Your SEO Cape Town Guide To Best Practices
In this SEO Cape Town guide, we look at best practices according to Google’s own Search Central. The term “search engine optimization” refers to the process of optimising a website for search engines. It’s the practice of using non-paid – also known as organic – search engine results to increase the frequency and quantity of website traffic as well as brand visibility. It is just as important to focus on your website visitors as people as well as tailoring content to an algorithm, trust an SEO company.
In the following SEO Cape Town Guide To Best Practices, we will look at some of the things that you should be doing to your website in order to attract maximum organic traffic.
SEO Cape Town Guide To Best Practices: What do you need to do to your website?
Content is king
More importantly than anything else in this comprehensive SEO Cape Town guide is best practices is: make sure your web content is well written and provides something of value to your users. There is little point in going through all the motions of optimizing it for SEO purposes if they click through to find a poorly written article full of nonsense. Google points this out in its SEO guidelines
Content should always be your first priority, whether it is a blog article, about page, video, tutorial or product description. Users will remain on your pages longer if you provide them with relevant, useful, and unique material, establishing familiarity and confidence. What constitutes high-quality content is determined by the essence of the content and varies by sector and form of content.
The characteristics of high-quality content are broken down by category in Google’s Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines (section 5.1):
● Informational content: should be reliable, thorough, exclusive, and delivered professionally
● Artistic content: original, unique and convey skill of a high degree ● News content: original reporting, in-depth, well-cited and truthful
It was always thought that content between 300 and 500 words was optimum for content, but actually, content quality outweighs quantity in Google’s algorithms, which have no minimum word count for content and blogs. Search engines look for content that specifically relates to the user’s search query’s purpose.
That being said, the average blog post length should range between 2,319 words and 2,620 words, according to Travis McKnight of Portent, in terms of SEO. This is probably because the longer content covers topics in more detail, which is what search engines are looking for.
Make sure that your website is as secure as possible
The SEO Cape Town guide to best practices suggests switching to HTTPS if you are still using HTTP. Since 2014, it has been one of the key ranking factors on Google, as it means that the pages on your site are encrypted and therefore more secure.
It is easy enough to find out whether your site is running on HTTPS; simply look at the toolbar when you are on your website. If it is https://www.yourwebsitedomain.com, you are good to go. You also want to look for the padlock icon in the address bar too.
If you are still running on HTTP, you need to upgrade, pronto. That involves getting an SSL certificate for your website. It is something that many website hosting services do free of charge, and when it is done, it is done and does not need worrying about again.
Make sure you have a fast loading website
If your website takes a long time to load, users are going to go elsewhere; it really is simple as that. Google has taken this into consideration since 2010 for desktop sites and since 2018 for mobile sites.
Various things affect your page loading speed such as the coding, location of the server, the images on your website and any widgets that you may have. If your page is loading slowly, carry out an audit of your website. The SEO Cape Town guide to best practices recommends using the Google PageSpeed Insight tool, which can tell you just how quickly your website is loading.
Fortunately, if you do have a slow loading page, it is straightforward enough to fix. First of all, look at using CDN. Rather than your data having to travel long distances from your server, a CDN. This makes a copy of your resources and stores them in an international network of servers, meaning less distance and faster loading times.
You can also compress the images that you use on your website. While large images look better, they slow your website down significantly, so find a balance between aesthetics and functionality by compressing your images somewhat.
Making sure you have a responsive theme is also vital. Check the coding, and if necessary, run the demo of the theme through the Google PageSpeed Insight tool before applying it to your site.
Do your keyword research
This is one of the most crucial parts of the SEO Cape Town guide to best practices as, without in-depth research and selection of the most appropriate keywords, no one is going to find your website. Not the people you want, anyway.
If you are using keywords that no one is searching for, all you are going to do is waste your time and your money. You need to be using keyword search tools, such as SEMrush, to explore the volume of searches linked to that particular keyword or keyword phrase.
However, do not fall into the trap of assuming the top ranking keyword is the best one to use. Sometimes, they are not the page with the most organic traffic. Make sure that you check the estimated traffic as well, and use the ones that rank highlyAND have good levels of traffic to get the best results.
