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Practical SEO tips to make your website rank higher on Google

Skizzar website builder for creative individuals and businesses, how to improve your website search engine ranking

Here at Skizzar we get asked 2 questions all the time:

  1. Can you build me a great looking website?
    …that one’s easy! Yes, yes we can
  2. Now you’ve built me a great looking website can you put it on the first page of google.
    …that one isn’t actually so easy…

…In actual fact, it’s not even possible to just put one’s website onto the first page of Google – if it were that easy everyone would be doing it! Instead, Google (and other search engines, but we’ll focus on Google today as they really have the Lion’s share of search traffic) have very very clever algorithms to determine what your website is about and how popular it is…and it’s important to play by their rules if you want to improve how highly you rank.

So, without further ado, welcome to the intricate world of SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) – it’s a world full of ideas, opinions, tips and theories about how to get a “higher score” on Google. There are an insane amount of online resources available with stacks of information about how to improve your website’s SEO, there are also a lot of companies who will take your money…and sometimes they charge a fair whack too, and claim that they will improve your search engine rank (and we’re not saying that they won’t help) but here at Skizzar we like to live by a simple philosophy when it comes to SEO – Do everything that you can do on your website first to give it the best chance of ranking highly, and then, if you still need to improve, start looking for outside help.

So what can you do to improve your website’s SEO and rank higher? Well, here are our top tips for you to get started with.


1. Think of some keywords or phrases for your site

The first step towards better SEO is having a list of “keywords” (also known as Search Terms). These are words or phrases that you would expect someone to type into a search engine and find your site. For example, if you are a company who offers wine tasting courses, your keywords might be something like this:

Wine Tasting Courses
UK Wine Tasting
Wine Course
Red Wine
Vintage Wines

It’s good to try to have around 5 or 6 words or phrases, and they should vary in their competitiveness – for example, if you were to search “Red Wine” the chance of you ranking #1 on Google are quite low to begin with as this is a competitive term, however, something like “Wine Tasting Courses” or “UK Wine Tasting” are less competitive and you stand more chance of ranking highly. As a rule of thumb, keywords or phrases that are 3 or more words long and/or contain a place name will be less competitive.

2. Use your keywords! Here are some top tips on how to use keywords in your content to boost your search engine ranking.

Now you have decided your keywords, you need to make sure they feature in the content of your site. But be clever about it, don’t just throw them in willy nilly, there are some specific things that Google likes to see.

Headings
You should aim to include your most important keywords/search terms as headings on your website. Headings are defined with the h1 to h6 tags (you can select these in the text settings on any Skizzar widget).h1 defines the most important heading while h6 defines the least important heading. You should try to make sure there is at least one instance of a h1 heading on your page containing your most important search term(s) within it.

Internal links
Internal Links are hyperlinks that point to other pages on your site. Google will look at the content of these links and make an assumption of what that page is about. A classic mistake here is that a lot of websites will have the text click here as a link to another page – however, that tells google that the destination page is about click here. Instead, try something like Click here to book a wine tasting – straight away, Google will know that the destination page is where people should go to book a wine tasting.With Skizzar it is easy to add links to your content. Simply, highlight the content and click on the link icon – add the destination URL or page name and click insert. Here’s one of our tutorial videos showing you how to do it.

Keyword density
Keyword density is the percentage of times one of your search term appears on your site compared to the total number of words on the page. It’s good practice to have your search terms repeated but we wouldn’t recommend more than 3 repeats per page – otherwise you might be accused of trying to cheat the system which could have a negative impact. Avoid stuffing keywords everywhere just for the sake of it and keep text meaningful and readable. As a rule, write your content for your visitors first and then dash a few keywords in to keep the search engines happy.

Image alt tags
Search engines can’t read images when they look at your website, so instead images are given something known as alt tags – these are descriptions for your images that can’t be seen by your visitors but they tell google what the image is about.It’s so easy to add keywords to your image alt tags that there is no reason why you shouldn’t do it as it’s essentially an extra search engine boost with very little effort.

If you are a Skizzar user, navigate to your dashboard and click on Media > Library. Now click on an image and you will see the details for it. On the right, you will see where you can add alt tags to your images.

skizzar-website-builder-how-to-improve-your-website-seo-image-alt-tags

3. Optimise your images

When you build your website, you should have load time in mind – you don’t want your visitors to be waiting around for ages for the page to load…because they won’t bother waiting!!

