SEO Manchester: 3 Steps To Standing Out In A Crowded Market
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SEO in Manchester plays a critical role in your business’ digital marketing strategy as we step into 2023’s fiercely competitive marketplace. To put it simply, if your website fails to secure a spot on the first page of Google search results, you miss out on valuable online leads and sales that your competitors are getting instead.
SEO Key Metric 1: Page Speed
Have you ever clicked on a website and waited, staring at a blank screen, for multiple seconds just waiting for it to load? This is exactly what Google wants to avoid.
Page Speed is one of the most important factors when it comes to getting your website ranking on search engines. Simply put – the faster your website loads, the more Google is going to like it.
To quickly check your website’s page speed you can use this tool – simply type in your website’s URL and click ‘Analyze’. This is a completely free tool that is especially useful as the data is coming straight from Google themselves, meaning if your website is in the red for any of the major benchmarks your website is almost certainly not ranking as well as it could.
Let’s look at this restaurant called Rabbani’s website below along with the breakdown.
The ‘Speed Index’ score in the bottom is the website’s page speed. A general rule of thumb to follow is to have that score be below 2 seconds. Anything above 4 seconds and Google will punish your website. This is because Google wants to show websites that are the most intuitive to user experience.
If you find your website is slow, look out for any files that can cause your website to load slower. Large images are usually one of the culprits behind slow load times as their file sizes are much larger than text. To reduce your image sizes (while keeping their high quality look the same), use this tool to keep your website images as small in file size as possible.
Concerned that your website is taking too long to load and think Google might be punishing your website? At Digital Capital Marketing we always offer free consultations to anyone who reaches out along with a detailed plan (whether you work with us or not) of how you can go about fixing those issues holding you back.
SEO Key Metric 2: SSL Certificate
Have you ever clicked on a website and noticed a warning sign along with ‘Not Secure’ in the top left?
Even worse, have you clicked on a website recently and seen this warning message come up first?
There are many free options available for SSL certificates. If the role of your website is to act as a form of social proof and to increase trust building with potential customers, a regular SSL certificate will be fine. You can get this for free, but to save yourself months of hassle it’s worth investing $10/yr to purchase one from a trusted provider such as GoDaddy or Namecheap.
Regardless of the approach you choose to take, the most important takeaway here is that you need to have one for your website to rank well on Google.
SEO Key Metric 3: High-Quality, Regular Content
If there’s one thing that 99% of top ranking websites have in common, it’s that they all consistently post relevant content for their desired audience.
It’s important to remember that quantity isn’t the name of the game here – quality is. It is far better to write 1,000 words once a month that are extremely relevant to your target audience and solve the problem, than 2,000 words once a day that exist only for the sake of having more content on your website’s blog.
When it comes to blog posts, you want to make sure your blog posts solve a problem and that your content remains consistent on solving the problem for the reader.
SEO Key Metric 4: Backlinks & Domain Authority
Backlinks are just as the name suggests – links ‘back’ to your website. If a local news website was to do a story on your business and included a link to your website in the article, this would be an example of a backlink.
Why would Google care about such a thing? Backlinks are seen as votes of confidence from other websites, indicating that the linked website is trustworthy and relevant.
It can be useful to think of backlinks as a spider web. You have the highest quality, hand picked websites that have the highest backlink quality. As these high quality websites link to others a network of interconnected websites is created. We want to be as close to the center of this web as possible.
A single link from a very high quality website such as BBC News will be ten times more powerful than 1,000 links coming from low-quality websites.
To see what kinds of backlinks your website has, you can use this tool. This allows us to see what backlinks the restaurant website we’ve used has, like with the restaurant website we’ve looked at before:
See the ‘Domain Rating’ in the top left of the picture? That’s called Domain Authority (DA). Using DA allows Google to quickly gauge the overall strength and credibility of a website. It’s a numerical metric between 0 and 100. The higher your score, the better. Essentially if you want to increase your website’s visibility and attract more customers, improving your Domain Authority is key.
If a very strong website such as BBC News gave you a backlink to your website. When they link to your website, it acts as a strong endorsement and signals to search engines like Google that your website is also trustworthy. Your website’s Domain Authority will then receive a significant boost.
A tactic often used by SEO firms in Manchester is to spam your website across multiple websites. Your number of backlinks shoot up but what isn’t as obvious is these are not high quality links. Just as with content creation, you want to be aiming for quality over quantity.
Search Engine Optimization firms worth their salt strive to secure high-quality backlinks consistently. They prioritize long-term success rather than short-lived victories that offer temporary gains.
Conclusion – What Do I Do Now?
SEO can seem complicated at first, but it doesn’t have to be when working with a trusted firm. Interested in seeing how your website is holding up? Don’t hesitate to reach out to us for your free SEO audit in the top right of your screen.