If you have a business website you should be engaging in ongoing digital marketing and Search Engine Optimisation (SEO).
For any page on your website, you should always consider these top 5 SEO tips:
Of course a page will have content, I’m sure you’re thinking. But all content must include the following points:
- Create QUALITY content that is relevant to your website and the page topic. Clearly communicate to your audience.
- Be ORGANIZED – to make it easier for your users and search engines to read (known as ‘readability’). We’re in an era where the viewer is likely to skim / scan through an article. Long sentences and paragraphs are considered more difficult to read.
- OPTIMIZE – use relevant title and header tags and insert relevant keywords into titles, headers and throughout the text. But make sure you’re not ‘keyword stuffing’ (search engines don’t like you deliberately adding as many keywords as you can just for ranking. And let’s face it, it won’t be great for your audience either).
2. User Engagement
Good content should be engaging and informative to your audience and help search engines understand what the page is about.
Ultimately, your website is for real people to view. However, they most often find your website via search engines. So it’s important to get the balance right between the two.
Try to see your web pages and content from a fresh perspective. If you hadn’t seen your website before, would you be able to find information easily and clearly? An important way to know how your user engagement is going, is to use analytics. Google Analytics is probably the most popular and it’s free. You can track
- Pages Per Session – see how many pages a viewer looked at while they were on your website. The more they looked at, the more engaged they probably were.
- Bounce rate – this is where a viewer lands on a page a clicks off it almost immediately due to lack of engagement. This can be caused by either your web page loads too slowly (see below for more on this), the content wasn’t what they were looking for or it was too confusing or lacked quality content. So they decided to leave your web page/ website soon after they arrived at it.
- Click Through Rate (CTR) – Your website listing on a search engines’ search results page, should also be engaging. Your website listing will be sat on a page full of your competitors. What will make the audience click on your listing instead of your competitors? Yes, being at the top of the page is best BUT your meta description must be enticing enough for them to click on it. If a viewer clicks on your listing from a Google search result page (or any other search engine), this is known as Click Through Rate. A low CTR is an indication that your meta descriptions (the description that shows on a search result page), is not doing its job. Review the text and see what your competition is doing.
Search engines, like Google, will be aware of all of the above for your website. Those web pages that perform better with User Engagement, will also receive a higher ranking in the search results.
3. Mobile Responsive
Mobile responsive means that your website can adapt to different screen sizes, from desktop to mobile phones, automatically. This should be done without loss to user experience. In an era of the mobile-first index, any website that is NOT mobile responsive will suffer from a low search engine ranking. Keep in mind the small screen dimensions when designing your website and page load speeds.
You can test your web page with Google for both mobile and desktop versions, here: https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights/
If any results are in the red, you need to review your page content and associated software scripts.
4. Website Security
Having a secure website is now an important factor for search engine ranking. This is for ANY website, not just eCommerce. Google and the other search engines plus most browsers these days are committed to making the web safer. So not having a secure website will negatively affect your website’s ranking and also produce errors on some browsers saying that your website is ‘insecure’.
How do you make your website secure? First of all you need an SSL Certificate installed on your hosting account. Contact your website host for help with this. You must also make sure that any links on your website only going to secure (https) pages and content.
5. Technical Structure
The way your website is developed is the foundation for how everything else will work on it. This includes being search engine friendly. Making sure that your website has a good crawl rate is crucial to SEO. Crawl rate is a measurement of how many requests per second a search engine spider makes to your website. This is very important for business websites, making sure the right pages are crawled first.
- Make sure you have a sitemap for all search engines.
- Make sure you have no broken links on your website
- Block pages that you don’t want to be crawled by placing them under the disallow file of your robots.txt file.
- If you change any URLs, keep your sitemaps up to date and put redirects in place.
The above 5 tips just scratches the surface of what needs to be done to keep your website Search Engine Optimized.