Modern Website Design Agency

23 Ways to Improve Your SEO

23 Ways to Improve Your SEO

Why does everyone go on about SEO? What’s it all about?

Although it applies across the board, this article is based on Google Search Engine.
Nearly 75% of searchers start their search with Google and that includes us! We are Google Fans!

23 Ways to Improve Your SEO & Web Page Ranking

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation. It basically means, the practice of increasing traffic to your website, although you want that traffic to be specific and organic. SEO will boost traffic for your business through increased visibility on popular search engines and ultimately improve your ranking. SEO is about generating leads and revenue.

SEO is the ‘treasure’ Google or other search engines needs to find in order to display a result for their searcher. If your website, blog or article is on any other page than the first in Google you may as well not be ranking at all!

So let’s get started on improving your SEO…

The first thing you need to do is jump into Google Analytics and Google Search Console, and analyse:

  • the traffic
  • the traffic sources
  • the landing pages
  • user behaviour
  • dwell time
  • bounce rate
  • measure site speed
  • keywords and rankings

Analyse what you already have, know the behaviour of your site and customers before doing anything. I will be writing an in-depth article on Google Analytics soon. Sign up for our newsletter if you would like Rokit Media to alert you of this and other future articles.

At Rokit Media, we have spent years looking into SEO and no one actually knows the true secret behind it. The likes of Google and other search engines keep the algorithms very close to their chest. You could spend hours trying to decipher these algorithms, but really there is no point as they change all the time. Over 200 ranking factors at present!

SEO is not just about keywords anymore; it is much more sophisticated than that. Firstly, you want to attract quality traffic to your site. You want visitors who are genuinely interested in your products or services especially if you are paying for Google Ads!

Secondly, the quantity of traffic is also important and thirdly, organic results are best because you don’t have to pay for them!

Search engines use BOTS (software application robots) to crawl pages on the web, crawling across data and information. Algorithms analyse pages and index them taking into account several ranking factors to overall determine the order in which website pages should appear in the SERPS – Search Engine Result Pages.

Search engines have a mammoth task in trying to find and interpret what we want with 2 billion websites around the world.

Some of us at Rokit Media have been in IT for over 20 years now and we have figured out a few things along the way that we would like to share with you.

Rokit Media’s 23 ways to improve your SEO…

#1 Speed

The loading speed of a web page is now an essential ranking factor. The vast majority of sites we analyse have a loading speed in excess of 10 seconds. They look fantastic when they eventually load, but what’s the point if most of your potential customers have given up waiting and moved on.

The average time it takes to fully load a mobile landing page is 22 seconds, according to a new analysis. Yet 53% of visits are abandoned if a mobile site takes longer than three seconds to load. That's a big problem. - Google

Utilising our JAMstack approach to developing websites we can achieve blazing fast website speeds that engage and retain users, ultimately resulting in higher conversions.

Blazing Fast Websites Result in Higher Conversions

#2 Does your page support Google rich results?

Google uses structured data to understand the content on your websites pages. Structured data, if implemented correctly can help you achieve better results in searches and are also supported by Google's search results cards that you see on mobile search results.

You can use Googles Rich Results Test page to check if your website's pages are using Structured Data and if the page is eligible for rich results. You should have a result similar to the following if your page supports rich results.

Google Search Console Rich Results Test

If you want to learn more about Googles Rich Results, take a look at Google Search Central developer guides here.

At Rokit Media we apply structured data to all our projects covering all your search results requirements such as Local Businesses, Breadcrumbs, Logos, Articles and any other applicable data types for your content. We apply the structured data using code to generate JSON-LD (JavaScript Object Notation for Linked Data) where applicable. What we don't use is Third Party plugins, so we have full control over what data we pass into Google search results.

#3 Technically Tidy

Quality design & development of your website code and no broken links are important factors. A thorough assessment of how your site is performing is what we get excited about here at Rokit Media! HTML errors or sloppy coding may be a sign of a poor quality site. A well coded page is used as a quality signal. The technical health of a website is now the foundation of SEO. If search engines cannot crawl, interpret or index your content, no amount of additional work will help. It is fundamental that your website code is clean.

Performance is an essential ranking factor in 2021. If your page takes more than 10 seconds to load in all likelihood you will get a bounce – a potential customer will give up waiting. In this digital age, humans are becoming more impatient and want everything available now or in an instant. No more than 4 clicks are required from any page to access or reach the desired URL.

