In the world of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), the dream is to have your website appear on page one of Google’s search results for search words or phrases relating to your business. There are a few things you can do to your whole site which will help Google understand that your site is top-notch. User experience plays a big role, however, if you want to draw users straight to a particular page (such as a product listing or article), you’ll need to know how to optimise that page.
Here are a few ways to do just that:
There are a LOT of websites out there and even the all-powerful Google doesn’t have time to read every word of every single one. So, you’ve got to give it some pointers so it can get the gist and move on. Headings (and heading tags) allow Google to skim read your pages and establish what they’re all about.
See here for some more SEO tips on headers!
Long tail search phrases
What is a long tail search phrase? Well, Google is increasingly becoming a question and answer engine. That’s to say, people are searching less for “CrossFit” and more for “Will CrossFit help me lose weight?”
When writing headings or headlines, think about potential questions people might type into Google in relation to your product or service.
The great thing about long tail searches is that they tend to be less competitive. Sticking with the CrossFit example, if you search the word “CrossFit” in Google, you’ll get 72,700,000 results, but if you search “CrossFit routine workouts”, you’ll get 749,000 results. This would translate into a better chance for your website to come up higher in the search results if you have used that longer tail as one of your headings.
Links (internal and external)
Links are another way to help “signpost” Google to the relevant parts of your website and to let it know you’re a credible source of information. There are three ways you can use links to optimise your pages:
- Link from one page to another page on your site (internal links) – This lets Google know that there’s more content on your site relating to the topic on the page it’s currently reading.
- Link from your page(s) to other sites with relevant information (outbound links) – This tells Google you’re getting your information from other credible sources and that you’re “sharing the wealth” when it comes to information online.
- Getting other websites to link to yours (inbound links) – this is the big one. If you can get other high quality, relevant websites to link to yours, this shows Google that you’re website is awesome by association.
Image markup is important because it’s another opportunity to grab Google’s attention by putting a search word or phrase in a specialised bit of code. However, it’s also important to consider users who may be blind or partially sighted and use screen readers to view web pages.
In this case, a screen reader will often read the “alt text” in the code behind an image which will tell the user what the picture illustrates. This not only benefits the user, but Google looks favourably on sites which have taken this sort of thing into consideration.
Have you got a page you really think people should see? Have a go at implementing some of the techniques in this post and see if your search traffic increases.