Improving the ranking position of your website on search engines is one of the most important tasks you can undertake if you want to drive more traffic to your website.
 
“To appear on page one of Google for searches related to your products or services, you need to understand how Google’s page ranking works and how to optimise your web pages to be found in searches."
 
At the last check, Google had the largest share of the search engine market at 70.37% with the next search engine (Bing) at just 13.09% (source: https://netmarketshare.com).

There are a variety of providers offering SEO analysis platforms. Marketing agencies rely on these tools to optimise clients’ web pages and monitor progress.
 
All of these platforms work on a subscription fee to access the software and allow multiple websites to be managed. This makes it expensive if you are only managing your own website.
 
Some of the tools available include:

1. Audit report

This is the first stage that generates a website audit report and provides information about your web pages.

The tool will analyse your pages and identify any broken links, duplicate content, meta descriptions missing and other actionable items that will need to be fixed to help improve your page rankings.

Website_Audit_tool






















 

2. Keyword research and report

The keyword research tool will generate a report showing the current page ranking on Google for your keywords and how many searches have been made on those keywords in the past month.

The tool can also find new and more effective keywords that can be used on your web pages.

You may think you know the keywords your customers are using to find your services; however, you know your products and services inside out and may not be considering keywords or longer search terms (long tail keywords) your customers might use.

The research will identify keywords that are most profitable and identify new keywords you may not have thought of.

Keyword_Suggestions_tool


3. Keyword spy tool

Find out which keywords your main competitors are using on their web pages and whether they are running Google Ads. This will provide a useful insight into your rival’s keyword strategy.

4. Web page optimisation

Improve your web page rankings by including the most profitable keywords on your web pages. Obtaining a page one ranking for one of your web page keywords can dramatically increase traffic to your website and increase sales.

The tool provides a step by step guide on what to do to improve every page of your website.

5. Quality link Building

Obtaining inbound links (backlinks) to your site from other websites and social media will improve Google rankings.
Only quality, relevant links will be beneficial and the software platform has a variety of tools to provide suggestions on where to find the best inbound and outbound links.

6. Result checking and reports

To measure the improvements of the work that has been carried out during the previous months, the platform generates reports for keyword rankings which can be monitored monthly to review progress.
This is like a league table for keywords which monitors the effect of the work being done on your web pages month by month.

Getting started

Once we have carried out an audit report on your website, the next step is to research the most profitable and effective keywords that will drive traffic to your web pages.

Seed words can be entered into the keyword tool to help find other relevant keywords and the number of searches being carried out per month.

Once your most profitable keywords have been established for each topic, product or service, we can then insert these into your existing web pages and use them to write new content.

By using the web page optimisation tool, we can monitor the changes made to ensure we are not over stuffing the keywords onto the page and we are maintaining the optimum keyword to content ratio.

The tool gives a value score that monitors your keywords and other improvements being made to the page.

Adding new content

Adding valuable, relevant content consistently (https://contentmarketinginstitute.com/what-is-content-marketing) to your website still remains the single most important activity that will improve your page rankings on Google and engage your customers.

Adding new pages to your website or writing articles for a blog, case studies or white papers are all ways of adding new content to your website.

New content is useful to search engines and your customers. Because you are writing about your business and related subjects, you will naturally include keywords that customers will be using to find your services and help search engines rank your web pages.

Keyword research before you start writing will make sure you include your most profitable keywords in the content of your article to be found and ranked by Google.

Keyword copywriting is all about writing great copy and learning how to include your most relevant keywords in the article to maximise the SEO value.
 
“Writing good content is not shouting about how great you are but informing customers how you can help them.”

Continuous improvement and monitoring

By using the SEO tools in the software, continuous improvements can be made to optimise your pages and written content. Analysing and measuring results all help to guide future improvements that will be needed to continually move your website up the page rankings.

Sharing your content

Of course, once you have all of this quality content, you can develop a content marketing strategy and look at other areas where you can share your content and connect with your customers.
 

1. Improve your website for conversions

Improving your existing website should not just be about a new look. Your website has to generate leads and ultimately deliver sales in a competitive marketplace.
 
As well as developing a website design brief, we also take account of:
  • Where your website currently ranks on search engines and for which keywords?
  • What your best performing keywords are?
  • What keywords your competitors are using and where they rank?
  • Your calls to action and are they converting?
  • Where visitors are leaving your website pages?
Ultimately, your website has to perform well against your competitors and generate sales. The content on your website has to convert readers into customers and help to rank your pages on search engines.

2. Design

Good design is about capturing the attention of your audience and guiding them to the most important messages on your website.

