Top ten SEO tipsPosted on
Estimated reading time: 7 minutes, 12 seconds
Since we are always asked about SEO whenever we have a new website being built for a client, I thought we could share some top tips on what you can do which wont cost you anything and are simple to follow.
- The one I like to repeat constantly to all clients at the very first meeting is, ‘Content is King’ this may sound common sense that the content of your site will reflect on how many visitors find it when they do a specific search, but here it is again to prove it works. Carry out the following keyword search on Google for ‘I want to be number one in Google‘ and see what comes up. Yes, our own link to an article that I wrote back in 2009 is still top position of page 1 in the Google results! All to do with the fact that there is a page of content relative to that specific search term.
- Adding regular content via your blog, is the main line of attack for the SEO on your website. Since this content is constantly updating and new articles are posted on a regular basis, google will start to see your site as an ‘authority site’, which simply means it can index relative content which is being added regularly and will send more users to your pages. As opposed to the static pages throughout your site which are fixed, blogs are looked at with more weight and connects them up with the user search phrase. By creating key word rich content you can start attracting more visitors as your website will rise in the rankings. It is also the ideal way to stuff keywords and phrases into your website, which in turn will also be indexed increasing your chances of being found by your target audiences.
- Backlinks, which confuses a lot of users thinking that if they add a link on their own website pointing to another high ranked website like the BBC then it will improve the website ranking, WRONG! In fact if you add links to websites that lead away from your own site, then you are actually passing away some of the the ranking of your page to the page you have lined too. The CORRECT way to do this is to have a link from a highly ranked site, like the BBC for example, leading directly to a page on your website. If you were fortunate enough to have a link on the BBC then it would be worth more than its weight in gold, since the BBC website is the busiest site in the UK. It is highly advised to build link relationships with other websites in a similar field, ultimately within a blog article on the third party website which would link back to yours.
- Internal links is another way of stuffing your site with keywords which google will follow through and index. By creating a link to another page within your site using the keyword or phrase for example web design company in London which I have linked to a page that describes our web design services, will prompt Google to index those links by the keywords and the content which it leads to. Internal links will increase the visibility to all your pages in the eyes of the search engines.
- Speed of your website also comes in as a top ten must do, to take very seriously when you commission to have a new website development. There are various tools like Google Speed Test and others which will report on your website’s speed. They also provide you with a list of items which need attention and tips on how to resolve them. One of the most common factors of website speed issues derives from the hosting server, which plays a very important role in terms of the initial loading time of your website. Cheep hosting will undoubtedly be slow in terms of CPU, allocated memory and the type of storage device, most probably an old fashioned spinning HDD as apposed to the latest solid state memory SSD’s which run a lightning speeds compared to the old HDD’s. We only use high end servers for all our client websites, fully monitored and managed by our experienced server management team. This keeps all our clients sites running within the recommended speed scores and provides them ultimately with a better website ranking in the search engines.
- Optimise your meta tags and descriptions is a must so that search engines can spider and index your pages each one individually, that way each and every page stands a chance of being found when a user makes a search. If you think about it, try putting your head in that of your prospects, what would they type in to find you? If you turn it on its head like this, then you can work backwards and prepare content based on the questions being asked. For example, we wrote a blog about wanting to be number one in Google back in 2009 and we still rank on the first page for this question after near enough 10 years! You try it, just type in to Google or another search engine, ‘I want to be number one in Google’ and see what comes up. You should see the link to our block with a well described title and supporting description, both of which are set by WordPress as the title meta tag and the meta description.
- Mobile Compatibility is a must to avoid google penalising your site in terms of giving it a good rank. If your site does not look or load very well when viewing it on a mobile device, you could be in trouble. Google and other search engines will now check that your website is mobile compatible before it lists you in any of its mobile searches. The better your site looks and the faster the speed at which it loads, will reflect on your websites search rankings. Since a few year back when we started building mobile and tablet responsive websites there has been a rush to re-build and optimise websites to run on all the various devices… in fact we wrote another article around that time and posted this item with the image below on our FB account to show what we were facing….
As you can see above, we had a lot to be getting on with!
- Don’t try to trick Google! as you will be caught out its inevitable. Going back to the days when the internet was rising up I recall that BMW had been blacklisted from Googles search engine entirely. The case of BMW was that they tried to add a lot of text to their pages in the same colour as the background, making them invisible to see by the user, but the search engines would still pick all that up. Until Google realised what they were doing and banned their website completely, for around 3 months! We call this type of activity, ‘black hat SEO’ which nowadays is seen as a definite no no. Any type of spamming or attempt to deceive the search engines in any way will inevitably lead to a big drop in ranking and possible black listing. Over stuffing of keywords in any page will also be frowned upon by these search engines. The key is to add content and create content in a natural and organic way, not overdoing it with keywords and adding articles regularly rather than adding 100 articles in one day, or seeking 1,000 backlinks for $50 from some dodgy SEO company that would claim they can put you on the first page of google. Black hat methods will certainly end you up at the back of the queue!
- Duplicate content must be avoided in all circumstances, as this is another major factor for loosing your search engine ranking. Most people don’t even realise that they are uploading content which has already been published on the internet previously. So copying an article from your favourite website and re posting it on yours, will inevitably put negative marks against your website. Even if you change the words and paragraphs around somewhat, google is very clever in spotting that it was copied from the original article. You can check your own website for duplicated content using an SEO duplicate content tool like this one which can be useful to check through your site with.
- Write easy to read and useful articles, which users will find helpful and if you are lucky and your articles are worthy, they may link back to your pages from their website providing you with more SEO back-linking goodness!