If you are completely new to building websites, we recommend reading our advice on building your first blog or website.
Although this goes without saying, domain names are very important when google ranks your website. For example, if John Smith decided to make a website to sell his artwork, purchasing a domain name such as www.johnsmithart.com would significantly boost the likelihood of someone searching “John Smith art” to find his website. Once you’ve purchased a domain name and a website hosting provider (we recommend TSO Host), you can get it ‘connected’ to your existing blog or website (this whole process costs about £20-30 per year). You can check to see if your preferred domain is available here.
Keywords really help with your page rankings on google. Make sure your keyword for each page is included in the page title, the meta description and the first paragraph of text on your page. For example, John Smith creates a site page on his “Landscape” series of paintings. He titles the page “Landscape Paintings”, updates the meta description to “John Smith’s latest series of landscape paintings” and include the word “landscape” in his introductory paragraph.
Most website editors such as WordPress and Weebly will give you the option to title your pages. Make sure you include your page key word in the page title. For example, John Smith makes a ‘sales’ page on his website. He makes sure the word “sales” is included in the page title, “Artwork Sales”. Again, this really helps google find John’s “Artwork Sales” page when people search for “John Smith art sales”.
This is not quite as essential as it used to be for google rankings, but is still useful. Most website editors give you the option to write a meta description for each of your pages – use this to include your keyword(s) for the page and it will let google know that your page is likely to be a good hit when people search for those keywords.
When you use images on your website, make sure they are saved with an appropriate name. For example, John Smith is updating his “Landscape Paintings” page and wants to add a new image. It is saved on his computer as “img0024.jpg”. John renames this to “landscape-painting-john-smith” and adds it to the website. This really helps with his google page ranking, ensuring that google knows the image uses John’s page keyword. It also helps with anyone doing an image search on google to find “John Smith painting”. Also, making your image an appropiate size will help your page load much faster – there’s no point uploading a 4000×3000 pixel image if it will only be displayed on a small scale.
If you are using a website/blog building service such as WordPress, many people have created incredibly useful free plug-ins (mini-programs which can do different useful things for your website). We use WordPress to create and run this website and we use a number of plug-ins to improve it:
- Yoast SEO allows us to easily input key words, meta descriptions and pages titles and allows us to see how this affects our page ‘searchability’
- The Google Analytics plug-in lets us link our website really easily to Google Analytics, allowing us to see lots of information about how long people spends on our site, what they’re looking at and if they’ve accessed a page from any of our social media posts
- Mailchimp for WordPress means we can add an easy newletter sign up form to our site.