Using images, illustrations and infographics is a great way of getting your message across. Web designers will use these elements to provide immediate impact, maintain users’ interest and help them to navigate around the site.

UX and UI (user experience and user interface) are about knowing how to blend functionality with creativity. This will provide easy navigation and a design that is informative and interactive by using animation (motion) and video where relevant. UX also includes technical aspects of the page such as fast loading speed and SEO content.

Modern design is moving towards more white space and uncluttered pages to make it easier for the user to find your most important messages, links and calls to action.

With mobile accounting for around 50% of internet traffic and rising year on year, your website design must be fully responsive and intuitive to use on a mobile device.

Designer_making_website_visuals_for_pages


You only have a few seconds to make a good impression and convince visitors they will find what they are looking for when they land on your website.

3. Content

An effective content marketing strategy costs 62% less than traditional marketing and generates 3 times as many leads.

To give your words maximum impact and help tell your story, your content should guide the design of your website. Your content needs to:
  • Convert visitors
  • Perform well for organic searches
  • Represent your current brand values and latest information
  • Be original
  • Be well written with good grammar, checked for plagiarism and spell-checked
  • Include your best-performing keywords
  • Be regularly updated and added to.
Write for your audience first but keep keywords and SEO in mind at the same time for maximum impact and high search engine page ranking.

4. Website page structure

Using your keyword researched content, you should establish an effective page flow for your information by using:
  • Your most searched keywords in the header and subtitles to break the page up into manageable sections
  • Bullet points to quickly get your facts across to the reader
  • Hyperlinks that click through to more information on other pages to help users navigate the site
  • Calls to action on pages to encourage users to click through to a checkout, find more information or complete an enquiry form.

Calls to action
CTAs work more effectively if you can offer the reader something of interest or value. If they sign up to your newsletter or fill in your enquiry form, offer a discount or an E-book that visitors will gain some value from.

CTAs should be bold to attract attention with careful use of colour and information to encourage the user to click through. Using the right colour for a button has been proven to increase the click-through rate.

Website_Content

Tell your story more effectively by providing well-structured pages that will help users find the information they need and take action.

5. Continuous improvement

New content added to your website will keep your pages up to date for your customers and provide more information for search engines to improve the ranking of your pages (Search Engine Optimisation - SEO).

An ideal way to add new content is with blog or news articles. Search marketing is an essential element of the continual improvement of your website page rankings. Regular posting of informative articles on your blog and reviewing and optimising your existing web page content is the most effective way to achieve this.

Without continuous work to improve and add content to your site, it will not be found on the web unless users already know your brand.
Woman-looking-at-a-website-on-computerYou may think that Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is all about search engines finding your website when a user searches in their browser. However, by optimising your website for search engines you will also be improving user experience and information for your website visitors at the same time.

Google is constantly striving to mimic human behaviour and is continuously refining its search algorithms to provide the best search experience; therefore, providing quality information to your readers is also going to help improve your search rankings.

Other important factors that Google and your customers will appreciate include faster page loading times, quality content and relevant images.

Technically, your website needs to be perfect, meeting industry standards such as w3c, have no errors and include a site map.

Let’s look at each of these and how to improve them for users and Google.

1.Page loading speed
Videos and images are the worst culprits for slowing a page down. How many times have you landed on a webpage and been frustrated while you wait for the page to load? This is even more noticeable when using a smartphone.

Images should be good quality and high resolution; however, image sizes should be reduced and compressed so they load quickly on the page.

2.Copywriting for SEO
Writing good quality content means keeping copywriting simple, easy to read, interesting and relevant to your readers.

Google ranks copy that is easy to understand and flows naturally. If your readers have to re-read a sentence to understand what it means, Google will have the same problem and rank you down for it.

Write for your readers first, then optimise your article for all the relevant keywords and include the most important one in the title. Breaking your content into sub headings and adding more keywords throughout your article will help Google understand what the article is about and help readers searching for specific content.

3.Quality optimised images
Providing images to back up your copy helps to break up long content, explains complicated subjects using infographics and provides additional information to Google.

Naming your image is important and titles, filenames and captions should be relevant to the copy that goes next to the image. Include alt text to describe your image; alt text is used by non-sighted users with browser interpreters and search engines to help understand what your image is about.

4.Technical optimisation
We have mentioned site speed and it is worth mentioning again because it is one of the most important ranking markers used by Google, especially as more and more users access the web on their mobile phones.

Constant checking for broken links, optimising pages for ranking keywords and making sure errors are fixed will help to keep your pages ranking on Google search.

Continuous improvement of your content and making sure all your information is kept up to date will tell your visitors and Google that your site contains the latest information and is constantly evolving.