Don’t chase the (almost impossible)
Even with all of the best will in the world and following every tip from the SEO Cape Town guide to best practices, there are just some keywords and keyword phrases that you are not going to rank for. These will have been monopolised by multinational corporations with a huge backlink portfolio.
Instead of going after these and being unsuccessful, try to adapt your keyword phrases to be more relevant to your and your website. They may not be quite as high in the ranking table, but there are fewer competitors and you will need fewer backlinks to be able to rank.
Ahrefs keyword explorer is a tool that the SEO Cape Town guide to best practices recommends using to find similar but less difficult to rank keywords. It is easy to use and can be a valuable tool in your SEO toolbox.
Use your keywords appropriately
Every subject has the main keyword, which is the most popular way for people to find the topic that you are writing about. This is known as the parent keyword and the SEO Cape Town guide to best practices recommends using it in three places:
1) The title tag
According to Google, title tags should accurately describe the content of the page. If you are looking to hit a particular keyword or expression, this should do the trick.
It also shows searchers that your page provides what they are looking for because it matches their query However if it does not fit in naturally, do not try to force it in. It
matters, but not that much. Readability is much more important, so do not be afraid to rearrange words or use stop words to make them more readable.
2) H1 heading
Every page should have a visible H1 heading, which should include your target keyword where appropriate.
3) Page URL
Finally, your target keyword should be used in the URL for your page.
Make sure that your URLs are short and to the point
The previous point in our SEO Cape Town Guide to best practices points out that you should use your target keyword should be used in the URL for the page, but equally important is your URL is short and concise. This may mean adapting the keyword phrase a little to make it fit.
If it is too long, it can be truncated and look messy on the SERP (search engine results page). Remove any unnecessary or stop words from the URL to neaten it up.
Make sure that you have an engaging meta description and title
It is not only about boosting rankings when it comes to search engine optimization; it is also about attracting clicks.
Since title tags and meta descriptions both appear in search results, you must write engaging title tags and meta descriptions. Your meta description and title tag are essentially your sales pitch. Users will select a different option if neither your title nor description catches their interest.
To begin, try to keep your title tag and descriptions under 60 and 150 characters, respectively. This prevents the text from being truncated. When it comes to writing your meta description and title, look for powerful words to entice a click, numbers and years – ‘The 10 Best Smartphones 2021’ shows anyone searching for smartphones that your blog post is up to date and relevant.
Ensure that all of your images are optimized
While image compression is important for fast-loading pages, it is not the only way to make sure that images are perfectly optimized for SEO purposes. You can also use descriptive filenames and add alt tags. Both of these elements aid Google’s understanding of your images, which can help your pages rank for long-tail keywords in web search, as well as in Google Images search results.
Alt tags also make your website much more accessible to visually impaired visitors, who may use a screen reader to access the content on your site. The screen reader reads out the alt tag, giving the user an idea of what the picture is of, adding to their experience. Why wouldn’t you want to make your website as accessible to as many people as you possibly can?
Add internal links to other relevant pages
Internal links are those between pages on your website. Of course, they must be relevant. As a rule of thumb, the more links that a page has, whether it is from an external site or internal, the higher the Page Rank. This was what Google originally built their algorithms for ranking around. Page Rank was discontinued in 2016 but the foundations of it still have an impact on how pages are ranked today.
It also reduces the bounce rate of your site, which can be important to keep low.
Increase the number of backlinks to your site
When it comes to factors affecting Google ranking, the number of backlinks to your site is up there as one of the most important.
“If other prominent websites on the subject link to the page, that’s a good sign that the information is of high quality.”
It shows users – and Google – that your website is trustworthy and provides quality content that provides something of value to visitors. You may be wondering what the best way to encourage these all-important backlinks is. We refer you back to the very first point of our SEO Cape Town guide to best practice: produce quality content.
Produce quality content, and the backlinks will come.
Summarising the SEO Cape Town guide to best practices
As you can see from the SEO Cape Town guide to best practices, there are lots of factors affecting search engine optimization and where your page will feature on a search engine result page. Fortunately, there are lots of tools out there, both paid ones and free ones, that can help you to make sure that your website is ticking all of the boxes when it comes to best practices in SEO.
The most important point to take away from this, however, is that while optimization is important, you should always be creating content for people, not algorithms. Quality content will always reign supreme and will bring people back to your website time and time again.