404s - Page not Found
A 404, or Page not Found, is a common error message found on websites which states that the website was able to communicate with the server but that there was no information there. Generally appears after a visitor follows a broken or dead link, check links often to reduce errors.
404, 404s, page not found, website errors, servers, broken links, link building
500 server errors
If you see 500 server errors on your website then you should contact your hosting providers immediately. A 500 server error means that your browser cannot reach your server, an issue that needs urgent attention.
500, server errors, website errors, hosting, browsers, servers
About Us Pages
'About Us' pages are a common feature on websites. They are a quick and easy way to provide your visitors background information on your company and brand. Showing this helps to communicate your companies aims, ambitions and even USPs.
about us, background, branding, companies aims, USPs, selling points
Above & Below the Fold
This term describes what you see when you load a website (above the fold) and then what you see when you begin to scroll down as below the fold. The act of scrolling down is second nature for many now so it isn't as key. However calls to actions should always be above the fold.
website structure, website content, content, website design
Access to CSS or JS
Age of Content
Google often gives new content a boost in its search results. This highlights the need for fresh content on your website and for older pages to be refreshed. However, older quality content often has high traffic levels and good SEO value. Balance needs to be struck between old and new content.
fresh content, shareable content, optimised pages, seo
ALT tags refer to the ALT attribute within image tags, every image on websites need an ALT tag stating what that image is showing. Consider those using a screen reader and ensure that they have a text alternative to the image.
website design, use of ALT tags, alt tags, website accessibility, screen readers
Attractive Website Design
Impressions count. Websites should have an attractive design appropriate for your users but also to send out the right message. Research has proven that trust can be gauged by how attractive your website design is, more trust worthy your website appears the more likely they will convert.
website design, website development, wireframes, attractive designs, trustworthiness
A bounce rate is the percentage of your visitors who 'bounce' off your site after only viewing one page of your site for a very short period of time. Often bounces happen as the website is relevant for their search or because the site took a long time to load. Improving bounce rate improves rankings
bounce rates, bounced visitors, incoming traffic, poor landing pages, google analytics
A unified branding can make or break your website's design. It is important when thinking about branding, re-branding or re-launching your brand that you take into consideration your target audience, your company aims and the message that you want to convey via your brand.
unified branding, branding, company branding, website branding, website design
Breadcrumbs refer to the navigational aid that is often used on websites to enable a user to see the path they took to get the web page that they are on. They assist with accessibility and show a clear user flow to search engines assisting your ranking position.
website accessibility, meta information, website structure, navigation, seo, breadcrumbs
Calls to Actions
Calls to actions won't necessarily help with ranking positions, however they are known to assist and encourage conversions from visitors on your website. Calls to actions must be correctly placed for maximum effectiveness.
calls to actions, point of contact, conversions, ecommerce, B2B, website design, ux, user experience, wesite structure, wireframes, A/B testing
CMS's are content management systems. Websites use CMS's as a way of allowing for easy editing of websites. There are a great number on the market so look around before you commit to one. Why not check out our CMS, the ExtraCMS here today at www.extracms.co.uk
cms, content management systems, editing websites, extracms, website content
Your website's colour scheme should reflect your company's branding but also be easy on the eye. Consider the psychological impact that colours can make and ensure that it is sending the right message to your target audience.
website design, accessible websites, branding, use of colour, colour schemes
Contact Us Pages
It is vital that you have a 'Contact Us / Get in Touch' page on your website. This is a quick and easy way to provide your customers all the contact details they could need in a format that website users are used to. Contact Info = Customer Assurance = Confidence = More Sales = Improved Rankings
contact us, ease of communication, customer relationship, website structure, navigation
Content is King! Remember that and you will see great results from good quality, high value and shareable content on your website.
quality content, natural content, sharable content, website content, panda, penguin, seo
Online in the UK items like images & text are subject to copyright protection. Other elements on website are not BUT the arrangement of these elements are copyrighted. If you are unsure what is protected then seek an expert to clarify for you as variations exist depending on countries etc.
