Let’s face it, search engine optimisation (basically making sure people can find your website) is a tricky area. This is complicated by the fact that SEO algorithms and practises are constantly evolving, so what was once thought the best way to ‘rank on Google’ will now actually penalise you.
So how on earth do you deal with that? How do you stop Google’s pesky pandas and penguins from running rough shod all over your website? Don’t worry – we know and we’re here to help.
It’s basically as simple as five things – meta tags, mobile responsiveness, speed, security and genuinely good content.
Meta Tags are one of the most basic elements of SEO and have been around since the 1990’s, but what are they?
Meta tags are the words that are hidden in your code. People browsing your site will just not be able to see them. But they are used by the search engines to provide a simple, summarized idea of what your site is about.
There are three important parts of Meta tags that you can use:
- Title– The title tag is the title text that is shown in search engine listings. I know that this is not necessarily a meta tag, but it similarly functions like one.
<title>Title text here</title>
- Description– The meta description tag is where you would want to put your site’s summary. This is where you put what your site is all about and what you are offering people. It should not be too long because the search engines only read up to a certain number of words.
<meta name=”description” content=”This is where you put your site’s summary”/>
Without getting too technical, Google will soon be ranking and indexing websites based on the mobile experience, rather than the desktop experience. And that’s because more and more customers are now using devices such as mobile phones and tablets to browse the internet.
Sites which only have a desktop version and are not mobile responsive will lose out. You need to go responsive yesterday.
Speed and Security
While many websites are stuck using the old 1990s HTTP (hypertext transfer protocol), all our websites are hosted using HTTP2, which in essence makes your site significantly faster. Think of it like ordering food in a restaurant. HTTP1 would be like ordering each item you want individually from a waiter and sending him away to get your burger, then your chips, then your side salad and condiments. Whereas HTTP2 is like ordering all those at the same time and with extra relish.
Google will like your extra speed as it shows you mean business with your website. Websites also need to have an SSL to use this updated technology
Secure Sockets Layer (or Transfer Layer Security) is the backbone of our secure Internet and it protects your sensitive information as it travels across the world’s computer networks. SSL is essential for protecting your website, even if it doesn’t handle sensitive information like credit cards. It provides privacy, critical security and data integrity for both your websites and your users’ personal information. Not only will your increasingly savvy customers be looking for this, the search engines will too.
It does all sound confusing, but that’s what we’re here for. Our websites come with free SSL and 12 months’ free hosting on our superior HTTP2 server. Even after 12 months, the cost of hosting is minimal.
The rules around SEO and content are changing all the time. Once upon a time you could write pretty much anything, stuff it full of words related to your business and get hits. Not anymore. Do this now and you will be actively penalised for what is considered a ‘black hat’ technique.
Google has even set loose pandas and penguins to help in its war against bad content. Panda is an algorithm update designed to reduce low-quality content coming up in search results and to reward content that provides genuine value to users. While the penguin will be looking out for the black hat practises such as unnatural backlinks and spam.