This site uses cookies
For the best possible browsing experience on this website it is necessary to use cookies. Cookies are small files stored on your computer, which may be used to save your progress or user preferences. Do you give permission to allow the use of cookies?
      

Topics of interest

Blog

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

ChezRoberts services blog SEO

If a website is ranking among the top websites in a category on search engines, it tends to be an optimised website. Often though most websites don’t rank well even though they are good, containing quality content relevant to their business. Therefore the owners of these websites need to think about what is holding back their website ranking. To assist there are many online SEO score checker services available (e.g. https://seositecheckup.com/ or https://smallseotools.com/ ). These will run your website page through a checker based on their best estimate of what the search engine algorithms are and then report back suggestions for website amendments to help improve ranking.

Google "G" is the most popular and used search browser today with c.85% of all searches in the UK, followed by Bing c.11%, Yahoo 3%, MSN c.0.6% and DuckDuckGo c.0.3% (source.statista Jan 2018). Consequently understanding how "G" examines websites can not be underestimated.

"G" website crawler/bot visits every website and examines the following:

  • Website Title: The website title must be relevant to the content of the website and should not exceed 65/70 characters.
  • Meta Description: The meta description contains a narrative of the major contents of the website (generally no longer than 160 characters). In case a website does not contain a meta description, "G" will pick up a cut (in most cases words from the first paragraph) from the first page of the website.
  • Meta Keywords: are the major keywords that "G" has in its vast library of keywords. It checks if any of the keywords have been used in the website's content. [Meta tags at one point were used by "G" in ranking websites, typically due to competitive human nature - they became misused as everyone attempted to get the highest ranking, so "G" stopped evaluating meta tags.].
  • H1 Headings: are the top heading used for the page content.
  • Keywords Test: The density of keywords in the content of the website is checked. If keywords are overused, "G" will frown on them and might mark them as stuffing and penalize/blacklist the website.
  • Backlinks: "G" checks the backlinks that a website has and follows the backlinks to ensure that the backlinks are genuine and to legitimate sites. It is always useful if you are a member of a professional body/organisation to include reciprocal links between sites to give visitors access to relevant resource.
  • Domain authority (DA) and Page authority (PA): Domain Authority is a statistical measure which is used to find out the reputation of a particular website provided by SEOmoz (Moz). It is a statistical number from 0 – 100 which was developed by Moz in order to determine how does a domain rank in results of Google search engine. The difference between PA and DA is rather significant as PA is the ranking potential of a single web page whereas DA tells us about the overall ranking potential of the entire domain or subdomains.
  • Social media links: High-quality and engaging content is the core of any winning website, but Social media can’t be ignored as it is important for brand awareness and the exposure of a website.

"G" will save this website information in their database and then rank it.

"G" wants visitors to be shown pages listing websites that are relevant to their search. To provide this "G" uses strict and secret evaluation methods when examining websites (no single person in "G" knows all the rules that are used in the site evaluation algorithm).

So using a good SEO score tool helps in evaluating what is lacking and can be improved on a website. Not every recommendation generated by SEO tools will apply to website. The recommendations are meant to be generic, best practice and some will be out of control (external resources) or may simply not apply to your page. ChezRoberts Services endeavours to utilise such tools and then weed out the relevant items to provide website owners appropriate advice on adopting improvements; or if appropriate, adopting them on their behalf.

Often some websites owners have content or particular features which in themselves can undermine good SEO. For example, impacting page download speed through poor leverage browser caching, missing expiration headers etc (such as Facebook links, Google analytics etc). At the end of the day, if you have interesting, relevant content or provide a service people simply want which you promote through numerous channels anyway, then people will find your website whether it is ranked high or not - so don't panic (well not immediately at least).

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) compliance

ChezRoberts services blog GDPR compliance

A number of ChezRoberts Services clients have moved from other web service providers when they discovered even though they were eligible for SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certification i.e. the padlock in the address bar reflecting your website offers a secure connection for users, it was still not active or even worse they were being placed in a queue. Another client was even quoted a significant fee to initiate the migration. At ChezRoberts Services we endeavour to be rather more customer focused than that, hence we offer all websites with free Let's Encrypt SSL certification.

With the advent of GDPR, businesses need to have SSL certification otherwise they can not suggest that they are providing data protection when the means of online transmission they offer is itself compromised.

Please read the following document from Information Commissioners Office (ICO) on Preparing for the GDPR - 12 steps or visiting their website: www.ico.org.uk

In the news there continues to be interesting information on the state of GDPR, such as these articles from the BBC.

Using Social media to improve your web presence

ChezRoberts services blog social media

Improving your web-branding and presence.

Once you have your website up and running, you will need to promote it and that involves both your Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and an increasingly effective use of Social media.

