How ToHow to improve your website SEO

How to improve your website SEO

Check your web pages for any errors

Using Sitechecker (which is free), you can quickly identify any technical SEO issues on your web pages. To access Sitechecker, go here: https://sitechecker.pro/app/main/seo-reports-land

Use the report from Sitechecker to correct any errors that are listed. These are the most critical items to be addressed.

Structure

Your web page should start with an H1 Heading tag. There should only be one H1 tag on any web page.

H2-H6 headings are hierarchical. Use an H2 tag to introduce each section of the page, and if you have any further breakdown of content within that, use an H3 tag, H4, and so on. You will mostly use H2 and H3 tags, and maybe an H4 tag here and there.

H1 (Main Heading)

H2 (Section heading)

  • H3 (subheading)
    • H4
      • H5
        • H6

H2 (Section heading)

  • H3 (subheading)
    • H4
  • H3
  • H3

Choose your keywords

Identify one primary keyword and two or three secondary keywords for your web page. Sign up for Google Ads so you can utilise Google Adwords to help identify competitive keywords.

Guidelines:

  • Ensure the primary keyword is in the heading of your page (use the H1 tag for the first heading)
  • Use your primary keyword in the first 100 words of your web page.
  • Include the primary keyword in the Meta Title and Meta Description of your web page. For WordPress users, this is made easy with the use of plugins such as RankMath.
  • Include at least one secondary keyword in an H2 subheading and corresponding text below it.
  • Repeat the primary keyword within the first 400 words on the page.

Optimise headlines

Use a headline checker to help optimise your headlines https://coschedule.com/headline-analyzer

Internal links

Create internal links between your web pages. Use relevant link text with keywords for the links (this also helps with screen readers and accessibility). Any buttons should have useful words to understand where the button is going. Text such as “click here” is no good for screen readers and accessibility, as they don’t provide any contextual information. A better link would say “click here to go to our services”.

Optimise images

The best time to do this is prior to uploading the images. Images are heavily responsible for adding a lot of size to web pages, which slows down your page loading times and affects your SEO. 

Only use images at their correct sizes. As a guideline, a full-width image should be no bigger than 1920px wide (some hosts, such as Squarespace will do images approximately 2500px wide).

  • For two columns, images with a max width of about 800px wide.
  • For three columns, images with a max width of about 500px wide.

*Testing of your site following upload may suggest even smaller image sizes.

Image optimisation services include:

https://tinypng.com (free)

https://shortpixel.com/online-image-compression (upload up to 50 images at time. Has more options for compression)

If you have a WordPress site that already has uncompressed images on it, you can use a plugin like WP-Optimize to compress existing images. Other options include the Smush-It plugin, and paid plugins like Imagify and Shortpixel.

Test web page speed

Use services such as GTMetrix, Web Page Test and Pingdom to test your web pages. Each one will give different results, so it’s best to run a couple of tests on each to make sure the web page content is cached and loading as fast as possible, and look at the results on each to find common problems across the board.

Another link is Google PageSpeed Insights. Google is highly focused on their ‘core web vitals’. Unlike other page speed testers, PageSpeed Insights focuses on mobile webpages over desktop versions. So the results are often highly different. PageSpeed Insights can also be quite flawed, so take note of it, but also acknowledge that it isn’t perfect, and just try to do the best you can. Mobile sites benefit from having fewer decorative elements like images, so it is worth trying to not display as many on mobile if that is an option on your website.

Access Pagespeed Insights here: https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights/

Use image alt tags

All of your images should have alt tags. Adding your page keywords in where possible is also a good idea. However, your alt tags should be relevant to what the image is about. Alt tags improve accessibility for screen readers who tell vision-impaired users what your image is about, and are highly favoured by Google.

Use Google fonts and TypeKit fonts sparingly

Fonts make your website pretty, but the more different options you need to load from Google, the slower it will load. Where possible, pick no more than two fonts, and if you have the know-how, make sure your website is only pulling in the font weights that your site actually uses, not the whole font stack.

Other optimisations

Most decent web hosting companies will offer server caching. This should be the first place to start when it comes to caching your website (speeds up loading time).

Cache and preload your web pages from within the site. This can be done with the WP-Optimize or WP Rocket plugin (WordPress websites).

Where possible, minify HTML, CSS and Javascript code. There are plugins to help with this on a WordPress website, such as WP-Optimize. Be careful with Javascript code – minifying critical Javascript code can break websites.

Lazy-load your images so that they only load on the page as people scroll down.

Defer less important javascript code to later in the page.

Additional options for WordPress include optimising your database, cleaning up post and page revisions, and any junk comments. If you have pages or posts in your trash, delete them. These options can be handled in WP-Optimize.

Analytics & Tracking

There are many great resources to help manage and track your SEO efforts. Hubspot published an article about the best SEO tools for auditing and monitoring your Website. You can view the article here

Submit your site

Add your site to Google Search Console. Submit a sitemap to help Google scan your site sooner.

Add your site to Bing Webmaster. This is particularly of relevance to those people whose target market is an older population, as they typically use the default Microsoft Edge browser that comes with Windows, and it uses Bing search.

Add your site to Google My Business if you have a physical store or office. Link your website. Also, join local business directories and link your website to your directory entry. These provide external inbound links to help your SEO and rankings.

Digital One Agency provides Search Engine Optimisation services. You can find more information and pricing here

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