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SEO Best practices for 2015

When people mention SEO what comes to mind? Keywords, Alt Tags, Page Titles, Content??

Well you may be right but as we stride into 2015, there is so much more to SEO than simple on page techniques. Google are now looking at user engagement and website 'trust' as a major factor in ranking your site for the search engine results.  It’s no longer just about getting those keyword phrases into your content and HTML tags but much more about continuous commitment to your website and more importantly, customer engagement.

Its getting harder and harder to rank your business in the search engines at a high enough position to maximize the traffic volumes but there are lots of techniques that you may not be aware of, so here is a list of SEO tips for 2015.

Content is king and always will be!

When you hear people say “content is king”, believe them, because it really is. Good quality content on your pages is invaluable.

Backlinks are an extremely important ranking factor and the best way to get quality, natural backlinks to your site is of course, by creating informative quality content that people want to link to and share. This also promotes serious user engagement, which is what search engines are looking for. This SEO promotion tip is the most important one by far so remember that content really is king!

Website Trust

Search engines are specifically targeting and ranking websites that are most relevant for specific search terms, promoting websites with a higher trust rating or domain authority.

Now I know what your thinking – How do I get Google to trust me?

Don’t worry, there are plenty of ways that search engines will determine your website to be trustworthy.

The first and easiest way for showing your trust is to get your already satisfied customers to leave testimonials and reviews for you on business directories, Google+ and your website, . .  the more the better.

Google displays your Google+ reviews on your business local search results and business maps, which is a great trust factor. You will have review stars in your search result with the number of reviews; this is also excellent for click through rates as customers are far more likely to click a result with reviews than a result with none.

Other trust parameters include brand mentions, shared social media posts, backlinks to your website and social media followers. Explore these processes and engage with your customers and you will climb the rankings in no time.

Secure Domain name

A new feature that promotes trust and rank worthiness is to make your domain more secure. Statistics show that websites with HTTPS:// are ranking higher than standard HTTP://. This seems to be getting bigger and bigger technique for SEO in 2015.

Click here for more information on SSL domains.

Business Directories

Business directories are a great source of brand awareness and referral traffic. Believe it or not, a lot of people still use business directories such as Yell.com and Yelp to find local businesses. In fact Yelp.com gets around 78 million visitors a month so not having your business registered in big name businesses directories could lose you traffic and potential business.

On page SEO

Above we have been discussing in depth off page SEO techniques that work wonders for your site but we can’t underestimate on page SEO, without it, quite simply, your off page SEO will hardly work at all!

You still need to concentrate on your keywords ‘on page’. Search engines need to know what your page is about in order to list your website for search terms. This is still very important so we will list the most appropriate on page SEO tips below.

Page Title and Meta descriptions

First, your page titles and Meta descriptions have to be optimised for keywords. PAge titles and meta descriptions are shown in search engines to inform visitors what your page is about, so its very important.

Try to keep your page titles fewer than 60 characters and your meta descriptions to under 150 characters. This will stop Google truncating your descriptions, which will affect the readability of your listing. Keep it short, eye catching and most of all, relevant. For more information on title tags check out MOZ here.

Put your most important keywords towards the beginning of your title tags and your brand name at the end, otherwise most of your traffic searches your brand name instead.

With your description tag, a lot of SEO experts debate whether the meta description keywords are important or not, but as simple rule, Google bolds your keywords in the meta description so put them in there anyway, it won't hurt and we still regard the meta description as important.

Last of all, don’t duplicate your page titles, make sure they are unique to that specific page.

H1 tags and lower

Keep all your H tags relevant with keywords placed at the front of the header title. H tags are ordered in relevance so H1 is the most important title with H6 being least relevant.

Alt Tags, Link Titles and Anchor Text

Once again, try to include keywords and location keywords in these areas. Try not to duplicate them, make all alt tags as unique as possible. This is hard when you have lots of images but it can be done. Put the words in different orders and add longer phrases instead of keyword stuffing.

And last but not least… Website performance

Your website performance plays a key role in SEO. Factors such as site loading speed, image sizes, html structure and W3 compliance are important when building your website. Run your code through W3 Test and Check you site speed to make sure it’s loading quick enough. If you website isn’t responsive, you will need to get this done as most traffic these days is coming through smart phones due to convenience and ease of use. If your site isn’t responsive, this could cause an unnecessarily high bounce rate and loss in traffic.

If you manage to follow most of these base line steps, you should start to see a large improvement in your sites performance and search results. Please bear in mind that SEO is a long process and is never finished. It can take months to see results so be patient and keep up the hard work!

Here at Betton Design, we specialise in SEO as an ongoing service. If you would like to discuss SEO with us or would like an SEO audit, please click here to get in touch or read our SEO services page to get an idea how we can help you business online.