Ranking higher on Google is the dream of every website owner. As SEO experts, we know that there are some recommended steps to follow in order to reach the beloved #Page 1 of Google.
A domain can make or break a website’s fortune. Before spending thousands on a new website, make sure you already own or purchase a domain which portrays your business in the best of lights. Even better, buy all the related domains (.org, .net, .com, .uk) in order to avoid direct competition from potential competitors at a later date, as one of our clients discovered in the hardest way possible. Avoid domains with a ‘–‘ (it is really old school, but if you have had a working website on one of such domains for 15 years, then please definitely keep it). Domains are like wines, they usually improve with age. Another rule of thumb with domains is avoid domains which are too similar to your competitors, or that in some way might mislead your clients about the products or services that you sell.
When it comes to websites rankings Google has its own set of rules, which include a long list of ranking factors. In the old days keyword stuffing and backlinks, farms were considered legitimate methods to quickly reach page 1– not anymore. Over the years, Google has heavily penalised suspicious backlinks and websites which found ranking with less than transparent methods such as link schemes, doorway pages, scraped content, irrelevant keywords and hidden links.
Once your new website is up and running, get it on Google and Bing, and make sure it is a Google-friendly website. I know you are itching to know how you can make your site Google Friendly …. It is easier than you might think. As a generic rule, make sure that your site targets all the different segments of your real customers. Then give visitors the information they are looking for, with particular attention to your products and services pages. Aim for genuine, high authority, relevant backlinks & content. Finally, look at your website accessibility. Your site should have a logical link structure: every page should be reachable from at least one static text link.
While your new website is being built, don’t forget about content and keywords. This is the right time for an in-depth keywords research. If done at the right time, this analysis will help you shape your website content, your pages, products and services and naming things in the way your potential clients will search for them. It happens quite often, when new clients come on board, to discover that their websites use the wrong terms to identify their products or services. The use of insiders’ jargon is widespread, but it will not help your Google rankings. On the contrary, fewer people will find your products or services through an online search.
Once the keywords research is over, you can start writing content in line with your core keywords. A mix of short and long tails is recommended to give your pages the best chance. The consequent SEO optimisation will help your search engine rankings even further. Google favours fresh and informative content. This is why we often recommend, during a website re-design, to add a blog. A regularly updated blog about news within your industry is the perfect complement for a contemporary website. Obviously, when you plan your blogs it helps to have your core keywords and customers in mind. Answering their questions, outlining the unicity of your products/services are all excellent starting points for a content strategy which puts the customers at the centre of your business.
Having a mobile-friendly website is becoming increasingly important. In technical terms this is called a responsive website that correctly displays on mobile & hand-held devices such as your iPhone, Android or Blackberry as well as your iPads & tablets. “Most of my customers aren’t looking at my site from mobile phones.” We have heard this many times– truth is that often business owners are oblivious to the importance of mobile traffic. It is not just for the widespread use of Apps. Not having a website that adapts to tablets and smartphones can potentially alienate a portion of your audience. In 2016, mobile traffic surpassed desktop traffic for the first time. As a consequence, mobile-driven sales are on the rise as well, in particular amongst younger generations.
Another incredibly important reason for having a mobile-friendly website is that, since the beginning of 2018, Google has started rolling out the “Mobile First Index”. This means a mobile-friendly website will be given priority in ranking, crawling and indexing compared to a non-mobile friendly one. A core element of this mobile-first index is mobile speed. Most users will abandon a page if it takes longer than three seconds to load from a mobile device.
Voice search is growing in importance month on month, and Google has already confirmed that it is the fastest growing form of search, driving millions of dollars of investment from Tech giants in digital assistants such as Siri from Apple, Google Now, Cortana from Microsoft, and Alexa by Amazon among others. As an increasing number of people use internet on their phones, conversational search is clearly the future of search. There are several strategies we could use to make your website voice search friendly.
First of all, the content itself has to be centred around answering the FAQs, or the questions that potential clients are more likely to ask. The immediacy of the answer required to impose both a simplification and shortening of your content. Voice search enhances content with an informal tone and emphasises the importance of long tail keywords. Having your blogs written in a voice search friendly manner will help your website to rank higher in voice search queries. At the same time, your location specification will help your potential customers to identify your business as their local.
If you want your website to rank higher on search engines and attract more traffic, feel free to get in touch.