On Page Web Design Tips That Will Help With SEO
Posted: 24th May 2021
In the vast world of the internet where just about anything can be viewed or bought with just the click of a button, your website needs to stand out. No matter how hard you work on a logo design or a web layout, your site is a single drop in an ocean full of other content. From the very beginning, you’ll be fighting for the attention of internet dwellers everywhere – and it’s a long way to the top of the SEO ladder.
If you want your website to go where no other website has gone before, ideally right within reach of your target audience at the top of a search engine, you’re going to need a keyword-driven SEO friendly digital strategy, and a website full of relevant and accessible content to get the ball rolling.
But first, what is SEO?
Contrary to popular belief SEO, or search engine optimisation, is more than your rank on Google. SEO is about understanding what your target audience is searching for, and how to reach that audience through content and “organic” search results.
Basically, if you’re looking at increasing your website’s reach, SEO will be your best friend. In order to drive your website’s rank upwards, your site needs to be SEO friendly – we’re not talking about completely random keywords and content loaded with irrelevant phrases and terms. Your website needs to be augmented and seamless with relevant SEO optimised content your target audience will want to click on, search through, and read.
SEO: One website, one hot topic
We’ve all been there. Your website is good to go and ranking on search engines – but you want to go bigger. Who doesn’t? In order to increase your reach, you’re thinking you need to stray a little off-topic in order to draw in more people. While it feels natural to add more content, you’ll want to choose a central subject that is relevant to your website and focus on that. Research keywords and use Google Trends to find out what your target audience is searching for. A mass of unrelated and irrelevant content not only sends mixed messages to your audience but will confuse the hell out of search engines.
Write keyword-driven, informative copy – and maybe become that person with a blog
Back in the day when you needed answers to life’s big questions, you went to the library or asked your Mum. These days, we all go to the internet. You know when you ask Google a question and those helpful little drop-down boxes appear with key information? A regular blog is an obvious choice. If not some regularly updated meaty copy, for not only ranking your website higher in search engines but getting your content into those helpful little boxes where people often go for quick and relevant information.
Consider starting a blog with one to two articles per month and pack them both full of keywords and relevant information to draw people into your website. Always aim to be informative, not promotional. Search engines will crawl through your website and if there’s even the slightest sales-driven tone in there, the post will be dismissed as promotional. The idea behind search engine’s powerful analytics is that people go to Google for answers, not to be sold something. Make sure your copy is informative and well thought out – a hefty article about the history of chocolate cake will rank higher than a post encouraging readers to buy a chocolate cake. Not to say you shouldn’t sell that cake on your website, but a consistent and informative blog will keep your cake website ranking higher on search engines as it’ll be considered informative copy.
Don’t forget to centre your content around your main topic and do your best not to stray as tempting as it may be. If you’ve already got a regular blog, consider going back into your older posts to freshen up the information – which leads us onto our next point…
Update your site regularly
If you want to keep riding high in search results, you’re going to want to keep your website updated with fresh content that covers relevant topics in-depth. Search engines love websites that are frequently updated with new, informative content. If your site has been sitting in a stagnant pool of seething HTML code with little to no updates for months on end, then start typing. After all, what is the point of ranking an out-of-date website that’s been sitting on its rear end doing nothing? For search engines, there is nothing worse.
Research keywords – and use them
Whether you’re a travel blogger, a proprietor of organic clothing, or a dog walker specialising in dalmatian water aerobics, keywords should forever and always be at the centre of your digital marketing strategy. Choose one keyword and use it in your domain name, the site description, page titles, meta descriptions, tags, categories and content. If your subject can be represented by a single word or phrase, use it in the key areas of your site to drive up your rank and increase your traffic.
Use social media to your advantage
These days everything is online. Elections are lost and won on Twitter. The elusive and coveted influencer rises and falls on Instagram, forgotten about in a day or two when another beautiful tanned seemingly unreal figure takes his/her place on the tropical island they all seem to live on. Cancel culture is rife, and video snippet giant Tik Tok seems to be rewriting the concept of social media itself. Meanwhile, Facebook has been taken over by boomers, baby pictures, and a vast array of antique memes from the early 2000s. Social media is a formidable force in this day and age, and while sharing your content can seem like a no-brainer, it can be difficult to know where to even begin. Social media shares an important relationship with your SEO game. Your social channels are important to search engines, and it’s important to remember more shares generate more traffic. If your traffic is lagging, then considering updating your social media channels and sharing more relevant content from your website – don’t forget the hashtags.
