How can I make my website popular?
SEO, or search engine optimisation, is a method of improving a websites visibility by designing and building a user friendly website. Today search engines are looking to improve the overall user experience rather than just looking at some text. So online, or digital, marketing companies follow trends to get your website to rank high.
Close-up of Google
Ultimately ‘Google wants to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful’ but how does Google “organise” this information? There are, in short, a lot of factors but some data has always played a larger role than other data as highlighted below:
- Update frequency
- Popularity / Usage
An early photo of Google’s logo. Source
The earliest SEO tips
We can see that SEO has been around for a long time and popular (reputable), fresh (update frequency), quality, well-used webpages (popularity) with lots of references (citations) have always been valued by Google. Search today, however, is moving towards a user centred approach because the overall search experience gets points, if you like, which leads to higher ranking.
Posted by Gerald Murphy
Would you like me to write about a search engine topic? What would you like to know, e-mail or tweet Gerald.
- Brin, S. and Page, L. (no date) The Anatomy of a Large-Scale Hypertextual Web Search Engine. [Online] [Accessed on 28th May 2013] http://infolab.stanford.edu/~backrub/google.html
- Google. (no date) Google’s mission… [Online] [Accessed on 28th May 2013] http://www.google.com/about/company/
Mobile search has increased by 500% in the past two years and by 2016 the use of mobile data traffic will increase in Europe by 84% (34SP.com 2012: online). But what does this mean for website design companies, SEO specialists and other user’s of the Web?
Search is going mobile
We are now using our mobile more and more and we will be using them even more with time. If we are using mobiles more then we are more likely to use mobile search more. We might search for a term we have not heard of before, or quickly check the opening hours of that store we are planning to go to, for example.
What if a mobile searcher finds your website in a SERP? Is your site mobile friendly?
Responsive design: clever technology that adapts to your device
If you are a business, or are a user trying to promote your website online, you will need to consider getting a new website with responsive design. Responsive design, in a nutshell, allows people to vist your website on a desktop computer, laptop, graphics tablet (e.g. Apple’s iPad) and a smartphone. Your site will change depending on what device a user is viewing your site on.
Nuts.com (as in almond and peanuts, of course!) is an e-commerce website that has been created using responsive design. You are best trying to access this site yourself to enjoy this technology. Open it up on your smartphone and laptop, see the difference?
These technologies put the user first and search engines second. Search engines like user focused websites.
So next time you upgrade your website, or would like to get a fresh look — you should consider responsive design. Make mobile searcher’s jobs’ easier; allow them to view your site on their mobile.
- 34SP.com. (2012) Will the Mobile Internet Overtake the Desktop? [Online] [Accessed on 19th Feb 2013] http://www.34sp.com/blog/chit-chat/will-the-mobile-internet-overtake-the-desktop/
There are so many websites offering advice and guidance on how to improve your website’s rankings. This post touches on the basic things you should consider to improve your rankings.
Images and other ‘hidden’ content
Search engines cannot see pictures. For this reason meta data is important so search engines can read the pictures on your site. Does each image on your site include targeted keywords within the image’s name? Do you use alt text to explain what an image is?
- Use a unique title and description
- It is surprising how many people avoid using the title tag. Sometimes, in fact very often, people put one word into the title tag, but it should be used in full. What is the subject of this page? How can I say what this page is in one or two short sentences? Use these questions to make full use of the title tag.
- Keep the title and description clear, concise and written with an interesting angle. Does the title and description grab a person’s attention? Would a person click through the search engine results page (SERP) and visit this page?
- Strictly speaking a title tag is not meta data, or data about data, but search engines do use it. If search engines use it, you should too.
- Use proper semantic code
- There are lots of websites offering tips on how to write good HTML (semantic code). As a tip, use proper tags. If it’s a paragraph, tag is as a paragraph. Equally so, if it’s a main heading, tag it as a heading 1 tag, a sub heading, tag it as a heading 2 tag….
- Think about the page layout. Does your site have an excellent structure? Is it clear? Do you help ‘scanners’ (i.e. include bullet points)? Does your HTML code follow best practices (i.e. do you only use one h1 tag? Followed by h2’s and h3-4s)?
- Think about the user of your website
- Would you say your site is user friendly? Do you put the user first, followed by seo second?
- Search engines are getting clever because they recognise what most of the content is on your site. They do not mine all of it, but they have a fair idea what a webpage is actually about (i.e. term frequency etc). If you have good content, and semantic code relating to this content, you are putting the user at the focus of the site. Search engines like user focused websites.
- If you are bored and want something to do, read your own website. Does the writing make sense? Is it easy, be honest, to navigate and read information? Do you ask a question as a heading, for example, and answer it in the body of the text? Is this answer clear? These sorts of questions allow you to start putting the user as the focus of your site.
I hope to expand on this post in the near future. I hope it was useful. Why have a great website if no one can find it?!
This post was updated on Sunday, 10th Feb 2013 (20:05) after an experienced visitor commented on my content (and points).