Regardless of what you think of it, search engine optimisation (SEO) really does matter. How often do you venture on to the second page of Google to find what you’re looking for? How much faith do you have in the companies whose websites are delivered at or near the top of page one? Most people will have answered ‘almost never’ and ‘quite a lot’.
SEO is an ongoing process that takes time, but there are some simple things you can do to help your website on its journey.
Make the content user friendly
This doesn’t just mean that it reads well, but that it’s useful and delivers the information that the reader needs and expects.
Gone are the days of keyword stuffing and writing content for the Google algorithm – your content needs to sound natural and have relevance to the keywords that you’re hoping to rank for.
You should also consider including additional media such as photographs, video and resources such as PDF flyers and leaflets. The longer people are spending on your website and engaging with it, the more relevant Google sees it in line with the search terms those users are typing in, so it will be delivered higher up the results.
Have a content cull
Despite the fact that updating and adding new content to a site helps to improve its ranking, having lots of old and outdated content can actually have the opposite effect. Blog posts that you no longer refer or link to, old product pages that are now irrelevant and stagnant, boring filler pages – get rid of the lot!
Produce a site map and check every page to see what can go and what you might need to keep. Some content might be able to be repurposed, such as blog posts that can be refreshed and reposted. When removing content or changing URLs, check for any internal or backlinks as you’ll need to update or redirect these.
Keep on top of internal links
Having links within your website to other, relevant areas of it is a great SEO tactic. It keeps people on the site for longer, gives them easy access to other information that might be useful to them, and helps get traffic to different areas of your website.
But having redirect chains, which can happen where content is moved or deleted, can cause problems. Use tools like Screaming Frog or SEMrush to check up on these links so you can ensure they’re working and performing how you need them to.
Content is still king
Now that you’ve got rid of all the dead wood on the site, plan to keep updating and nurturing it. This is both in terms of adding regular blogs and also consistently monitoring and amending content on the website, adjusting in line with changes to keywords, performance of pages and so on.
Use external content such as social media and PR to drive traffic to your website too – the more people that visit and are seen to engage with the site, the more Google will reward it in the rankings.
Speed it up
Google will penalise websites that take too long to load (especially on a mobile), with this directly affecting search engine rankings. Visitors do the same – bouncing straight off the site and going elsewhere, which not only loses you a sale if you’re an e-commerce site, but over time will see your rankings dip.
According to research by Google, as page load time goes from one to five seconds, probability of bounce increases by 90%.
Reduce your load time with tactics like using high quality hosting, and optimising the size of photos and videos on the site (and compressing them, too).
We’re just dipping a toe in the water here, but these tactics should help you on your way. For a more in depth SEO service, why not have a chat with us? As an experienced digital marketing agency, we have the skills and resources to help make a real difference to your website’s performance.