We find a lot of our clients a little confused about whether a file is big or not, so think of file size in terms of how much mobile data you get. For example, if you have a video you want to add to your site that is 500MB in size, consider that someone with only 1GB of mobile data will end up using half of their data loading your web page! So you can see why it is important to be mindful of how big the resources are you stick on your site. Not only this, but google also favours fast loading sites so it’s definitely worth considering.

If you need to resize your images, here is what we suggest:

  • For full screen images make your image 1900px wide
  • All other images make then 1000px wide
  • You can compress your images by up to 70% and they will still look good for web
  • Try and aim for a file size less than 300kb

If you’re struggling to get the file size down, then we recommend the site http://tinypng.org – they are great at reducing the size of both .png and .jpg files.

4. Get yourself some back-links

“Back-links” is a bit of a jargon phrase isn’t it! But it’s simple, it just means a link that points to your site (but you don’t point back to it). This concept is great because it shows google whose site is more popular than whose. For example, if you link to your auntie’s website about gardening, but she doesn’t link back to your site, then that will tell google that her site is more popular than yours.

Essentially, google looks at the amount of people who are linking to you, and if it’s a lot (and you’re not linking back) then it means that people are talking about you – which is a good thing.

So how can you get back-links? Well, you need to be a bit creative. Depending on your industry, get people to give a shout out to you on their social profiles, or on their blogs or better yet, on their website – if you’re feeling brave, get them to write a quick tagline with your keywords in and turn that into a link towards your website (e.g. Aunty Gail gives great gardening tips).

This is a really important SEO concept and really demonstrates the popularity of your business to google, so it’s worth thinking about how you can encourage people to link to your site.

5. Be active on social media

This point ties in quite neatly with our last blog post on how to drive traffic to your website. These days, being part of an online social community is key for getting traffic to your site, and, the more traffic you have, the better your site ranks. The key to this is to be well-balanced and to be consistent. For example, let’s say you have a twitter account, and you’ve added a link to your website on it – well done you. However, if you only tweet once a year and only have 5 followers, you don’t look like the most popular, active business on the internet. We’re not saying that you need to give up your job and spend your entire life on social media, but you do need to commit some time to building up your social profile.

We would suggest a new status update at least once a day, show your audience that you exist and are an active business. Reply to comments, comment on other people’s posts and upload media – all of these things are going to help drive traffic to your site and give you a well-rounded online presence.

To some, the whole social media thing may seem like a bit of an effort, however, you need to play the game right if you want to rank highly and these days, regardless of your thoughts on social media, it is undeniable that it plays a massive role in how big your online presence is.

…the bottom line is this – be sociable and people will come to your website!


So that’s our top tips on how to increase your website’s search engine optimisation. As with anything, it takes time and effort, but once you gain a bit of momentum with it you will see great results.

What we always find useful is to draw up an SEO plan – start by writing out your keywords and then give yourself a daily goal – it might be to add to your website content or to compress your images and add alt tags, or to write a new status update on Facebook – if you have an action plan then you will see progress by sticking to it.

We’ve got plenty more advise to come on marketing your site to get the most out of it so stay tuned!!

 

Here at Skizzar we get asked 2 questions all the time: Can you build me a great looking website? …that one’s easy! Yes, yes we can Now you’ve built me a great looking website can you put it on the first page of google. …that one isn’t actually so easy… …In actual […]

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So you have a great website…now what? Our top tips to help you drive traffic to your site

Skizzar website builder - how to drive traffic to your website and increase your onsite SEO

So you have a great looking, brand spanking, shiny new website! That’s so awesome! *does a dance*.

If you’re like the rest of us though, just because your website is “on”, you’re probably not going to have people flocking to it in their thousands. In fact, when we first launched Skizzar, we were lucky if we had more than 5 visitors in a week, why? Because having a website is like having a business card – it’s useless if you don’t give it to anyone!

So, whether you’ve had your site for years, or whether you’ve got yourself a brand new Skizzar website, we thought we’d share with you some of the tricks of the trade that have worked for us and seen us grow to over 7000 visitors per week in just over 18 months.


