Creating a website is the first step to successfully updating your presence in the online world. While social media platforms create a good starting point, a website is always better for an official look and feel. Social media should focus on shifting traffic to your website, complimenting it rather than taking its place. Many ask the question “ I have a website, now what? ” and here is your answer.
Once you have a functioning website, you have created the base of your online persona and now have a place for people to find your business in the digital world. The next thing to do is optimise, optimise and optimise some more.
The first step to creating good content, in the eyes of Google and other search engines, is to focus it around certain keywords that your audience is using. By researching keywords and analysing what sort of terms your audience uses on search engines, you can target your content to their needs and search terms specifically. While it is contested, when researching keywords it is best to try select options that have high search rates and low competition from other sites. While the high competition words will be the best choices, you don’t want to use something saturated that will be almost impossible to rank for.
Once you have your keywords, it’s time to write targeted content. Writing for SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is a key part of any ranking website. Structuring the content in a certain way to organically draw interest to your site and gain traffic for keywords, this allows search engines to view your page as relevant and therefore rank it higher in search. SEO driven content must follow certain guidelines in order to fulfill the requirements of ranking in searches. For example, to rank a page well in SEO the content should exceed 300 words and must have at least three examples of the keyword. The keyword should appear in the first paragraph, the title, the meta-description and the URL- to name a few.
One important factor of keyword is to ensure they appear naturally in the content. Most search engines prefer a certain amount of keyword appearance, with over usage being seen as keyword stuffing and will count against the contents worth when being ranked.
The details of the page, tied into the keyword structure, allow search engines to better index it and mark its relevance in comparison to other pages. With details like page titles, header tags and optimized URLs, search engines can easily find the keyword and rank it appropriately. Images should also have tags and alternative tags, this allows these images to rank for keywords as well, otherwise search engines will not link them to your keyword.
Another element that has a large impact on your pages relevance is linking. The more links between your webpages as well as from external sites to your pages shows search engines that this is linked content and therefore more relevant to the topic.
There are two main elements to design that are all-important to your page ranking. Firstly, the load time. Your page should be optimised to allow for a quick load time. With reduced size images and a page layout that is easy to load on a browser, your pages need to be created to allow for quick and easy customer access. Sites with a slow load time will often be found and ranked lower as to make for a streamlined user experience. The other element, one that is fast becoming a must have feature of any site, is a responsive mobile design. With mobile technology quickly becoming the favourite method of browsing the web, sites that are optimized for phones and tablets will rank higher as they are easier to access and navigate for the general consumer.