SEO

3 quick WordPress SEO tips

We were recently asked about WordPress search engine optimisation (SEO)… Generally, WordPress is considered to be well set up for SEO ‘out of the box’, although there are a number of plugins available that will improve SEO such as WordPress SEO by Yoast. Here we focus on the importance of writing good content and optimising that content for SEO. Optimising images for better SEO is covered in a previous post and I recommend reading  Google’s guide for SEO best practices.

  1. Pick good keywords or phrases. Perhaps the most important SEO factor after creating good content is good keyword research. Keywords are what users type into the search box for their search query. Picking good keywords or keyphrases is an exercise in balancing relevance and volume. Relevance refers to keywords related to your organisation. Volume refers to how many people search for that keyword. Ideally, you want keywords with moderate search traffic.
  2. Write good content and use those keywords. Providing well-written quality content is the most important factor when it comes to SEO success. Be sure to use a keyword(s) once or twice in each post, assuming they are relevant, and use your keyword or keyphrase in the post title. Best practices include using page headings (H1, H2, H3 etc.) correctly to make it easier for search engines to ‘see’ the main topics.
  3. Things to avoid! Duplicate or near-duplicate versions of your content across your site; keyword stuffing — focus on the reader not the search engine; embedding text in images for textual content (users may want to copy it and search engines can’t read it).

Please do get in touch if you would like to discuss SEO with us. Our websites are built to the latest standards using the latest techniques and with SEO in mind.

4 quick tips for optimising images for the Web and better SEO

Our clients sometimes ask us to update images on their website, as part of our web hosting service. More often that not, we need to optimise the image for the web and for SEO. However, the majority of our clients update images on their website themselves using our content management system (CMS) and so we thought these quick tips might be helpful:

  1. Change the image resolution to 72dpi: page-loading time is an important factor in search rankings, as providers want searchers (especially mobile searchers) to have the best experience possible. This means that a slow site may be penalised. Optimising your images can therefore improve performance. While high definition displays are becoming more common, web-ready images are normally 72dpi (not 300dpi!). However, very soon you will want to…
  2. Cater for high-resolution displays: images at 72dpi will look blurry on high-resolution devices, such as a Retina display. You may have noticed that images on your website aren’t as sharp as other elements when viewed on the latest Apple devices. There are several approaches to this issue: if you are a Lanetech client, please do get in touch to find out if one of these solutions is right for you!
  3. Use keywords in the file name: search engines see images by looking at file names, among other factors, so try to be descriptive and reflective of keywords when you name your images (don’t go overboard though! 3 to 4 words max) and use dashes to separate each word in the phrase. The image name my-new-rabbit.jpg is much more useful to Google than DSC5709.jpg.
  4. Use the correct file extension: the two most popular image formats for the web are JPG and PNG. Generally speaking, use a JPG for photographic images and a PNG for less complex images or where you need transparency. Remember to crop out excess white space to help make your web images load faster. You may need to experiment a little to get the best trade off between quality and file size.

Please do get in touch if you would like to discuss SEO with us. Our websites are built to the latest standards using the latest techniques and with SEO in mind.

Google Penguin update: has your search traffic dropped?

PenguinGoogle are constantly working to improve the quality of their search results. As such, they are committed to fighting spammy websites — websites that use aggressive SEO tactics in order to get their website ranking higher in search results, such as keywords repeated again and again (keyword stuffing), excessive use of advertisements, hidden text, and buying lots of inbound links. Such tactics focus on search engines and not the user experience.

Google’s latest release of their anti-web spam algorithm named Penguin 2.0 has caused a stir by hurting some SEO firms and business owners while helping others. Lanetech websites are built using best practices to help Google find, index, and rank sites, meaning that our customers probably won’t be impacted by the update at all. But, as a general comment regards websites not built by us, we recommend that you use Google Analytics to compare your organic search traffic from Google a few days before and in the days after Google Penguin launched on April 24; if you notice a drop in traffic, you may have a Penguin problem.

As always, please do get in touch if you would like to discuss options for optimising your website.

5 quick tips to improve your website’s SEO

We’ve recently reviewed and improved the Lanetech website SEO (search engine optimisation). Understanding how search engines work and how to get a website to rank well for keywords can be time-consuming, but here are 5 quick tips to help you get found in Google:

  1. Pick good keywords. Keywords are what users type into the search box for their search query. Picking good keywords is an exercise in balancing relevance and volume. Relevance refers to keywords related to your organisation. Volume refers to how many people search for that keyword. If a keyword has a high volume of searches, chances are it’s going to be quite competitive to make it onto the first page of the search results.
  2. Write good page titles. The page title is what shows up at the top of the browser window and is used for the text of the link in search results. Page titles are important for SEO; not having one makes it hard for search engines to find and index your pages. You should put your most important keywords in your page titles. Note that earlier words in the page title carry more weight so put your most important words first and consider putting your organisation name at the end of the title.
  3. Write good page descriptions. The page description is often included below the page title in search results. By writing a compelling and accurate description for the page, you are more likely to entice users to click on your listing. Page descriptions should be short (1 to 2 sentences otherwise it will be truncated), unique, and contain your keywords.
  4. Use page headings correctly. Headings on a webpage are used to organise information and to help with accessibility. Search engines looks at the headings in the page to understand what it’s about, so you should include important keywords in your headings and tag headings appropriately (H1, H2, H3 etc.). Similarly, from an SEO perspective, remember that search engines can’t ‘see’ images or any text that’s in the image, so you should include an ‘alt’ tag to describe an image in text so search engines understand it.
  5. Paid search (PPC). Consider launching a paid search (pay-per-click) advertising campaign such as Google AdWords to determine what your best keywords might be. This is particularly useful if you are just getting started and don’t know which keywords will work. However, be aware that the cost per click can rise unexpectedly for a variety of reasons.

Please do get in touch if you would like to discuss SEO with us. Our websites are built to the latest standards using the latest techniques and with SEO in mind. Our SEO packages are designed to further optimise a website.