copyright, legal, website content, website structure, website design
Country specific domains
In terms of multi-lingual and multi-national SEO, it is beneficial to ensure that the domain for your website is country specific. For example, UK sites should be .co.uk, French websites should be .fr, Arabic websites should be .ar and Chinese websites should be .cn.
specific domains, multilingual marketing, urls, cross border seo
Direct traffic to your website is traffic to your website that came directly to your website via typing the full URL into their browser, using a shorted URL of your website or via a bookmarked that your user created on their device. You can find your % of direct traffic via sources like Google Analytics.
direct traffic, incoming traffic, bookmarks, google analytics
Domain History and Age
The history and age of your domain is considered a ranking factor. Historical website penalties can affect your ongoing SEO so care is needed here. Alternatively, if your website is a few years old and well viewed by search engines then you have a better chance of gaining higher rankings faster.
domain, rankings, penalties, seo, search engines, domain age
Duplicate content is a big NO! Stealing content from other websites and sources will be flagged by Google. Depending on the severity of it, it will either see your rankings dip or your website receiving a penalty. Avoid at all costs!
duplicate content, poor content, website structure, copyright, legal, penalties, panda
Duration of Visit
Information on the duration of visits to your site can be found via sources like Google Analytics. It is a measure of the average time spent on site by visitors and is often a good indication of the interest in your website. Typically, the more time a person spends on site the higher your rankings go.
time spent on site, google analytics, interest, relevant content, engagement
Easy to Read Text
A key accessibility factor which is often over looked is ensuring easy to read text. It needs to be the right colour font against the website's background and any images that it appears over, as well as being the right size for easy readability. Consider how it looks on small screen sizes as well.
website design, accessible websites, font, text style, accessibility
Excessive pop ups
There is nothing more annoying or detrimental for a website than having lots of pop ups appearing for visitors. It is important that pop ups are limited to live chat options and potentially the one pop up highlighting a discount or freebie if you sign up or enter x code at the checkout.
pop ups, live chats, discount offers, ecommerce, UX, user experience
Flash was commonly used online for elements like gifs, slide shows and animations. Nowadays its use should be avoided as it doesn't cope well on mobile devices (which are frequently used) and doesn't get read well by search engines. Create your elements using other SEO friendly tools.
flash, website elements, gifs, animations, mobile use, search engines
Flesch Reading Score
The Flesch Reading Score is a commonly used readability score used on website's content. Ideally your website's content should have a score of between 60.0 and 70.0% the level which is considered to be plain English.
flesh, reading score, reading level, website content, easy english, plain english
Formatting of Text
Formatting of text via the use of bullet points, headers, images and even bold letters & capitalisation helps to ensure that your page is easy to read. Easy to read content equals a better user experience, which in turn sends good signals to Google and sees an improvements in your ranking positions.
formatting of website, website structure, easy to read, plain english, ux, user experience
Future Proof your Website
When looking to make changes to your website it is important that you consider your future needs as well as your current ones. Look at how your industry is predicted to change and likely changes in customer's behaviours. Proactive change is always better with ranking positions, not reactive.
future, 21st century, technological advances, shift in culture, fast pace, personalised approach
Google shopping is Google's own ecommerce platform which brings together all products currently on the web to present them in one location. It is the ultimate in price comparison and something that businesses need to utilise carefully.
google shopping, ecommerce, price comparison, google, search engines
Google's Hummingbird Algorithm
Google Hummingbird, released September 2013, was the first major update to Google's search engine since 2001. Shifts focus from individual words to longer tailed searches, ultimately improving the quality of search results in a more natural way.
website structure, google, search engines, keywords, long tailed keywords, natural search, hummingbird
Google's Knowledge Graph
Google's Knowledge Graph, launched May 2012, is a system that understands facts about places, people, things and how they all connect. This enables Google to provide answers for searches rather than just showing search results.
knowledge graph, google, rich snippets, search engine
Google's Pay Day Loan Algorithm
Google Pay Day Loan, released June 2013, aims to target heavily spammy queries such as pay day loans, casinos and pornography. Often these spammy queries are a result of unique link scheme, many of are illegal regardless of this algorithm.
