The 3 most important areas on a website that influence Google rankings are (in order):
- Page Title
This tells Google what you site is about. The page title is created using the html title code (or with a plugin). The page title should contain your main target KW for that page, your Brand & a Call to Action eg ‘KW1 | Brand – Call to Action’.
URL should contain the main KW you are targeting on that page, eg domain.com/acme-product/.
- Text Above Fold
The top area of the page should contain at least 200 words of text, describing the niche of the page. On website homepages, this is often taken up with sliders and images which look nice, but are detrimental to SEO. Text on the top of an image is good, as long as it is not actually part of the image.
Other important ranking factors to consider:
- H Tags
H1/H2/H3 tags help to tell Google what the most important themes of the page are. They are a good opportunity to use variations of the main KW, plus add secondary KWs to the text. In general, they should not be exactly the same as your Page Title.
You should only use 1 H1 tag per page, but can use multiple H2/3 tags.
On pages that you are wanting to rank well, at least a moderate amount of text is required. This is somewhat subjective, but a minimum of 450 words is suggested. Videos are also useful for content (especially if they are embedded via YouTube).
The structure of the content on each page should follow the following (paraphrased) advice:
A web page’s first paragraph should introduce its keywords. If a variation of the keyword is repeated in every paragraph (don’t use same KW too often), it’s a topic. If the website has multiple (we recommend six or more) interconnected pages related to the topic, we consider that a theme. Search engines consider a site with multiple pages of unique, informative content on a theme to be highly relevant.
Adding a blog to the website, and keeping it updated regularly is important. The blog posts allow you to target Long-Tail Keywords (LTKW), as well as keeping the website update with fresh information (a ranking factor). Ideally, the latest blog posts will be linked to from the homepage. These posts can then be curated out to the website’s social channels.
- Keyword Research
In addition to standard KW research, the following points are worth considering:
-Targeting multiple KWs & search terms is a good way to increase overall traffic. The focus for your KW research is traffic, not rankings.
-Transactional or buyer search terms are more valuable than informational terms. However, both types can be targeted.
-Voice search phrases should be considered moving forward, eg ‘what is the best restaurant in Croydon’ etc.
- User Metrics
Google measures how your visitors interact with your website, and this then forms part of your rank. A couple of the more important user metrics to consider are:
– Click Through Rate (CTR) is the percentage of people who click from the Google results to your website. If you generally have a higher CTR than your competitors (all other things being equal), you will rank higher than them. You should use your page title to attract clicks.
– Dwell Time or Bounce Rate is the amount of time a visitor spends on your website, and how much they interact with your website. Again, the aim is to be better your competitors by having visitors spend more time on your website.
- Site Structure/Navigation
Having a strong site structure, that is easy to navigate will allows users to move around your website with ease. This will help with the user metrics, and also your conversion rate.
- Site Speed
A fast loading site will help with rankings, and also conversions, especially on mobile devices. The main ways to increase site speed are through a good web host, limiting the number and size of images, and efficient coding.
- Mobile Friendly Design
A responsive website is a must-have these days. Responsive design should consider removing certain features that the desktop version may have, such as images, videos & contact forms. Consider the use of AMP technology.