Easy SEO wins for your website

Even small SEO wins can make a big difference to your website’s performance

Sunday, 26 May, 2024

Launching a new website in today’s overcrowded online environment might seem futile, but there are ways to help even a modest site appear prominently in future search results.

It’s been calculated that 93 per cent of first-time website visits originate from search engine results pages (SERPS).

Optimising your site to appear prominently in search results (known as search engine optimisation) often makes the difference between a website flourishing or withering on the vine.

Before offering some suggestions on easy SEO wins, it’s instructive to consider how densely populated the surface web really is.

So huge the ocean

According to calculations published earlier this year, there are roughly 1.1 billion live websites across the World Wide Web.

However, 82 per cent of these haven’t been updated in the last six months, rendering them inactive and sending them tumbling down many SERPS.

Our first SEO tip is therefore to regularly update your website, maintaining its topicality and giving the web crawlers employed by search engines new content to find.

Launching a news page or blog is ideal for this. A well-written blog provides a platform to publish new content away from core pages elsewhere on the site.

Because search engines hate content disappearing, avoid deleting existing text wherever possible.

It’s also a good idea to publish blogs and news stories at the start of each month, so the website always has content with this month’s date displayed.

The English way

While there are an estimated 192 million active websites around the world, the number of English-language websites presently stands at around 111 million.

Any English-language search will instantly eliminate over 40 per cent of webpages.

Unless someone searches in quotation marks, search engines don’t rely on exact search string matches – they’re more likely to deliver results matching a search’s sentiment.

Your choice of words is therefore secondary to how frequently synonyms and related terms appear.

Use as many relevant keywords and short phrases (known as long tails) as possible, establishing your site as an authority. Find different ways to say the same things.

At the same time, ensure the web text remains readable. Search engines routinely downgrade webpages written for algorithms instead of real audiences.

Black hat SEO tricks like word clouds and keyword stuffing damage rankings, so remove any on-page elements previously used to try and game the system.

Natural language is a key attribute. Stick to short sentences and concise paragraphs with plenty of space, making it easier to digest on-page contents.

Inserting images also breaks up the page, while generating additional SEO opportunities…

Algorithm and blues

Search engines keep the exact composition of their algorithms under wraps, but we know they’re not just ranking sites based on their text.

Page and section headings boost SEO alongside pull-quotes and captions, so break up your text with sub-headings (known as H2 and H3, depending on their size).

Other on-page elements can also deliver easy SEO wins. Add image captions and descriptions, page summaries and meta descriptions, alt text and infographics.

This is easier if you’re using a platform like WordPress, which uses a traffic light system to indicate where optimisation may deliver tangible SEO benefits.

Other factors influencing SEO include how long a site has been live, the perceived integrity of its top level domain and how many other sites link to it.

Inbound links are among the most valuable aspects of modern SEO. Reach out to other websites offering to add reciprocal inbound links or supply free content in exchange for a link.

We also know that the amount of time people spend on a website affects its SEO, so try to link internal pages together with descriptive anchor text to encourage longer visits.

It’s also vital to eliminate broken links, 404 errors and duplicate content.

Minimise bounce rates (where people quickly leave a site) by ensuring pages load quickly with compelling content – requiring compressed images and efficient coding.

You need to use a website host company guaranteeing rapid access, 99.9 per cent uptime and fully redundant servers, so your site will remain visible even if a server goes offline.

Neil Cumins author picture


Neil is our resident tech expert. He's written guides on loads of broadband head-scratchers and is determined to solve all your technology problems!