Regardless of how advanced the web metrics and algorithms used by search engines become in their quest to give users high quality recommendations, search engine optimisation (SEO) will always start with a well-designed website. Here are five tips to help you build from the ground up and get ahead in the race for those coveted search engine rankings.
At the very heart of SEO marketing are keywords, terms and phrases. Analyse and implement your keyword strategy on each page of your website, concentrating on good semantic structure and niche long tail terms, for example, ‘web design in Newport’ as opposed to just ‘web design’.
2. Website navigation
Make sure that your navigation menus are friendly to both your users and to the Google bots that crawl your website. Well-ordered, semantically correct information that uses the right keywords will work wonders for your search engine rankings.
3. URLs and website structure
Each page on the internet is labelled with a unique URL, and this is a good place to start to optimise your website. The more recognisable your URL in terms of what your website contains, the more helpful it is to both search engines and people. Apply clear semantic rules and key terms to your URLs and directory names. There are many web design organisations that can assist you with this, such as https://netcentrics.co.uk/, and plenty of resources available online, for example https://exchange.cim.co.uk/blog/top-tips-for-integrating-seo-into-website-design.
One area of SEO that is often overlooked is the optimisation of image attributes. Ensure that your images are good quality, fast to load and compressed to reduce file size. Images should always be in context with the content of a page and have appropriate captions and titles – use the ‘alt tag’ attribute to give search engines some extra reading.
5. Social media engagement
Take advantage of social media such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, and maximise the impact of bookmarking and sharing tools. Take the time to understand how these sites work and add the appropriate sharing buttons to your web pages, as this can potentially get you seen by thousands of people. Whenever a user says ‘like’, adds a bookmark, or writes a review, for example, it will improve your visibility, and search engines certainly take this and the size of your organisation’s social networks into account.