SEO What to think about
What we cover in this post:
- What is SEO
- Website Speed / Performance
- Image (types / sizes)
- Ways to optimise
- Tools to check current scores
- Minimise Third-party usage
- Web fonts – make sure text is visible
What is SEO (if you know skip this)
SEO is Search Engine Optimisation. Essentially it’s a series of processes, actions and techniques that you can apply to a website in order to make it Google pleasing (other search engines are available). By making your website streamlined and optimised you have a much greater chance of having your pages picked up by Google and shown at the top of the search results page (SERP).
Why bother? Isn’t SEO a waste of time and money?
Search engines are still the best way to get your website found on a recurring month to month basis.
In 2019 Google accounted for over 75% of all desktop search traffic.
Nearly 2.3 trillion Google searches are made each year.
The top 5 Search Engine results receive more than 65% of the clicks on a search result page.
So it’s really important to get your site ranking if you’re serious about driving recurring traffic to your site and getting the right eye balls on your brand.
What to consider if you want to rank your website pages higher
We have attended many talks at the Google offices, the two things that continue to pointed about by the Google team are:
Make your website fast
Make your website work across all device sizes.
And this is backed up by results, websites that are lightweight, optimised and fast to load perform better than slow loading sites.
Having a responsive website (that works across all devices) has been a must for some years now, if you have a site that you still need to pinch to zoom to read on a mobile you’ve got a lot of work to do.
Images on websites
We’re still seeing companies that we start working with uploading massive image sizes straight out of their camera or off their favourite stock image site.
Uploading the oversized, original files results in slow loading images, a hosting server full of bloat and also multiple images sizes on your server. WordPress for example will create, by default various sizes of the image that you upload. We recently had a client who’s images took up over 20GB of space on their server and had over 200,000 images.
Alt tags – make sure that you are adding Alt tags to images on your website to help describe the image. This is a good habit to get in to, these help a bit with letting the Search Engine Bots understand what your page and it’s content are all about.
Ways to optimise your website – a place to start
Content still is King & Queen
If you don’t have a search term or phrase on your website then you’re not going to be found for it. Make sure the content on your website is unique, informative, and full of high quality. Include keywords in titles and page content, don’t over do things but you will need them on the page in order to get found.
Web fonts & Third Party Scripts
Make sure that if you are using web fonts (non-system fonts) that they are implemented properly by a developer. Often quick and easy implementation of custom fonts can lead to unnecessary page and script loads. The same thing can be said for third party scripts. Make sure that the page can load first before your scripts to remove any extra page loading time.
Use a tool such as Pingdom tools – type in your website address and it will give you a report on how your website performs. You can then use this information to address any issues.
Common issues websites have with performance:
Too many HTTP requests
Images that are not optimised
No use of caching or Gzip compression
Too many URL redirects
Too many JS script calls
The above are very common when we are auditing a WordPress build website, usually a lot of SEO technical issues are added by website themes and website builder tools.
Rich Media – show and tell me
Adding images, video and interesting rich media are great for your web pages. No one wants to read a massive document, break up content with relevant images and video. This will keep the visitors engaged and reduce bounce rate meaning they will stay on the page longer – all of which is a good signal to Google.
PDF downloadable content
Adding case studies, news items or other content as PDF’s can really help with your website rankings. Google still ranks pdf content quite highly (depending on industry) so if you have case studies, press releasers or articles add this as downloadable pdf’s to your site can be a really good tip.
Blog / News
Keep your website content fresh, the easiest way to do this is through news / blog articles. Not only is this pleasing for search engines you can amplify the writing effort by sharing on social media – which in turn gives you even more good signals for your website.
You can get a full, in depth technical audit carried out on your website which will tell you everything that is good, bad and downright ugly about your website. A decent SEO audit will tell you everything technical that you can fix, the keywords you currently rank for, what content works for you and areas that you can improve on.