Getting your website to rank on search engines is a huge way of driving those all-important visitors to your site, but how do you do it? We have put together a quick-fire checklist to make sure you understand the basics of what your site needs to do to be search friendly.
- Are your URL’s well formatted?
URL’s are a funny one, not many people think to scrutinise their URLs to make sure that they are well formatted and make sense. Ideally you need to use short URLs, with a keyword included. They need to be human-readable, as user experience really effects search results.
Also ensure that your site is secure, this means using HTTPS rather than HTTP, as this has been confirmed to be a positive ranking signal.
- Are your page titles and descriptions optimised?
The word ‘optimised’ starts to feel a bit like jargon, what we mean here is ensuring that your page titles and meta descriptions are using the correct keywords and have a really good description about what is on the page. Your page title is one of the most important ranking factors, so it needs to be relevant, contain a high value search term, and ideally tell people what to expect if they click through to your website.
(Your meta description needs to be catchy and contain a call to action. Be creative and speak with personality, this is a form of advert driving people to your site and you need to stand out from the crowd.
- Are you regularly updating your content?
Your website needs to have freshly published content on there, that’s why so many sites have a blog. Content can be anything, articles, infographics, slideshows, videos, comments or case studies.
Search engines want to know that your site is up to date and therefore still relevant, so they check to see when your site was last updated. Having fresh content means search engines will index your site more regularly.
- Does it take ages to load your website?
Page speed is a really important ranking factor, search engines want to ensure that you are serving people with the content that they want quickly and as a result a good experience for users. People are getting faster and more inpatient, they want to know the facts NOW – and search engines know this.
- Are you mobile-friendly?
We have talked about this a lot in previous blogs such as ‘Is your website mobile responsive’, so we won’t’ repeat ourselves too much – but it’s a really important point to hammer home! More and more people are not just visiting but transacting on websites through their mobiles now, and Google have confirmed that this is a key ranking factor, so this is a must.