NAP (Name, Address, Phone Number)
NAP stands for name, address, phone number. For a search engine, these collective details form a unique marker that separates you from anyone else. The more you can solidify your identity, the better. Through listing your NAP details consistently, you demonstrate your presence in a certain area, and most importantly, your right to rank for location-based searches performed there.
Google Analytics defines bounce rate as the percentage of sessions in which a user left your site from the page through which they entered it, without interacting with it. Not only does a high bounce rate indicate that a business has lost a number of conversion opportunities, but there’s been evidence to suggest that high bounce rates can damage a website’s search visibility.
Local search is a constantly evolving field in search. For business which need to draw customers to a physical location, ranking well in local search can be a critical consideration in any decent marketing strategy, and has swiftly become an SEO top-priority. Local search results are those which are relevant to a user based on their current location, or on the location they type manually into search.
Conversion Rate Optimisation
A conversion occurs on a website when a user performs an action which takes them further along the buying cycle. For example, a conversion could be requesting a quote, or simply buying your product outright. A business’s website should always be built with a view to having a good conversion rate.
A crucial part of any SEO campaign, link building is the process of obtaining links from an external source which points to your own website. These links, or hyperlinks’ provide clear pathways across the rambling maze of the world wide web, enabling both search engines and users to visit your website and get it on the search results map.
Rel Canonical Tag
A rel=canonical tag is a snippet of HTML code which marks up web pages that are at risk of being interpreted as duplicate content. By implementing this tag in pages with similar or identical content, webmasters are able to convey to search engines which is the original page—the ‘canonical link’—and which are subsequent copies.
URL parameters are used to indicate how search engines should handle parts of your site based on your URLs, in order to crawl your site more efficiently. This refers to folders within a URL string, i.e. yoursite.com/folder-one/ or yousite.com/folder-two/, where folder one may have duplicate content to folder two or where the content in folder one should not be showing up in search results.
The nofollow tag is a way that publishers can inform Google and other search engines that they do not endorse certain links to other pages. Nofollow is important for search engine optimisation as it proves to search engines that they are not selling influence or are involved in schemes deemed as unacceptable SEO practices.
Website navigation is one of the most important factors to both SEO and user experience (UX). A well-organised, well-designed website with straightforward navigation will not only improve your site’s UX, but will also help the search engine bots crawl a website by helping them find all the site’s content and making more efficient use of their crawl budgets.
Whether your site needs to be moved to another server or your company is rebranding and renaming itself, your onsite content needs to be precisely redirected to its new home. If your redirects are not properly completed, your new site will be riddled with 404 File Not Found errors, which can diminish user experience, leading to an increased bounce rate and therefore a decreased page ranking.
White Hat vs Black Hat SEO
The terms ‘white hat’ and ‘black hat’ are commonplace in SEO. Put simply, white hat refers to good SEO practices that search engines recommend, while black hat refers to bad SEO practices that break search engine rules. Though black hat techniques may appear to lead to quick and easy boosts in search rankings, they never pay off in the long run.
Heading tags are important to a page’s rankings and to user experience. For a visitor, a heading tag changes the look of a heading or subheading, usually making it bigger and bolder. For a search engine, heading tags reveal the hierarchy of a page. A H1 tag is considered the main heading, followed by H2, H3, H4, and so on.
Meta tags are text snippets in the code of a web page. Site users cannot always see meta tags and heading tags. But these invisible pieces of code have a huge effect on the way a page looks, on whether users choose to visit a page, and, crucially, on how a page performs in search engines.
Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP)
Google’s AMP is an open source project designed to improve the loading speed and readability of content for mobile users. Think of it as an upgrade to mobile-friendly pages. According to Google, AMP aims to improve mobile experience by getting information to load instantaneously, including rich content like video, animations and graphics.
Directories were once an SEO staple. Conceived as the web’s answer to the Yellow Pages, online directories played host to huge lists of links which would send link juice to the sites they listed, boosting the Google rankings of the pages they linked to. Google did not like this.
A sitemap is essentially a resource you create for your site to enable discovery by Google and other search engines. Providing resource metadata in the form of sitemaps is a key way to position your content to appear in search.
Link Metrics, PageRank & Domain Authority
Link Metrics is the collective term referring to the criteria for ranking search results. They reflect the importance of any given webpage on the world wide web, and include some measure of domain authority, relevancy and trust. It’s a way to measure websites not by how important their webmasters say they are, but by how authoritative, relevant and trusted other web users say they are.
HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure)
HTTPS is an internet communication protocol that protects the privacy of user data between their browser and the website they’re using. A secure alternative to HTTP, this protocol is often used to protect confidential transactions such as online shopping orders and online banking. Because of this, HTTPS is widely used by e-commerce sites and sites containing sensitive material.
Google Analytics is a free web service that provides comprehensive statistics and analytical tools for SEO and marketing purposes. Analytics monitors traffic to a website and collects data on how visitors interact with the site. Data available through this service includes user demographics, behaviour and interaction, such as pageviews, bounce rate and average time spent on site.
Alt Attributes, Alt Text & Alt Tags
The alt attribute is designed to provide alternative text in the case that the image cannot not be seen. An alt tag is placed in the code surrounding an image and is usually only visible when the image does not or cannot load. The main audience for this was, and still is, the visually impaired.
A 301 redirect is an instruction that tells a browser: “The requested page is no longer available at the URL you have, you’ll find it at this new new address”. The browser is then automatically redirected to this new URL and the desired, relocated content is displayed. This happens so quickly users rarely notice a page has been redirected.