The design is done; I’m branded and beautiful and far from finished. Now it’s time to work out how to optimise my site so that my target finds it and loves it when they do. SEO has become as much of an art form as design. New strategies on how to optimise my site will present themselves by the time I’m finished writing these tips. In the digital arena it’s important to keep on your toes and re-evaluate site optimisation tactics regularly. But for now, here’s how I’m going to get started at optimising my site.
How to optimise my site for speed.
Fast loading is essential for ranking, especially on mobile. We have been blessed with, and are now accustomed to lightning fast web loading. Now Google expects nothing less. According to Google, two seconds is the threshold for e-commerce website acceptability. Google themselves aim for half a second.
I can check the health of my speed at PageSpeed Insights before doing anything else. I want my site to be in the green, or at least yellow; definitely not red. The analysis will give me some tips on how to boost my speed. Following this test, I will work on these items;
- Optimise my images. There are several plugins that can do this for me if I’m running a Wordpress site, or I can manually scale my images and compress videos down to the optimal sizes.
- Minify my code CSS and HTML. Without changing the sites functionality, I’ll remove any unnecessary characters from my source code.
- Remove unused plugins, previous page revisions and edits. I should also reduce redirects where possible.
- Enable compression. Gzip compression reduces the bandwidth of my pages, leading to a reduction in HTTP response. Most servers can compress files in Gzip format before they are sent to download through either a third-party module or a built-in routine. Yahoo has reported this step can reduce download time by around 70%. That’s lots.
- Leverage browser caching. Similarly to the first time someone visits my home, when they first visit my site, they need to learn their way around and download all the info into their browser. If I’m participating in browser caching, the information is essentially ‘stored’ on my visitor’s computer so that the next time they pop by, they won’t need to learn the space all over again as they’re already familiar with
Once I’ve optimised these items I’ll race back to PageSpeed Insights and test my site again to (hopefully) find a shiny green site speed.
On page Optimisation
When I’ve completed my extensive keyword research and have decided on the dazzling terms that will lead to healthy conversions and leave my competitors scratching their heads, it’s time to optimise my pages with my keywords. This will make Google understand my site faster and give users a solid understanding of what I’m all about.
- First I optimise my page titles including keywords where possible. Next is SEO friendly URL’s complete with keywords. Meta descriptions are a top UX performer. I integrate my keywords into my meta descriptions naturally and keep the descriptions relevant, concise and to the point.
- Content is king: My page content needs to complement my title, my URL and my meta descriptions while housing my keywords naturally. Over-stuffing is not cool, not only will the Google penguin get me, my users will be less than impressed with poorly written content that doesn’t make sense.
- It might be a good exercise for me to engage a professional copywriter (or a great digital agency who knows lots of them) at this stage if wordsmithing is not my strong point. Confident, clever and targeted self-promotion is a difficult thing…for most.
Killer Content and backlinking
It is essential that I regularly update my site via a blog or news page with fresh informative content. Google bots will love me if I provide their Googler’s with relevant and useful information, and my potential customers will appreciate it also. I need to gently integrate my keywords into my articles and make clever use of images and multi-media. Backlinking is another art form in itself. I should link between my pages and articles where appropriate, without overdoing it and work on building relationships with other reputable sites to gain valuable reciprocal links.
This is essential for my brand and the marketing of my site. I need to ensure my social pages are optimised and streamlined to compliment my website. I need to check and update my social content, profile pictures and page settings. If my website has an email sign up form, I should also have one on my Facebook page. I will benefit from having prominent social sharing buttons on my website and frequently sharing my informative articles and relevant content across my social channels. Now I have a good SEO starting point.From here, ongoing analysis is the key. I need to constantly evaluate my SEO focus and nurture what’s working while tweaking what’s not. I should regularly engage in split testing design, SEO and content elements to see which variations result in higher conversions and reach my desired goals.For this I will need infinite spare time, or a professional helping hand. A website is never simply finished. SEO success is ongoing, hard work and ever evolving. Like a trip up Everest, it wouldn’t be as rewarding and lucrative once I succeed if the climb to the top is easy.---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Anchor digital are a crew of strategists, creatives, coders, account managers and techs. We are a digital agency powered by your business goals.With Anchor in your corner you can expect tailored expertise and measurable results. Our business model is simple: Consult, Create, Convert.Through close collaboration, accountability and total transparency, Anchor combine the forces that set your digital brand sailing. From the ground up, we’re your partners in climb.