9 easy ways to boost your SEO
A website without any optimisation brings to mind the age old philosophical question:
“If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?”
Your business can have a great looking website that makes lots of noise but if it’s not properly optimised how can you expect anyone to find it? A website needs to tick a few fundamental boxes in order for Google to a) understand how to present the site to users and b) trust the site enough to recommend it, in turn moving it up the ranking.
To those not in the know, Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) has been considered a black art. The thought being that Google doesn’t openly promote every factor that can influence search ranking performance. It also doesn’t help that some Perth web design agencies prefer to keep their clients in the dark, preferring a smoke and mirrors approach.
There are, however, some tried and tested SEO practices that we use and openly encourage you to use for yourself. Each step is simple, straightforward and should be common practice for each and every Perth business website. The tips are given based on a WordPress web design but can be applied to all good content management systems.
Easy ways to boost your SEO
1. Content is king. Ok, this one sounds a little obvious but stay with me here. The amount of time a user spends on your website has an impact on SEO ranking and performance. If your content is relevant and well crafted then the chances are your prospective clients will stay on the site to read the content and Google will be able to easily read and understand the service you provide. It’s a double whammy winner – good content converts visitors and also improves SEO.
2. Optimise your images. We see a lot of websites that take forever to load. Sometimes this can be related to the server and the way in which content is cached. More often than not however it because the website images are HUGE! Imagine how much longer a 1mb image takes to load than a 50kb image. We know that Google and Bing consider page loading speed in their algorithms so it’s important that you reduce image file size. Thankfully there are some awesome options out there. We love Tiny PNG and Tiny JPG. Super simple and really effective services!
3. Header tags. To help Google understand your page content it’s important that you demonstrate some hierarchical structure. It also helps improve the overall user experience. Tagging your headline text is one of the easiest ways to manage this. By applying H1. H2, H3, H4, H5 and H6 tags you’re telling search engines, in order of priority, what your website is all about. We’ve found that sites that aren’t clearly tagged simply don’t perform.
4. Broken links. This might seem obvious but a dead link (404 page) is not only a poor user experience but it tells search engines that you’re not really caring for your site in the way you should. And it doesn’t need to be a dead page on your site. If any of your pages link off to content that no longer exists you can bet you’ll be penalised. There are some great tools that will check your pages for dead links. We recommend registering for the free Google Webmaster Tools. You won’t regret it!
5. Mobile ready. We’ve mentioned this many times before but it can’t be understated. If your business website doesn’t respond correctly on a mobile or tablet device then you will be penalised. We know because it’s one of the few things Google has told us. As devices continue to evolve and change shape, having a web design that works on all platforms is incredibly important. Even more so now that the number of searches performed on a mobile far outweigh those performed on traditional desktop computers.
6. Social Media. A single business website is not enough any more. It’s important to have multiple online profiles and channels that are well connected with the core site. Of course, not every business should be on every social platform. A financial advisor might be best to avoid Instagram and focus on Linkedin. Similarly a Florist would better served on more visual platforms such as Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook than Twitter and Linkedin. Post content that engages users and you’ll encourage them to visit your website and engage with you further.
7. Plugins. If you’re using a solid CMS such as WordPress or Joomla you’ll have access to a huge suite of SEO focused plugins, designed to improve how your site presents itself to search engines. For WordPress web design we use SEO Yoast. It’s simple to use, incredibly flexible and super powered. It also helps to gamify the SEO process by encouraging you to get ‘green lights’ for each one of your websites pages. There’s nothing more satisfying.
8. Internal links. An internal link is one that points to a page within your website. It’s a powerful SEOpractice that is often overlooked. By linking pages and topics together within your website you’re helping to make it easier for search engines to understand. Also worth noting that the link text (anchor text) should help describe the link so it’s best to avoid text such as ‘Read More’ or ‘Click Here’.
9. New content. If you walked passed a high street store that had it’s door closed and lights off you’d assume it was closed. It’s the same if Google checks your website. If there is no activity and no real attempt to reach out to prospective visitors, Google will assume your site is closed for business. Ok, that might be a little over dramatic but by demonstrating that you’re regularly updating your website you are showing search engines your willingness to reach out and engage. Fresh content is the best content and a blog is the best place to start.
These are just a handful of the many, many tactics we use to help improve the visibility of our client websites. We believe that these are the easiest to implement and can be tackled by any business large and small.
If your business needs any Perth SEO advice then we are just a call away. We provide personalised, cost effective SEO solutions that have proven results with a wide variety of Perth and Western Australian businesses. Contact one of our Perth SEO specialists today for more information.