#5 Responsive

Your website HAS to work on all devices. This is the Mobile First Age. Your website needs to display elegantly on every device screen be that a mobile or a large PC screen. Always check your website on other devices and question - is it mobile friendly?

#6 Content

The content of a page is what makes it worthy of a search result position, it has to be good quality, original, unique and authentic. Content length is also important – see section on length below. Duplicating content can have a negative impact. Grammar and spelling is surprisingly a quality signal, so always check. Bullets and numbered lists make content easier for users and is a ranking factor. An attractive site and content will engage users and makes them stay on your site longer.

#7 Security of your website

No one goes to an unsecure site these days. Check your website is secure and verify its certificate. Simply open your browser and go to your website, then check there is a little padlock next to the website name in the address bar. You can click the padlock and verify the certificate's validity along with other details. Google has confirmed that the use of HTTPS is a ranking signal. There are also other security factors to consider including the correct security headers on your pages, and if your site is a multitier architecture then there is a whole host of security considerations to be applied. Ensure your website is secure.

#8 Trust

Terms of Service and Privacy Polices are important and tell search engines that you are a trustworthy member of the internet. SEO is also about trust and authority and this takes time to build. Think about your reputation. User reviews and testimonials are valuable and answering them builds even more trust.

#9 Image Optimisation

Image Optimisation is reducing the file size of your website’s images as much as possible without sacrificing the quality or resolution. If this is not done, your website will take longer to load. Ensure your images are all labelled before uploading to your website, think about relevant keywords you can incorporate. The BOTS can’t see images, so they need to read the text of what your image is referring to. We always suggest naming your image descriptively, in plain language and to include hyphens, for example "2021-red-mini-electric.jpg". You should also pay attention to using the image's text alternative known as the Alt Tag/Alt Text, and the length should be below 125 characters. In this example we could use an alt text "2021 Red Mini BMW", which combined would look like:

<img src="2021-red-mini-electric.jpg" alt="2021 Red Mini BMW" />

Optimizing images is a challenge on any website. Obviously these are just the basics of image optimisation. To utilise best practices for performance across devices, you need multiple sizes and resolutions of each image and to serve them up in next generation formats. Luckily we have the know-how to do that using modern web design and development techniques and all you need to know is how to upload them within a CMS, the tech will take it from there. Get in touch with us or take a look at our tech eco-stack for more information.

#10 Geographic Relevancy

People laugh at us when we say get your business on Google Maps and Google Business – local geographic relevancy is an important factor. Local ranking is determined by google, firstly in terms of relevance, distance and prominence - how well the business is known.

  • https://support.google.com/business/answer/7091?hl=en
  • Google My Business and don’t forget to verify the location, you usually receive an email asking you to do so and this can end up in junk mail.
  • Keep information Up-to-date and accurate
  • Manage and respond to reviews, shows a level of trust.
  • Add Photos
  • https://www.google.com/business/
  • You have nothing to lose by leveraging local SEO. Sign up to local directory sites, groups or enlist for awards in your industry area.

#11 Domain Name

Take your domain for 5 years plus – search engines like longevity however it does not seem to be as important as it use to be. If it is not a problem for you to purchase a domain for 5 years – then do it! Basically, illegitimate domains are rarely used for more than a year. Having a country code top level domain i.e. .co.uk, .cn, .ca can help a site rank for that particular country but can limit the site’s ability to rank globally but .com, .org, .net are not always available. Having a keyword in your domain name does not give it an SEO boost but it is still a relevant signal. Make your domain name memorable and avoid hyphens.

Don't just simply buy a domain name and host with the first hosting provider you come across. There are many technical details to consider. Rokit Media can search for a domain name for you, and host your website utilising cloud services such as Amazon AWS and Google Cloud Platform.

#12 No Broken Links

If you move your domain, it is fundamental that you redirect your URLs, that they are all correct and work. Remove any broken links as they have a very negative effect on your ranking. Use primary keywords in your URL slugs, the slug is the bit that appears after your domain name. For example, "www.rokitmedia.co.uk/contact-rokit-media"

#13 Backlinks

Backlinks are still one of Googles Top Ranking Signals. This is a PR job in itself and requires intensive research and building relationships. Again, it comes back to quality, if your website is not performing as it should, then why would anyone with a successful high-ranking website want to link to it? Try to establish relationships with Bloggers, Influencers, Journalists and Industry Experts. People who can eventually recommend your business and create links to your site. Regularly check that there are not any broken links as this will adversely affect traffic to your website. If you can, .gov or .edu are great back links to get!

