SEO is the process of optimising your website to rank highly in popular search engines such as Google.
It is important to remember that Google just wants to present the best results for its customers, and Google's customers are the searchers. Google doesn't know you or how great your work is it relies on its algorithm to discover this.
Google is regularly updating its algorithm for ranking websites and we often see rankings move up and down each week but with this said we also know that SEO is a long term strategy. A study in 2017 by AHREFS showed that just 22% of website pages in the top 10 were under a year old so you need to get it right to improve your chances of ranking highly in the future.
So what should you be aware of in 2019?
Let’s first look at some basic on page and technical SEO tips.
While Google is always getting more intelligent, it still needs content to establish what a page is about. Great quality, relevant content is key to getting your website ranked highly. People are searching for an answer to a problem, so do you answer it in your website copy? If people are searching for a certain trade in a certain town do you mention that your that trade in that town? Engaging content also helps keep people on your site so while we all love beautiful images it is also important to include what you do in text.
User Experience (UX)
We know that Google wants to present the best results to its customers and we also know there is nothing more frustrating and offputting than a website which is awkward to use. Google is really keen to push greater user experiences so this is an area you shouldn’t overlook.
Consider these key items when looking at your website:
Slow websites lose visitors. We are all very impatient so look to invest in a well-built website hosted on good quality hosting.
Traditionally Google would scan your desktop site to rank it but now it looks at the mobile version first. The reason for this is that the majority of internet browsing now takes place on a mobile device such as a smartphone. You need to make sure that whatever device someone is using to browse your website that they are presented with a great user experience.
Visitors should be able to find what they want within 3 clicks. If you have a very large site then a search bar may be suitable but either way, make sure the navigation is set up in a clear and concise way to allow users to find the information they need.
Links & Social Signals
The days of building spammy links are gone but I am still convinced
Google uses links as a metric when ranking websites. Try to build good
quality relevant links from related websites. This could be a website
which serves your target audience but not a competitor to your business.
So a children’s entertainment website may look for links from other suppliers such as venues or caterers.
A link to your website is like a virtual referral as someone else is saying "this website is worth looking at"
On top of website links, mentions and reviews on Facebook or Google and interaction on social media are a signal that helps Google put a quality score on your website content. Are people sharing your blog content? are they talking about you in a positive light? These are areas outside of your website build which shouldn't be overlooked, particularly Google reviews.
SEO is a complex and ever-changing process. You can't trick Google, and if you do your website won't last very long in its seach results. But you can present it with everything it needs to rank your website highly. Show Google what they want to see in your website: Easy to use, filled with great content, and recommendations from other people.