Techniques for improving SEO are constantly changing with search engines regularly refining how they understand and rank websites. So here are some tips on how to give search engines a greater understanding of your website and the keyword phrases you are targeting.
The homepage is often ‘the gateway’ to the rest of your website – if your homepage does not give search engines clear and informed access into the rest of the website, this can hinder your efforts to improve SEO. Therefore, make sure your most important pages are easily recognizable and accessible from your homepage. Your home page is the most important page of your website.
Ensure Your Web Pages Load Quickly
Search engines (particularly Google) use site speed in web search ranking. After all, who wants to click onto a website from search engines which takes far too long to load?! There are various techniques which can be applied to improve page load throughout your website. Some of these include; keeping image file size to a minimum, avoiding too many animated elements on your pages, and consider using YouTube or Vimeo to host and handle the load required for any videos on your websites.
This is a page that exists to provide search engines (and your website visitors) with an overview of your website and how all the pages are linked together.
A blog (or advice section) on your website is a great way to grow your website and provide search engines with new information related to the keyword phrases you are targeting. There are many ways in which a blog or advice section can benefit SEO.
Clearly Defined Headings and Introductions
Throughout your website, ensure that each page has a clearly defined heading and (ideally) an opening paragraph. Within the code of your pages, these headings should be placed within what’s called the HTML header tags.
Link Related Content/Pages
Throughout your website, you are likely to have certain pages which are different yet closely related to one another. It is therefore important that these pages are appropriately linked to one another. In doing so, you provide search engines with a better overall understanding of your website (similar to the purpose of a Sitemap page).
Be Cautious With Link Exchanges
Search engines are far more clever than what they were years ago and are likely to penalize your website if you link with suspicious websites, or websites lacking in quality. Therefore, only link to another website if there is a genuine reason for it, and provided the website appears to be genuine and of good quality.
Make Sure You Have Content for the Keyword Phrases You Want to Target
There is no use in hoping for, or attempting to gain, strong search engine positions for keyword phrases which are not related to any of the content on your website. If you want to rank highly for a particular keyword phrase, there are a number of steps and processes (both initially and ongoing) which you’ll need to implement; however, to have any chance at all, you must have at least one page on your website which provides content specifically related to that keyword phrase.
Utilize Social Media Networks
Getting your business established on relevant social media networks (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.) is a great way to engage with potential customers/clients, and to naturally build incoming links to your website. When considering social media as a technique for improving SEO, it’s important that you first take into consideration which social networks are relevant for your business, and which would most effectively allow you to reach your target market. The great benefit of social media for SEO is that once you are providing fresh, engaging and informative content to your subscribers, they are likely to share your website content with others.
These are just some of the many key techniques to consider for improving the SEO of your website. These techniques evolve and adapt regularly, so it’s important to stay on top of knowing what techniques are worthwhile and how they should be implemented. In addition to these techniques, it’s important to remember that SEO is not just about getting traffic to your website, but also about analyzing the response to your website once it’s there. Your SEO strategy should be focused towards converting visits into sales, in addition to getting your website onto Page 1 of search engines for your most relevant keyword phrases.
This article was written by Christian Goodrich, who is the head of front-end development and SEO at SOZO. Established in 2000, SOZO is a leading web design company in Cheltenham; specializing in web design, branding and online marketing.