#14 User Experience (UX)

User Friendly, ensure that all people visiting your site can actually read it in terms of font and colour contrast. Navigation should also be obvious with natural internal hyperlinks. The written content should be clear, concise and easy to understand, you do not want a potential customer to get lost, find the reading arduous, give up and go elsewhere. Breadcrumb navigation takes up very little space and can translate into a better user experience. Google uses breadcrumb mark-up from structured data that it finds on the web to understand the content of the page, as well as to gather information about the web and the world in general.

#15 Accessibility

This also touches on a user’s experience of your website. Have you got accessibility covered? Is your website designed and developed so that people with a range of disabilities can use and interact with it. For people with disabilities, technology makes things possible. Accessibility means developing your sites content to be as accessible as possible to all individuals. Accessibility is rather a large topic but your website definitely needs to be designed with this in mind. A great place to start reading further about accessibility is on the mozilla website.

#16 Keywords

Years ago people would ram their websites with every keyword they could think of. These days, it is more sophisticated and is related to the intent of the user. Keywords should appear in the URLs. Primary keywords are usually found organically in the body content. Google your competitors, see what keywords come up, they usually appear in bold. Alternatively, use Google Keyword Planner, you can enter your competitor’s URL and see what keywords comes up.

#17 Call to action buttons

Give your customer somewhere to go, let them know what to do next or how to take an action, for example sign up for a newsletter. Create a sense of urgency or a clear benefit for your potential customer.

#18 Social Media

The website should be built to be shared on Social Media Networks. Links to social networks should be made available. You need to get your content seen and your name known. Social media can boost organic visibility to your site, it is important to keep up-to-date and relevant. You need to post regularly, and sites like https://later.com/ and https://www.socialpilot.co/ really help with this. They are time saving as they allow you to create articles and post them to several social media platforms with one click. They are also great for your marketing team to line up future posts say around Valentine’s Day and Christmas.

#19 No redirect error codes!

Create a custom 404 error page. A 404 error page is what a visitor sees if they land on a page that no longer exists or have entered an invalid URL. A custom 404 page enables you to redirect visitors to an active page on your website. This is vital as it is the difference between a visitor remaining on your site or bouncing!

#20 Remember length is important!

  • As a guide…
  • Title <60 characters
  • URL we recommend < 90 characters, however, can be as long as 2048 characters
  • Meta description <160 characters
  • Ideal length for a domain name is 8 characters
  • ALT Tag/text - <125 characters
  • Home Page – 500 words minimum
  • Blog Posts – 600 words minimum, anything over 2300 words ranked higher on Google

#21 Blog posts and new content

Add new content and images on a regular basis to keep your site fresh and current. Google loves fresh unique content. Use a Blog Ideas Generator like on Hubspot.com to come up with your next blog title.

#22 Verify your site with Google Search Console.

Recommended for all website owners. If this is a task you have not done yet, head over to Google Search Console (formally known as Google Webmaster Tools) and add your website. It may take a day or two for data to be generated and you will need to confirm the ownership of your site. Ultimately the service will provide you with the indexing status of your site and help you measure your site's search traffic and performance. Make sure you fix any issues reported as these steps will greatly help you achieve better Google search results.

#23 You Tube

Allegedly, You Tube Videos get preferential treatment in rankings - well Google owns it! If your not camera shy and can produce some quality content, get recording and posting, making sure you reference additional content on your website with links.

Summary

Not sure if we have given too much away here, and will do ourselves out of a job!

With SEO, it’s important to understand that results take time but when the improvements do arrive, the ROI (Return on Investment) can be significant. Bear in mind, it can take 4mths to a year.

We have mentioned the word ‘Quality’ a lot in our article – this signifies to me that the Quality of your site in every aspect is paramount.

SEO is a dynamic area and ongoing monitoring is essential. Track and understand emerging trends like voice search, any algorithmic changes implemented by search engines.

At Rokit Media, we start your SEO journey for you and it is all included in the price when we build your website. Get in touch for a NEW Blazing FAST Website.

We hope the above helps with your SEO. In my next blog I will be writing about the Tools You Can Use to further help and improve your SEO.

Best Wishes & Stay Safe

Rokit Media

-Rokit Media

Posted: 31 December, 2020

© Rokit Media Ltd 2021

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