Improve your sites SEO ranking

Tips

How To Improve Your Sites SEO Ranking

It is easy to improve your site's ranking with some small changes however there are many factors that will play a role in getting your site to the top. Following some very important tips can help get you there!

Firstly, what is SEO and why is it important? SEO is the process of increasing the ranking and visibility of your site on search engines, including Google, Yahoo!, and Bing. The search engines use algorithms to select the best and most useful sites for their customers to find and view. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation.

Growing your SEO is a team effort between your technology, IE how your site is set up, coded and registered with Google Search Console and your content creators/yourself.

For Red Panda Designs clients, you can skip the technology section because all of the content in this section is included for you on your site. Our clients also have a very powerful website editor that gives you a lot of control over your SEO settings too. Let's break it down.

What your developer can do

We build your site with SEO in mind, this means your site is built to be found and interacted with.

1) Being accessible to clients

Making sure you can directly connect with your developer to ask questions, seek help and work together on growing your SEO is important. What's more important is your developer being proactive and updating your site's code, structure or giving you guidance when Google changes their SEO guidelines every year.

For our clients, this is included in our hosting, there is nothing our clients need to do. We proactively reach out to our clients when we see opportunities to increase SEO through blog post ideas or changes to the content on sites. We also have our company phone number, emails, support pages with a "raise a support request" ticket and most of all, all clients get the direct phone number to their developer.

As an example of being proactive, we have a client who had images of their team on the site and users were zooming in to try and see their faces. So we updated the images and no one was zooming anymore. We also noticed a running and fitness trainer was getting more hits on a search term on Google but she didn't have any blogs to further support these search terms so we reached out and shared our insights and she now have a blog to capture these viewers.

TL;DR

  • Make sure you can contact your developer when you need them.
  • Choose a developer who us proactive.

2) Choosing the right platform

The right platform is important to your SEO success. For example, with WordPress, you need to install plugins like Yoast to help your SEO reach. Google and other search engines need to be able to search your site for whats relevant for users search terms so there is a lot of work they need to do to understand your site.

With the right platform, like Webflow, search engines don't need to put a lot of effort into finding the right information and with the right developer, using the right platform, Google hardly needs to do any work.

For all of our clients migrating from other platforms, they have all seen increases in website views right after launching their new site with us on Webflow. The 2 main reasons for this are because all of our clients are hosted on the world's fastest platform. This dramatically improved the loading speed of our client's sites. The other reason is that the CMS has clean, high quality code built for search engine optimisation improving your site rankings.

That's all great for search engines but what about user experiences. Using a platform to deliver your quality content created specifically for your target audience is important too. Webflow is a design platform meaning we, or any Webflow developer, can build you the experiences you want rather than locked into a theme or plugin experience. Custom-built sires mean you can achieve consistent ranking while delivering the best experiences to your intended users.

Here is a quick video (1Min 33 Sec) of a Webflow SEO Expert talking about how platforms can impact SEO. This was from a larger 45 min session.

TL;DR

  • Choosing the right platform can result in fewer plugins meaning a reduction in your sites code volume.
  • Google will rank faster loading sites with less code complexity.
  • Bad or overly complex code reduces the efficiency of google bots.
  • Fast hosting is key to significantly boosting your ranking.

[Incert video]

3) Schema Markup

This one is aimed at developers for more advanced SEO-proven methods but it's important for site owners to know.

A very important part of increasing web traffic and your search rankings is to inform Google of what it needs to index your site. Having your schema markup in order will boost organic growth and without a schema, you risk losing potential customers.

Basically, s Schema Markup is structured data in the language of search engines and adding this code to your pages helps Google to better understand your website.

Search engines are interested in creating great user experiences for their users and helping Google provide features like Featured Snippets on their results pages.

With platforms like Webflow, I've been able to implement schema markup dynamically to boost content like blog posts automatically, increasing traffic.

TL;DR

  • Using proven tactics like schema markup helps Google understand your website content.
  • Schema markup is important to growing consistent traffic flowing to your site.
  • It helps Google to understand what your content offers to the online community and present the relevant content to Google's users at the right time.

4) 301 Redirects

If you've ever deleted a page from WordPress, it removes it from your list but the internet does not forget about it. Google can take time to realize the page isn't there anymore but most of all it can drive a really bad user experience for people who have visited that page and it's in their browser cache or if it's bookmarked.

Google does not like 404 results at all, you might remember this as "page not found" and a large warning icon. A 301 redirect will point the user to the new page without causing an error.

