Are you looking for new ways to increase your rankings?
Great! But there are several factors that can affect the effectiveness of your SEO projects. And you need to be aware of them.
Some are more obvious, such as backlinks, content, promotion and keyword optimisation. While others are well-kept secrets of the search engine optimisation industry!
In this article, we will talk about less obvious factors that impact your rankings: web design.
What few people know is that just hiring a website designer no longer cuts it. You also need someone who fully understands SEO.
If you want to find out more about what Google wants your website to look like, keep reading!
Google’s Rankbrain technology and web design
Search engines take into account the visual components of your website and SEO when indexing your site. However, crawlers cannot rate your website’s aesthetics.
However, don’t let that fool you. Both Google and Bing are constantly hiring search engine evaluators to improve results. Humans like you and me have the important task of rating websites.
Unfortunately, the internet is a large place and is growing as we speak. Evaluators cannot scour every part of it.
So Google and Big have had to figure out new ways to provide clues about how good or bad your website looks.
One of the aspects search engines look at is bounce rate.
Cheap looking designs no longer impress anyone. Your website visitors won’t buy from you, and Google will rank you lower in the end. Creating a website that is aesthetically pleasing should be on your SEO projects list.
Creating a website that is aesthetically pleasing should be on your SEO projects list.
Google and fellow search engines can’t hire enough people to explore all the content on the internet.
The internet keeps expanding, with more websites and content being published every day. Therefore, search engines have had to come up with a better solution than hiring search engine evaluators.
Google’s RankBrain technology should make you put a lot more thought in your SEO projects related to web design. This is because Rankbrain is an image recognition technology itself!
Soon enough, Google will get even better at weeding out the ugly from the good and alter rankings as necessary.
What you can do about it
There are a few things you can start doing right away to increase the probability of search engines loving your website:
- Don’t use the ALT tag unless you are uploading relevant images to the tag.
- Invest in a modern, user-friendly design that will have a competitive advantage as soon as it goes live.
- Don’t use the ALT tag only for SEO purposes.
- Penalties for images that are being taken from stock websites and used as avatars for your profile may occur.
- A “buy by image” feature is expected soon enough, so make sure you have high-quality images for your products.
Include Videos in your SEO projects
Multimedia, infographics, videos and images seem to help you accomplish the goals of your SEO projects by attracting the attention of your website visitors.
Including videos as examples. They have an indirect effect on your rankings since they help you reduce the bounce rates.
Internet users are bombarded with information all the time.
A simple wall of text isn’t enough to attract their attention, but explanatory videos sure will. They are easier to digest and more entertaining for the viewer!
How fast are you?
Search engines do their best to make their users happy, and nothing annoys an internet user more than a slow loading website.
Increasing the load speed of your website should be part of your SEO projects checklist. There are a few changes you can make to increase the speed of your website:
- Minimise the size of your images
- Compress CSS files
- Remove heavy code
- Look for the fastest hosting services
- Don’t overdo ads on your website and pop-ups
Keep in mind you should make all changes with the user in the mind. Always ask yourself how you can improve the user experience.
Get rid of flash
There are other alternatives to flash that users can access on Apple devices as well. Search engines have a much easier time crawling them too.
Flash was quite popular a few years ago, but the technology changed and flash was left behind. So, make sure you cross Flash from off your SEO projects checklist.
Content comes first
If the website design is the skeleton, the content is the flesh of your website.
Search engines put a lot of value on homepages that aren’t overcrowded by ads, pop-ups and empty spaces.
It’s important to make sure the text is clearly visible too. Don’t use hard to read fonts or fonts that are too small or hidden. These practices could lead to penalties, and you should be aware of them whenever you plan your SEO projects.
The mobile industry is booming, so it’s important to make it easier for your website visitors to read your content while walking down the street or sipping their coffee on public transportation.
What can you do to increase the readability of your content?
Use an attractive colour palette, a lot of white space, and increase the contrast between the background and the font used for the text.
Always use a black on a white background to get the best out of your website. Night themes can rarely compete with a regular black on white model!
The number of elements search engines consider when ranking a website grows more with each new algorithm release.
Now, web design should be added to your list of SEO projects too — and for a good reason. Your website visitors will appreciate a high-quality design.
If you’re trying to rank higher yet feel lost in SERPS, take a look at our free SEO review to supercharge your skills.
Also, if you want to read more articles on SEO projects, web design, and digital marketing, don’t hesitate to take a look at our blog.
When it comes to the internet, we all know that content is king. But while content may be the king, it’s not the only factor when it comes to attracting customers.
Technical SEO is also extremely important as a ranking factor. But in order for it to work properly, one must understand how to implement SEO into their marketing plans.
Often in business, things get busy really quickly. Which means it’s easy to let certain things slide. But if you don’t continuously utilise SEO, you may be losing out on business.
That’s why outsourcing your SEO to a Gloucester agency can help you achieve your goals. And we’re here to tell you why.
So grab a comfortable chair and take notes.
What Is Technical SEO?
Technical SEO is the efforts of the webmaster to ensure the website is in compliance with current search engine guidelines.
And those guidelines are constantly changing. So even if you are a webmaster, it’s a lot of work. If you’re a business owner in Gloucester or anywhere, technical SEO may be too much work for you to handle on your own.
Because if you do it wrong, Google will penalise you for your SEO mistakes. And that can cause your business a lot of time and money.
Why Hire a Technical SEO Gloucester Agency?
