A Boredom Free Guide to Improving the SEO of Your Site
The worst thing that you can do is Google “SEO”. You will be bombarded with jargon-filled, long winded and often irrelevant information. This guide is different and offers SEO consultancy level info which is easy to understand and implement.
Search engine optimisation is the hot topic that everyone knows is essential for their business, will make the difference between whether someone chooses their own website or someone else’s yet few people actually understand. For an in-depth SEO makeover and on-going monitoring it would be wise to get in touch with a trusted SEO consultancy that would be able to use expert skills to build a foundation and work to fully optimise, and keep your website optimised. For the sake of understanding better what SEO is all about this guide offers a few basic pointers for where to start with DIY search engine optimisation.
1.Golden Good Links
Google have made it very clear that they value natural and quality links over a larger quantity of poorer quality links. As part of your content management it would be wise to work in some guest posts from people with a good authority in your sector (although not a direct competitor obviously!) who will link back to your site from theirs. This type of linking goes a long way to pushing a website up the Google listings.
2.Make Navigation Easy
Customers and visitors to your website should not need a map and compass to find their way around and the general rule of thumb is that the fewer clicks that are needed to get where they need to go is best. A poorly arranged website with inadequate navigation links will turn visitors away and does nothing for the search engine crawlers who visit and index your site either.
3.Quality Copy is King
Having great quality content on your website is essential. Not only should content be well-written, relevant and interesting to the reader, it should be written in a style that makes it easier to read and search for on Google. For example, when you write a piece ensure there is a twenty-five word summary under the well-written and clear title as this section is the first people see, both on Google and when skimming the beginning of a blog or article to decide whether or not it is worth reading.
Many businesses hire a copywriter to write their content as not only does it make for great reading, it ensures that keyword density is correct and copy adheres to current Google accepted standards.
4.Include Key Details in Copy
Another content related tip; make sure that blog posts, updates and articles all include relevant information or core info about your business for example the cost of services, how to book /order and special offers. Never miss an opportunity to advertise this information.
SEO is not simply about getting your site known globally, after all, how many people in Japan are going to want to visit your café in Croydon? Ensure your website and business is listed on local search engines and directories such as Google Plus Local, the Yahoo directory and more. Facebook have their own local search engine, Search Graph in Beta testing at the moment which will enable your website to get better recognition locally. Link your website and your social media accounts and make sure your information is out there and current.
This is something of a whistle-stop tour of top SEO tips that will increase your visibility, your SEO consultancy is of course best placed to make suggestions based on your business and your individual goals and needs.
I am the one who searches….Google under fire over organic search results
A certain search engine has come under a lot of flak recently for modifying its ‘organic’ search results.
Few companies are privileged enough to be both a proper noun and a verb. In fact, I’d wager that apart from Hoover there’s only one other – and it’s the company you most likely used in order to read these very words. Yes, Google of course, a constant presence that enjoys such tangible omniscience as to make deities jealous.
Recently though, the all seeing all knowing behemoth has hatched a cunning plot, ruffling a few feathers in the process. If you’re an SEO consultant, then you’ll be all too familiar with trying to evade incurring the wrath of Google: Use dubious black hat techniques such as keyword stuffing, link farming or creating doorway pages and you’ll soon discover that your sacred 500 word text will never appear in the promised land of a page one Google ranking.
Now, however, it seems that Google have broken one of their own ten commandments (Thou Shalt Not Deceive Thy Users), by ensuring that paid ads receive higher rankings than those results obtained by organic searching. Admittedly, this has always gone on in some form, and thankfully devotees of the Google search are pretty good at spotting which results are ‘genuine’ and those that are propped up by cash, yet it seems like this practice is becoming ever more common place. And it may only be occurring with regard to a minority of search queries at the moment, yet image carousels, paid ads and Google maps are slowly replacing more relevant search results.
So what can be done about it? Many SEO’s are frustrated by this volte face on the part of Google, especially when considering that they’ve given Google pretty much unlimited access to their content so that brands and company websites could easily be located by those Google spiders. One such solution – and it’s a bold move – is to STOP USING GOOGLE ALTOGETHER. Although that may sound like blasphemy to some, and impossible to others, it’s worth remembering that the Walls of Jericho collapsed and mighty civilisations do fall: Remember The Roman, or indeed British Empire, or even (whisper it) the world’s number one superpower formerly known as the United States of America?
Websites could block Google’s crawlers, making searches pretty much useless on that white screen with the letters in primary colours. Users would go elsewhere which would lead to a loss in ad revenue and ultimately a fall from grace as Google’s stock value tumbled. So, maybe it’s time to resurrect the search engines of the olden days; remember Before Google (BG)? Admittedly Alta Vista has been swallowed up by Yahoo, but there’s always HotBot, Dog Pile or – in hushed tones again – Bing? Bing could quite easily capitalise on this schism and use it to significantly invest in high quality organic search results.
Or why not use www.gizoogle.net instead? Gizoogle is a parody website of Google and returns all searches in gangsterspeak. You might not get exactly what you’re looking for – type Google for example in Gizoogle and it doesn’t even come up – but at least you’ll be having a good old chuckle, whilst those money worshipping devils in California will be left scratching their heads, praying for a miracle and wondering where it all went wrong.
What is HTML5?
Browsers and Flash
All the big five browsers as well as Mobile Safari and Android support HTML5; however they don’t all support the same things. Firefox supports the largest selection of HTML5 features, yet with HTML5 constantly evolving all of them will be fully compatible soon. It is also superseding Flash too. iOS devices, for example, do not support Flash and most video websites have either moved from Flash to HTML5, or at least offer HTML5 in addition. The only problem with this – for owners at least – is that HTML5 doesn’t include digital rights management (DRM) to prevent copying. Some owners, therefore, still prefer the DRM friendly format of Flash or Silverlight.
So, what is it good for?
HTML5 delivers optimum website performance in three key areas. Firstly, in terms of computing performance, HTML5 manipulates strings as little as possible and reduces memory churn, meaning that your frame time in not eaten away.
HTML5 also maximises network performance: A delay of just 1000 milli seconds can result in a 7% loss in conversion. A higher conversion speed ensures fast page load times and an optimised delivery of resources. This translates into increased conversions, higher levels of end user engagement and lower bounce rates. Furthermore, HTML5 also delivers optimum rendering performance: how quickly the data becomes pixels on the screen. HTML5 ensures that browsers have the least amount of work to do as possible when updating pixels on the screen when users are scrolling or interacting with sites.
When it comes to smartphone optimisation, HTML5 offers superior touch friendly interfaces, mobile first responsive web designs, high dpi images and makes for an easier user experience of filling in forms or fields.
For gamers or games developers, HTML5 means that browsers now have the ability to be fully fledged gaming platforms with features such as rich audio API’s, offline asset storage and high performance 2D and 3D graphics. Socket based networking also means that fantastic games can be created to engage with users across the globe. HTML5 games can be played in browsers across desktop or mobile devices, laptops, tablets, netbooks or Smart TV’s.
HTML5: Coming to a browser near you soon – if it hasn’t already!