- Meta Descriptions
‘Meta’ doesn’t stand for anything in particular, but to summarise it, it’s 155 characters you write about a page, to summarise what’s on it. It’s effectively google’s TL;DR, so it knows if your page is what it wants to show it’s users. These are super simple to write and can be found in the backend of wherever your website is hosted. Here’s an example one from our website:
“Hey! We're an award-winning marketing agency based in New Zealand. Luckily, you're one step away from doubling the growth of your business through us”
Have one of these for every page, and your website is going to be much easier for Google to understand, and rank.
Feeling this is a bit simple for you? Want to check out a super comprehensive approach to SEO? This is our 'big mama' of all things SEO
- H1 and H2 Tags
H1 and H2 (and H3 onwards) tags are your header tags on each page. Along with the Meta Description, this allows Google to rank your content in its indexes, so it’s key these clearly define what your page is trying to communicate. Here is our one on the website:
As you can see, our H1 tag is literally our header, tag ‘An Award-Winning Digital Marketing Agency’. Your header tags are prominent for any visitor to your website, and even though your funky catchphrase might look cool, it’s more important that this headline defines exactly what people (and google) are going to get from your page. H2 tags, H3 tags etc are the following headers down the page. These will be the headers of each fold, but if you want to define them, you can put <h2> </h2> on the begging and end of each header like this: <h2> *header* </h2>.
- Image Alt Text
As smart as Google is, it hasn’t quite ‘nailed’ being able to visually read images yet, even though it is getting better. Because of this, it relies on Image Alt Text to be able to identify what is in an image. Having clear and concise Image Alt Texts, therefore, is an easy way to get in Google’s good books. Here is an example of clear Image Alt Text:
This is a photo of Simon King, the Head of Data and Integration here at OSS Group. The Image Alt Text clearly defines this, so Google can identify it quickly. Even though website visitors won’t notice this, it’s a strong boost for your page and website hygiene, and ultimately, ranking.
- Page Load Speed
Ever been on a slow website? Chances are if it took over 2 seconds to load, you noticed. Not only is a slow website annoying, but Google also penalises it because it provides a bad user experience. A slow website could be for a multitude of reasons, but an easy way to get some quick speed upgrades is to run it through software such as Cloudflare, which re-routes servers, reduces image caching and much more. Here are some results we achieved for a client by doing this:
By optimising the website through Cloudflare, we reduced the page loading time from 29.6 seconds to 4.38 seconds, and the page size from 39.3mb to 27.1mb. We still have a lot of work to do to keep improving this website, but this took us 5 minutes, and it achieved an outstanding improvement.
- Get Mobile Optimised
Ok, this one might not be an easy one but it’s super important so I’m putting it in. 58% of searches in 2018 (US) were on mobile. That’s over half your traffic on their phones, so why is everyone focused on having a website optimised for desktop? If you’re on a good website CMS such as Shopify, Hubspot, Webflow or Wordpress, it’s likely you’ve got automatic mobile optimisation but if you’re not, this is something you need to seriously consider fixing.
67.4% of mobile users bounce instantly when looking at websites. Many of these will be because the experience is so damn poor. A mobile optimised website is going to not only win you more business, but Google is also now prioritising it in its rankings, so it becomes crucial to being top of the page. If you need help, find a specialist. I know a pretty good one right here.
A hygienic website is a blessing for your digital presence. Google is only going to get bigger, and you’re only going to get more business if you keep your SEO healthy. Try building these 5 habits and come tell me in 6 months how much better your website is performing, I’ll be excited to congratulate you.