Ensuring your website is Search Engine friendly

There are millions of articles on the web exploring how to optimise your website. Some are really basic and others highly technical. I am going to go for the middle ground, and I am going to give you some tips on how to optimise your website, and in turn, improve your website ranking without needing too much know-how.

I am going to breakdown the process into two easy chunks.

  • Writing content that ranks
  • Formatting your pages

Writing content that ranks

Each piece of content must be unique and in depth enough to be able to convince readers that you are experts in your field and that they can trust you to do their work to a high standard.

Some people are scared of long content, they feel that because attention spans are getting shorter, people will not read long pages of text. They are wrong.
Your ideal client will read your content for as long as they need to, to be convinced to place and order or make an enquiry.

Google also loves long, in depth, well written pages. The search engine sees them as an authority and ranks them according, as it sees them as good reference points for searchers.

Google is very clever and can tell lots of things about your website, but there is no harm in giving it a helping hand. Google keep a lot of their ranking indicators under wraps, but there are a few basic things you can do to give Google some indicators to rank your site for the search queries you want to be found for.

Keyword research

Before putting finger to key, it is important to do some keyword research.

To get started, think, what is the purpose of the piece or page I’m writing? For example, if you provide a service, and you are providing copy for the page on your website where you outline this service, think, what are potential customers searching for relating to this?

Google can help you here. As you start to search for things relevant to your service, google will reveal previous search terms. For example, if you provide a gardening service, your keyword research might uncover long-tail search terms such as “Affordable landscaping Leeds”, which you could use as a page/piece title, within the copy, or even as the page URL (read more below).

Think of other search terms that could be more specific, using the example of a gardening service again, this might be “tree planting Leeds” or “gardening maintenance service”, which might also be relevant to your business. If so, these can be used in the copy to increase your rankings and exposure to the page you are writing.

Formatting your URL

The URL should contain the main key phrase the page needs to rank for. Single word or short URLs will not help in search so try to ensure that your URL contains the key phrase you wish to be found for, without making it too long.

Say you have a jewellers and you want to rank for the phrase “bespoke silver jewellery”.

It is very easy to format your pages URL as www.bobsjewellery.com/silver
However, that URL will help you rank for Silver, which is not what you are after.

Instead structure your URL as www.bobs.jewellerycom/bespoke-silver-jewellery. That URL gives Google a clear indication of the content of the page.

Each page should have the following formatting structure

If you are using WordPress to build your site, all the formatting I am about to explain is built in.

  • Page title – This should describe the content of the page clearly (it can be different from the URL and the H1 Headline for the page.)
  • Page description – A page description of more than 150 characters which contains the key phrase but also has content which helps the user understand the page before they click the search engine link and visit.
  • H1 – Headline for page, if you are using WordPress this will happen automatically.
  • H2 – Subheads which contain the key phrase for the page at least once
    H2 can also be used to get a call to action into the page.
  • Main text content – a bare minimum of 300 words, preferably 500 or more, per page of unique, well written, content in which the key phrase and related phrases are used.
  • Internal links – each page should link to at least one internal page of the site using a relevant link text.
  • External links – Links to highly relevant external sites which can be used as reference points for your content e.g. BBC, Wikipedia, CNN, Marketing Week etc.
  • All images must have a descriptive alt tag – Alt tags are descriptions you add to images on your website. This element is missed from so many websites and it is an own goal because Google Image search is widely used and has loads of benefits.Follow these formatting tips and you should see improvements in how your website ranks in the search engines.

If you have an accountant, they should be your first stop for business advice. If you don’t have an accountant or they can’t help, BuBul has a wide range of experts available. For more SEO advice, contact our expert* Richard on LinkedIn.

*We’ve picked experts we know and trust who are good at what they do. All of them will give you at least an extra 30 minutes free advice if you contact them and would then charge their normal prices. They don’t pay to be on BuBul and don’t give us any money from anything they earn as an expert.