It’s no secret that having a fully-functioning, mobile optimised website is key for your business – be it big or small! But with an ever-changing algorithm from Google, trying to achieve the no.1 top spot can seem a little daunting, or even demoralising as each search sees hundreds of thousands of results. As a design agency Guildford, we’ve collated six of our top tips for organically ranking on Google to ensure your SEO efforts are not in vain. Find out more in our blog post below…
What is SEO?
SEO, which stands for search engine optimization, is the practice of increasing the quantity and improving the quality of visitors coming to your website through organic search engine results (or SERPs – search engine result pages). The higher you place on this ranking system, the more likely you are to have users click onto your site – think about when was the last time you bothered to scroll onto the second page of Google was and you can see just how important it is to rank! Therefore, it’s vital you understand how you can increase your score effectively, as whilst social media and traditional marketing are key pillars of your marketing strategy, the majority of your website traffic is generated through search engine results.
1. Keywords: Here, There, or Everywhere?
As a design agency Guildford, we’re often asked what the best strategy for SEO really is. Keywords are perhaps the most important tactic to consider when hoping to boost your ranking and the good news is you’re probably already using them on your site. But where you use your keywords is equally vital to how many times they appear in your content.
When writing a page focused around a keyword, the three essential locations to include these are:
- The URL – is your keyword used in the webpage URL to tag the post? i.e. www.guildfordwebdesign.com/web-design
- The Title – what’s the name of the page and is your keyword included?
- The First 100 Words – is the exact keyword term found at the start of the page?
Additionally, really think about the form of your keywords – we’ll use our own for example, ‘design agency’ is rather vague and offers over 6.5 million SERPs making it difficult to compete, whilst adding just one additional word to make ‘design agency Guildford‘ immediately narrows down the results, and can specifically focus on your target audience.
2. Site Time: Pull Up A Chair
Remember those springy-toys that seemed impossible to balance on as a kid – the pogo stick? Well, the term is back with a vengeance! ‘Pogo-sticking’ is used to describe when a user clicks on your website, then quickly reverts back to the search engine results to find a page they consider more useful. This sends a strong message to Google and the consequence is usually downranking, detrimental to your business.
So, what can you do to avoid this? As the top design agency Guildford, we know the importance of reader-friendly formatting and valuable content. Subheadings, tables, imagery, and bullet points can considerably improve the readability and navigation of a page, whilst valuable content will encourage the visitor to further browse the site.
What is valuable content? This is information that the viewer wants to know – it could be about your products, or perhaps it’s the definition of a term you are using in a blog post but it’s content that adds to the user experience.
TIP: Internal linking will also increase site time! Ensure you regularly add internal links on blog posts, both new and updated that will lead visitors to other pages they may find interesting.
3. Backlinks: Building Up The Spiders Web
Once your own site has been SEO optimised, to reach the very top of the Google ranking spots you need to include backlinks. This task can often be one of dread, but search engines value sites that link to others as they essentially expand the never-ending spider web. As a design agency Guildford, we’ve got a few simple strategies for building up your backlinks organically:
- Infographics – visual data is favoured by viewers, by creating infographics on your site you increase the opportunity for other sites to backlink to these
- Guest blogging – reach out to industry online magazines/blogs and showcase your expertise offering a guest blog with links to your site
- Online interviews – speak to those in your field and advertise yourself as available for online interviews, increasing your presence alongside building another backlink
- Conduct a study – if a new trend comes around, be the first to conduct an industry study for a blog post and you’ll earn organic backlinks as a result
NOTE: With backlinks becoming ever highly rated by Google’s algorithm, there are some sites out there offering to backlink your website on a mass listing. These are detected by Google’s bots that survey web pages, so avoid agreeing to these false sites as you’ll damage your ranking further.
4. Dead Pages: No Zombies Here!
As your website evolves to suit your needs and audience, you may find some pages are no longer serving in driving traffic towards your business. They exist but have little purpose, and this can actually reduce your ranking by up to 30% as Google prefers fewer strongly defined, pages than many with thin, low-quality content.
Initiate a regular ‘spring cleaning’ to monitor what is performing well and what you could afford to lose. However, it’s important to understand that some pages will always perform less than others, and this doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a dead page. For example, Christmas pages may fall short 3/4 of the year but as the season rolls around you’ll see a significant spike. Try updating or re-directing before permanently deleting pages you are unsure about – especially if they’ve ranked well in the past.
5. Speed and Security: The Essentials
There are three main categories of SEO: on-page, off-page and technical. You can have all the backlinks and valuable content in the world but without ticking off the technical check-list you’re likely to suffer from downranking. The two most important factors for technical SEO are security and speed; visitors want to feel confident when accessing a site, and don’t want to wait around all day for it to load!
- Security – HTTPS is a ranking signal for Google, guaranteeing privacy
- Speed – user experience is key, and sites that have a loading time over 3 seconds suffer from a lower SEO score
The good news is that technical SEO is one of the easiest aspects to update, and once you’ve achieved a higher rating in this area you don’t need to regularly modify it – just monitor to ensure all is running smoothly.
6. Snippet Bait: Hook, Line, and Sinker
When searching on Google, you may find a featured snippet appears on your results specifically on long-tail keywords. They are often a good indication of brand authority and instill trust in those viewing, often viewers are also more likely to turn into customers. But how do you get your website there?
As you come to write your content, leverage the use of questions – these are the most likely terms typed into Google with ‘why’ and ‘can’ coming out on top. Featured snippets will usually have a succinct answer to these user’s questions, formatted in either a paragraph, table, list, or video.
TIP: Date and consistently update your content to ensure your published posts are still relevant to those visiting, try to write at least 1100+ upwards, and amend any posts that don’t meet this standard.
Design Agency Guildford’s Top Tips For Google Ranking: The Wrap Up
Search engine optimization is important for all businesses and knowing how to concentrate your efforts essential for effectively utilising your time. We hope in the blog post we’ve given you a few simple tricks to boost your ranking organically and drive more traffic to your website, without paying for advertised options. If you still aren’t sure where to begin or want to take your SEO to an advanced level but don’t have the resources, here at Guildford Web Design we can help! We’re experts in SEO, helping you get the brand awareness online you need to continue to grow.
Get in touch today with the top design agency Guildford at email@example.com for all your web and digital marketing needs.