pay day loan algorithm, google, spammy queries, link schemes, search engines
Google's Pigeon Algorithm
Google Pigeon, released July 2014, aimed to improve the rankings of local listings in its search result. This update allowed for local businesses to compete with the larger national companies in its search results. Local SEO is needed to allow your company to make the most of this update.
local seo, pigeon, google, search engines, local businesses
Google's Rank Brain
Google Rank Brain refers to the machine learning technology that Google uses to help deliver better search results for your queries. It is not an algorithm; it is a sophisticated computer program that shifts through billions of web pages to deliver the ones that are most relevant for your search.
rank brain, google, search engines, machine learning, relevant searches
Google's YMYL Algorithm
Google's Your Money or Your Life (YMYL) algorithm aims to set enforced quality levels for certain web content and sites that impact anyone's current or future physical, financial or safety. Example websites affected relate to banking, education, legal, health, parenting and even ecommerce stores.
YMYL, google, search engines, quality content
H1 titles, often referred to as Heading 1, are the main heading for a web page. This H1 needs to be unique to the page and be truthful regarding what the web page is about. H1 are a great place for (appropriate) keywords and should be part of any ongoing optimisation of your website.
h1 titles, website headers, content formatting, website formatting, website structure
Hidden text is any text on your website which can be seen by search engines but not by visitors to your website. Often used to squeeze more keywords onto a web page. Any hidden text is considered to be spam on your website and spam is detrimental for website rankings.
hidden text, hidden links, hidden keywords, keywords, links, link building, black hat seo
A hreflang tag signals to Google what language you are using on a web page. Helpful if you have multiple landing pages in various languages or copy of your website for a different language. Hreflang tags can even narrow it down to language and country, es-es (Spain)/es-mx (Mexico).
hreflang, tags, languages, multilingual marketing, landing pages, seo
HTML Validation is important for ensuring that you have a functioning site across browsers and devices. This then helps to ensure a good user experience for your website visitors, which in turn sends good signals to Google and improves your ranking positions. Vital for SEO!
html, validation, website validation, ux, user experience, browser testing
HTTPS (Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure) is the secure version of the HTTP (Hyper Text Transfer Protocol). Having the S at the end of your HTTP means that you website has a SSL certificate and is deemed secure for online payments and customer details.
http, https, ssl, security, ecommerce, online payments, psp, payment providers, secure websites
Images should be used appropriately to enhance the content as well as message of your website. From an accessibility point of view images should be correctly sized and positioned to ensure that they leave text clear to read. Poor images send poor messages to your visitors.
website design, image design, accessible websites, responsive design, images
Content should be natural, relevant and of a high quality. Keywords can be used where relevant but do not stuff your keywords everywhere and anywhere. This overload of keywords sends negative signals to search engines and will see your rankings fall - Google Panda update sees to this.
website content, quality content, keywords, keyphrases, keyword stuffing, black hat seo, poor seo
It is key that any keyword usage on your website is natural. Keyword stuffing and over use will see no benefit and will actually harm your website and it's SEO. There is no upper nor lower limit on the number of keywords used as long is its natural, relevant to your audience and appropriate.
website content, quality content, keywords, keyphrases, keyword stuffing, natural content
Keywords in Domain
Typically website domains that contain an appropriate keyword for your website receive a boost for that keyword in rankings. You need to balance out this benefit with the advantages to branding, would your keyword domain narrow down your marketing efforts or assist with your branding?
keywords, domains, url, keyword rich domain names, branding
Length of Domain Names
Domain names should always be short and easy to remember. Lengthy domain names make it harder for users which is signalled on your website data. It is this negative signal to Google which hinders your ranking positions. Domain names should always be short but appropriate.
domain names, urls, domains, ux, user experience
Meta descriptions are unique descriptions for each page of your website. Used as a snapshot of web pages by search engines. it is also your shop window due to being one of the first things visitors see on search results for your web page. It is vital for SEO and can have a huge effect on rankings.
