If you want your content to rank well on Google, and your customers to have a good experience on your website, you’re going to need to invest some time into SEO. We’ve rounded up some basic tips to help you get started.
1. Avoid duplicate content
Publishing duplicate content will raise a red flag to Google. If their algorithms find duplicated content they’ll penalise your search ranking.
2. Include an online contact form
Most users will expect to see an online form or contact page, so avoid only providing an email address and/or phone number. By including a contact page you’ll get a tick from Google and make it easier for customers to get in touch.
3. Split information into pages and subpages
Having too much information in one place can be overwhelming and frustrating for users. Your objective is to help people read content not scare them away, so split it up across multiple pages or sub-pages.
4. Use your homepage
The homepage is the most important ‘real-estate’ of any website since it’s generally the first page people see, and it’s where Google looks first for relevant content and keywords.
5. Use a secure HTTPS protocol
The recent Google algorithm update (released August 2017) gives ranking preference to websites using HTTPS secure connections. We highly recommended implementing a security protocol, not only for user safety but to increase your Google ranking.
6. Don’t use more than 100 links per page
Using an excessive amount of links per page will affect the user experience of your website and trigger a warning to Google.
7. Ensure there are no broken links
Not only will broken links frustrate your visitors, they’ll dramatically affect your website’s ranking and reputation. Search engines penalise websites with broken links because it’s flagged as a usability and quality control issue. It’s not only your own links that can break – backlinks (links to your site from others) can get broken too. Be sure to check that your links and backlinks are working on a regular basis.
8. Increase your Domain Authority score
Your website’s Domain Authority (DA) score is a 100-point scale that predicts how well a domain/subdomain will rank on Google, and how competitive it is compared to similar sites. A good DA score is one that’s above 50. Download Moz Bar to discover your websites DA score: https://moz.com/products/pro/seo-toolbar
DA is calculated based on over 40 factors such as do-follow backlinks, total backlinks, social media presence, etc. Since it’s a logarithmic score it’s easier to increase your DA from 20 to 30, for example, than it is from 70 to 80. As with the old PageRank score, it can fluctuate depending on the efforts put into a website’s SEO, therefore a constantly improving website will see score increases instead of fluctuations.
Achieving a 100-point DA is difficult since these scores are usually assigned to websites like Facebook and Google. But DA can be increased indirectly by doing the following:
- Getting rid of bad or spammy backlinks
- Acquiring natural backlinks from sites with high DA scores
- Fixing all SEO issues, both on-page and off-page
- Creating fresh, high-quality usable content that’s relevant
- Developing a strong internal page linking within your content
- Avoiding keyword issues and duplicate content
- Friendly URLs
- Building a strong social media presence
- Creating relationships with other sites within your niche
- Letting your domain get older (the older age, the better)
- Publishing to high-quality online directories
9. Validate the source code of your web pages
Cleaning up your code and validating web pages has been proven to have a great impact on website traffic, therefore it’s important to take time to clean up and validate your code. This can increase your traffic up to 40 percent in a very short period of time. Other benefits include:
Makes it easier for you or your developers to build new functionality or debug code
- Consistency in the presentation of your pages
- Compatibility with future browsers and technologies
- Faster loading times
- Easiness in crawling by search engines
- Enhanced accessibility for people with disabilities
10. Increase the optimisation rate of chosen keywords
Keyword identification and optimisation is a critical step in the initial stages of SEO and SEM, for both paid and organic searches. What words and sentences do people use to search for your product or service? Add these to your site headings and body copy and regularly perform keyword analysis to expand your database of keywords. You can use Goolgle’s Keyword Planner to help research and build out lists.
11. Shorten URLs
Long website URLs can lead to usability problems – especially when people try to copy-paste your links for use in social media platforms. They’re also more difficult to remember, and if packed with heaps of keywords your SEO will suffer greatly. Keep it short and sweet.
12. Make sure your website loads quickly
Research suggests that if a person has to wait for a website to load for longer than 2.7 seconds they’re likely to return to where they came from. Search engines will also respond by lowering your rankings.
There are several ways in which you can optimise your loading speeds:
• Optimising all your images so that they are smaller in file size
• Using a content/page caching plugin to optimise individual page loading speed
• Avoiding the use of irrelevant or useless code behind scripts
• Using server compression to automatically compress your pages’ content
• And if none of the above yield significant results, then we recommend thinking about changing your server/ hosting provider.