Love Your Website
Love your website – A simple guide to refreshing your website and making sure its working for your business.
By Guest Blogger Niki Peach of Niki Peach Design | www.nikipeach.com
Step 1: Provide Quality Content
Focus on your content. The most important factor for your page rank is the content on your site. If your content is original and useful, it will draw more visitors than a page with poor content.
Update your website regularly with new content. Websites that stagnate and do not stay current will drop in the ranks. If you’re writing a blog, try to update at least once a week at the minimum.
Ensure that your content matches your site description and keywords. If readers click away from your site after discovering that the content does not match their search, you will get penalised when they leave quickly (Bounce Rate on Google Analytics).
Step 2: Optimisation
Optimise your pages. Your content should be optimised for both keywords and conversational searches. A good way to do this is to make your article titles as close to the popular search query for that topic as possible. For example www.athena.com/ladies-netorking-groups Make sure that your content answers the questions of the readers, or provides unique insight.
Avoid overloading your site with keywords. Google will recognise this and reduce your ranking because of it.
Make sure that your site’s meta description is accurate. This is displayed to users when your site shows up on searches. An accurate description will lead to more clicks to your site, and less bounces upon landing on your site.
Meta Data is the html code behind a site and works on 3 key areas:
Meta Title: The title should ideally not exceed 65-70 characters (including spaces) and finish with the company name. It should always be more than 40 characters. Most search engines will truncate the text in the title tag after a fixed number of characters.
- Meta Description: This should be a short description of the services you provide, targeting the keywords on each page. You must make sure this is populated.
- Meta keywords: An optimum number of keywords is 30-40. Some SEO specialists argue that Google no longer recognises keywords, but other search engines like Yahoo and Bing recognise them. I always include them on my sites as good practice.
Google’s Hummingbird update for their search engine algorithms has made keywords much less important than conversational searches. This reflects changes in the way that people search for things. For example, instead of looking for the keyword “iPhone”, Google will look for pages that answer questions such as “Which is the best iPhone for me?”
Utilise backlinks. When search engines see that visitors are coming to your site from other sites, your page rank will increase. The more reputable the site the viewer originated from, the more impact this will have on your rank. You can add backlinks by commenting on other blogs and adding a link to your site when you sign off, or you can provide content for other websites and then link back to your site via your credit.
Step 3: Other Important FREE! Tools
Create and submit your sitemap. A sitemap is a text file that lays out the pages of your site. It makes it easier for the Google bots to find all of the links and content on your website, as well as determine their importance. There are a variety of websites that will generate a sitemap for you, or you can create one yourself.
Create a Google Places Listing. Considering the fact that Google usually blends the Google Places’ page and Maps along with the organic results for location specific searches, listing yourself in Google Places can be an excellent way to create brand awareness.
Getting your business listed on Google Places is easy and can be done in just three steps. The first step is to set up an account and submit the relevant information like the address, phone number, email, hours of operation, payment method, mode of service, images and even videos to Google. Once you verify your listing through phone or mail, you would receive a PIN from Google that allows you to claim the specified listing. Once this process is complete, your listing would get accepted by Google and can be viewed on the site.
The best part of it all is that Google Places is a free service and it is up to you as a business owner to make the best of it.
See www.google.co.uk/places to add your business now.
Are you using Analytics? www.google.co.uk/analytics
If you are not sure its worth checking with your developer if you are using Google Analytics. This is a free tool provided by Google to help you analyse hits to your website and gather data on the visitors that you are having.
This is normally carried out by your developer. It can be done through Googles webmaster tools, which anyone can set up to check the status and health of a website. If your developer has already set this up get them to add you to the reports so you too and access the data on the site. www.google.co.uk/webmastertools
Is your website mobile friendly?
Is your website mobile friendly which will further impact your search results. Last years changes in the way Google index websites (algorithms) meant that sites which do not have a mobile friendly version will not appear on mobile searches. You can run a check on your website here: https://www.google.co.uk/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly/Also see the end of this document for useful links and an infographic showing mobile usage.
Step 4: Sharing
Capitalize on social networks. Social networks are a great way to spread backlinks amongst a large number of viewers. Viewers will link your site for you if your content proves valuable. This will in turn increase your traffic, which will lead to an increase in your rank.
Become more shareable by providing your visitors a couple of easy ways to share your content would be a good start. For this, your set tweets should be below 120 characters so that it is easy for others to re-tweet. Also, try writing a great catchy header over the Facebook link, share along with adding up your own commentary. The content in which you share over your different social media platforms should be of good quality and worth reading.
Google Page Rank
Google Keyword Tool
To find the popularity of keyword searches, use Google Keyword Planner Tool checker:
Use this to check search volume of keywords. For example I have a client who has populated the keywords on the site with “hairdresser Oxford” and when we checked this does not have a great volume with the majority of searches being “hairdressers Oxford”
When we made this small change change we saw an increase in rankings.
This graph below using data from Global web index 2015 demonstrates the importance of making sure your site is mobile friendly.