First impressions count in the modern business world, but when it comes to your website, there’s more to consider than its design. Of course you want to impress people, but if you want to drive traffic to your website and increase the chance of making a sale, you’ve got to make sure it’s easy for search engines such as Google to discover and rank it. The key is SEO optimisation. If you can get things right from the very beginning, you won’t have to worry about trying to fix your website several months down the line. Here’s a list of the most important steps you need to take. Take note of them and your site is going to attract more traffic from organic search.
Structure Your Website for Target Keywords
How you structure your website affects its ability to rank. If you want your website to rank for your chosen keywords, you must structure it so that each page targets specific keywords that are very relevant to your target audience. Each page should target one primary keyword and a number of secondary keywords. Imagine you’re launching a website for a women’s shoe shop. You’re going to sell a range of different shoes, from flip flops to boots and hiking shoes. Ideally, each different category of shoes should rank for specific target keywords, as this will attract different customer groups looking for a certain type of shoe.
One of the most important factors to help your website rank is content. Your content should engage and help visitors. Each page should be at least 2,000 words and go into detail. Pages that are long and detailed should contain inbound links to other parts of the website. Include keywords in the content but be careful not to overdo it. Google hates keyword stuffing and your site runs the risk of being penalised if you attempt this. Try to use your keywords strategically. For example, use them in H1 and H2 tags. You can use long tail keywords in H3 and H4 subheadings. Above all, they should fit naturally into the content
Optimise Title Tags
When a user visits your website, they see the title tag in their browser. It is also what Google displays in the search result. The title tags you use for each page should be optimised for the page’s target keyword. It should also describe the pages content. Put the keyword right at the beginning of the title tag and it’s going to attract the user’s attention. It will also make it immediately apparent to Google that the page is relevant. The ideal length for a title tag is no more than 60 characters. If it is any longer than that Google crops it, which means it loses its value.
Use Meta Descriptions That Are Engaging
The meta description is the text that appears underneath the title and URL of your website in search engine results. They are an important factor that affects your websites ranking. Another reason for doing this is that it can affect the click-through rate of your page. A meta description that is detailed will encourage users to click on your page, rather than visiting the website of a competitor. For each website page, there should be a meta description that is unique. It should explain what the page is about and encourage readers to click through.
Focus on the Mobile Experience
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More and more people are using their mobile devices for accessing the web. Up until recently, Google would index site content using desktop versions. Now, however, it is starting to index and rate websites based on the mobile experience offered. As well as helping your ranking, a mobile responsive website is also going to lead to more sales. People who use their smartphone to search for an item are more likely to visit the business within 24 hours. 28% of mobile searches result in a purchase. When it comes to the mobile experience, less is more. Keep everything on your site as accessible as possible, including menus, links, filters and search options.
Speed is of the Essence
If you want your website visitors to stay on your page, make sure your site loads fast. If your site takes too long to load, your position on the Google results page will be severely affected. This is particularly true for mobile visitors. In a recent study by Google, more than two thirds of pages took seven seconds to load. On average, landing pages take 22 seconds to load fully. Quite obviously, many website owners are way off the mark when it comes to loading speed.
What can you do to reduce loading times? There are a number of elements has a huge impact on loading times and also conversion rates. Google has an excellent tool you can use to test the speed of your website and identify issues called Page Speed Insights. Simply input your URL and click analyse. The tool then analyses the content of a web page and generates suggestions on how you can make it faster.
Post Fresh Regularly
The key to organic traffic is content marketing. Content is the best way to target your keywords and one of the quickest and easiest ways is with a blog. Before you launch your website, make sure you’ve got a good stockpile of high-quality content. Ideally, aim for dozens of articles that target your primary keywords. A website with very little content is going to be difficult to find and people might not trust you. Research by HubSpot has revealed that companies that publish more than 16 blogs every month get almost 3.5 times more traffic than a company that publishes four or less posts every month.
Take Advantage of Google Analytics
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Google Analytics can be used to monitor what actions people take when they visit your website. It is also an excellent means of identifying how users find your website. This tracking software is free, so set it up and make use of it. If you use Google Analytics, you’ll be able to identify opportunities to improve the user experience on your new website. Install the software immediately when you launch your website and you’ll be able to use the data right from the start.
Stay Ahead Of Competitors
Implement the 8 steps outlined in this article and you will be well on the road to SEO success. It is also important to keep up to date with emerging SEO trends to stay one step ahead of the competition.
This article was written by Martin O’Callaghan of Wood Flooring Ireland. Martin recently carried out an SEO campaign and a website redesign to improve his websites performance in Google Search results.