Once over life was simple. You could start a business overnight, build a website for it and generally you would appear quite high on Google and make sales relatively easily. It was a good time to be alive! Sadly, that has all changed now, partially from Google algorithm changes and also the sheer volume of other sites on the web to compete with. Today there is so much more work to do than just building a website to reap any major search engine positions and with it the traffic conversions and benefits.
”So what do we do then James” I hear you cry?
Well thankfully as much as the expert ’gurus’ would have you believe. It’s not some kind of magic wizardry, it’s also not about having a super secret system.
A lot of the main key areas are more common sense practices than you would think. So here is a simple break down on key areas to focus on for guaranteed success.
Site Security – You have likely seen the green padlock sign on other sites, they are even promoting awareness on the TV about this. This is what’s known as an SSL certificate. It basically allows the browser to connect to the server in a secure way so that all data is encrypted. Many browsers now will give a warning if a valid SSL is not in place which will not only impact SEO but also impact user interaction.
Usability – Ok this one isn’t so clear to some people. But it matters! It’s more about putting yourself in the shoes of your users. Does your website render ok on all browsers? Is it usable and readable to everyone regardless of device, location or disability. For example certain fonts are difficult to read for people with dyslexia. Or when them large heavily designed imagry pages look great but then impact the loading speed of the website, maybe impact a users data usage if they are on mobile and furthermore those using screen readers who can’t see images need your alt tags defined so they can get told what information the image contains etc. If there is anything that annoys a user to just leave this will not only prevent a sale but also increase your bounce rate telling Google that your site may not be useful or a very good resource!
Structure – The website structure should be clean clear and easy to follow. This doesn’t just make life easier for managing the site but also for Google to crawl and understand the websites architecture. However, I am not saying if your whole site is all singular pages that you should start moving pages and restructuring. As changing things as dramatic like that could do more damage than its worth if the restructure changes your links. This is something that should be done at the initial build of a website. Ensuring the website is structured in a clean clear and easy to navigate way ensures the best possible future for any site.
Speed – Ever since the mobile first algorithm change by Google. Website speed has become a huge ranking factor and simply decluttering pages of unnecessary scripts which are resource hogs and reducing image size can have a dramatic impact on your websites position on search engines. The logic behind this by Google is if course back to the ethos of making the web a better place. So logically site loading size and speed impact the overall user experience and having the ability to get the information you need.
Relevance – Ok so this one isn’t quite as simple and straight forward as the others but when you really think about it, it should once again make logical sense. If someone searches on a search engine your site needs to show relevance to those terms in order to rank. So when you create your content you need to bare in mind what people might be searching for and try tailor your content towards that to ensure you are relevant for the correct keywords, and ranking for poor keywords could do more harm than good!
So there you have it, these are our top 5 and the first thing we would do to any website to ensure a good ranking position is achieved.