SEO is a Marathon, Not a Sprint
So your website has just launched. In terms of SEO, think of it as your website has just joined a race. A race that has been going for a long time. Other websites will be ahead of yours initially, but that doesn’t mean you aren’t going to surpass them. With time and effort, you will see your website getting further and further in the ongoing marathon. In reality, SEO takes much longer than a few days to deliver results. It’s not a sprint that requires all-out effort for a short duration. Instead, it’s like a marathon in the sense that it requires perseverance, preparation, time and sometimes a little trail and error to see what works and what doesn’t. There are many areas to SEO and factors that affect your websites ranking, it’s a lot more advanced than how it used to be as Google and other search engines are getting bigger and smarter.
Secure and Accessible Website
Before anything else, Google and other search engines must be able to actually locate the website. To help bots index the website, there’re certain entities that should be present. Such as a robots.txt file that tells Google where it can and can’t look for your site information and a sitemap that lists all of your pages. It’s also now extremely important that your website has a SSL certificate (this is the little lock icon to the left of a URL), not just for SEO purposes, but to also let users know that your site is safe and secure. I ensure any websites I host are SSL certified and secure.
Target Keywords and Meta Data
What should users type into search engines to find your website? The answer to that are your keywords. There are many different factors to keywords such as the search volume, density, difficulty and so on. It’s important that those keywords are within the headings on your pages and even within the content itself, along with being present in the meta data (meta title, meta description etc.). Whenever I build a website, I always ensure to include these chosen keywords throughout the website to let Google and other search engines know exactly what the website and your business is about.
Google’s mobile-first index is now a reality, which means it’s drawing its results from mobile-optimised sites first, rather than sites solely geared to desktop computers. If your site isn’t mobile-optimised, you risk getting a lower rank. Whenever I design and build websites, I always keep this in mind and ensure the website has a responsive design. I achieve this by building the website with a responsive framework that allows elements to respond to any device or screen, using large font sizes for small screens for good readability, custom mobile navigation menu and more.
Google loves content. Google can’t see what image the user is looking at or any fancy effects, it simply reads the text content to get an idea of what the page is about. The more optimised content on your pages the better. More content means that Google and other search engines know more regarding what your website is actually about. It’s also more opportunity to get in keywords and phrases in a good legible manner which is great for SEO. Whenever your website is first launched, there probably isn’t going to be a lot of content. As websites get older, it’s essential to add updates often in the form of content as it lets Google know your website is evolving and improving, so they are more likely to recommend your site. A perfect way to add content daily is the form of a blog just like you’re reading now. If you haven’t got a blog for your website yet, I highly recommend you look into it. Get in touch with me to discuss how we can implement this into your website. Whatever your business is, blog functionality can be used to provide news, projects, recent work, tips and so on to keep your visitors engaged.
Domain Age and Authority
Did you know that nearly 60% of the sites that have a top ten Google search ranking are three years old or more? Data from an Ahrefs study of two million pages suggests that very few sites that are less than a year old achieve that ranking. When it comes to search engine ranking factors, authority matters. As you’ll see, that’s usually a combination of great content and off-page SEO signals like inbound links and social shares.
The internet is built on links. So, naturally, links are a crucial SEO ranking signal. There’re three different types of links to consider: internal, inbound and outbound. When I build websites, I create a solid foundation of internal page links to make it easy for both Google and visitors to navigate and understand the website You want to show that you’re creating quality content for your visitors. That involves using outbound links by linking to relevant, authoritative sites in your niche. Google uses inbound links as one way to help determine how authoritative and relevant your content is. You’ve likely heard inbound links referred to as “backlinks”. Your goal is to get as many highly authoritative sites to link back to you as possible. An extremely important and necessary link to have for your business and website is to have a detailed GoogleMyBusiness page which lets google know about your business directly, it’s great for SEO and reaching customers in general. What better backlink then from Google directly?
Real Business Information
Outside of the website, there should be other information sources regarding your business and linking back to the website. This factor is important for businesses targeting their local area. The presence or absence of business information is one of the most crucial local SEO ranking factors. If google can’t find any other information regarding your business outside of the website, it’s going to find that somewhat strange and therefore affect your ranking. Your goal is to expand your presence throughout the web as much as possible as Google will pick up on this. To start off with you should create a GoogleMyBusiness listing along with social media accounts such as a Facebook and Twitter page. These are the basic essentials to getting your business information and presence out there.