Steve’s April #1 top SEO Leicester tips
Steve’s April #1 top SEO Leicester tips
If it’s important to rank your pages on page 1 of Google in 2021, you will need to have an understanding of the search intent concept and create content that aligns with your potential customer.
There are four common areas of search criteria:
Informational: Mainly informational intent when the user is looking for specific information.
It could be the user is looking for a specific product but hasn’t made the final choice yet.
EG searches such as “best SEO tools” and “LCD TV” are dedicated commercial searches.
Transactional: Committed to buying. The viewer has already made a decision to buy a specific product or service.
A best practice is always to keep the search intent in mind while building content for your site.
EG. If it’s important to rank for the words “best LCD TV,” you need to realise that the search need here is commercial, not transactional. The user is still undecided on which LCD TV model to buy.
There is no point in optimising your LCD TV landing page with those main keywords.
Google realises what users want when the search query is “best LCD TV ” They are looking for ideas. They are looking for a post or video which describes the best LCD TV, not product pages or shopping pages.
Create content that aligns with the search of your target audience.
Write a Compelling Title and Meta Description
Your title and description are two of the most important tags on your page. Let’s cover title tags.
Titles are clickable headlines that show in results and are essential from an SEO point.
Article from Google:
“Titles are critical to giving users a quick insight into the content of a result and why it’s relevant to their query. It’s often the primary piece of information used to decide which result to click on, so it’s important to use high-quality titles on your web pages.”
Engines like Google typically display the first 60 characters of a title. Google will display the full title as long as it’s under 60 characters long.
What to keep in mind while creating titles:
- Include your main keywords.
- Write a title that matches search intent.
- Avoid making duplicate title tags.
- Avoid keyword stuffing.
- Keep it descriptive but concise.
The second most crucial tag on a page is the description. A meta description is a quick summary of a page in SERPs showing below the title.
Descriptions seem to not directly impact search rankings, but they can promote reasonable conversion.
Google explains it best:
“A meta description tag should generally inform and interest users with a short, relevant summary of what a particular page is about. They are like a pitch that convince the user that the page is what they’re looking for.”
Google typically truncates meta descriptions to 155–160 characters, so make sure you provide an accurate summary of your content while keeping it under 160 characters.
Meta description best practices to follow
- Write unique meta descriptions for each page.
- Use action-oriented copy.
- Include your target keywords.
- Match search intent.
- Provide an accurate summary.
Optimise Your Images/graphics
Images play a massive role in improving the user experience of visitors to your site. Chances are you spend much time selecting the right visuals to enhance your blog posts, product pages, and other essential areas of your site.
Is it essential to spend an equal amount of time optimising the visuals on your site?
When used correctly, images can contribute to your site’s SEO and increase regular traffic.
To follow are four things you can do to optimise your images.
The Best File Format
Speed is a vital ranking indicator, and images are frequently the most significant contributor to page size.
As a result, you need to optimise images for speed in order to improve the performance of your site. The first step involved in optimising images is picking the most suitable format, so let’s look at JPEG vs PNG. Vs WebP.
The most widely used image formats on the web are JPEG and PNG. Both of these use different techniques, which is why the file sizes between these two can be dramatically different.
Concerning file sizes above, it would be easy to say JPEG is the clear winner. But it would be wrong to use JPEG as the main image format for your website.
While JPEGs look great for photographs, PNGs are excellently suited for images that contain text, line sketches, etc.
WebP is another idea, which Google talks about here. Saying, “WebP is an up to date image format that provides quality lossless and lossy compression for images on the internet.
- WebP lossless images are 26% smaller in size compared to PNGs.
- WebP lossy images are 25-34% smaller than comparable JPEG images at equivalent SSIM quality index.”
More about how to use WebP in this Google guide.
Compress Your Files
The bigger the image, the longer it takes the page to load, which is why you must reduce your files before uploading them to your website.
Fortunately, there are numerous free tools out there that can help you compress your images.
- TinyPNG: TinyPNG uses smart compression methods to reduce the file size of your PNG and JPEG files.
- ImageOptim: If you’re a Mac user, you can download and use this free tool for all your image compression requirements. ImageOption is a tool backed by Google as well. It’s by far the most useful tool for reducing JPEGs, but not for PNGs. For reducing PNGs, you’re better off using TinyPNG.
- ShortPixel: If you run your site on WordPress, you can install it to reduce your images. ShortPixel’s free plan allows you to reduce 100 images per month.
Provide Alt Text for Images
Despite improvements in Google’s abilities to recognise images, adding alt text to images is still an inevitable evil. Adding alt text to images increases web accessibility and supports browsers better understand the photos on your page.
