Regular readers of this blog will know that I’ve published numerous posts highlighting how content marketing and social media are important for your continued business success. I’ve also discussed how online advertising makes sense and how pay-per-click can give your content a boost. But it was only recently when I was discussing with a client how, by making minor tweaks to his web pages, he could improve his search rankings that I realised it wasn’t something I’d mentioned in my blog.
Well today I’m putting that right, so here goes.
In order to get found online organically on Google/Bing etc you need to have good quality content built around several key phrases which in turn attracts in-bound links to your site. Google is now looking at social media activity and feeding this information into its ranking algorithm.
There are several ways that you can make your website more attractive to both search engines and web visitors and free tools are available to help you understand if you’re getting it right.
Make sure you have Google Analytics added to your site, if you don’t have it, you’re driving blind. Your web designer can do this for you. Make sure to get the latest asynchronous code added in the header of each page. If your web developer can do this for you (or has already done it), make sure they set it up within YOUR Google account so that you have control of your data.
The home page
Your home page needs to convey to your visitors what your business has to offer, in a very short period. So keep descriptions brief and succinct. If you have a company logo on each page throughout your site make sure it’s clickable and always takes visitors back to the home page.
Page URLs (page names)
Make sure you have search engine friendly URLs that contain relevant keywords appropriate to that page. This helps both the search engines and your visitors to have a better idea what your page is about. If any of your page URLs consist of lots of numbers or characters, get them changed.
This needs to summarise the page content for both searchers and search engines. Keep to no more than 60 characters, anything longer will not be displayed.
Page META description
Generated either from META description or page copy and describes the purpose of your web page in the search engine results page. Each page description should be compelling and unique and kept to around 160 characters, anything longer will not be displayed. Could include a call to action. This will help your organic search results and also make it easier for visitors to find what they’re looking for.
Key phrases (or keywords)
The key phrase should be specifically related to the topic for each page. Use one key phrase per page (home page excepted), this allows you to provide an in-depth description of your offering.
Break your page content into short readable chunks, people don’t read web pages the way they read books. Use header tags to define headings and subheadings per page.
Images play an important part in drawing attention to your page and your content. Ensure the image is relevant and related to your content and the image file is named appropriately, preferably incorporating a keyword. Also use image alt text to describe the image in case it doesn’t render properly.
Used to link internally from pages where a topic is briefly mentioned to pages which provide more in-depth information on the subject. Avoid using terms such as “click here” or “read more”. Use searchable terms and ensure there is a strong relevance to the page you’re linking to.
Make it easier for your visitors to navigate around your site by offering a breadcrumb path which is a row of internal links, normally at the top of a page that shows users where they are and where they’ve come from.
An XML sitemap can be submitted by you or your web developer through Google Webmaster tools to make it easier for Google to discover the pages on your site.
Social share icons
It’s no longer just about your website. Many people are very active on social networks. Adding share icons to appropriate pages makes it easy for them to share your interesting content with their social networks helping to distribute your content to a wider audience.
Calls to Action
Make sure you tell your visitor what you’d like them to do. Have clear “Calls to Action” on every page e.g. book now, buy now, register for our blog etc. Add your contact details to every page e.g. phone number and/or email address and/or a link to the bookings/buy now page.
You need to claim your Google My Business listing, it’s free and is linked to Google Maps. It allows you to add a lot more info about your company including photos and video. Make sure your “find us” page is linked to Google maps.
This will become even more important shortly as Google migrate everyone to Google+ Local.
A great way to keep people informed and to improve your search engine rankings is to start a blog. Every time you introduce a blog post you add another web page and that’s an opportunity to get ranked for your key terms in the search engines. In addition a blog provides a quick method to add fresh, compelling and relevant content to your site on a regular basis.
These simple checks coupled with interesting, relevant content that your visitors want will have a positive impact in search engine rankings. However, if you’re having real problems getting found I suggest speaking to an SEO expert. But before you do that, do some research and try to get referrals from satisfied customers.
If you’d like some more information on how I can help, get in touch. I look forward to hearing from you. Contact us today on 01803 413481 or email firstname.lastname@example.org