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16 Nov 2017
In recent weeks, the WREDA Business Development team have had multiple requests about Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and ways to organically improve website rankings.
There’s a myriad of information at your fingertips, but for your convenience, here are some top tips from across the web and from our experience here at WellingtonNZ.com.
Simply put, it is the process of improving a website to make it more relevant to searchers and search engines.
It’s about creating a great product for the visitor coming to your website, and being able to find the answer to the question (or keywords) they’ve asked.
We’re aiming to get the highest position possible in the Search Engine Results Page (SERP) by combining a number of factors to create a ‘trustworthy’ site organically as opposed to paid/adwords.
Knowing what your potential users are looking for is the first place to start. Researching keyword relevance and relationship to your business is essential in supporting your SEO efforts. Google has fantastic tools to help you find the best ranking keywords to support your content creation!
Ensure you have unique titles for each page on your website and include your highest rated keywords at the start.
Heading tags tells google that this is vital information for the searcher. Pick one keyword and add this to the top of your <h1> tag. <h2> and <h3> not only help the page format nicely, but tell the search engine how important the information is in relation to the rest of your page.
Meta descriptions are the 160 character summary of your page that appear as the description on the SERP.
Most websites these days either have inbuilt metadescription fields or you plugins to help you easily add these to each page. Read the article on MOZ.com about creating metadescriptions. Don’t forget to use your keywords!
Both Google and Bing have their own search console tools (previously known as webmaster). If you haven’t set your site up through these, it’s a must. This allows your website to be indexed and searched by 'crawl bots' or 'spiders'. A slight mind bender if you haven’t experienced before, but there are some great step-by-step guides out there that can walk you though the process.
Search engines can’t always find your content, so uploading a sitemap to the search tools console adds valuable additional information about your site for each URL for the search engines to crawl including; last updated, how often it changes and where the pages sits in relation to the rest of the site. Take a look at xml-sitemaps.com to create yours.
In April 2015. Google added website responsiveness to its algorithm. This means that if your website can't automatically change the size and layout of each page for different screens, serving content in a way that can be viewed easily on a mobile or tablet, your SEO gets penalised. You can check if your site meets the standard in Google.
Having websites adding a link to your content helps show Google and Bing that your content is trustworthy and increases your SEO. You'll see in this blog that we've added a number of back links to articles that I trust, therefore influencing your SEO journey and also the 'trustworthiness' of their content. Don't try to buy your way to the top though, Google can spot these a mile off and can damage your efforts - try a relationship based or the influencer approach.
While creating a fabluously beautiful website is a wonderful user experience, you first need to get your users there. Investing all of your time (and money) into a fancy home page or an image heavy website without adding relevant, bot readable content can hurt your SEO. Web crawlers can’t interpret imagery like we can, so make sure your images have alt and title text to support searchability.
So you’re not doing as well as you'd hoped - take a look at your competition. Using some of these tips, see what they’re doing and what keywords they're using to help you get to the top.
Lastly and probably most importantly, it's key to know that SEO is not fast, it’s not guaranteed, you can’t just do it once, and it’s definitely not free – there is a lot of time that needs to be invested. There is also no magical formula (or bid) that will help you organically gain a higher search engine ranking. It is an ongoing evolution and investment of research, resource and time to keep or grow your results.
Trust will build over time, and so do your results. If you're in a position to, we'd recommend getting an independent SEO audit of your site through a specialised digital optimisation agency. We do this annually, and they can provide you with a strategy and action plan that you can implement, test, and improve.
Written by Melanie Borich, Digital Projects Specialist at WREDA.