There are millions of articles on the web about helping your website improve rankings. Some are really basic and others highly technical, I’m going to go for the middle ground and give you some tips on how to improve your website’s ranking without needing too much know-how.
I’m 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 won’t 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. For some clients that will be as soon as they read the first paragraph. Others will read much more and may visit several pages before enquiring.
Google also loves long, in depth, well written pages. The search engine sees them as an authority and ranks them really as the site sees them as good reference points for searchers. Of course you shouldn’t write for search engines but people.
To make pages easier to read break long passages into sections using subheads, which you are going to format as H2 (see below).
Long pages doesn’t have to mean long tracts of text on your page either. Break them up with relevant videos, infographics and photos to help the flow of the page and add extra visual stimulus.
If you’d prefer to have a chat about how we can do this for you, stop reading now and call 07834 197785 or fill in our contact form.
How to format your page to improve rankings
Google is very clever and can tell lots of things about your website, but there’s 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.
Formatting your URL
The url should contain 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.
Let’s say you have a jewellers and you want to rank for the phrase “bespoke silver jewellery”
It’s very easy to format your pages URL as www.bobsjewellery.com/silver
However, that URL will help you hank for Silver, which isn’t what you’re 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 and helps it to show for the right searches.
It sounds obvious. but think of Google as a huge library of pages and your URL is part of the index card. If your indexing is too broad, then the librarian has to search much harder in the library to find you and will instead find a better match, rather than keeping looking for your site.
Each page should have the following formatting structure
If you are using WordPress to build your site, and why wouldn’t you, all the formatting I’m 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’re 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 in to the page – To speak to The Marketing Optimist about improving your website rankings call 07834 197785
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 sensibly in the copy so that a human visitor can enjoy reading the copy and Google can see that the page has having unique content.
Internal links – each page should link to at least one internal page of the site using a relevant link text. E.g. Click here to find out more about our Search Engine Optimisation services https://www.marketingoptimist.co.uk/search-engine-optimisation/
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. This of external links as the references at back of you’re A-Level paper where you give evidence for your original thoughts.
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’s an own goal because Google Image search is widely used and has loads of benefits.
Google uses these as a way to identify the content on the image. This part is really easy to overlook and we see lots of sites where the alt tag is unchanged from the original file name e.g. NI1234578.jpg when the image relates to the post and should be named – “improve your website ranking”.
The alt tags you use should have the key phrase you want to rank for and If there is more than one image in your page you should use variations of the phrase.
Follow these formatting tips and you should see improvements in how your website ranks in the search engines.