Adding information with blog articles is an ideal way to continuously add new content to your site and inform users about your products and services.

Organising your articles into subjects and including the keywords you want to be found for will improve your rankings for that set of keywords.

If you want to increase the number of visitors to your website and find out which keywords your customers are using to find you, call 01584 890725 and ask for Mark to arrange a free audit of your website.

Mark Langston
 
Online_search_content_marketingWhere do you start when you want to find a service or product?

Most of us start with a Google search. Some may use other search engines, but Google is still the most popular by far, around 90% of searches in 2018.

If you want to be found on searches, you need to be continually assessing and improving the content on your website.

How do you get to the top of search results?
Everyone wants to be on page one of Google but how does Google rank your website and decide where it will appear for a specific search?

Content marketing is the key to search success. Google was built to serve the best and most relevant content to its users. The content may be on a website page, blog article, white paper, video or anything else that will educate or entertain your audience.

Google will assess your web page and rank it against similar content on the web. The challenge is to achieve a page one ranking for the keywords you want to be found for and create better content than your competitors.
 
  1. Before you start copywriting website content, you need to know which keywords your customers are using to find your products or services and how many searches are being made on these keywords. Don’t waste time writing about your services or products using keywords with few or no searches being made.
  2. On the other hand, your keywords must compete with other content on the web; therefore it is also useful to know how competitive your keywords are. For example, it may be better to use a less competitive keyword to achieve a page one result than a highly competitive keyword and rank nowhere. Once you have gained some rankings you can start using the more competitive keywords.
  3. It is also essential to find out what keywords your competitors are using and where they rank on Google.
Armed with this information, you can include all the most important and effective keywords in your blog article or on your web pages. However, overstuffing keywords can have the opposite effect and get your content downgraded. To be most effective your content needs to be regularly monitored and assessed against your competitors, adding or changing keywords to improve page rank. Getting the balance right is a challenge.

Get more from your content
To make the most of the time and effort that you spend copywriting for your website or blog, you can post articles to your social media pages with a link back to your website. Google will consider the quality of links to your website and backlinks from your social media pages will help improve your website’s page ranking.

You could also use the articles in a regular email newsletter to your clients and prospects, increasing exposure for your article and providing an opportunity for more backlinks to your website.

Additional exposure can be gained by producing regular sales leaflets based on the article that can be used by your sales team in PDF format or printed copy.

Monitor and measure return on investment
To measure the success of your articles and new page content, Google Analytics provides a range of reports covering which pages and articles are visited most so you can see exactly what is working and what is not.

From your emailer system, you will be able to get statistics on exactly who has opened the email and who has clicked through to your website links.

These are just some of the ways to benefit from content marketing. Please call 01584 890725 and ask for Mark if you would like to know how it could work for your business and get a free audit for up to 10 of your keywords.

Mark Langston
SSL_CertificateDuring 2018 there was a lot of information circulating around the internet about SSL certificates (Secure Sockets Layer). This was mainly because in July Google started to mark all sites without an SSL certificate as “not secure”. Websites with an SSL certificate show up with a green padlock and “https://” before the address at the top of your browser.

Google is keen to improve internet security to make web browsing and the transfer of information safer for internet users and gradually, more sites are adding SSL certificates. All our new websites and any site refreshes we do will automatically have an SSL certificate, if requested.

How does an SSL certificate work?
SSL provides security between a web server and a browser by setting up an encrypted link between the two. This protects any data being transferred while you are connected to the website.

SSL certificates are definitely needed if you are taking payments from your customers through a shop for example. If you have forms on your website which capture sensitive information, then you should probably get an SSL certificate. For straight forward content websites without any forms then the decision is not so clear; you probably will not need one unless some of the following benefits are important to you.

SSL benefits
By encrypting any data moving between your computer and the web server, you will avoid the risk of cyber criminals stealing information.

Visitors to your website will view your green padlock and will have confidence that your website is secure.
Google has communicated the fact that they are boosting the page rank of websites with SSL encryption. No one is sure how much of a boost this provides but if your competitors have an SSL site then there is an argument to say that you should also have one.

How do I get one?
We have set up a new server to quickly and effectively handle the addition of SSL certificates to all our existing customers’ websites.

We will have to transfer your website to the new server and test your website to ensure adding the SSL has not broken anything.

Because we are effectively changing your website’s URL, this can mean internal and external links will stop working unless we add 301 redirects. Therefore, some work is necessary to transfer your site to the new server and set up and manage the SSL certificate. The price to do this will depend on how large and complicated your site is.

After reading the above, if you would like to add an SSL certificate to your website or would like to discuss if you would benefit from it, please contact one of our team.

Mark Langston
 
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