By Gavin Lacey

Best SEO Practices

Effective SEO strategies puts your website higher in search engine results, which means that more people are likely to find and see your website

There are several factors to consider when building a website; a clean design with a friendly user interface, effective colour scheme and strong calls to action (call now, download brochure).

However, one thing that may not immediately come to mind during the process of creating and designing a website is the importance of inserting SEO best practices.

SEO means Search Engine Optimisation, which according to the marketing resource website Moz, is a ‘marketing discipline focused on growing visibility in organic (non-paid) search engine results. SEO encompasses both the technical and creative elements required to improve ranking, driving traffic, and increasing awareness in search engines’. You can read more of Moz’s explanation here.

In simpler terms, effective SEO strategies puts your website higher in search engine results, which means that more people are likely to find and see your website. Performing SEO effectively will help make your website easy for users and search engines to find and understand, thus enabling you to rank higher in search engine results, thus getting more people on to your website!

Here we have compiled a list of best SEO practices to follow when designing your website that will help your web page climb up those search results.

1. Include the right keywords on the page

You would be surprised at how often websites don’t include phrases and keywords into their content that fits with what exactly a person might be searching for in a search engine.

You can do keyword research by using Google’s keyword tool and then inserting these keywords into your content - this should help your site to rank well in search results.

Google’s keyword tool interface

If you are just beginning to build your website, perhaps try less competitive keywords at the beginning and then gradually insert more competitive keywords on the web pages as your site grows. Remember, just because a keyword might be highly competitive, doesn’t mean that it is the best keyword for your site.

However, don’t insert a lot of keywords into your content just for the sake of putting them in, Google will know that you are trying to keyword stuff and you will be pushed down the search engine results.

2. Keep it fresh

The more you add relevant content to your page, the more likely you are to receive visits from search engine bots, which is a good thing as it shows you are keeping your page active. If you don’t frequently update your content, there will be no incentive for search engines to crawl your site.

If you habitually update your site with fresh content (such as a blog or a live feed of your social media activity) then search engines will continuously crawl your site and you will rank higher in search results.

The best way to think of it is to imagine Google as a really picky editor – if you focus your efforts on content that is topical and relevant then you should have no problem getting the most important keywords in.

3. Ensure there are no broken links

A broken link is a website link on your page that does not direct to a webpage anymore. Broken links can have a massive impact on your search engine ranking. The moment a crawler comes across a broken link on a web page, it immediately stops and moves on to the next page. Any content after the broken link won’t be crawled and won’t receive a ranking. There are online tools that can help find broken links on your site so you should have no excuse to show a website visitor the dreaded 404 Error.

404 Page error

4. Heading tags

what the content on the page contains. When a user enters your website, they will inevitably notice the large heading and discover what the content below is about. Search engine crawlers work the same way. The most important heading tag for search engine rankings is the H1 tag. You must have one h1 tag. Place this at the start of your page's content, a second can be used at the end of your page. Further H tags, H2 to H6, are used to structure and nest your content. Typically this will look like this:

<h1>My page title</h1> <h2>1st heading</h2> <h3>1st main point</h3> <h3>2nd main point</h3> <h3>3rd main point</h3> <h2>2nd heading</h2> <h3>1st main point</h3> <h3>2nd main point</h3> <h2>3rd heading</h2>

5. Title tags and meta-descriptions

A title tag is the main text that describes what a webpage is about when it appears on a search engine results page. Title tags are essential for SEO and the user experience because they tell both what the topic of the webpage is. You should aim to have around 60 characters in your title tag (anything longer and you will have ‘…’ at the end of your Title tag, and nobody wants that).

Meta-descriptions aren’t majorly important for SEO purposes, but they do have a part to play as they let people know what a webpage is about when it shows on a search engine result. The small descriptive paragraph should contain key phrases that explain the page and entice the user to click.

6. Page speed

Page speed is extremely important factor for SEO. The longer it takes to load a page on your site, the more negatively it affects your SEO ranking. Not only does it annoy Google and their rankings, it also annoys any user who might be visiting your site and cause them to leave, or worse, visit a competitor.

To increase your website speed you can optimise the images on your page – the smaller the image file size, the quicker it will take for your image to load and the quicker it takes for your image to load, the better SEO results your website will yield. Other ways to increase your website speed is to reduce redirects or add functionality which helps to compress your website files.

If this sounds a bit complicated, then we recommend you hire a website developer to do this for you as quick page speed is crucial for SEO.

7. Be mobile friendly

If your site isn’t mobile friendly then we must ask you what’s it like being stuck in 2007? Still regularly updating your MySpace profile? Just kidding (kind of). We’ve covered the importance of mobile marketing before and we continue to stress the importance of making your site mobile friendly, especially now with Google placing an added emphasis on trying to make the web more mobile friendly. If you’re not sure which is the best route to take in making your site mobile friendly then give us a ring and we can help you take your first steps.

If your website is struggling to rank in search engine results why not get in touch below with our SEO experts. We can help you improve your ranking and assist your business in climbing up those search result pages.

Page speed is extremely important factor for SEO. The longer it takes to load a page on your site, the more negatively it affects your SEO ranking




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Dún Laoghaire,

Co. Dublin

Ireland.