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8th January 2015

Two factors affecting website SEO rankings

Search Engine Optimisation, frequently referred to as SEO, is the process of improving your website’s ranking in search engine results. Positively affecting the visibility of your site or webpage in search results and maximising the number of relevant people who see your website involves organic, unpaid site optimisation.

Naturally, a site that appears higher in search results will generate more traffic to its web pages than a website that has been pushed to the second or third page. Google, Bing and other search engines rank websites based on what they consider to be the most relevant to users. We’re taking a look at two key factors that affect SEO ranking; site ‘crawlability’ and content. This is not to suggest that they are the most significant factors that when implemented properly, will immediately improve your ranking, but they are factors that you can control and amend yourself.

Search engines ‘crawl’ sites meticulously, browsing the entire text content to identify keywords and phrases on each page. This data is then used to determine the relevance of a site when someone types a keyword or phrase into a search engine. The search engines promote pages to the top of rankings that they think are authority pages. If your website is considered to have poor crawlability, your site will most likely receive a poor search engine ranking.

Sites with poor crawlability often suffer from broken links, slow site speed and webpages that load with errors or redirect to another page. To improve your crawl rating and increase your page loading speed, the reduction of code and length of URL links, along with the removal of junk source code will stand you in good stead to increase your SEO ranking.

It is crucial to the improvement of your search ranking to populate your website with unique, original content appropriately targeted towards carefully selected, relevant keywords. To correctly identify optimal keywords, you must consider the search habits of your target audience, what are the most common words used to describe your business, products and/or services? Carry out competitor analysis and take the time to understand their SEO strategy, what keywords they use and how they are effectively placed in the text body. But remember, search engines penalise websites that copy content from other sites and that partake in keyword stuffing, so keep your content fresh.

Once you have ascertained the useful keywords that will drive the most traffic to your website, you must ensure that these terms are reflected on your pages. For example, if your business is in the construction industry, your website content should contain words and phrases such as “value engineering” and “project management”. Keywords must be integrated carefully and selectively into your content for it to be an effective factor of search engine optimisation.

Crawlability and content optimisation are both on-the-page ranking factors entirely within a publisher’s control. Further internal factors include HTML elements including title tag, a signal used to understand what your webpage is about. By crafting descriptive titles with integrated keywords, your page will be more visible in searches. A meta description tag allows you to write a blurb for how you would like your page to be described in search listings, and if they are well crafted with the inclusion of keywords (highlighted in bold) they may catch your audiences’ eye and encourage more traffic to your site.

Whilst on-the-page factors are controlled by the website publisher, off-the-page factors, such as links, social and reputation signals cannot be directly controlled. Search engines do not rely on on-the-page factors alone because they cannot always be trusted to yield the best results. As previously mentioned publishers may try to position themselves as more relevant to their industry then they actually are by the implementation of keyword stuffing and copied content.

For further information on how to better your website for SEO, get in touch with us today.

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