There is debate on how influential Social media is on a website’s rankings, but any form of promotion/advertising will have a positive impact. Remember the real goal of online marketing is increased website traffic, becoming a brand of choice and subsequently improved revenue.

What’s the theory then?

The social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Reddit, StumbleUpon, Tumblr, GooglePlus etc. monitor and generate metrics on human interaction, often termed “Social Signals” in the form of: likes, dislikes, shares, votes, +1s, pins, views, retweets, etc. These recommendations from web users in the eyes of search engines such as Google, Bing etc., all help illustrate how popular a specific piece of content, brand or webpage maybe. Effectively providing search engines a trusted “recommendation” that can be used in a SEO.

Research into the correlation of Social Signals and SEO rankings are mixed; however the importance of social signals can’t be underplayed and is undoubtedly increasing with time. Especially when you consider the ever growing volume of media sharing that takes place on the social media platforms.

How do Social signals improve rankings?

Obviously if you have a significant number of: Facebook likes, Facebook shares, Twitter followers, tweets referencing your brand or website link, or people in your circle (e.g. Linkedin), these will all have an impact on your rankings. Be mindful that there are over 1.5 billion websites (admittedly 75% are likely dormant domains), so making an impact in such an environment requires a good digital presence (even just to be found).

Intuitively therefore understanding and adopting social signals represent a great opportunity for you to improve the search rankings of your website; simply by just doing regular social media activity.

Below is a table illustrating some social platforms and their social signals which will undoubtedly impact your search rankings either directly or indirectly.

The Social Media signals that can affect your site’s rankings.

ChezRoberts services blog social media facebook
Facebook
Total number of Shares and Likes of your content
Number of Comments on your posts
ChezRoberts services blog social media googleplus
Google
Total number of +1’s
Popularity of content, i.e. number of shares.
ChezRoberts services blog social media twitter
Twitter
Total number of followers, Mentions and Retweets.
Level of engagement with your followers and the authority of the users who retweet your content.
ChezRoberts services blog social media pinterest
Pinterest
Total number of Pins and re-pins.
The number of comments and interaction with followers.
ChezRoberts services blog social media instagram
Instagram
Total number of posts, followers and following
The number of likes and comments on your posts.

Ten strategies for improving traffic via your social media signals

Post daily: Actively taking part in social media is essential if you are to benefit from the value that social signals offer – your target audience is more likely to find and stay engaged with you if you’re visibly active. Regular posts are a great opportunity to build up a network that can help spread (share) your content, site and brand. Web users can only share your content if they can find it!

Good content: that informs, inspires, and entertains your customers, is more likely to be shared and as such, natural links will occur and result in increased rankings. Daily/weekly blogging is ideal although remember to make sure articles are useful and original.

Also the more content you have on your domain, gives that domain more opportunities to rank for related search queries and accrue inbound links, which, in turn, strengthens the authority of the domain as a whole.

Use images: Images increase interaction rates for all social media types. All the major social media platforms, give added weight to the use of images in ranking website content. It’s a very useful way to dramatically improve your brand’s visibility and social engagement, especially because web users love to share images. Video and animations elevate web standing even more.

Monitor: There are several free social media marketing apps which track shares, re-tweets, likes and keywords associated with your brand. Use Google Analytics to track the impact of your social media traffic. Monitoring this information helps you discover where to focus your efforts in social media.

User engagement: Listen to what people are saying about your brand and respond to critique and suggestions in a constructive and positive way. Adopting a blog is promotes traffic and a good blog with images, relevant keywords and social share buttons will remain in search engine results long after initial publication.

Competitions: competitions and free giveaways are a great way to increase interest in your brand as they encourage social followers to share, like and comment, thereby improving the activity on your platform.

Embed plugins: for your social media platforms into your website. This helps you boost the engagement for your content. Visitors to your website can like your platform without leaving the site (great for improving your rankings). They can also join in the conversation directly from your site too.

Connections and link building: Share links and produce original content with other popular brands. Make social sharing easy by embedding social share buttons in your website and blog – each share/link is considered an endorsement or recommendation by the search engines. This is particularly important for ecommerce websites.

Saturation: Cover all the social media bases by producing content for all of the top social media sites. Simply having a presence at each social channel creates inbound links and helps to establish the credibility of your brand. Think of your brand’s social media platforms as targeted distribution channels for your content, with each piece of content you post containing links back to your website.

Mobile optimisation: ensure your website is optimised for mobile users. A quarter of global web searchers and content shares are performed on mobile devices, such as a mobile phone or tablet. Notably with Google’s last major update, Hummingbird, sites that are not mobile-friendly are downgraded in rank and search visibility. (Source: Paradigm Blog. com)