This is common when you get a site rebuilt which is why when we rebuild or re-platform sites, we try and use the same page naming convention where we can and where it makes sense. If we can't, we set up 301 Redirects to make sure anyone with the old URL bookmarked, saved or shared in an old email can still get to the new pages without any negative impact on the user experience.

An example is www.yoururl.com/how-to-post-2 would be redirected to www.yoururl.com/blog/how-to-post-2. Or simply to grab broken links and redirect them back into your site.

There are many free audit tools out there to help you find broken links. We manage these for all of our clients.

TL;DR

  • People save, share and bookmark pages, when your url changes, you want to redirect users to a page rather than a 404 Page Not Found alert.
  • It is vital to maintaining traffic flows and great user experiences.

5) Indexing and Site Map

Site maps are important to let Google know what pages you want it to index and not to index. The way we do this is through a Site Map.

If you are using WordPress, it's important to put the effort in to make sure the version of WordPress you're using, the theme and the plugins are up to date to increase your chances of having an updated site map.

You may even need a dedicated plugin to help you out with this. I can not recall out of the hundreds of WordPress to Webflow conversions we've done, where there hasn't even been a site map or there were many site maps.

Our clients don't need to worry about this one because we not only create and update your site map, we also submit your sitemap to Google when we go live and every time you click Publish. This way, Google always knows about your latest blog post.

TL;DR

  • Site maps tell Google which sites you want them to index or not.
  • Our clients don't need to worry about this, we do it all for them.

What you can do to improve your SEO and search rankings.

1) Gain access to your website to make it editable

This sounds like an odd one however it is the main reason businesses switch to us. It's because making changes on your site is so hard you end up missing out on sales or page views. If you don't know who your developer is, how to access your site, or need to learn how to navigate platforms like WordPress, then that's an indication you will never be up to date with your SEO. By the time its updated, you'll need another update.

2) Meaningful Page Titles and Descriptions

Page titles, also known as meta titles are the first thing a user will read when you show up in a google search result. It's the answer to their search query. For example, if you google "Tennis Lessons in Melbourne", you'll see the website "Tennis Lessons Melbourne" rather than just "Home". And yes, that was a shameless plug for a Red Panda Designs client.

Think of your page titles in the SEO Settings as the answer to a Google search result and it's important to getting quality traffic to your site. Also, make sure your page titles are relevant and readable is important to increasing search engine credibility.

One of the best ways to manage page titles and descriptions is to consider how the title will look in a Google search result. An example is to keep your page titles under 60 characters and to include a small description of your post, less than 155 characters. For our clients, we then automatically include these descriptions in the description section of a Google Search result.

This also improves your website usability because it will allow screen readers to describe the post or page before anyone with accessibility needs goes into your site.

3) Adding descriptions to images

Image Descriptions also called Alt Text (Alternative Description Text), is vital to your ranking but most of all, to help people with accessibility needs and use screen readers also understand what you're visually representing on your screen.

1 in 5 Australians have some form of accessibility needs and a little effort from you goes a long way in making the internet more accessible.

Google also really cares about the experiences on its platforms such as Google Search, Android and Chrome Browers. We can help Google and other browsers provide a more accessible user experience by adding Alt Text.

As mobile devices become more popular and capable when helping with accessibility, people will rely on their mobile phones more. There are apps dedicated to helping with these needs and rely on items like Alt Text to deliver the basic needs of reading websites.

Naturally, Google will then rank more accessible websites higher in search results.

4) Fixing broken links

In the powerful editor, we provide our clients, you can link any text to any page on your site or any external page. If you create a link in your site to any pages on your site and then change the title or URL of that page, the editor will automatically update any link to that page for you.

However, if you link to an external page, for example, a government site, regulators site, or a product from another website, it's important to check these links every now and then to make sure they still work.

We will proactively let our clients know if we gatch a broken link through our auditing software however it's better to be on top of it when you can.

5) Post regularly

Google wants to show relevant and current information. They can't always tell if an old blog post is still relevant so they also lookout for new posts and will rank a recently updated site over stale sites.

Posting regularly also means you're more likely to be listening to your clients, adding new information and contributing to the online community which is what Google values.

Set yourself a goal to keep posting. Don't make it too hard, a few times a year at a minimum is fine. But you cant expect new visitors if you have nothing new to add.

In summary

If you don't have control over your site and your SEO setting, we strongly recommend you take action to gain access to do so.

SEO isn't a one-time fix, it's alive, always competing and Google is always finding better ways to serve you better and more relevant results so the competition is always on.

Keep your developer accountable and keep yourself and your site on top of search results.

If you're having troubles with your site ranking well or with actioning anything mentioned in this post, please reach out to us on 1300 20 40 13, we'd be keen to help out.