If you’ve never visited BroadbandDeals.co.uk before now, there’s a 90 per cent chance you found this website through a search engine.
That’s where nine-tenths of all first-time website visits originate.
Search engines are an incredibly efficient blend of the Yellow Pages, the Encyclopaedia Britannica, a time-served librarian and an Egghead.
As such, achieving a prominent position in ranking results has become the Holy Grail for most corporate, personal or philanthropic websites.
Appear on the first page of Google, and traffic will flow to your site. Slip onto the second page, and you’ll miss an estimated 95 per cent of searches.
Search and destroy the competition
The process of achieving a high ranking in results is known as search engine optimisation, or SEO.
Around the world, an entire industry has evolved to improve SEO on behalf of either their employers or external clients.
However, you don’t need to pay a fortune to digital marketing specialists to improve SEO on a personal or small business website.
The ten tips listed below will help.
None are technical, since not everyone is comfortable coding in HTML. Nor are these recommendations especially time-consuming.
Implement them all, and you’ll significantly improve the likelihood of your shiny website achieving that coveted first-page position in future search results…
- Remove missing elements. Search engines downgrade websites with dead hyperlinks, missing images or 404 errors. Ensure every link works and every element is present.
- Include the terms people are searching for. Use a platform like Google Analytics to see what your customers are searching for, and add key terms a few times on each page.
- Develop inbound links. You could offer guest blogging, pay to be on a directory or set up social media profiles. The more links leading to your site, the more authoritative it looks.
- Create listings. Google business listings reinforce the authenticity of a website, creating valuable external links to the site and underlining its continuing presence.
- Minimise loading times. Compress images and ensure videos don’t auto-play. Keep text concise, remove unnecessary plugins, and avoid animations or parallax scrolling.
- Remove unnecessary elements. Building on the last point, every plugin, graphic, button and element has to be loaded individually. Pare them down to speed up loading times.
- Add a blog or news page. As well as offering regular opportunities to introduce extra SEO content, this demonstrates the site is active and being maintained – crucial for SEO.
- Exploit SEO opportunities. Use tools like Yoast to improve omissions, such as giving images keyword-laden captions and titles, or adding meta descriptions to every page.
- Add a sitemap. This simple XML file helps the automated Google/Bing crawlers which evaluate websites to understand what they’re seeing, and rank the site more accurately.
- Consider switching host provider. If your website routinely takes several seconds to load, switching to a superior hosting company could turbocharge performance and boost SEO.