We have provided corporate SEO services to many companies over the last five years, and it is safe to say that a majority of business websites are very poorly optimised. This makes it very hard for them to rank well in Google without making some major changes across the site. However, a good site can rank better with relatively little work, so long as the most important ranking factors are all optimised. Let’s take a quick look at the 5 most important ranking factors for SEO. If you implement the following changes properly you will improve your search positions.
The meta title is the SEO foundation stone of your website. This is usually the first piece of content that Google reads, the first thing shown to searchers and the first thing displayed on your web browser. A good title tells both Google and your customers what the page is about. Get it right, and you can quickly boost your traffic. Get it badly wrong, and Google may well penalise you!
Many SEOs will tell you that these are not really important “in terms of SEO”. However, SEO is more than just getting your site to appear higher in search – you want people to click your result too! While the meta description will not affect where in the SERPs your page, or site, appears, it will influence the searcher. Google recently updated its SEO rules on titles and descriptions.
Your headers should be the most visible text on your pages. Having a top header (the H1) and sub-headings (H2, H3 etc.) helps your readers to skim over content and find the specific information that they are interested in. Nobody wants to read 600 words of copy before finding a ten word answer to their question, so split up longer pages with headers, and include the keywords that people want to quickly find.
Your main content will probably have the biggest impact on your rankings. This content should provide text, images and other forms of media in such a way that readers and Google can easily understand. It should be interesting, engaging and contain some of your most important keywords – if you forget to put your key search terms within your content, it will rank much lower, even if the keywords are in your titles and headers. Develop a content strategy based on keyword research to ensure that your website attracts more customers.
YOUR BUSINESS DETAILS
Google takes trust very seriously, and a business website that does not display its name, address and telephone (NAP), may be deemed less trustworthy than one that clearly displays such info. Also, your NAP affects your local SEO, by reinforcing citations – it effectively provides an anchor on your site for all other listings to hold to, and this sends a clear message to Google that the information has been verified and is correct.
These are just five factors out of hundreds that affect whereabouts in Google search your business will appear for any given keyword phrase. If you want to grow your business online, organic traffic is key – and it’s free. However, without a well-structured and executed SEO plan, your business will struggle to compete in Google.