You’ve probably heard the term "SEO" or Search Engine Optimisation. It's all about making sure your site appears first in the results when visitors search for specific phrases in Google, Bing or other search engines.
A huge industry has grown up around SEO, which is far too large a topic to cover completely here, and the rules are constantly changing/goalposts are constantly moving, but essentially there are some basic rules to follow.
Simply put, it’s about making sure your website’s content looks good to search engines, in other words, 'keeping Google happy'.
Over the years SEO experts have used endless tricks to fool Google, in an attempt to get sites up the rankings, often successfully…for a while anyway. They are always found out and the site penalized as a result.
The criteria of what’s acceptable are also continually evolving as Google strives to reward ‘genuine’ sites. They’re getting better all the time at catching out the tricksters or practitioners of so called ‘black hat optimisation’.
Even those who work within the rules, implementing what’s known as ‘white hat optimisation’ need to be careful, as what was considered legitimate at the time may be frowned up on in future.
Your site should be responsive, which means it automatically adapts to different screen sizes.
If you view the site on a mobile phone do the text and buttons become too small to read or disappear off the edge of the screen? If so, not only are you annoying up to half your visitors but also damaging your search engine ranking.
Google now penalises non-responsive sites in mobile searches.
All of our sites will display well on any device, from mobile phones and tablets up to laptops and large screen desktop computers.
It should also be accessible for disabled people, such as visually impaired or deaf users. Most people are unaware of the legal obligation to accommodate disabled visitors. This can be quite a challenge - one that many current sites fail to meet.
We’ll take care of that too.
Google doesn’t like slow sites. Who does?
It’s not just how good your pages look that matters, but also how quickly they load.
No matter how beautiful or fascinating your content is, if someone has to wait an eternity for the page to load they’ll give up and go away.
We make sure all images are optimized so they are the smallest file size possible, while retaining the required quality. A single image not optimized, can bring your site to a grinding halt. That ‘page loading’ graphic gets boring very quickly, not to mention expensive for people with limited bandwidth.
Of course, Google won’t like large image sizes either.
Generally speaking the main content needs to be visible to the vast majority of visitors within about 4 seconds.
Content should be well written, well organized and informative.
The navigation also needs be clear and easy to follow. Broken links are bad news.
Google hates links to missing pages.
So, it's important pages are structured properly, (semantically correct) with descriptive and relevant page titles, keywords and phrases in the right place.
IN A NUTSHELL
Good, honestly written and carefully presented content is the answer.
We ensure our sites are optimized within Google’s guidelines.