Tell people about your website

OK, this sounds really really obvious. But if you don’t tell people, they won’t know your site is even there. So tell as many people as you can, especially while it is still fresh, because it’s easy for people to get excited about it. So here are some good ways to let people know you’re here and you’ve got an ace website:

  • Put it out on your socials. Ask people for their comments, get people to share it or to tell you what their favourite part of your site is.
  • Put it out on your socials again! Yep, don’t be polite – this is your super awesome new website, and you don’t want people to miss it. Write a post like this “just incase you missed it, here is our amazing new website…”. Do this a few days in a row, then give it a few days and do it again…really milk it, but don’t spam people, because you’ll start to annoy them.
  • Add your website link to your existing online content. Chances are, you have some pictures up on facebook, or maybe videos on youtube, or perhaps even some images on pinterest, or maybe you have a linkedin profile or a google plus account…well, make sure your web address is on all of these – literally, if you can write somewhere then write your web address.
  • Get creative! Depending on what your business is will depend on how you go about being creative, but whenever you do a job, or have a meeting, make sure that person has a link to your site.
  • Get other people to talk about your site. This is the most powerful tip, if someone else is chatting about your site, then it’s speaks far louder than if you are talking about it yourself. So if you offer a service, and you do a good job…or maybe even a job for free, ask someone to write a review about you (on their social networks) AND LINK TO YOUR SITE. Never under estimate the value of someone else talking about you!

Start a blog (or a news section)

Google LOVES new content…so that’s reason enough to have a blog or news section on your site. But more than that, if you publish a post, you can go back to step 1 and give people a good reason to visit or, hopefully, revisit your site.

The key to a good blog is regularity, with regular posting comes regular visitors, so set a day that you will commit to posting and stick to it! It’s sometimes helpful to schedule posts, this way you can write up several ahead of time so you have a headstart and then publish them (or set them to automatically publish) when the day comes around.

Here’s a short video over on our help site on how to add a blog to your Skizzar website if you haven’t already done it.

Put interesting content on your website that people will only find on there

Here is a pretty simple truth for you: If all you have on your site is content that people can find elsewhere, then why would they come to your site?

Ok, perhaps it’s nice to have all of your information collated in one place, however, it’s also good to try and think about something you can add to your site that visitors will only find there. For example, add a video that can only be seen on your site (for example, you can set a youtube or vimeo video to private and still use the link to embed it on your site), or add a track that people can only find by going to your website, or a promotional code, or even just simple testimonials, essentially you’re giving reason for people to come to your site to see something they can’t find elsewhere.

Use Multimedia / Multi-socials

If you’re anything like me, large chunks of text are not really appealing – I like pictures, moving pictures (also known as videos) and basically anything that is mildly interactive. I’m sure i’m not alone…right guys?? guys??

Anyway, there are some great platforms out there which you can use as an alternative to just writing a status about your site. Now is a really good time to jump on the following ways of promoting your site:

  • Instagram stories (or just instagram)
  • Snapchat
  • Youtube streaming
  • Facebook live

All of these are great tools you could utilise to promote your new site and your business in general. My advise, as ever, is to be creative, but also to make sure what you produce is a good quality – it’s worth getting a decent camera for your snaps, making sure the lighting is right for your vids and making sure you have good sound for your live streams – the difference will really make your business stand out against your competitors and drive a good flow of traffic to your site.

Check your on-site SEO and make targeted changes to your content

Right, lets get serious for a minute and talk about everybody’s favourite internet buzz word…SEO. You could spend the rest of your days reading up on SEO tips and tricks, but here is what it comes down to – if your site content is relevant to what you do, and the site is popular and it’s accessible then you will rank highly.

Now, the popularity you can take care of by telling people about it (see my other points), and if you have a Skizzar website then we have taken care of the accessibility by making all Skizzar sites mobile friendly, fast loading and clean coded. So really it is up to you to make sure that the content (that is, text) on your site, is well written and relevant to you and your business.

