Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, is the technical and creative improvements you can make to your website in order to appear higher up the ranks in search engine results pages.
Search engines, such as Google or Bing, work by ‘crawling’ your site – essentially reading each page for signs of quality and relevance to a user’s search intentions. These scores are used as an indication of how high your page should appear on the SERP.
Your smartsite is auto loaded to be optimised towards SEO. Its design already pushes all of your articles, pages and posts to be crawled by Google. However, there are some practices that you should habitually implement in order to make your content stand out from the rest.
Google is a hugely useful tool for getting traffic to your website. Google wants to provide all of its users with accurate and authentic results. It does this by scanning pages, determining what your page is about and placing it where it sees fit in terms of relevancy when a keyword is searched for. This means that there are a number of ways that you can improve your search engine ranking by following a few necessary steps.
Use Google’s free Keyword Planner Tool to determine which phrases and words are most important to your business – enter a few words which you feel best describe your product or service and Google will let you know which words are most searched for in relation to your site – these are your ‘Keywords’.
When crawling your pages, Google wants to know what they’re about. Initially it scans your headers to determine what the following paragraph is about. You should focus on getting the main keyword as your Heading 1 tag (your smartsite does this automatically), and similar keywords as your Heading 2 and Heading 3 tags. Remember not to over-stuff your headings. Use Heading 1 only once, otherwise there may be a conflict on your page.
Google can’t look at what an image is. That’s why it’s important to label all of the images on your page correctly. Doing so will allow a search engine’s spiders to read what an image is and rank it appropriately. When uploading a picture you should make sure that your image name is focused on a keyword and then upon upload that there is text in the Alt Tag section of the image. This will allow Google to rank your page and its image when people search for your keyword.
Adding an Alt Tag is easy. When uploading your image just simply place the text that you want the image to be labelled, as in the Alt Text placeholder. This will save the tag across your site.
Directories are a great way of boosting Google authority. They confirm that you are what you say you are, and Google will recognise this and raise your domain.
Use https://www.google.com/business/ to register your business. This will put it as a location on Google maps and in the search result, making your business really stand out.
Not so long ago keyword-heavy page content was a guaranteed way to increase your organic rankings – but as with tags, descriptions and headings, ‘keyword stuffing’ put an end to that. Instead, try to produce relevant, unique and educational content that uses keywords sensibly, in well thought-out and intuitive ways. Google’s algorithms also prefer fresh content – so regular content production (such as a blog) is essential.
Make sure that your posts and articles are at least 300 words long. Try and go as in depth on your subject as possible. A title, image and a sentence or two won’t cut it if you want to rank highly for the subject you are discussing.
Overstuffing your keyword can be detrimental to your site. Google view this as you trying to trick search engines and penalises your site for it.
Adding bold or italicising your keyword in your article lets Google know which words are important in your article and doing this will help the search engine with indexing what your page is about.
Adding your Keyword to a link on your website also helps to index the page at the end of the link when crawling it, i.e. if you link ‘sixth form’ on a page and then this goes directly to your Sixth Form Page, Google with index that page higher before crawling it because it knows in advance what it is about.
Create a Sitemap page and place this in your footer. This will allow Google to crawl the rest of your website immediately.
Create a page labeled ‘Sitemap’ and add all of your pages as hyperlinks into this as links to show a map of your site. Place each link under a header that identifies the link category.
Adding lots of images to a page can slow it down. Always try and keep your image files at 1mb and below to make sure that they are optimised to speed up the rate that Google crawls them.
Google estimate that 60% of website traffic now comes from Mobile. If your website is responsive it will be ranked higher as it provides accessibility to all users. Your smartsite is fully responsive so you do not have to worry about this. Every element stacks and resizes according to view of your visitor.