What is SEO?
An overlooked aspect of getting your business online is SEO (Search Engine Optimisation), it’s the less glamourous and slower aspect of websites that many neglects to their cost. SEO is the process of increasing the quality and quantity of your websites traffic by increasing it's visibility and accessability in search results.
Basically, it’s no good having a stunning website if no one is able to find your website in the first place. So, how do you prevent this from happening? Unfortunately, there’s no magic quick fix to improving your SEO as this takes time. By following the below seven steps you’ll be able to overtime improve your ranking in search results and overall visibility.
Post regular content
A surefire way to improve your visibility would be to generate new content for your website on a regular basis. This is typically done by having a blog or news and press section on your website that is updated at least once a month. It’s recommended that each blog post is at least 300 words and include some media content such as images.
If you’ve ever tried to view a recipe online you might have noticed many recipe sites now have hundreds, if not thousands, of words before the recipe, annoying right? Well, this is how these types of websites are able to rank so well in search results by having unique text content before the actual content.
Share content on social media
Linked to the above point, it’s important that you share your content on your social media platforms, whether that’s Twitter, Facebook, Instagram etc.
The best way to generate traffic to your site will be by ensuring blog posts and specific pages are easily sharable on common social media platforms.
Structure your post sensibly
As you might expect, the structure and tone of your content is an important factor to consider. You need to make sure the content is readable and in a logical format and order. The best way to do this is by separating content out by using headers (h1, h2 etc.), media content, line breaks and whitespace, perhaps the most undervalued layout tool you have at your disposal.
Metadata, as the name might suggest, is information that provides an overview of the content and context of the particular page or post. The most important metadata for your website is will be the page title and description, both of which are what appears in search results (see the image below).
Therefore, your page title should be around 60 characters or shorter to ensure nothing is cut off in search results, so keep it short and snappy. Similarly, it’s best to keep the page description below 160 characters and include unique keywords related to the content of the page.
Clean and readable URLs
A common mistake people often overlook entirely is the URL of the page. Many people try to bypass this by shortening the URL to make it shareable, while it does indeed make the URL easier to share to a degree it does not fix the URL that appears in search engine results. Therefore it’s always recommended to have URLs as short as possible and that all spaces between words separated by an underscore to retain readability.
Improve page load times
This can be a difficult one, as there are limits to how much you can improve the load time for your website, especially for first-time visitors. However, it’s possible to reduce load times by ensuring scripts and other assets are able to load without delaying others from loading as this will mean certain scripts will prevent anything else loading until they have finished completely.
Other assets such as images can unnecessarily add to load times, you can fix this by minimising all media assets by as much as 90% of their original size. Finally, it’s highly recommended that you ensure your website operates the best level of caching possible, as this will considerably reduce load times for anyone revisiting your website.
As more people view websites for the first time on mobile devices it’s essential that you have a mobile-friendly website. So much so, that Google now primarily uses the mobile version of your website for ranking and indexing results. This means if your website is unreadable or unusable on mobile devices it will have a considerable negative effect on your website’s ranking.