Once you have created a website, the next thing you need to do is to bring people to it.The easiest way to do this is by making your website rank high in the search results of search engines such as Google and Bing. To achieve high rankings, you will need to understand a little bit about the concept of website optimisation or search engine optimisation (SEO).
While many tend to shy away from this topic, website optimisation is not the scary monster people make it out to be. Although there’s no way to guarantee a first place position for your site on Google’s result page, there are several small things you can do to increase the chances of your site ranking well. Here are 5 simple tips to help you improve your site’s organic-search visibility.
- Choose a proper URL. Before your site goes live, you’ll need to choose a URL or domain name. This is the address visitors will use to find your website.Think of your URL as a giant sign hanging over a storefront window, it is one of the first things your site’s visitors will see. Naturally, this is also the first thing search engines will look at to understand what your site is about and how to rank it.
Ideally, your domain should include the name of your business and perhaps one or two keywords relevant to the business. Also, ensurethat the URLs for all your pages are beautiful and clean – so don’t include hashbangs, special characters or page IDS in them.
- Create a title and description for each page.These are brief texts that clearly and accurately describe the content of each page on your site. Ideally, they should contain a couple of keywords and phrases. You can see the title of a page by hovering your mouse pointer over an open tab on your browser. Unlike titles, however, descriptions are not visible but are equally as important for search engines. In fact, titles and descriptions are among the first things search engines look at when ranking sites.
Additionally, after your site shows up on the search results page, the title and description of a page is the first thing people will read to find out what your site is about and decide if they’ll check it out.
- Utilise anchor text. This is text that visitors can click on to be redirected to another web page within your website or elsewhere on the internet. Anchor text should be used to help your visitors navigate your site and find what they’re looking for. The text should include keywords and phrases related to the page they direct to.
Remember to use this feature judiciously as excessive anchors or linking can raise red flags that could get you penalised by Google and other engines.
- Include “alt text” for your images.Although search engines are pretty good at reading the text on your site, they still haven’t really figured out how to view images. “Alt text”, a short description about an image, helps them figure out what an image or graphic is displaying. When writing these descriptions, make sure to describe accurately what the image is showing, but also try to throw in a couple of keywords related to your business. Images that are design related or purely functional don’t require alt texts.
- Structure your site with appropriate headers. Ensure that every page on your site contains a title, subtitle and so on. The text hierarchy helps search engines understand your site better. Use H1, H2, H3 and other tags for your headings and subheadings. Make sure that each page only has one H1 heading and work your way down the hierarchy. A clear text structure helps search engines digest your content more easily for ranking purposes.
Improving the organic-search rankings of a website takes time and is also more complicated than this. These basic tips should, however, help you get started.