Website management part 3: how do I improve my SEO?

Website management part 3: how do I improve my SEO?

By Kirsten Meintjes

Posted on 24th April 2019

Let’s set the scene – imagine if I told you right now that that one thing you have always wanted but never found actually exists and is available. Today. Naturally you would ask me where it is, and how you can find it. But before I had mentioned it, you would not have known about its existence.

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is much like this. No matter how beautiful and perfectly-suited your website is to your target market, if they have no way of locating your website in the first place, it may as well be an undiscovered desert island in the middle of the sea. Nobody will find it.

 

Global eCommerce sales are expected to break the $3 trillion mark in 2019, and already more than 50% of consumers in both America and the UK prefer to shop online. And companies have cottoned on to this. In an overwhelming sea of goods and services offered online, ensuring you rank well on a search engine is more important today than ever before. The top three listings on a Google search page get 61% of clicks, so it is critical to optimise your website to compete on this front.

 

Here are a couple of systems and tools we recommend you put into place to ensure your business ranks well.

Internal SEO

This is SEO which is ‘internal’ to your website. They are elements which you will have most control over. If Yellow Door creates your website, we cover the first two bases (the third is an optional extra).

1. Meta title, description, and keywords

These three elements are important as they are exactly what will appear in the search engine result. If you have a WordPress website, we recommend using the plugin All in One SEO pack or Yoast SEO to add these three key attributes to your posts and pages.

Capture

2. Mobile-friendly (responsiveness)

It is no secret these days that all digital products need to be mobile-friendly, or responsive. mCommerce (mobile commerce) is set to take over eCommerce in 2019, and this figure is expected to rise to 72% by 2021.

A mobile-friendly website is not just a smaller version of a website, it requires larger buttons (think thumbs and not pointers) and fewer but more powerful images (think data limits when on the move). Google favours sites that accommodate all screen sizes and are therefore easy for a visitor to use, regardless of what device they use to access it.

3. Website relevance

In essence, ask yourself whether your website is stale or relevant to today’s Google searches. You might have created incredible content – or sold brand new products – many years ago. If the most recent product released for sale on your website is an iPhone 5, Google is not going to rank it as a relevant tech eCommerce website.

Similarly, if your recent blog posts about traveling the world were last posted in 2016, how competitive will you be compared to the countless travel blogs that have more recent content?

External SEO

This is SEO which is ‘external’ to your website; in other words, things that are not built-in attributes of your website, yet still affect its ranking.

1. Google Knowledge Panel

Let’s be honest – when we talk about Search Engine Optimisation, we are only really focusing on one of the many search engines – Google. As of January 2019, Google had 89.95% of the search engine market share.

If you have taken the time (or have outsourced the job to us) to claim and update your business listing on Google, the search engine will have more information about your business that will correlate with what appears on your website. You have taken the time to provide potential customers with quick information, therefore you will be rewarded with a better rank score.

google my business

2. Google reviews

If your business has positive reviews on your Google business listing, then the search engine is more likely to promote your business’ website over and above a competitor with a lower average review score (or none at all!)

Tip: encourage current and past clients to leave a review for you on Google after you have successfully completed a project.

3. Traffic

A good indicator as to whether your business will appeal to future website visitors is to see if it appeals to current ones already. In other words, if you have a high volume of traffic to your website, this indicates to Google that your business is of interest to people and this motivates it to display its URL to potential visitors going forward.

One way to improve traffic to your website is via backlinks. If your URL is listed on a number of other websites (i.e. if there are many backlinks), then people on those other websites are easily directed to yours. This also reinforces your business’ legitimacy to Google.

Another way to create high volumes of traffic to a website – the easier method of the two, especially for a new business – is through advertising. Website traffic ads can target people of specific interests and buying habits that match your target market. This method requires digital marketing expertise but is a sure-fire way to increase the number of people accessing your website. Retaining visitors and converting them is another story 😉 The website conversion funnel will be covered in part 4 of this series.

