When starting up your website it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of trawling through countless WordPress themes and deciding which font will look best.
However, there’s much more to running a successful website than these first impressions, which is why you should get your SEO up to scratch. Without it, you run the risk of wallowing at the bottom of Google, limiting the amount of traffic your website will receive and as a result, the number of sales your business will make.
To get you started, here’s a comprehensive starter pack of everything you need to kick start the SEO of your website.
The performance speed of your website is a very important factor in how Google views and ranks. This will mean that any plugins slowing down your website should promptly be discarded to make room for speedier loading times.
This is particularly appropriate if you’re looking to speed up your mobile loading times, which you can read more about below.
Another way to speed up your website’s overall loading time is to optimise the images on there. Images can take up a lot of space and subsequently, time to load.
A couple of things to remember when optimising images is that you don’t want them to be so small so they’re pixelated. Consider different image formats for different types of images, for example PNGs work well for images with few colours, while PEGs are ideal for photos.
Be mobile ready
With over half of transactions now taking place on mobile, it’s important for any business (big and small) to have their mobile game on form.
When managing your website’s SEO, make sure you check you’re ready for mobile traffic by optimising your site for mobile. You can do this by not placing images or text in a fixed position and by choosing a theme that’s mobile-friendly.
To see how well you website performs on mobile, you can check your loading speed on Google’s own tool.
Answer relevant questions
One of the main ways your website can gain authority in its field and as a result climb the Google ranks is by answering questions that are relevant. These may be very specific questions that have complex answers or more generic questions that require a step-by-step guide.
By creating a blog post or page with the answer to a specific question, you’re more likely to appear as a result when someone enters that question into Google. While there may be fewer people searching for that question compared to a more generic term, there will be more likelihood of your result being clicked on.
Use natural language
One of the problems people have when attempting to make their website SEO-friendly is mistaking black hat SEO and white hat SEO.
While some practices will get you short term results, they won’t last and could even result in penalties. This includes the overuse of keywords on your website.
This may have been something you could get away with a few years ago, but the same is not true for today.
Instead, you should use language that represents your brand on your website, and you should do this without shoehorning in words that may or may not work in your favour.
The best way to manage this balance is to write blog posts centred on specific keywords or questions regularly asked in Google relating to your industry. This will allow you to rank for these phrases whilst also offering an authoritative take on the subject, a win-win for you, those searching and Google.
Manage your local SEO
Getting your local SEO sorted is important for appearing in the ‘near me’ searches. This will help people in your area looking for a local business.
You can optimise your local SEO by managing your Google My Business page, for which you’ll need to provide the following:
- An in depth description of your business
- Correct categories relating to your business
- Information of opening times
- Regular updates
- A local number and business address
Another helpful factor to include here is customer reviews.
Check your quality
Touched on previously is the quality of your website, which Google will determine from the content, images and pages it has. From this Google will decide how relevant you are to any query or term, with the higher quality answers more likely to appear near the top of page.
That’s why you should aim to produce quality content for your website, rather than use shortcuts that will only promise short-lived results.
Some steps you can take to improve quality is to source images either by hiring a photographer or signing up to a stock photo site that can provide access to good quality photos on a monthly rolling contract.
You should also proofread any written content multiple times to ensure there are no typos or spelling errors.
Another way to improve the quality of your website overall is to produce and upload videos. These can portray the message of your website in a much quicker than text would, and will also keep you one step ahead of competitors.
What steps do you take to keep your SEO practices in the green? Drop us a comment below or join the chat on Twitter!