To drive new conversions to your website and bring in new potential customers, you need your website to be easier to find online. This means more than having good content and a well laid out website. It means taking crucial steps to improve your SEO performance. But what is SEO? We all love a buzzword but let us break it down for you:
SEO stands for “search engine optimization.” In simple terms, it means the process of improving your site to increase its visibility when people search for products or services related to your business in Google and other search engines. The better visibility your pages have in search results, the more likely you are to garner attention and attract prospective and existing customers to your business.
How does SEO work?
Search engines such as Google use bots to crawl pages on the web, going from site to site, collecting information about those pages and putting them in an index. Think of the index like a giant library where a librarian can pull up a book (or a web page) to help you find exactly what you’re looking for at the time.
Next, algorithms analyse pages in the index, taking into account hundreds of ranking factors or signals, to determine the order pages should appear in the search results for a given query. Using our library analogy, the librarian has read every single book in the library and can tell you exactly which one will have the answers to your questions.
The best SEO success stories are based on user experience. So the priority must always be: exactly how well can my website or web page give my target audience what they’re searching for.
Can you pay to rank?
No! Unlike paid search ads, you can’t pay search engines to get higher organic search rankings, which means you need to be in the know of some “key” SEO fundamentals…
To help make our SEO tips easier to navigate, we’ve divided them into 3 categories:
- Improve Page Speed
- Publish Relevant and Trustworthy content
- Review, Review, Review
1. Improve Page Seed
Search engine superstar, Google, uses your webpages seed within its algorithm for returning results. It’s not the main factor that will influence your site’s ranking on google, but it is a key piece of the puzzle.
In Google’s words: “Speeding up websites is important — not just to site owners, but to all Internet users.”
Pages that have faster loading speeds means that they will be boosted in search rankings because it delivers a better service to its users and taps into the “everything NOW” culture we live in. Whereas, the slower loading pages end up at the bottom of the list… because let’s face it, we all hate the spinning wheels of death! In fact, experiments at Google have revealed that just a half second’s difference in load times can cause up to a 20% reduction in web traffic.
Here are a few ways to improve your page speeds:
- Reduce Image Size – A picture tells a thousand words but it can also retain a crazy file size! Always be sure to reduce your image file sizes as much as possible to reduce the pressure needed for your website to load it. But be careful, you don’t want to reduce images too much to the point quality is impacted.
Here are the best image sizes for WordPress, depending on where you want to use them:
- Blogpost images should be set to 1200 x 630 pixels.
- WordPress header image size should be 1048 x 250 pixels
- The featured image should be 1200 x 900 pixels in landscape mode or 900 x 1200 pixels if in portrait mode
- Background images should be 1920 x 1080 pixels
- Logo images should be 200 x 100 pixels
- Thumbnail images should be set to 150 x 150 pixels
- Page Caching – Page caching is another method that can help you to improve the load time of your web pages and thus optimise your site for the search engines. Cached pages are created when search engine companies like Google store a “back-up” version of your page which can be served up to a user in place of the most recent version of your page. This is beneficial as it means a user’s browser won’t have to load the entire website again the next time they visit so that they can get to the information they’re looking for quicker. In fact, page caching can lower server load by up to 80%. Of course, the disadvantage of page caching comes in that the user isn’t viewing the most recent version of the page and if you’ve made any recent or urgent changes they may get missed. So from time to time, clearing the cache on pages is important.
2. Publish Relative and Trustworthy Content
It’s not just the homepage of your website that needs to attract visitors, it’s the entire site. You need content that grabs user attention for the entire duration your audience is with you. Using the correct keywords on your site makes a BIG difference in SEO but finding what they are can be a real challenge. Enter Keyword Research.
- words and phrases that identify what people are searching for
- words and phrases that describe the topics you write about
In an ideal world, these keywords are the same, bridging the gap between your content and your audience, and helping them to find it.
Keyword research is the practice of finding the terms that people enter into search engines so you can use them for your web pages, content creation, and marketing. Keyword research is a crucial part of SEO. It helps you get into your customers’ heads by finding topics to include in your content strategy.
It’s important to remember however that regardless of the right keywords for your business, they must be aligned with your brand to make them ‘meaningful’. Consumers are smart and if they think you’re just throwing words at them, they’ll disattach. They need to believe in the content you write and trust in the words you say.
Need help with Keyword Research? We work with some incredible partners like Who’s Listening! who can support you!
3. Review, Review, Review!
Based on the findings of your keyword research, you should be reviewing your content on a regular basis to understand what is working and what isn’t. SEO is not something you lock down and move on with. It’s very much a tweak and adjust kind of approach. And it’s important to find enjoyment in this process. By regularly analysing your keywords and comparing them against trending keywords, it means that you can keep your finger on the pulse for what’s hot and what’s not.
If you’d like to find out more about SEO or any marketing services listed on our website then please contact email@example.com