Here is what Google says about writing alt text:
“When choosing alt text, focus on creating valuable, information-rich content that uses keywords appropriately and is in context of the content of the page.
Avoid filling alt attributes with keywords (keyword stuffing) as it results in a negative user experience and may cause your site to be seen as spam.”
When writing alt text for images, be concise in your description, and avoid stuffing your target keywords.
Lazy Load Your Images
This is a procedure that defers the loading of non-critical resources (images, videos, etc.) at page load time. Alternatively, photos and videos are loaded only when viewers need them.
Google explains the link between lazy loading and site performance:
“When we lazy load images and video, we reduce the initial page load time, initial page weight, and system resource usage, all of which have positive impacts on performance.”
Optimise Your Page Speed
If your page takes too long to load, you will have many frustrated users, and your rankings will fall.
Various free tools can help you check page speed, including Google’s very own PageSpeed Insights.
The tool Caged Fish recommend for this job is GTMetrix. This available tool provides insights on your page speed and gives ideas for the steps you can take to improve your load time.
A quick and easy win to improve your page speed would be to shrink your images.
In addition to image compression, here are some other things you can do to help your pages load faster:
- Enable browser caching.
- Delete unnecessary plugins.
- Reduce server response time.
- Reduce the number of redirects.
Use Internal Links
Internal links are crucial because they establish an information hierarchy for your website and help Google get a deeper knowledge of your page’s content. Internal links can significantly increase your rankings when used the correct way.
Page speed plays an important role in enhancing the user experience of visitors to the page.
Other ideas to ensure that users have a good experience when they visit your page:
- Use subheadings: Proper use of subheadings (H1, H2, H3) helps Google recognise your content better and makes your text more accessible to readers.
- Make your content visually appealing: Several types of research indicate that visuals help people appreciate your content better. Use appropriate images, videos, and screenshots to explain content.
- Avoid using intrusive popups:
- Popups are not just nasty from an SEO viewpoint, but they also end up irritating your visitors. Since 2017, Google has been punishing sites that use intrusive popups. So use popups sparingly. If you need to use them to grow your email marketing, use exit popups, or display them to viewers who have spent at least a few minutes on your site.
- Use white space: White space is a crucial aspect of good design. Space between paragraphs and in the left and right margins improves perception by 20%. So consider using space to make your content more readable and grab user attention.
Include Keywords in Your URL
URL structure is often ignored. A good URL structure gives both users and search engines an idea of what the target page is about.
Google explains it best:
“A site’s URL structure should be as simple as possible. Consider organising your content so that URLs are constructed logically and in a manner that is most intelligible to humans (when possible, readable words rather than long ID numbers).”
With that in mind, here is how you can create a well-structured URL:
- Use short URLs: A study conducted by Backlinko found that short URLs tend to outperform long URLs in SERPs.
- Use keyword-rich URLs: Always include your target keywords in the URL to increase your chances of ranking better in search results.
- Remove unnecessary stop words: To make your URL look clean and concise, consider removing stop words.
Focus on Getting More Authoritative Backlinks
Despite several modifications to Google’s search algorithm and ranking system, Google still considers backlinks to be a key ranking signal. Google understands backlinks as votes of trust.
If your web pages have a high amount of backlinks, it improves your chances of ranking higher in search results. As a consequence, you must concentrate on constructing backlinks for your website.
That said, not all backlinks are constructed alike. Some backlinks can raise your ranking for distinct search queries exponentially, while others can derail your rankings, which is why you should prioritise trustworthy backlinks over other kinds of backlinks.
It would help if you concentrated all your energies on creating high-quality backlinks to increase your chances of ranking higher.
One of the most powerful ways to obtain authoritative backlinks is by replicating your competitors’ link building strategies.
Long story short, there is a strong relationship between text length and results.
So, you should target publishing a couple of thoroughly researched, long-form pieces that include helpful information to Google users weekly. Google wants you to concentrate on the user’s requirements over SEO, and it is the best way to keep readers and convert. Nevertheless, we all know SEO is essential as well.
When producing long-form content on your blog, target keywords that strike a good symmetry between volume and difficulty.
Long-tail phrases tend to have low search volume, but they could help reach the customers you need in some cases.
If the search volume is too low, aim for mid-tail keywords with low to medium keyword difficulty.
The best practices described above are a great starting point to gain higher search rankings. That said, the race for the coveted first page on Google is important, notwithstanding the niche you work in. Once these best methods are in place, make sure you are well up to speed with the latest SEO trends and support other SEO methods from time to time to stay ahead of the competition.