In our latest infographic we look at the health of your website, and the best practice things that you can do onsite to improve your rankings
With over one billion websites (and counting) out there, the big question is how to get your site seen, and seen by the right people. That’s where digital strategy comes in. The key to making your website visible to your target audience is making sure that it’s healthy and optimised for maximum exposure. But how do you do that?
Search Engines want to return the most relevant sites for your search term while also providing the most time efficient user experience, so that you find the exact answer you need quickly. To achieve this, Google is constantly changing and upgrading it’s ranking algorithm to eliminate spam sites, meaning that the landscape of the SEO world is always shifting.
Even so, there are a few web best practices that you can undertake which will help make your website easier to find. These are split into two categories – Onsite and Offsite.
Onsite consists of things you can improve within your website to help it’s ranking, and Offsite consists of things you can do externally (ie. on other websites and social media) to improve how your site is found.
Keywords are words and terms that you would like your site to rank for in search engine results. These could be anything from “web design” to “best web design company in sydney”. Identifying these terms and incorporating them within your content is vital. Google skims the text on your website and decides what it’s about (and what it should rank for) based on the frequency of the words used – so how do you expect to rank for “web design” if you never have the term on your site?
A site map is a guide to your website that you give to search engines which communicates to them which pages on your site are the most important. You can rank them in order of importance, and also offer up other important information such as the last time the page was modified and how often the page is updated. You can even provide information on the image and video content of your site which is a huge plus, especially if you have correctly used your keywords in the title and alt tags.
The pages on your website are your assets. They are what your clients see, and what potential clients base the decision to contact you on. But they can’t contact you unless they can find you. The information on your page is read in a certain order by search engines, and some information is more important to them than others.
First to be read is the site map and the meta data of a page (meta data is the SEO information including the page title, focus keyword, description and url. They then move onto the body of the page (which is pretty much everything else). However copy that is contained within header tags is given more authority.
Identify which pages on your site are the most important, and what you want them to rank for ie. as web designers, we want our Web Design page to rank for ‘web design’. By ensuring that your pages have the correct meta data and keywords, you make it easier for search engines to determine what your page is about, and help it rank for the desired terms.
Similarly, having an informative and engaging page design will help ensure that the traffic that is sent your way through your expert use of meta data don’t click away immediately (this is called a ‘bounce’). You want these visitors to complete the intended conversion (the whole point of having a website) be it a click, a phone call or a purchase.
Certain things raise big red flags when a search engine crawls your site, and we call these site errors. A site error can be anything from a broken link to missing meta data or your content not being long enough (the currently recommended minimum is 300 words). Finding these errors and fixing them can greatly improve the search engine rank of your site.
The overall performance of your site has an effect on how search engines see you, but more importantly it affects how your clients (and potential clients) see you. If someone is trying to view your website and it takes 7 seconds to load, that doesn’t really give a good impression. Page speed can be affected by a myriad of developmental issues, most of which can be avoided with an efficient and informed build.
The number one culprit for a slow load speed however is image size. Many people make the mistake of uploading images that are far too large (bigger than they are ever going to be seen) or have a high resolution (while print resolution is 300dpi, screens only have the capacity to display 72dpi).
This means your browser is spending time downloading a huge image only to then shrink it to the appropriate size and resolution. Best practice is to upload an image at 72dpi at the size it will be seen. For example the blog images on our site are all 706px by 435px, so we only upload them at this size.
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