meta information, meta description, search engine results, unique, seo
Meta tags are short snippets of text found in the code of the website page which informs people and search engines what this page is about. Meta tags like meta titles and meta descriptions are used heavily in search engine results and are key for successful SEO.
website accessibility, meta information, meta tags, screen readers, seo, search engines
Meta Titles are unique titles for each page of your website. Used as a quick snap shot of what your web page refers to by search engines. It's also part of your shop window as it is one of the first things visitors see on search results for your web page. Done right and it's vital for high rankings.
meta information, meta title, search engine results, unique, seo
Minimising HTML and CSS
Most websites contain some HTML and CSS, it is what gives them their aesthetics and assists with a better user experience. Unfortunately HTML and CSS is another element on your website that has to load, minimising/optimising them helps to speed the site up which gives a better user experience.
html, css, validation, minimising css, faster load time, website speed, website design
Sometimes referred to as non-paid traffic, is any traffic from organic sources mainly SEO. With any improvements in SEO this traffic source should rise. Good positions in rankings with good click through rates (CTR), this traffic source should rise. Data can be found via tools like Google Analytics
organic traffic, natural traffic, seo, google analytics, rankings
Page Loading Speed
The speed in which your website loads is a ranking factor. Poor loading websites are likely to have high bounce rates which signal to Google that the website is not interesting for those that land on the website. These high bounce rates then push your website lower in the rankings.
page speed, website loading speed, code optimisation, incoming traffic
Paid traffic is any traffic from paid advertising sources, mainly Pay per Click (PPC) advertising on Google AdWords for example. This kind of traffic can easily be gained with the right paid advertising and good landing pages.
paid traffic, pay per click advertising, ppc, adwords, google analytics, landing pages
Privacy policies appear on all websites, they set out to declare what you intend to do with any information gathered about them as a visitor/customer and then how information will be stored. This is a legal necessity and helps give the customer reassurance.
privacy policies, legal, online experience, reassurance
This is traffic from sources such as offsite blogs, social media posts, industry directories and authoritative websites. This kind of traffic comes to your website via the maze of backlinks that you have built up. Good referral traffic sends positive signals to Google and can help boost rankings.
referral traffic, off site blogs, social media links, directories, backlinks, google analytics
Rel=Canonical tags are an important tool in the SEO toolkit. Rel=Canonicals are added to a webpage to state that this content is the true source, this helps you when there might be multiple URLs for different categories and also protects you from duplication (Duplicated content hurts your rankings).
rel canonicals, canonical tags, duplicate content, website content, duplication, ecommerce
There has been in boom in the use of using mobiles and tablets to access websites, this boom shows no sign of slowing. Mobile friendly websites are now key ranking factors for Google so ensure that your website is responsive for strong mobile friendliness and usability.
responsive websites, mobile friendly websites, website structure, website design, ux, user experience
We are a culture that demands what we want when we want it, visitors to your website expect to be able to quickly load your site and get the product/information they want. Server speed affects the page load time. Fast server speed = fast page load = Good User Experience = Better Rankings.
server, website speed, load speed, incoming traffic, ux, user experience
Showing text as an image
Website content should never be shown on your website as an image, all content needs to be text so that search engines can read it and use it to rank your website. Some text in a banner graphic or pop up is acceptable, but not huge chunks of text.
text, images, rankable content, quality content, poor seo
Sitemaps are maps of your website for search engine crawlers. A sitemap lets Google's crawlers know where all pages on your website can be found and their order. Sitemaps alone will not improve your ranking position but it will assist Google in navigating your website to rank it higher.
sitemap, website navigation, website structure, seo, search engines, robots, search engine crawlers
Size Tap Targets
Size tap targets refer to the size of elements on your site that you expect your customers to click on to navigate around or gain something from your website. 'Buy Now' buttons are a good example of these. These must be the right size to be used with ease, even on small devices as well.
website design, website accessibility, UX, user experience, navigation, calls to action
Spamdexing refers to the practice of spamming search engines often with repetitive unrelated phrases to try and manipulate the resource that is indexed by a search engine. It is a black hat tactic and will see your website fall in rankings. Avoid at all costs!
