In 2017 optimising your website for search engines is essential, if not critical. Its primary function is to drive more visits to a website that convert into sales.
Search Engine Optimisation, commonly referred to as SEO, has been around since search engines began. “Webmasters” tried to gain the system by using “hacky” tricks to bump their website up the rankings. It became common for websites to cram keywords into the footer, over use meta tags and to posts links in every forum possible.
These, and other similar techniques, became known as “black-hat techniques”. As search engines have evolved, and become smarter, the world of SEO has opted to use so called “white-hat techniques” to organically improve search engine rankings.
Outlined below are four helpful suggestions for improving your website's search rankings.
People coming to your website are task driven. They haven’t come to just ‘look around’, they’ve either come for the content or for a service.
Provide users with relevant content to your domain. If you’re a shoe shop, why not write about new fashion trends, or your latest designer.
This fresh, relevant content will drive traffic to your website and naturally provide keywords throughout your online website content.
How fast is your website and does it work properly? Search engines look at many factors when spidering a website, one of which is page load time. Ensure that you don’t have lots of large, uncompressed images or videos. Check that your website is loading in a reasonable time, and that your server isn’t overloaded at peak times. Most users will leave your website if the page takes more that a few seconds to load.
Does your site have good content to link to, or do authoritative sites use your website as a reference? Search engines build up a diagram of which websites link to other websites. This allows them to know who has authority on a particular topic. For example, if many people choose to link to a popular news article - then that publisher will gain authority.
How does the site look? Is it easy to navigate around? Does it have a high bounce rate?
A well designed website will help users find content quickly and without hassle. It’s not good if the user has to click through 20 menu’s to find a phone number. Also, avoid annoying popups or broken features - search engines can detect errors and blocking models.