If there is one key insight to take away from this SEO piece, allow it to be my core philosophy: a website can be as beautifully-designed as some of the best in the world – but there is no point in having a beautiful island in the middle of the sea without anything pointing in its direction. Stay relevant and ensure enough people know the route to get to your business’ presence online.

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Website management part 2: three steps to update your WordPress website

Website management part 2: three steps to update your WordPress website

By Kirsten Meintjes

Posted on 30th January 2019

Now that you are equipped with the basic terminology, part 2 will dive into the actual website updates. If your website was developed by Yellow Door, it will have been built on the WordPress content management system, so this tutorial will address WordPress websites specifically.

Before I delve in to part two, here is a quick recap of part one. Websites are made up of various little elements that need to all fit and “play nicely” together. A website is a dynamic entity that requires consistent attention and maintenance, otherwise it is at risk of becoming stale. Sometimes there are amendments necessary for which one needs to get professional assistance, but often you will actually be able to perform various tweaks on your own.

 

We choose WordPress to host the websites we build as it is a stable system used globally (it powers 26% of all websites) and it is scalable and adaptable to almost every need. Furthermore, navigating and managing the backend is intuitive, so we are able to equip our clients with the skills needed to do basic updates themselves, thus saving them time and money.

1. Write a blog post

Under posts on the left panel, click the “add new” button.

blog1

You will then be presented with an editing screen with an array of posting features. The first thing to do is enter a title. Next, enter the actual content of your post in the open field below. If you want to format your text, use the toolbar options located just above the text field. These are similar to what you find in MS Word or any other popular text editor.

blog2

When the bulk of your post is written, you will add some information in the right-hand panel area. Firstly, under categories, either select an existing category, or click the blue “add new category” button. “Tags” allows you to quickly add new tags or keywords; basically, any words that are related to the post topic.

blog3

Finally, by clicking the blue publish button, your post will go live, so it is best to do this once everything else has been completed.

2. The header and footer

As mentioned in part one, updates to the header and footer are done in a separate area to the rest of the changes on your pages. This is efficient because once an update has been done, you will not need to replicate it anywhere else. In other words, the changes will roll out to the rest of the site automatically.

 

To update the website header, you are likely to want to do one of two things:

a) Change your logo: navigate to the theme options from your dashboard. You should find the name of your theme in the left-hand panel – this might be Jupiter/ XStore/ Avada. Hover over this name, and “theme options” will come up. Click this and navigate to the “logo” section and add a new image accordingly.

1. logo

b) Add/ remove a page from the navigation menu. To do this, from the dashboard hover over “appearance” and click on “menus.” Here, ensure you have the main navigation menu selected, and add or remove items from the left-hand panel.

2. menus

To update the footer, hover over “appearance” in the left panel and click on “widgets.” A page with various widget areas around the site will load. Depending on how many columns you have in your footer, you will have that number of footer widget areas displayed on the right (e.g. in this example 3 footer columns = 3 footer widget areas). Edit or remove existing elements from each footer column, or add a new element from the options on the left.

3. footer

3. Update general copy and images

Regardless of what page you’d like to edit any copy and/ or images on, the process is generally the same.

 

Click on “pages” in the left-hand panel and then select the page you would like to edit (here we have selected the “about” page). On the page that opens, there will be various containers – correlating to content on the page – with the existing set of content. Scan through the page until you find the content – be it images or copy – that you’d like to edit. Hover your cursor over it and click the editing pen. You can now edit or replace content with your new content.

last img

When all edits to the page are done, you can click the preview button to see how the changes will appear on the site, without committing to them. If you are not happy with something, go back and make the necessary edits. When done, click the blue update button which will make these changes go live.

 

Although this post only covered the basics, about 80% of updates you might want to do on your website are covered in the various steps above. For anything else, please refer to your handover tutorial, or alternatively give us a shout at hello@theyellowdoor.co.za !

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