Search engine optimisation can be so difficult these days. It’s not as simple as dumping a load of keywords on a website anymore. There are all sorts of factors to take into consideration if you’re looking for a decent organic listing. You might even find that you need to hire a professional.
But first, try some of these top tips. They might give you the little nudge you need.
Your pages should have a meta description
It can be tempting to ignore meta descriptions, but they are really important. They don’t carry a lot of weight when it comes to SEO rankings, but they do make a difference when it comes to clicks through from potential supporters.
The more people who see your website and click through to your page because they’ve read your amazing meta description and then hang around and take actions, the better your overall SEO ranking will be, so it’s important that you’re looking at the bigger picture.
Make your website secure
It is really important to use https://. The S means your website is secure. This is a ranking signal for Google. They want their user data to be safe, because if they start sending people through to insecure websites then people will stop using their search engine and go somewhere else.
To get the S, you need to host with a dedicated IP address and buy and install a certificate. It’s really easy to do, and it can make quite a big difference. There’s more information here.
Make sure that all of the links on your website are covered by https because if you are linking to unsecured pages from secure pages, this will be flagged up when search engines crawl your website.
Headers and page titles
Your Header 1 shouldn’t match your page title. This is one of those things that people seem to think is a pretty standard practice, but it’s not the right thing to do. If your Header 1 is the same as your page title, Google thinks you’re over optimising, and this can be detrimental to your SEO ranking, so get a little creative and make sure they’re different.
It should take no more than three clicks to get to a page
If you have a page buried deep within your website and you’re hoping it will have a good SEO ranking, your hopes are about to be dashed. Pages that take three clicks or more to reach from your homepage are going to have a terrible SEO ranking, no matter how hard you work on optimising your page, so make sure they are easy to find.
If a web page is important to you, make sure it’s accessible through a couple of clicks.
Reduce your page load time
Reducing your page load time can increase your conversion rate quite drastically. These days, we expect websites to load quickly. If we don’t see what we’re looking for right away, we’re almost certain to jump from the website, resulting in a high bounce rate. This is not good for your user experience or your SEO.
There are many ways to bring down your page load speed (we could probably write and an entire article on it), but here are some of the best ways.
- 80% of page load time is spent downloading elements on the page, so reduce these.
- Make sure the elements on your page above the fold are loading first, even if the rest takes a few seconds (this is called ‘lazy loading’, and improves user experience)
- Use external hosting platforms for videos and embed them (YouTube, Vimeo)
- Make sure your mobile page load time is low, test it with this tool by Google.
Everybody hates this one, because it seems like so much work, but it really works. If other people are linking to your website, it probably means that you are citation worthy, and Google will be encouraged to bump you up the search results on the basis that other people are sending their hard-earned visitors through to you.
Send your staff out to guest blog, work on your public relations, partner with other organisations and agree to link back to each other, and produce content that people just really, really want to show. This is the absolute best thing you can do for your SEO, so invest some real time in this.