Some of you might have heard of SEO before but never really known what it stood for. Some may have never heard of it before. Regardless of this, good SEO is vital to getting your website on the map online. Below we detail the basics of SEO and what it’s all about.
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation. SEO is very important because it is the key to you getting found by improving your ranking in Google search results. If you use our Martin Hopkins CMS (content management system) and upload content yourself, you may have come across fields like ‘SEO title’. This simple guide will help you to understand what all of these fields mean and how you can utilise them to make sure you come up sooner in the google search results.
1. Page meta tags
Put simply, meta tags are titles, descriptions or keywords that people will see when they perform a google search. This means that it could be the first thing that consumers see when they find your business. You need to make sure you optimize the effectiveness of these meta tags to ensure your business comes up when they type these search words into google.
For example, as a graphic design company, for Martin Hopkins it is vital we include wording such as ‘graphic design’ and ‘Cardiff’. In our CMS, you can write your page meta tag in the ‘SEO title’ field. You add your keywords into the field named ‘SEO keywords’ and separate the different keywords by a comas. To add your description, use the ‘SEO description’ field. Make sure you think of all the relevant words that relate to your business and it’s location. Be careful not to use too many words that might not be relevant.
The term URL stands for Uniform Resource Locator and is a reference (or address) to a particular resource found on the Internet. This is essentially your descriptive address line that appears in the address bar at the top of the browser. Choosing the wrong URL could mean not being found through searches. Ideally you should choose a unique domain name that says exactly what or who you are as the precis for the rest of the URL.
For example, our domain name is www.martinhopkins.co.uk. If we had chosen anything else it wouldn’t have made sense as that is our company name and what people would search for if they knew of us. Within each page of your website you can choose a unique URL to identify that one page and also describe what that page is. For example, our about us page URL is: www.martinhopkins.co.uk/about-us/ These inner page URLs should be clean and simple to prevent unnecessarily long address lines.
To change your URL in our CMS, simply change the field titled ‘Page File Name’. This should never use capital letters and always use a ‘-‘ instead of spaces.
3. Heading tags
Choosing to use a title or header at the start of the page or paragraph of content can be a great way to inform users of what to expect from the website and also to allow them to find relevant content easily. Make sure your optimized headings are customized to the content below it to ensure users can find the correct content and keywords.
4. Keywords in content
Methodically placing keywords in content is a good way to get you found on google. Use words that describe you or your business to consumers but ensure you don’t use too many and make your content less informative. These are the kinds of words people might type into google. For us, that would be ‘Graphic Design Cardiff’ or ‘Print Designers’ etc.
5. Anchor links
Anchor links are simply the links (or buttons) that connect your pages to one another. Without these, you would not be able to navigate the website. Linking internally through your site and also externally from your site is a simple way to improve you SEO. Think about the users experience through your site and how one bit of content might be related to another on a different page. For example, if you were trying to sell a service you might want to link the user to a similar service that comes under the same umbrella. Make sure your links inform the user where they are going on the website (for example, we have a ‘back to blog’ anchor link at the bottom of this page to allow users to go back to all of the news articles.
6. Alt text
Alt text is an image description that will get your images indexed by google. Google will search for more than keywords when a google search is performed. Keep the text short but as descriptive as possible.
To change your alt text in our CMS, once you have uploaded an image ensure to type your alt text into the ‘image description’ field.
Another factor google will use to determine your google search ranking is usability for other devices. If your usability is poor on a mobile, you will go down the ranking system. As you can see above, our website is fully responsive to all device sizes. A key part to this is optimizing images and content so that it scales down well on a mobile phone. Mobile phone traffic is higher than ever, with less and less people using their computers to search the internet. In our cms system you can scale images by choosing the ‘image fit’ option. This will scale your images down for other smaller devices. As well as this, when you upload your image you should ensure it’s as small a file size as possible so that it doesn’t slow your page loading time. Images for online use should be 72ppi and RGB.
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