Here is our tip for content writing. Think of some keywords for you and your business – keywords are words you’d like someone to type into a search engine in order to find your site. Then try and get these keywords in the text on your site. For example, let’s say you are a mechanic called Geoff and you have a website for your garage (called Geoff’s Garage), you may choose keywords like car repairs, car servicing and trusted mechanic. In which case, a sentence like this would be great to have on your site:

“Geoff is a trusted mechanic specialising in car repairs and car servicing”

Try and saturate your website with these keywords…but don’t go overboard, too much and google will think you are trying to cheat the system. Be natural, but make sure your text is focussed and well thought out.

Tell more people…again

By this point you should already have a good flow of people coming to your site – so why not go back to step number one, and tell people to go and take a look at your site. Recycle old blog posts, or videos/pics/statuses that you may have already published – not all marketing content needs to be new content. Take a look at statistics – which statuses have the most likes? Which videos had the most shares? Put them out there again and forget about the ones that didn’t do so well. Be clever by looking at stats and you will save yourself wasting valuable time and effort on campaigns that don’t work for you.

Use ads (they’re not as expensive as you think!)

Ads can be a bit of a daunting topic – but they’re really not that hard. These days, facebook and google have made it really easy, and also really affordable to advertise your content.

Through facebook, you can easily make a previous post into a sponsored post, where you set a weekly budget for yourself, pick a target audience and choose how long you want your ad to run for. My advice on this would be, find a status that has generated a good amount of interest and stick a fiver on it to turn it into an advert for a week – see how it does for your business, if it works, maybe up your amount to £10 the next week. It’s a great way of reaching people outside of your immediate sphere of friends.

Google ads is a slightly different ball game. People will stick google ads on their website, and google will push the adverts that suit the demographic of that website – it’s very clever. Google then pays the website owner per click, giving them an incentive to advertise for you. Similarly to facebook ads, you can set the amount you wish to pay, how long for and also pick your target audience.

In my opinion, I think I prefer facebook ads, but that is by no means a fact. Both provide really great insights so you can see who is clicking, from where and what time, so it’s worth trying both out and seeing which works best for your business. Start small, and then invest in the approach that works for you.

Be social – don’t just post, chat!

Lastly, socialise! Don’t just talk at people, engage with your audience. When they say something good about you, say thanks – say something good about them too! If one of your visitors posts something on their site, share it for them – they will most likely return the favour at a later date.

Join in with conversations about your business, it’s really important that you don’t just use social networks to shout about yourself, your aim should always be to get people shouting about you! So make friends, commit to socialising and do it regularly.

Pick your times

Think about this. You have a great blog to put out there, or you’ve taken the time to shoot an amazing 30 second clip to upload to Instagram. You’ve stayed up all evening working on it, it’s now 1.30 am on a Sunday night…before you post it, think – what will most people be doing right now? Well, since the average person will be up at 7am to get ready for work, most people are probably sleeping – so posting it now will just be a waste of your efforts.

So be mindful of when you post. Good times to post are:
– 8.30am/5.30pm – you’ll catch the commuters on their phones on the train/bus/tube.
– 1pm will generally catch people on a lunch break
– Wednesday evenings are particularly good (at least that’s what we’ve found) as you get that mid-week lull where people want a bit of an inspiring “pick-me-up”…so they naturally turn to their phones for comfort
– Late mornings on a Saturday/Sunday are always good too as you’ll catch the late risers getting a weekend lie-in


So let’s conclude! With these steps, you will sure to see a great flow of traffic to your website. But the key to it all is this – COMMIT, COMMIT, COMMIT! It’s no good just cramming it all in one night, your results will last only a couple of days. If you want a consistent flow of traffic then you yourself need to be consistent, so set aside 20-30 mins a day and do something on your socials, publish a video or write a blog post, it sounds like a lot of effort, but we’ve found that it snowballs, but, as we’ve just said, it takes commitment, patience, and a bit of trial and error.

So go, bring the masses to your site! Tell the world about how great your business is and let us take care of the behind the scenes technical stuff that people with boring, non-Skizzar websites have to think about!

Let us know what works for you, and good luck!

So you have a great looking, brand spanking, shiny new website! That’s so awesome! *does a dance*. If you’re like the rest of us though, just because your website is “on”, you’re probably not going to have people flocking to it in their thousands. In fact, when we first launched Skizzar, we […]

Read More