I have helped many people to gain more visibility and traffic through Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). But one of the things that still amazes me is that the majority of the time, even the basics haven’t been completed.
With that in mind, here are five quick to perform SEO tips to help your website to index and rank better on Google, Bing and other search engines.
1 – Page Titles
Page titles are one of the easiest and quickest SEO elements to fix.
Within your HTML code, your title is wrapped between Title Tags, here is a code example:
<head> <title>Example Title</title> </head>
Your page title displays in two locations.
Here, at the top of the web browser when someone is viewing your page:
And also, externally within the search engine results page, as your main listing title:
When writing your page titles, there are a couple of things to bear in mind:
- Focus on the keywords you want to target, but remember to ensure the title you choose is relevant to the page content.
- Be mindful of the title length; Google typically displays the first 50-60 characters, so aim to keep it under 60 characters.
The order of priority within your title runs left to right, so start with your Primary Keyword, then maybe a secondary keyword, then your brand name (if it will all fit):
Primary Keyword – Secondary Keyword | Brand Name
As with all SEO
Ensure wherever possible, every page has a different title, and avoid using ‘ALL CAPS’
2 – URL’s
Search engines use your URL to help understand what your site and site pages are about. If you have a keyword-rich domain name, this is a huge plus, for example, www.diy.com.
However, if your domain name isn’t including your primary keywords, don’t fear, you can still optimise your URL for search engines. Take this URL for example, www.example.com/services/?p=12347gh, a URL like this has no SEO value. However, if you change to something like www.example.com/search-engine-optimisation it makes a big difference.
If your site structure includes folders, use relevant keywords for these as well, for example, example.com/folder1/?p=12347gh would be much more effective if changed to www.example.com/seo/keyword-research.
A few rules to follow for your URLs:
- Make them short.
- Make them keyword-rich. (but only 1-2 keywords per page)
- Use hyphens to separate your words.
- Use only lowercase.
- Use HTTPS if possible – Secure Sites get ranked higher in Google compared to HTTP. – I will cover this soon in another post.
- Use subfolders such as example.com/seo rather than subdomains such as seo.example.com – Google and other search engines may consider your subdomain a
seperatewebsite and split the authority it gives.
- Top-Level domains (TLD) – if you are not using .com, make sure you are using the correct TLD for either your industry or region – such as .co.uk.
If you have created your website with a platform such as WordPress, you may be wondering if you can control how your URL’s are formatted. – The answer to this is ‘yes you can!’.
Out of the box, WordPress creates URL’s such as www.example.com/?page_id=53, however by selecting ‘Settings / Permalinks’ the format of your URL can be quickly changed under ‘Common Settings’.
3 – Page Descriptions
Your website description is also another SEO quick fix.
While your site description doesn’t appear on your actual site, it is used by search engines to both understand more about each of the pages and to display in the search engine results page helping to encourage people to visit your page.
Updating your website description is easy.
Within your HTML code, your description is wrapped between Description Meta Tags, here is a code example:
<head> <meta name="description" content="Your website description goes here."/> </head>
Remember the aim of your description is to attract people looking at the search results to click through to your site, so write for people to read – Don’t keyword stuff, but try to include one keyword relevant to that page.
While your description can be any length, try to keep it between 50 and 160 characters, as Google truncates at around 160. And have a different description for each of your pages.
4 – Headers
Headers are another essential SEO element and range from <h1> to <h6>, with <h1> being the top level and <h6> the lowest.
<h1>Main Headers - Use to introduce the main topic of your page</h1> <p>Some body copy would go here</p> <h2>Sub Headers - Use to describe the section of the page</h2> <p>More body copy would go here</p> <h3> -> <h6> - Use these as required, if you want to break your page down to this level of detail.
Ensure you use your headers with readers of the page in mind, think of them as a way to categorise and break up your content.
5 – Add more text
The final ‘quick win’ is content quantity. Remember that Google and the other search engines are indexing and ranking content, the more content (words and pages) you have, the more they can index.
Take a look at your pages and page content, do you need to write more?
As a rule of thumb, try to stick to a minimum of 300 words per page.
Now pages don’t have to have thousands of words to rank well, many top-ranking pages have only a couple of hundred but think of the quality, if you can make a page around 1,500 to 2,000 words then, by all means, do it, as it provides more chance for more keywords, but also consider do you have enough pages to inform people of what you do?
Blog posts and News pages are another great way to keep adding content to grow your site, but make sure your posts are relevant to the rest of your content, and ensure to keep them up to date, nothing says stale like a news feed that