The SEO landscape is an ever-changing picture that requires a constant finger on the pulse to really maximise your efforts. Although there are a lot of industry specific factors that must be taken into account, there are also a lot of general guidelines anyone can follow. Here we’ll list a few of them to help you better understand how to make sure your website is hitting the right notes.
Do you have the right balance of visual media?
Most websites feature a few images to brighten them up, but striking the right balance between different types of media has become more important than ever. More and more websites are using video as part of their visual media, and are reaping the benefits.
However, it’s more involved than simply uploading a few pictures and shooting a video on your phone. Each added piece of visual media changes the overall composition of the website. The key is to try to strike a balance where no single element overpowers all the others, creating an aesthetically pleasing arrangement that fits together seamlessly.
Is your keyword usage optimal?
Discovering the main keywords you should be targeting can be fairly straightforward. However, a good keyword strategy won’t just focus on the main keywords, as these often have lots of competition and your competitors’ sites are already saturated with them.
The proliferation of voice searches is leading to an increase in the use of longtail keywords that feel more natural. It’s also important to use keywords and phrases that include related words, as Google analyses the meaning of all the words to rate the page for relevancy. Once you’ve established a solid keyword strategy, using them at the optimal frequency and in the best positions is also important.
Traditionally your target keyword for the page should have featured in the title, within the first couple of sentences of your content, and in at least one subheading. However, Google is getting smarter with every update, and we are seeing pages rank well using related keywords and queries. The remaining content should contain the most effective percentage of keyword usage, as well as being littered with related keywords and phrases.
Is your website responsive?
Any website built fairly recently using a decent web designer will already be responsive, but there are still a surprising number of sites that use scaled down mobile versions, or their site just appears really awkward on a smartphone or tablet. With the huge increase in the amount of web browsing performed on smartphones and tablets many designers now take a ‘mobile first’ view.
Smart device usage is growing every year, and it’s important anyone visiting your website enjoys the same seamless experience a desktop user would. It should include all the same content and elements. A responsive design automatically adapts your website to whatever screen it is being viewed on.
Are you using the best word count?
A lot of the pages that rank the highest have plenty of useful content on them. There was a time when 400+ words on a page were enough, but many blogs are already aiming for regular 1000 word articles. As this shift continues we are seeing an increasing number of sites aiming for 2000 words on some pages.
Knowing the optimal word count for your site will partly depend on your industry. The quality of your content also matters. Google is rapidly becoming the strictest English teacher on the web, and while natural phrases and colloquial language can be good, the overall quality of the content has to be high.
Are image file names and ALT tags optimised?
When you’re dealing in fine margins it’s important to use every tool at your disposal. Using keywords in your image file names and ALT tags offers another way of letting a search engine know your content is relevant to the person browsing.
Are your URLs structured correctly?
This is one area you’d think is pretty straightforward for most sites, but it is also one area that can very quickly become messy if not properly planned and structured. SEO friendly URL extensions should incorporate abbreviated key phrases, but still be kept as short as possible.
It’s also a good idea to make sure all your page titles are as relevant as possible, as this will make the URLs more natural. An optimised title will include the target keyword and be the required length.
Do you have a comprehensive link building strategy?
A comprehensive link building strategy requires regular maintenance. It will link to respected authority websites, without linking to any pages that belong to competitors or target the same keywords as you.
Once you have defined guidelines for link building it’s important to check all the links regularly. The web is always evolving and pages are moved, updated, or deleted daily. A link that goes nowhere will annoy your users and count against you with search engines.
Improve your users experience
While the aesthetics of your site will create the crucial first impression, its ease of use will be the next factor most likely to scare potential customers away. How easy is it to navigate? Do your pages load quickly? Can they quickly find the information they need? Does your website take full advantage of your calls to action?
Successfully combining all these elements will increase your conversions/leads. When performed well it shouldn’t be noticeable, your website will simply do everything it should do in an efficient manner. It’s when it doesn’t react how the user expects, or the navigation isn’t intuitive, that it gets noticed. Ensuring your design is intuitive, you only use quality content, and your web hosting is up to speed will keep most elements on track.
See, it’s easy to build a website optimised for SEO, right? All you need is a few qualifications, lots of experience, industry specific knowledge, and a great understanding of the search engines ever-changing algorithms. Once you have overcome these small hurdles it’s plain sailing.
If you’d prefer to get some professional help with your website then call Juvo for a chat. We’re an experienced friendly bunch that’s always happy to help, regardless of whether we’re pointing you in the right direction or building your website for you.