spam, index web pages, black hat seo, penalties
Spammy content can refer to two things, heavy use of ads and irrelevant content on your website, or, the heavy use of keyword/keywords to the detriment of your content. Content is King and therefore your content needs to be non spammy and natural for your users and Google.
spammy content, spammy websites, black hat seo, poor seo, content is king
Spammy content will only see your rankings plummet. Thanks to Google‰Ûªs Panda update only quality, unique and relevant content will see your rankings improve. Work hard on crafting great content for your website if you want to see your rankings soar.
spammy content, spammy websites, black hat seo, poor seo, content is king
SSL Certificates are normally seen on websites that take any form of payment or customer details. They are small data files that digitally bind a cryptographic key into the business' details, this results in allowing for secure connections from website servers to browsers.
ssl, security, ecommerce, online payments, psp, payment providers, secure connections
Sub domains can assist SEO if done correctly. Using sub domains for countries can help however they must use the right sub domain i.e. .fr rather than .eu. Sub domains are so complicated that it is best to seek expert advice as to whether your sub domain plans will help or hurt your SEO efforts.
sub domains, domains, multilingual marketing, seo
Terms and Conditions
Terms and Conditions appear on all websites, especially those selling a service or product online. They set out to show what terms and conditions apply for their web sales. This is a legal necessity and helps give the customer reassurance in their online purchase.
terms, conditions, legal, online service, reassurance
The best URLs are those that are short and relevant to its web page. For example, for a page on Garden ornaments, ensure your URL is website.co.uk/garden-ornaments and not website.co.uk/12642. Use of keywords in URLs is a further signal to Google about what the page contains.
urls, domain names, domain lengths, keywords
Use of H2, H3, H4 ... Titles
H2, H3, H4 titles etc refer to the title number on your web page. Main headings are referred to as H1 (header 1), the sub heading are H2 (heading 2), and ongoing sub headings are H3, H4 etc. These are key for explaining the format of the content to Google and assist with skim reading by users.
header titles, website headers, content formatting, website formatting, website structure
Use of Menus
Menus allow for easy navigation of your website. The right menu correctly positioned and used can give your visitor a great user experience which is a key ranking factor. Structure and plan your menus with care for the biggest impact.
website structure, website navigation, website design, navigation, ease of use, menus, drop down menus
Use of PDFs
Uses of PDFs on websites are great for instant downloads of brochures and even as help sheets or guides for customers post purchase. However, they must have the relevant alt tags on them and as they cannot be read by search engines do not put vital content in PDFs only.
pdf, online documents, newsletters, customer guides, ecommerce, seo
Use of Rich Media
Rich media refers to images, videos, info graphics and animations. These can assist your marketing practices and allow your customer to have a better user experience on your website. High engagement is often seen with rich media, a key ranking factor now.
rich media, animations, website imagery, ux, user experience, website design
Use of Tags
Tags have been used as a way of highlighting the relevance of web pages to certain categories. Whilst they are still used the value of these for SEO is declining. Can be used for aesthetic appeal but it is best to leave tags for social channels like Twitter and Facebook.
tags, social media, seo
The experience that your users have whilst on your website is a huge ranking factor! Consideration of user journeys whilst planning your website is a must, poor user journeys are noted by Google and persistent bad user experiences do cause your website to fall in the rankings.
ux, user experience, website design, website structure, navigation, user journeys
Google penalises websites that go against their idea of good SEO, penalties should be avoided at all costs. If your website/domain was previously penalised by Google then you must ensure that you carry out effective white hat SEO work to get these penalties removed.
penalities, google penalities, black hat seo
Website security is very important, from a code level up. For any website taking any form of online payment or customer details, a SSL certificate is required. Changing login details often will assist in ensuring the security of your website. Highly security website = the ability to rank well.
security, online security, SSL, customer payments, spam, hacking
www. Vs. Non www.
Ideally your website should be found whether you use www. or not. A good practice is to ensure that your non www. pages redirect to your www. pages. This act will not boost your rankings but it is considered to be part of the basic building blocks to enable you to boost your rankings.
www, domain, multilingual marketing, seo, redirects, rankings