While some steps are easy, technical SEO can be really complicated. Often it makes a lot of sense to outsource this task because doing it when you aren’t a professional can cost you a lot.
Here’s where you’ll save when you hire the right SEO Gloucester agency.
- Time: Most business owners or in-house marketing people do not have the technical expertise needed for back-end technical marketing efforts.
- Budget: Unless you hire an in-house expert who can do it all, it makes sense to save money by outsourcing.
- Frustration: You have a website because you own a business. You need to focus on selling your service or product, not on fixing the back end of your website.
Technical SEO is complicated. And if you do it wrong, you can really create a lot of problems for yourself and your company.
I’m a DIYer, What Can Go Wrong If I Learn This Myself?
While we love DIYer’s, there’s a lot a person needs to understand about this type of SEO. It’s sort of like making a quilt. One wrong stitch and the whole thing might need to be taken apart.
Do you really have the budget to play Russian Roulet with your own company?
Here are just a few really complicated steps an SEO Gloucester agency will do that most lay people have no clue about:
1. How to Future-Proof Your Site: Think Google is done making changes? Think again. A technical SEO Gloucester agency will know how to configure your site so that you’re ready for whatever comes.
2. Canonicalization: Search engines don’t always know exactly what they’re looking at on your site. Choosing the right URL to ensure the search engines don’t mistake a link for duplicate content is just part of their job.
3. Pagination: Often when you’re selling a lot of products, it can create crawler issues. Using the right meta tags will help eliminate those problems.
4. HTML Markup: This text can be enhanced to provide specific information to web crawlers. Such examples include:
- Open Graph which shows Facebook how your content should appear
- Twitter Cards
- Language Tags
- Title, Description, and Header Tags
All of these steps can be time-consuming. Especially for someone just learning how to do it themselves. Outsourcing is often the smartest choice when tackling technical SEO.
Because mistakes can and will be made.
What Are Some Common Technical SEO Mistakes?
While there are plenty of steps you can take to enhance your technical SEO, there are also mistakes you can make. Costly mistakes that can eat away at your profits.
So try to avoid making these common mistakes:
- Intrusive Interruptions: Just as annoying as being interrupted by a sales call in the middle of dinner. And Google agrees. Starting in 2017, if you cover the main content of your website with a popup ad, Google will penalise you.
- Duplicate Content: No one enjoys reading the same information twice. Especially when it’s on one website. An SEO marketing company will check meta tags, page content, and meta descriptions to ensure there’s no duplication on your website.
- Broken Links: Basically, this is a road to nowhere. A marketing company can do a site audit to quickly find and fix these broken links.
- Hiding Things: Some people like to try to cheat the system. But do you think you can actually beat Google at their own game? Honesty has its own rewards and one of them is a better Google ranking.
These mistakes are easy to make but it’s not always so simple when trying to fix them.
What Technical SEO Steps Can I Make?
There are a number of steps you can take to increase your technical SEO, whether you’re in Gloucester or even half a world away.
Here are a few of our favourites:
- Mobile Friendly: Over 80% of people search online first before making a purchase. Now, more than ever, most of those searches are done using something other than a desktop computer. Your company needs to be mobile friendly now.
- Fast Loading Speed: For anyone who is old enough to remember when the internet first came out, you’ll remember how agonisingly slow it was. And while things certainly have sped up, it doesn’t mean your customers want to wait any longer than they need to. Also, Google has been crawling your website since 2010 for coding inefficiencies.
- SSL Certificate: The latest in online buyer safety, the SSL certificate. Since 2014 Google has used the https as ranking signal. Buy one if you haven’t already.
Need Help? An SEO Gloucester Agency Is All You Need
Have we converted you yet? There’s a lot to learn about technical SEO but that’s why we’re here. We’d love to
We’d love to answer your questions and help you determine what steps to take so you’re in business for the long haul.
If you’re about to install an SSL on your website, please ensure to follow our SEO checklist below to preserve your rankings.
- Make sure every element of your website uses HTTPS, including widgets, java script, CSS files, images and your content delivery network.
- Use 301 redirects to point all HTTP URLs to HTTPS. This is a no-brainer to most SEOs, but you’d be surprised how often a 302 (temporary) redirect finds its way to the homepage by accident
- Make sure all canonical tags point to the HTTPS version of the URL.
- Use relative URLs whenever possible.
- Rewrite hard-coded internal links (as many as is possible) to point to HTTPS. This is superior to pointing to the HTTP version and relying on 301 redirects.
- Register the HTTPS version in both Google and Bing Webmaster Tools.
- Use the Fetch and Render function in Webmaster Tools to ensure Google can properly crawl and render your site.
- Update your sitemaps to reflect the new URLs. Submit the new sitemaps to Webmaster Tools. Leave your old (HTTP) sitemaps in place for 30 days so search engines can crawl and “process” your 301 redirects.
- Update your robots.txt file. Add your new sitemaps to the file. Make sure your robots.txt doesn’t block any important pages.
- If necessary, update your analytics tracking code. Most modern Google Analytics tracking snippets already handle HTTPS, but older code may need a second look.
- Implement HTTP Strict Transport Security (HSTS). This response header tells user agents to only access HTTPS pages even when directed to an HTTP page. This eliminates redirects, speeds up response time, and provides extra security.
- If you have a disavow file, be sure to transfer over any disavowed URLs into a duplicate file in your new Webmaster Tools profile.
Original content from: https://moz.com/blog/seo-tips-https-ssl