Like many small businesses we rely heavily on Google for our inflow of new customers, so it is imperative we rank highly for our targeted keywords.
Google's primary goal is to serve users with high quality, relevant information. A violation of Google's Webmaster Guidelines can negatively impact your performance in Google's search results and in some cases can even result in removal.
That's where we come in. We are a reputable web design and SEO company who can help you improve your search engine rankings and expand your business.
Google employs a number of ranking signals to determine where your site displays in the organic search results. Organic search results are those that are not ads. Paid ads will always appear first.
The first ranking signal that we will cover is mobile friendliness. As more and more people use their mobile phones for accessing information, the ease in which they can find and use information on your website is of paramount importance when designing your website.
Responsive web design means that the page uses the same URL and the same code whether the user is on a desktop computer, tablet, or mobile phone – only the display adjusts or responds according to the screen size. Google recommends using responsive web design over other design patterns. One of the benefits of responsive web design is that you only need to maintain one version of your site instead of two. You don't have to maintain the desktop site at www.example.com and the mobile version at m.example.com – you'll maintain only one site, such as www.example.com, for desktop and mobile visitors.
Starting March 4, 2020 mobile-first indexing was enabled by default for all websites. This means that Google uses the mobile version of your website rather than the desktop version of your website to rank your content.
To ensure your website passes the mobile friendliness test we use the Bootstrap 4 framework which ensures we implement a mobile first approach to designing your website. We use responsive web design techniques to ensure your website looks and works great on all devices large or small.
Safe Browsing is all about keeping the internet safe for users. Google looks for malware, deceptive pages and harmful downloads. Google checks websites to see whether they host software or downloadable executables that negatively affect the user experience.
What is malware?
Malware is any software or mobile application specifically designed to harm a computer, a mobile device, the software it's running, or its users. Malware exhibits malicious behavior that can include installing software without user consent and installing harmful software such as viruses. Website owners sometimes don't realize that their downloadable files are considered malware, so these binaries might be hosted inadvertently.
What is unwanted software?
Unwanted software is an executable file or mobile application that engages in behavior that is deceptive, unexpected, or that negatively affects the user's browsing or computing experience. Examples include software that switches your homepage or other browser settings to ones you don't want, or apps that leak private and personal information without proper disclosure.
The only way your website will fail this test is if your site gets hacked. Hackers will install malware and redirect your customers to unsafe sites. That's why we offer premium wordpress hosting and wordpress maintenance packages to ensure all security updates are installed in a timely manner. This ensures your hard earned rankings are not compromised.
The third ranking signal is HTTPS. Basically sites that can be accessed via https rather than http will rank higher in the search results because they are more secure. This is achieved by installing an SSL Certificate on your domain and redirecting all visitors to the https version of your website.
As part of our premium wordpress hosting we include a free SSL Certificate for your website to ensure you and your customers can securely enter sensitive information without the fear of it being intercepted by hackers. We also redirect all visitors to your website to the https version rather than the http version of the page they are visiting.
No Intrusive Interstitials
Pages that show intrusive interstitials provide a poorer experience to users than other pages where content is immediately accessible. This can be problematic on mobile devices where screens are often smaller. To improve the mobile search experience, after January 10, 2017, pages where content is not easily accessible to a user on the transition from the mobile search results may not rank as highly.
Here are some examples of techniques that make content less accessible to a user:
- Showing a popup that covers the main content, either immediately after the user navigates to a page from the search results, or while they are looking through the page.
- Displaying a standalone interstitial that the user has to dismiss before accessing the main content.
- Using a layout where the above-the-fold portion of the page appears similar to a standalone interstitial, but the original content has been inlined underneath the fold.
We whole heartedly agree with Google here. I personally find it very frustrating to have newsletter signup forms popup when I first visit a webpage. I haven't even decided whether I like the content on your site yet. Why would I subscribe to your newsletter? Our philosophy is to let the customer decide whether or not they want to subscribe. We put this at the bottom of an article or page rather than adding an intrusive popup whilst you are trying to read.
Core Web Vitals
The following signals known as Core Web Vitals will be implemented from May 2021. These are a lot more technical in nature so I will try to make it a little more understandable using examples. In a nutshell the speed of your website will become a very important factor in how well your website ranks.
Largest Contentful Paint or LCP
Measures loading performance. To provide a good user experience, LCP should occur within 2.5 seconds of when the page first starts loading.
LCP is the time it takes to show the largest image or block of text on the screen. It does not include elements outside of the initial viewport ie below the fold.
It is important to optimise images for the web so that they do not take a long time to load. If you have a slow website you will be penalised in the search engine rankings.
First Input Delay or FID
Measures interactivity. To provide a good user experience, pages should have a FID of less than 100 milliseconds.
Cumulative Layout Shift or CLS
Measures visual stability. To provide a good user experience, pages should maintain a CLS of less than 0.1.
What is CLS? This is a measurement of how much the content jumps around as the page is loading or content is injected onto the page. I'm sure you have been to a news site where you are reading an article and all of a sudden an ad appears that makes the content jump and you lose your place within the article. OR another example is on initial page load where the text displays before the images and once the images display the text jumps down the page. This can be easily be avoided by using good coding standards.
By using good coding standards and premium web hosting the core web vitals for your website will improve your ranking.
Local SEO vs Organic SEO
The main difference between organic and local search is that local SEO has a geographical component.
12 ways our Wordpress website solutions can improve your website's ranking
- Page Titles
- Meta Descriptions
- Image Alt and Title tags
- XML Sitemap
- Caching for faster page load speed
- SEO Friendly URLs
- Redirects so you don't lose precious page rankings
- Customised 404 (Page Not Found) Page
- Secure so your site does not get hacked
- Social Media Integration
- Responsive - Mobile/Tablet/Desktop Friendly
- Easy to update so you can generate great content for your visitors.