Increase your load speeds
As we previously touched on, speed is key in an economy driven by attention and clicks. The loading speed of your pages is crucial, especially on mobile where users will close your page to open Tik Tok if they get impatient. Make sure your images are scaled and optimised for the web and be sure to rid your site of anything unnecessary that is slowing things down. Your visitors – and search engines – will thank you.
Optimising for mobile
Most, if not all, your traffic will be people browsing on their mobile phones. In the age of smartphones, making sure your website is optimised for mobile phone use is key to not only drawing people into your website but keeping them there. Most platforms like WordPress and Squarespace make it easy to view your website on a mobile phone template, so be sure to check everything is running smoothly before you hit publish.
Consider a localised landing page
A local landing page is a specific web page designed to pull in a target audience from a particular area. While a home page is a general overview of a business, with a list of services and perhaps a few images, a localised landing page is designed to focus on one specific location that would ideally draw in the local market. For example, if you’ve just opened a brand new hair and nail salon in Cornwall, then a localised landing page would ideally draw in people from the local areas such as St Agnes and Falmouth.
Include SEO friendly permalinks – and don’t forget to name your images
When search engines crawl through and index your website, every element from your blog posts to your images is analysed. When creating permalinks be sure you use SEO friendly URLs. Not only will those URLS be great for your SEO, but they’ll make more sense and look better to anyone searching your keywords and topic online. Each link should include text and your keyword whenever possible – for example instead of this: https://yourcoolsite.com/?p=123, you should aim for something that looks like this: https://yourcoolsite.com/widget-services. The result is a more polished and put-together look that’ll make more sense for anyone searching for you or your chosen topic.
Your images should also include your chosen keywords that centre around your chosen subject. The title, description, and alt text should be your priority – don’t forget to name your image as well, because dalmatian-water-aerobics.jpg is going to give your site more traction in Google than IMG_6789.jpg.
Include internal links on your website
It may seem a little pointless to include links to your own web pages – after all, if someone is already having a look at your website why would you need links directing them around? Surely they can find their own way around? Unfortunately, this a common misconception. It’s the 21st century, the age of information, and our attention spans are gradually getting smaller – yes really, it’s not just you. The phenomenon of an attention economy is very real. By including links throughout your website, people browsing through your website will find what they need quicker. While it seems Big Brother-esque, you can also push people through your website to the information you want them to see. Be sure to link your key pages from your homepage, and make sure each page cross-links with each other.
Get your pages indexed
If your website has been ranking high for a few years and has been getting relatively consistent traffic, search engines will automatically pick up on new pages and relevant content within a few hours. If your website is relatively new, this may take days, even weeks, but you can manually index new pages to ensure they appear in search results more quickly.
Increase inbound links
Inbound links are essential for SEO. Having other websites credit you and link back to your own site shows you have authority in your chosen topic. Essentially, others look to you as a good source of information as well as a resource for valuable content. The more links directing people to your site, the more traffic and clicks you’ll receive. In order to build on your reputation, start guest blogging for other websites. Make sure the content you’re producing is high quality and well researched with correct grammar, spelling, and punctuation – and don’t forget to post those links back to your own website and socials. You can also create punchy, well thought out content for your own website which people can like and share but producing content for other sites will ultimately drive more traffic back towards your own website giving you more organic clicks.
Be sure to include outbound links
Much like the last point, but in reverse, having guest content and links to other people’s sites will let search engines know you’re an authority on your subject – but don’t overdo it. Too much and you could be driving traffic from your website to another.
Getting consistently high-ranking results on web searches takes time and effort, and it’s an ongoing process. Try and get into the habit of creating regular meaty content early on, and once you’ve decided on your SEO-friendly domain name, stick to it. Your URL is a big factor in SEO and like wine and cheese, a domain’s search rankings improve with age. Things don’t happen overnight, so prepare for the long haul and resist the urge to change your domain name.
If you need any help or a bit more advice on getting started with the right SEO strategy, get in touch with Priority Pixels. Contact our team today on 01626 245061 or email us at email@example.com.