Search engine optimisation plays a big part in bringing your audience to your website. Using the right words can optimise your site to reach your target audience.
To bring your website up the search engine results page there a few things you need to make sure you include keywords/keyphrases, meta description and accessibility to make your website mobile-friendly.
Here’s some hints and tips to help you on your way.
A keyword is a word that is mentioned on your webpage a number of times. This keyword should define what that page is about and help the search engines categorise your page for their listings.
A keyphrase is a phrase instead of a word, this could be two words or more. These are normally used as a question that you know your audience will search for, or it can just can be used as multiple word focus points.
Making sure you do keyword research will help find the best optimisable keyword/keyphrase for your web page. After you have selected your keyword/keyphrase, crawlers will see this as your key focus of the page and then will help search engines put it on their listings.
If the webpage fits exactly what the user is searching for it will be higher on ranking. If your website is running on WordPress, a fantastic plugin is Yoast SEO. This plugin will help you layout your keywords/keyphrase onto your webpage. There is a traffic light system that helps you know if your page is optimised ready for the search engines:
In this image above we can see the traffic light system for our content page
Making sure that you haven’t used the same keyword or key phrase on a similar page is important. This is because search engines do not like duplicate content and may put your ranking down on their listings.
Following what Yoast tells you such as putting your key phrase in your title will help optimise your page to help your rankings.
A meta description is what appears under your title in the search engine listing. Both titles and meta descriptions help tell the audience what will be on your page.
Your meta description needs to include your keyword and keyphrase. This will help cement your ranking as the search engines like listings with keyphrases visible in your content and your meta description.
You need to sell to Google in a few words what your webpage is about. Example of this is our meta description for our Content page
This shows potential audiences what information will be on the webpage and help search engines list the webpage how they see fit.
The Yoast plugin for WordPress features a section that can help you create your meta description. It can tell you if you have enough words and ensure you include your keyphrase.
It’s not just about making meta tags and key phrases. Making sure that the user experience on your webpages is accessible for everyone can help you climb up the ranking. There are a few different ways to improve your accessibility.
One of these parts is to make sure that your pictures have alt attributes so visually impaired users using screen readers will have it read to them. This can also help improve SEO by including your keyphrase in the alt text.
Including a video on your webpage, can add some interactivity but making sure that it doesn’t auto play can help with accessibility.
Mark Walker in a blog from abilitynet, says “Videos and Flash animations that automatically start on a website can be frustrating and even distressing for users with cognitive impairments, impeding their ability to concentrate when reading the content, they’re actually interested in” he goes on to explain how auto-play can be useful such as for YouTube and sites for people who actually want that type of content.
Making your site accessible to everyone will help improve your ranking on search engines and could improve your traffic.
Headings can help organise your content to make it easier for your audience to understand what the text or piece of content is about.
These include H1 which are the biggest headings within the pages on your site. you would normally only put one H1 on your webpage so it easier to understand the content but also crawlers from the search prefer only one H1 heading.
Including your keywords in your header will help search engines know what exactly is on your page the size of the text can decrease by changing the Header value. They will decrease up to H6. Having an H1 will help make the page accessible and optimised for search engines.
Starting from September, Google’s indexing will first look at a website’s mobile site when they look to rank your site before they look at your desktop site because most users now view content on a mobile device.
Building a mobile site will open up to a wider audience as more people start using mobile devices to browse the web. if your site is already mobile-friendly then you will be ready for this change. Just make sure that your pages are updated and fit the size of a mobile site.
If you are not sure if your site is mobile-friendly check online to see if you need to make any changes. If your site needs to be rebuilt to fit this change it’s important to make sure either you or are a web designer can implement changes to fit Google’s indexing rules before September.
Some of Google’s ranking has already gone over to the new model and will be slowly rolled out ahead of the September launch.
Some basic changes to your site you will need to do is:
- Add code to change the size of images to fit different device sizes.
- Make sure your text is readable on all devices even on the desktop.
- Make sure your menu and navigation bar are accessible on the mobile site
- Include the Viewport Meta Tag. (adding <meta name=”viewport” content=”width=device-width, initial-scale=1″> (to each head of pages on you site will help)
- Make your button sizes large enough to work on mobile
- Compress Your Images and CSS.
- Allow an Easy Way to Switch to Desktop View.
Adding these changes and more to your site to fit mobile will determine your ranking from September.
Fast websites rank higher! FACT!
Another crucial part of SEO is how fast your pages load. A slow website may lose the attention of your visitor as they may become frustrated while they wait for sections or whole pages to load. Search engines like to rank websites that load quickly higher than websites that load slowly. Google recommends page speed should be under 2 seconds.
Having a website that fast will help your audience see everything you want them to see in a matter of seconds. The optimised score you need your main site and mobile site to reach is around 90 and above on page speed tools to get the best page speed and possibly higher ranking on search engines.
There are some tools you can use to check how fast your website is. Two of these tools are Google Page Speed and GTmetrix. Entering your URL into these tools will show how fast your website is for desktop (Google page speeds will show your mobile site as well if you have one).
Google Page Speed is the best tool to use as it is coming straight from Google so they will tell how exactly what you need to do to make your website run faster and rank higher.
Some of the main issues that Google page speed and GTmetrix pick up are optimising the size of your images, making sure that your images file size are smaller.
A normal image should never be over 200 KB without losing the quality of your image. The build-up of all the sizes of your images will add up and if you have large files this will slow down your website.
A website needs to read scripts and code to load the page but if there is a load of different style sheets this will take more time to load your pages. Compiling your code and scripts will free up the time your website will take to find the right code.
Increasing your page speed will make your website feel lighter and faster.
Making sure that your webpages are search engine optimized can help boost traffic to your website. These can be achieved by finding the right keyphrase to help focus your webpages, making your title and meta description clear and persuasive, and making your website accessible.
Here at Blaze, our web design team will work with you to create a new site or look at your existing one and help optimise your pages for the search engine results page.
We can add or change content to strengthen your SEO, and improve your accessibility. If you need your website making mobile-friendly, we can build your site to improve your visibility of search engines.
Contact us to see how we can help you.