Tips to optimise your website SEO

SEO has never been more important for the success of your online presence, and we at Swindon-based web design agency Pixel Pixel are keenly aware of the value of the quality, unobtrusive work that goes into baking effective SEO protocols into every facet of a website. With that in mind, here are Pixel Pixel’s top tips for improving your search rankings…

10 key areas to focus on:

  • Content is king 

      • This is a cliche but it is honestly really important for any web content. Search engine bots will crawl your site looking for content relevant to the user’s search keys – if there is nothing relevant then why would your site be picked up? Be sure to explicitly mention key topics of interest on your site, don’t be shy.
    • But, don’t get hung up on site-wide keywords. Although a mainstay of SEO advice a few years ago, Google is retiring the use of keywords as an SEO metric.
  • Success breeds success – the more traffic directed to your site, particularly from within your industry, the higher Google will rate your site.

    • Be careful, however. You will get black marks if a high proportion of your traffic comes from specific URLs – don’t click-farm.
    • Don’t be scared to link internally – we might for instance link from this article to our portfolio page 🙂
  • Restrain your use of specific-purpose markup tags.

    • You may find it a quick and dirty way of styling elements or of applying a cheeky code hack but over-use of these elements will negatively impact your rating.
    • Use a maximum of one H1 per page & limit your use of H2s – these should be for semantically relevant content headings – e.g. keywords! Think of them like the title and chapter headings of a book.
    • Don’t put important target keywords into images – crawlers cannot read this. Use text.
  • Be sure to improve the accessibility of your markup.

    • Follow a11y principles to keep up-to-date with accessibility principles. This is a responsibility we all ought to improve upon.
    • Ensure that you add title tags to your links and alt tags + names for your images. Semantic keywords!
  • Use semantic URLs.

    • Avoid meaningless URL slugs like /example.com/blog/123/456?=content
    • Tools like WordPress can be bad for this by default, but usually offer an option which allows you to choose your URL. Use /example.com/blog/holidays/christmas-2017 instead.
    • The age and ownership of your URL can also have an effect. Don’t swap domain names every week if you want to be considered an established, trustworthy source.
  • A fast page load should be a priority.

    • Google ranks fast-performing sites much higher than poorly optimised ones.
    • Mobile-friendliness is also taken into account and will soon be much more important.
    • The indirect benefit of this is that a quicker, more responsive browsing will increase your conversion rate and improve site traffic, further boosting your SEO. Yay!
  • Update your site content frequently.

    • Constant activity boosts your visibility, hence why blogs and e-commerce often do so well in the search rankings.
    • This should be happening anyway…
  • Featured Snippets

    • These are the highlighted boxes at the top of Google’s search results page. Content in here can see a big boost.
    • Try to keep key content in an easily-readable paragraph beneath a heading which uses a target keyword. Keep this around 50 words long.
  • User robots.txt and sitemap.xml

    • Use your robots.txt file to tell crawler bots which URLs they can or cannot scrape. You can restrict certain URLs or file extensions, and designate a specific sitemap.
    • Use your sitemap.xml to keep the Search Engines apprised of the makeup of your site and any changes that are made.
    • Use Google’s Search Console to submit and monitor which content you want to be visible.
  • Try a browser extension to debug your page SEO on the fly

There are dozens of variables that can affect your SEO rankings, so this list is just a drop in the ocean, but it should get you started. There are countless resources out there to help you fine-tune your implementation, or you can get the assistance of a friendly digital agency.

Happy ranking!

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