9 top tips for optimising your website
SEO is an important marketing tool. Here’s how you can optimise your website to help boost your search engine rankings.
Search engine optimisation (SEO) is an important marketing tool for businesses – after all, if you don’t appear at the top of the Google rankings, it’s likely that your competitors will.
Simply speaking, onsite optimisation looks at everything you can control or change on your website, and it accounts for around a quarter of your site’s SEO. Here’s how you can optimised your site to help boost your position in the search engine rankings.
Keyword research and development
Before you begin optimising your website it’s important to do your research. Finding the right keywords is an essential part of online optimisation, so take the time to carry out competitor, industry and customer analysis to help you determine what keywords you should be targeting. There are plenty of online tools that can help you with this process.
However, while keywords may be the cornerstone of SEO, this doesn’t mean peppering keywords indiscriminately throughout your website. Search engine bots prefer keywords that appear organically in relevant content, which leads us on to our next point…
Producing quality content
A website’s content has a big impact on where the site ranks in the search engines, so producing unique, high-quality content is key to effective online optimisation. But avoid stuffing your content full of keywords. Instead try to write naturally, and concentrate on producing content that is informative, relevant and engaging.
It’s also important to pay attention to your page titles – they are one of the first things search bots see when crawling your site and so can help to boost your search engine rankings. Each page should have its own unique title that contains a relevant keyword and makes the content and purpose of the page clear to users. Generally speaking, titles should be no more than 65 characters and should display your priority keyword first, followed by your business name.
Another thing you need to think about is optimising your URLs. Google prefers short, punchy URLs of around 3-5 words, and these also look more attractive and professional to potential clients. Try to match your URLs to the relevant keywords as this will enable the search engine bots to gain a better understanding of the purpose and content of the page.
Good images can make all the difference to your website, supporting the rest of your content and providing a more pleasant experience for visitors. However, it’s important to ensure that any images are optimised by completing the image ALT text with content that is relevant to the image, the page it sits on, and the targeted keywords. While you’re at it, make sure your images are not too large as this can affect your loading speed, which in turn can have a negative impact on your rankings.
Meta data optimisation
When it comes to optimising your website, meta data is your friend. As well as helping your audience to understand what a page is about, optimising your meta titles and meta descriptions with relevant keywords will also make it easier for search engines to rank your website pages – so it’s worth taking the time to write individual meta descriptions for each page on your site.
Strong internal linking is a simple but effective way to help optimise your website. As well as providing a better experience for visitors to the site, it also allows search engine bots to jump easily from page to page, which in turn enables them to better understand which pages are relevant to each other within your site. Include natural links in the body text of pages, so that it is useful rather than disruptive for viewers.
If a page isn’t indexed it can’t rank in the search engines. Creating a sitemap makes it easier for search engine bots to crawl your website and index your pages, so it’s worth taking the time to create one. For best results, always produce both HTML and XML versions of your sitemap.
Testing and measurement
As with any marketing activity, it’s important to continually test and measure your optimisation activities – how else do you find out what is and isn’t working? Analysing your web traffic and search engine position will enable you to determine whether your current strategy is effective, and allow you to make any necessary changes.
Onsite optimisation can seem like a mammoth task, so if you’re not sure where to start it might be worth approaching a company that offers onsite SEO services. With some expert advice, you could soon find your website heading up the search engine rankings.