Send Google a Box of Muffins

Send Google a Box of Muffins

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What is Search Engine Optimisation?

Today, we'll be going through Search Engines and how to get ranked higher. I hopefully don't need to explain what a search engine is? You probably found this article using one.

But you may not know what Search Engine Optimisation is, and why it's so important? Google is an advertising company, and like any good advertising company, they want to have the best content so people will use their service. If Google doesn't display good content, relevant to what you're searching, you'll just go use an alternative. 

So, Google wants to show relevant, quality content that loads fast. How do they do this you ask? Through a number of ways!

If you want to prove to Google your website is important, you need to meet as many of Googles requirements as possible! You cannot simply send Google a box of muffins and hope they return the favour by ranking you higher!

Google have some muffins

What are these requirements though?

Well, nobody really knows as Google are pretty secretive about the exact things they look for when scoring a website. But, there are several things we can assume. 

We know Google wants a fast loading website. When we develop our websites, we make sure to use the best images and compress them using the latest image formats, which is usually WebP. It would be a good idea for you to convert your images into this format to see noticeable results for larger images.

We also hand code everything, so we don't have rogue code dotted everywhere with no purpose. If you're using a site builder, like Wix (naughty naughty) then you'll undoubtedly have code everywhere without any reason. Site builders allow drag and drop functionality to help you move things around. This always leaves code behind! We would advise looking into all the code and making sure you don't have useless divs everywhere, or missing closing brackets. 

We know Google wants a well coded website. We always make sure our websites are coded to perfection, using things like 'alt' and 'title' tags for accessibility. Not everyone is the same, some people are unable to read small text, or have difficulty navigating around a website. Google knows this and wants to accommodate to everyone's requirements. If you make your website as accessible as possible, Google will appreciate this greatly.

We know Google wants relevance. We take time when coding our websites layout, targeting the content people want and making sure they get it quickly. We use special SEO tools to check our score, fine tweaking everything to make sure Google loves us... then we send the muffins!

You can find a number of excellent SEO tools out there which can help. We use AHREFS, which is a paid service, but other tools are free.

We know Google wants responsive. Everything we design is 100% responsive. We take our time to make sure our websites look amazing on all devices. Of-course, there is always one or two screen sizes which break the mold... a visitor viewing your website on a Nokia 3310... you can't get every screen size, but try your best.

We use Bootstrap for our responsive layouts. It might be worth checking it out and learn how it works. We dedicated a few years into mastering it, but you can pick up the basics reasonably quickly.

Our conclusion?

Simple. If you want Google to rank you highly, make a good website! Take time to think about accessibility, load speed and well coded layouts. Make sure your content is easily readable and relevant.

Take a look at our website for example. We wanted a clean, simple but elegant design. We want visitors to immediately know what we do and answer the questions without them asking.

We want visitors to feel comfortable and relaxed. We don't have things flashing and moving everywhere! Yes okay, we have a few feathers falling from the page, but this isn't too distracting (hopefully). We don't have content everywhere on the page, we've spaced things out so people can read without distractions.

We put time and effort into making a website people will be happy to stay on. Google knows this, and this is why we're currently on the first page of Google for 'Web Design in York'.

The muffins worked!

As always, thanks for reading. Until next time.

James Osguthorpe

02 September 2022

James Osguthorpe

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