We know putting fabulous fresh Content online is the secret to attracting new website visitors and helping Google rank you higher in its search results. But what do you need to know to maximise your visibility?
Tactic 5 – Workout Your Website
A healthy website is essential to attract and retain the attention of search engines and visitors. Google is getting smarter at recognising context as well as content, and prioritises sites with expertise, authority and trustworthiness.
Backlinko https://backlinko.com/seo-this-year explains that Google ranks search results by measuring how users interact with them.
A good User Experience (UX) where the article is relevant and authoritative so the user stays on Page (Dwell Time) will get rankings boosted.
A bad UX where the user ‘bounces’ back quickly to search results because the article is not useful or appropriate will get rankings lowered.
They add Google also takes account of organic Click Through Rate (CTR), which means that lots of people clicking on your search result should improve your rankings.
There are many factors affecting rankings, and not all of them hold the same weight. So what do you need to check to make sure your website is top of the pops?
1. Optimise For Mobile-First
Google’s Mobile-First Index uses a website’s mobile version as the starting point to crawl https://developers.google.com/search/mobile-sites/mobile-first-indexing, to reflect the ever growing number of searches from mobile devices.
Make sure your content is consistent across Desktop and Mobile, in case Google ignores content ‘hidden’ behind menus, tabs or buttons on mobile versions.
If you have the old mobile ‘ m’ version of your website, switch to a Responsive Design.
Deliver a great UX so people stay on your Mobile site. For example, avoid pop-ups that cover content and frustrate visitors.
2. Speed Up Your Website
People and search engines hate slow-loading websites – you only have a few seconds to keep users on site. Search Engine Journal gives best practices for optimising site speed https://www.searchenginejournal.com/website-optimization-essentials/280641/:
- Minimize HTTP requests for different parts of the page, like scripts, images, and CSS
- Reduce file size by compressing them and combine common files to reduce requests
- Reduce DNS lookup time
- Improve server response time
- Use an appropriate hosting solution
- Leverage browser caching
- Minimize image sizes
- Use a CDN (Content Delivery Network)
- Keep plugins to a minimum
- Keep redirects to a minimum
3. Be SEO-Savvy
In addition to Keyword Use https://brilliantbusinessblogs.com/2018/12/01/get-your-website-found-keywords/, great Inbound Links https://brilliantbusinessblogs.com/2018/12/07/get-your-website-found-link-building/ and Social Media associations https://brilliantbusinessblogs.com/2018/12/12/get-your-website-found-social-media/, your website needs to be well-structured to rank highly on SERPS (search engine results pages). This includes:
- Headings – all pages need defined headings, to allow visitors and search engines to summarise their content quickly
- URL – every URL must be appropriate and well written, to help search engine placement, usability and website marketability
- Meta tags – all pages must include a meta description, search engines show this text in SERPS
- Page titles – all pages must have defined titles, these appear in search results and at the top of the browser’s window when visiting the site. Avoid duplicate title tags and meta descriptions
- Schema markup – use schema https://moz.com/learn/seo/schema-structured-data on appropriate pages to create a “rich snippet” enhanced description in search results
- Printability – all pages must be optimised for printing
- Images – images need to have defined sizes, using width & height attributes in HTML, to help browsers arrange pages more quickly
- Sitemap – Sitemaps help users navigate your site easily, and must be submitted to Google Search Console
- Landing Page – landing pages must be clear, with a compelling Call To Action (CTA) to convert visitors into leads, with an irresistible offer in exchange for a prospect’s contact information
- Server behaviour – missing pages should generate a 404 HTTP status code, sites have GZIP encoding to reduce loading time, and use a permanent (HTTP 301) redirect between URLs
- Mobile – the website must be optimised for viewing on mobile devices
- Freshness – the website must be updated regularly for credibility and to increase search engine crawling frequency
- Security – SSL certificates protect websites from attacks and give confidence sites are authentic
- Analytics – Install website analytics, such as such as Google Analytics https://marketingplatform.google.com/about/analytics/
- Domain age – domain names older than 12 months may be considered more trustworthy
- Broken Links – monitor for broken links, fix or replace them for quality UX
- Content – a large amount of ongoing relevant content, such as a blog, is needed to rank well
4. Publish Comprehensive, In-Depth Content
Google now not only checks web pages for authentic use of keywords in title tags, headings, URLs, ALT text, and descriptions – it also focuses on context, in order to give users the best possible result for their search.
In-depth content (such as ultimate guides and 2,000+ word blogs) ranks well as it provides everything the searcher needs.
BuzzSumo https://buzzsumo.com/blog/research-create-evergreen-content/ recommends publishing authoritative evergreen content as it consistently gains shares and links over time.
Include LSI Keywords – words and phrases strongly associated with the topic – to prove to Google you are a trusted topic expert. Find them using LSI Graph https://lsigraph.com and Google – search your keyword then find them in the “Searches related to…” section at the bottom.
Your Content must be unique, useful, informative and entertaining. So:
- Create an online resource centre
- Add “Embeddable Images” (images that are easy for other sites to embed into their content, usually with a link back to you)
- Publish Unique Data with statistics, a survey, or research
- Encourage Comments – Google wants to see you have an active community on your site
- Remove or improve weak pages that do not provide visitor value
- Use video content https://brilliantbusinessblogs.com/2018/11/08/video-marketing-what-to-post/. Google owns YouTube, so it is likely videos will feature in ever more search results
For quality website SEO development and blog writing services, please visit http://www.brilliantbusinessblogs.com or e-mail email@example.com