The Blog

It should be safe to assume that your business website contains images; if it doesn’t, then the question has to be, ‘Why not?’. Images are a great way to engage with, inform and entertain customers, but what many website owners don’t realize is that images can also play a role in onsite SEO. More importantly, there are some simple steps you can take about the images on your website that can boost your site’s ranking in the eyes of Google.

In hindsight, using the term ‘eyes of Google’ might be a tad misleading because, despite all their top-level programming and sophisticated algorithm updates, Google cannot see the images on a website as human eyes see them. Their spiders which crawl the internet and analyse websites, can only recognise text. This means that no matter how colourful, large, exciting, or high-quality any website image is, Google will not see that.

This means that for Google to know that your images are relevant to your website’s content and subject matter, you need to add something called ‘alt text’.

For example, if you had a website selling sports shoe products, one of those products was Nike Air Jordan 14 Retro, you would likely have a page for this product and an image of them. When you upload the image, you will enter alt text such as ‘Air Jordan 14 Retro Sports Shoes’. Now, when Google’s spiders come calling, they will be able to read that text, and therefore the page gets more ranking juice for that keyword phrase.

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Whenever you create a backlink you can either have it be displayed as the URL that is pointing to or you can use anchor text which effectively cloaks the link. Using both methods will help your SEO, but anchor text links can have a greater impact in terms of letting Google know which keywords the page the link is pointing to, should be ranked for.

While this is a great way to help your SEO, the danger exists that you could overdo it by using the same exact match keyword every time, and instead of your anchor text links helping your ranking, they hamper it, as Google thinks you’re using spam tactics.

One of the ways to avoid any issues with Google is to mix up the way in which you use anchor text. There are several types of anchor text you can use for links, as you are about to find out.

Exact Match Keyword: Although we have already mentioned you should not overdo it with exact match keywords, it doesn’t mean you should avoid using them. The best way to use this strategy is for each page of content you have on your website targeting more than one keyword phrase. This means that when you are using anchor text in a link, you have more than more exact match keyword you can use when setting up the link back to the page in question.

Naked URL: We mentioned this is in the intro, but we need to emphasize that using the basic URL of the page you are linking to should happen occasionally. Google is far less suspicious of websites that have raw URL links than those which have only anchor text. The obvious benefit of this is higher rankings because you are not thought of as a site that is spamming.

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When it comes to relevance and visibility of content, every person who is looking to build a good online presence for their company knows the importance of good SEO practices. That being said, a lot of them fail to realize the importance of SEO practices when it comes to the design aspect.

There are some key concepts of SEO which experts are not exactly able to communicate with their designers well enough. That can leave a lot of problems because even if a website looks visually appealing, it might lack the crucial oversight of good SEO practices. That can affect the rankings significantly.

Here is a list of things that designers need to know about SEO in 2018 so that they can bridge the gap between excellent design and good SEO practices.

Mobile First
First things first, Google has made it quite clear for everyone out there that there is a need for optimizing websites for mobile phone usage with responsive design. The number of people using the internet through their mobile devices is more than those using it through their computers and that change in demographic needs to be catered to. Website designers need to make sure that the design of a website should not just be visually good for desktop computers, it can be equally well done but it will be more effective if it is optimized for mobile phone usage as a priority.

Organic Visibility
SEO experts are of the opinion that the website pages should be designed in a way that they are more accessible to search engines. This means the content organization for the website layout has to be on point.

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One of the biggest mistakes many website owners make is failing to measure the impact that their SEO activities have made. This is akin to following a diet and exercise program, and then not bothering to check your weight.

There are two specific SEO metrics which Google looks at very closely to see if the visitors they send to a website via their search results are having a good experience. These are ‘Page Views‘, and ‘Session Time’.

If you have a business with an online presence, it is not enough to have people visit your website; you want them to engage with the website and the content therein. The more that they read articles, watch videos and click through multiple sections of your website the better.

The level of engagement that a visitor has with your site, is measured by a metric called ‘page views’. A high number of page views tells you that visitors are taking an active interest in your website, whereas a low number suggests they are disinterested in looking through it.

This data is measured by Google, and if they see that visitors are clicking through to lots of pages on a website they will increase the ranking of that site. The reason for this is that they want their search engine results to show sites that encourage activity. One way this is achieved is with great content that users find interesting.

Compare this scenario to a site which has little or poor content and as a result, visitors very rarely click through to other pages. The page views metric will be low, therefore, Google reduces the ranking of that site.

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There are a lot of things to think about when you’re building a new WordPress website. You need to get the design right, you need to add the right plugins, and you need to make sure that your content remains up to scratch.

However, you also need to make sure that your website’s technical side doesn’t suffer while you focus on improving your design and functionality. Maintaining low load times is essential when it comes to both the user experience and SEO, and you need to make sure that your WordPress website is as fast as possible.

With this in mind, I’ve put together a list of a few easy ways to improve your WordPress website’s speed. They include:

Optimise Image Size

The first thing you should do is make sure that your images are relatively small. Never try and upload high resolution pictures to your WordPress website, because it’s simply not necessary. They will take extra server space and a long time to load, slowing your site down.

If you do have large images, the best thing to do is to compress them before you upload them. If your website is already up and running with a range of large picture files, then you should consider installing a plugin to minimise them.

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