Google and other search engines employ a multitude of factors to rank websites in the search results page. Most of the time, search engine optimisation factors are related to (On-Site Optimisation) including website content, in the form of text, URL, titles, meta tags and headers. (Off-Site Optimisation) involves other measurements of the website such as domain authority, age of the domain name, quality and quantity of inbound links, etc. Over recent years Google has announced that the page loading speed of websites and mobile friendly design would both have an impact on search engine rankings.
Developing Search Engine Optimisation strategy
A long-term, content-driven approach to Search Engine Optimisation will return positive results and naturally grow with your business. ‘White hat’ (non-spam) methods pay off in the long run.
It is important to understanding your target market. By conducting in-depth competitor research and keyword analysis you can identify, and exploit, opportunities within the marketplace .
You should concentrate on a small group of keywords. The three main factors to consider when choosing keywords are:
- Search volume
It is important to identify and target keywords which have a good balance between these three factors. This will increase your presence in search engine results. The content of the website has always been a major determining factor for search engine results. Good quality, keyword optimised content makes a website worthy of a higher position in search results. Good content automatically creates demand, attracts more traffic and has a positive impact on Search Engine Optimisation.
Implementing good SEO practices
High quality content is considered to be the most important factor. Adding fresh content on a regular basis is a great opportunity to use different variations of your keywords. However, whilst the use of keywords in content has an important role in how search engines display results, many other factors also influence the rankings of a website. Google is increasingly incorporating new factors relating to performance and usability to rank a website.
- Page loading speed
- Mobile friendly design (Responsive design is the preferred method)
- Internal linking
- User experience and behavior
Page Loading Speed
Page loading speed refers to the time it takes for the website to load. The speed at which the website loads depends on a variety of factors, which includes your website’s design as well as the quality of hosting server.
As mentioned above, websites may be slow loading due to a number of factors. These can include, cheap and poor quality hosting services, the design and structure of the site and also unoptimised media files such as images, videos and music with large file sizes. Whether you are running a commercial website or a personal one, you must make sure that the website loads quickly. Page loading speed should be one of your top priorities.
Test the Page loading speed of your website with the free PageSpeed Insights tool by Google
Mobile Friendly Design
Google introduced Mobile friendly design as a ranking factor in 2015. Therefore, mobile optimisation has become a major factor in boosting a website’s ranking. Every year the number of people accessing the internet from their mobile devices and tablets is increasing. But there are a considerable number of websites that are still not designed to be mobile responsive, or in other words able to work well with different screen sizes, as well as having slow loading speed. Consequently, the site’s ranking is affected. Mobile optimisation is vital for websites because it takes into account the site design, its overall structure, page loading speed, and most importantly makes sure that the website is not driving its mobile audience away due to poor performance.
Recent statistics show taht there are more searches taking place on mobile devices than on computers. Google, has stated numerous times that responsive design is their most preferred mobile configuration and therefore leads to a boost in rankings as well.
Check your website with the free Mobile-Friendly Test by Google.
Another very useful free tool which allows you to check how your responsive design website would look in different devices is the Website Planet Responsive Checker
Search engines use metadata to understand what a website is about. This presents many opportunities to use your keywords. Metadata includes:
- Headings and subheadings tags (H1 – H5)
- Image Alt tags
Images and graphics enhance the visual appeal of a website and also provide opportunities for your website to appear in image search results. It is important to use the image Alt tags as this not only provides opportunities to incorporate keywords, they also improve the usability of the website, especially for the visually impaired who may be using a screen reader.
The file size of images can have a significant impact on page loading speeds, large images can make a website slow loading and users are becoming increasingly impatient. If your site is slow… users will go!
Images need to be compressed. A common practise is to set a “page budget”, for example 1mb per page.
Internal linking can help improve the navigation and structure of a website. Linking to relevant pieces of content on your website allows users to explore topics that you cover and helps them find the information they are looking for. Internal linking can also be used to direct users to the content you want them to see. Creating an internal linking structure helps search engines understand what a website is about as well.
User experience and behaviour
User often abandon websites that are hard to navigate or are structured in an unusual way. In addition, websites which are slow to load can cause sites visitors to become impatient and leave before the site even loads. Likewise, when users leave the site almost instantly is referred to as Bounce Rate. User behaviour statistics can be seen in Google Analytics. Consequently low user engagement is not the only drawback; slow loading speed can also impact the site’s ranking potential.
Distinctive Media Solutions have become a recognised provider of International Search Engine Optimisation, Multilingual Content Creation, Localisation and Translation services. We also offer a range of other Digital Marketing services. Our team of Search Engine Optimisation experts are committed to improving the search engine rankings and increasing the online presence of our clients. Furthermore, our services are help clients drive growth and boost sales.