Mark Franks of web hosting company Names.co.uk gives some tips and advice on improving your SEO.
Mark Franks of web hosting company Names.co.uk gives some tips and advice to improving your SEO.
Every small business has similar aims – to get to the top of Google and be easily found online. To achieve this you want to improve the Search Engine Optimisation of your website, otherwise known as SEO, and enhance the overall traffic that your website receives.
This is one of the biggest challenges that many online businesses face today as competition is fierce for the attention and approval of search engine users, and many find themselves in need of some sudden intervention.
Generating traffic to your website is important for any online business, yet it can be difficult to attract the type of user that will spend time and potentially money. This is where SEO comes in – optimising your website to attract the right type of visitor.
The good use of SEO may take some time for the average web owner to master and is by no means a quick fix. However it can be done with patience and a willingness to try new things in order to improve your growing business.
Tips and tricks for improving SEO
1. Website performance – search engines love a website that loads quickly and cleanly. By eliminating any chunky graphics and implementing high-performance web caching methods, search engines will index your content higher in search results.
2. Fresh content – search engines look for frequently updated unique content, so by adding in a blog which can increase the depth of your content, or by putting in place a strategy to regularly refresh some of your website content, your SEO will benefit with increased website authority.
3. Short page titles – this is one of the most important points for SEO. Search engines will partly rank search results off the page title tag; make sure your titles contain fewer than ten words including your item of interest, followed by your website or business name for best results.
4. Keyword selection density – the ideal amount of dedicated keywords contained on a web page should be around 7 per cent throughout your content. Be sure to write your content and include keywords for human consumption.
5. Detailed meta descriptions – A “meta description”, should describe the content or what the user can experience on each page. This should be a maximum of 160 characters (with spaces), and will show on search engines underneath the URL for each page.
6. Relevant URL – make sure your URL is readable by humans, is short, simple and most of all relevant. Your ranking will improve when the keywords in your web address match the phrase searched for. If your domain name is unrelated to the topic of your site, it’s unlikely to attract your target audience.
7. Include backlinks – additional links to your website from outside sources such as blogs and news sites will help your SEO too. A great way is to give readers content that they will share themselves.
8. Social Media – you want your readers to start tweeting/liking your content and creating a buzz, so give them every opportunity to do so by embedding your twitter feed, and adding share buttons to your web pages.
9. Analytics – by adding Google Analytics to each page you can gain some incredible information about what visitors are searching for, traffic volumes and where they are coming from.
10 Mobile device capability – with mobile devices expected to overtake desktop computers in terms of online search, it is key that you optimise your website for mobile viewing.
What hurts SEO
Although knowing tricks to improve your SEO is a great start, it is just as important to know what hurts SEO as well as what can improve it. Having minimal content can upset your chances for a search engine to approve the overall value of your website, as well as the experience users will have.
You should also avoid any deceptive tricks (known as ‘Black Hat SEO’), as well as purchasing backlinks because they can be detrimental to your SEO, as search engines are known to penalise, or even blacklist, entire networks that have not stayed on the straight and narrow.
Another tip is to take a look at your competitors online and see what their content contains and how they are ranked. This can be one of the best ways to understand SEO as you can learn a lot from the top ranked websites compared to those towards the bottom of the search engine ranking, both visually and content wise.
Good use of SEO is necessary for any online business and is why search engines make it quite difficult to get higher up the rankings, to improve the quality of those websites at the top. By integrating the key points mentioned above throughout your website, you will give yourself a greater chance of achieving your goals online.
See also: Top 10 Starting Up tips