective, but will also improve the user experience on your website. If you have an account on third-party review websites such as Trustpilot, you should try and include these on your own website. These trusted websites can go a long way to improve your ranking as this is where your users/ customers can prove how trustworthy you are as a business.
Page loading speeds are the time it takes a web page to fully load content after you have clicked on a link. Google considers the loading speed of a website very important and actually uses it as a ranking factor, this is because the time it takes to load a web page can have a huge impact on your audience. If users are waiting too long to open your web page, then this can cause frustration and they may just click away from your website. The optimum page speed is around 3 seconds or less and to test this you can use a tool like Pingdom, which will give you a handy overhaul of your website's loading speed. While the platform used to build your website will affect how fast your page loads, there are also things you can do to make sure your pages load faster. One of the ways in which you can reduce your page speed is by ensuring that the images you use are the right size. This is two fold; firstly the dimensions of the image; and secondly the file size. Using a tool such as Photoshop you can crop or resize your image to the correct dimensions needed. By doing this you are also reducing the amount of data that is taken to load it, which means that your page loads faster! You can improve this further by compressing the image to further reduce the file size. Tools such as TinyPNG or CompressJPEG are very helpful for compressing your images.
There is a lot more to SEO than meets the eye however, with a few considerations you can be well on your way to creating a website that is going to rank well. These tips should enable you to start to tick those SEO boxes and make a very positive start to your SEO journey. If all this has set your head in a spin and you would like some more guidance on SEO, you can contact us for a one off SEO audit, which will highlight how you can improve your website ranking.