Insights

How to Improve Your SEO on Google and Compete with the Big Boys

27/06/2018 | Digital Marketing | 15 minutes

There’s no easy way to say this…

SEO is HARD.

Only Google employees know how to make website rank, but SEOs have a good idea of what Google are looking for, and after reading this blog post, so will you.

I’m going to show you how to cover all the bases to improve your SEO and help you compete with the big boys in your industry.

On page SEO

The first place to start should be with your on page SEO, or changes you can make on your website. On page SEO encompasses all the work you do on your website to help it to rank. This includes the content on your pages, the way your website is structured and the HTML behind the scenes.

Website Content

Without a doubt the most important thing when it comes to on page SEO is content. For many of the clients we work with, one the biggest areas for improvement is their content, with much of it being “thin” and lacking any substance. Generally, the content on your website should;

Dustscan - Screen capture of Google Rich Snippet

Website Architecture

We’ve dealt with many websites who struggle to rank for their target keywords because they’re sending conflicting signals to Google. If your website is difficult for users to use, then chances are it will be difficult for Google’s robots to crawl as well. Our client, Windrush Door & Window Services, saw around 100% increase in traffic and conversions after we changed the navigation and URL structure on their website.

Old Windrush Door & Window Services Architecture

Screen capture of the Windrush Doors & Windows Navigation post change

New Windrush Door & Window Services Architecture

Website Architecture We’ve dealt with many websites who struggle to rank for their target keywords because they’re sending conflicting signals to Google. If your website is difficult for users to use, then chances are it will be difficult for Google’s robots to crawl as well. Our client, Windrush Door & Window Services, saw around 100% increase in traffic and conversions after we changed the navigation and URL structure on their website. Past Windrush Door & Window Services Architecture

As best practice, the architecture of your website should;

Website Code (HTML)

Hidden behind the visible content on the page is HTML; the code base that enables browsers to render your website. When Google crawls the HTML on your website it’s looking at the following;

Off page SEO

Off page SEO refers to any factors outside of your website that contribute to the ranking of your website. This includes how trusted your website is, how many quality backlinks there are to your website, how relevant the website might be to a particular user and your reputation on social media.

Website Trust

People use brands they trust and the same applies online. After all, Google wants to remain a trusted source of information in itself. Google uses a number of factors to establish how trusted a website is, including;

Backlinks

Backlinks are like word of mouth on the web. If you’re receiving a backlink from another website then, in most cases, it means your website is reputable and worth visiting. Google also recognises this and uses backlinks as a ranking factor. But what makes a backlink good or bad?

Good backlinks…

Bad backlinks…

You can find out more about how backlinks apply to Google’s algorithm and how to analyse backlinks in this blog post.

Personal

You may notice that websites you visit frequently appear at the top of the search results. That’s not a coincidence, Google uses cookies to monitor your search behaviour and show you search results that you’ve visited before. Your location is also monitored, providing you give permission, meaning that Google can show you results from your local area.

For example, a search for “web design” from our office in Witney returns this result.

Web Design Witney

On the other hand, a search for “web design” from central Glasgow returns this result.

Web Design search in Glasgow

As you can see, the same search term is used each time, but the results depending on the location of the searcher are very different.

Social Media

Although not directly related to search engine rankings, social signals can give search engines an indication as to whether your website should be trusted or not. These signals are predominantly based around how many social shares your website content has and who these shares are from. This could be anything from retweets on Twitter to shares on Facebook.

The evidence for social media having bearing on SEO is limited, but some studies have concluded that the two are undoubtedly linked . It would be naive to disagree as the world of social media is growing and can give Google reliable indicators of brand trust from things like reviews. Twitter even have carousels (see image below) that often appear at the top of Google’s search results, making this prime real estate for SEOs.

Google Search Twitter Carousels

What next?

If you’ve laid these foundations then you should stand a good chance of being ranked highly by Google. If you need help or ongoing support then  contact Urban Element and we’ll give you a helping hand.

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