SEO St Albans:
Are you a local business owner or webmaster that’s looking for more online organic traffic in St Albans and the surrounding areas? If yes, you’re in the right place! At 50 Creative Solutions, we are a digital marketing agency in St Albans providing bespoke SEO solutions for business or website to help you rank higher in the search engines and gain more organic traffic from search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo. This article dives into what SEO is, the different aspects of SEO, how it works, what our SEO services in St Albans are, and why it’s important for your business now more than ever to have an SEO strategy in 2022.
What is Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)?
Did you know about Local SEO?
- 46% of searches are for local services and goods
- 76% of local searchers visit the location in 24 hours
- 56% of people shop locally online and offline
- 28% of local searches end in a purchase
SEO St Albans: Our On-Page SEO Process:
Imagine you’re walking through a library trying to find information about the current events in St Albans and you find a book that you think will answer the question (We know that nobody looks for current events in a library… Just bear with us for a second because it’s a great example!). The cover of the book you find is titled “Events”. It’s old, torn apart and reads like it was written by a Victorian chimney sweep. You can tell at first glance that this book hasn’t been taken care of, and it’s structured like the author had no real purpose of what they were trying to achieve. Would you use that book as a source of information for current events?
That book could even have the most up-to-date information on everything happening in St Albans and still, most people would pass it by. Why?
Because user experience matters!
This is why on-site work is so important. On-page SEO is key in ranking a website and one of the fastest ways you can see a boost in rankings. By creating a site that’s worth reading, easy to navigate, and engaging with the reader. You will rank better and bring in more targeted traffic that can help you increase sales, boost conversions, and improve your marketing ROI.
URL structure is incredibly important, but very few people keep this in mind when creating their web pages. The URL is like Google’s Dewey Decimal system, helping the librarian find your content in an endless sea of information. URLs need to be clear, concise and to the point; defining the purpose of the page and ideally using the target keyword(s). They should be free of symbols and filler words including ‘in’ or ‘and’.
The metadata on a website is the information displayed by Google in their search engine result pages (SERPs). It’s information that the user cannot typically see while on the site, but Google and other search engines use this info to help define what the purpose of the page is and what information it is providing to the user. The 3 of the areas we put a heavy focus on are the meta title, meta description and the alt image tags.
Digging a bit deeper, alt image text is a bit more complicated. Comparing it back to books, the alt image text on your website is a description of the image that’s being displayed, as the source text at the bottom of a picture in a book. Google doesn’t process images as we do, it processes data, and that data can’t be retrieved just by looking at the image itself. Google needs a description of what is on that image so it can crawl and index the content appropriately. This is where your metadata comes into play. The alt image text is what Google reads to understand what’s happening in the image.
Can't Hit Page 1?
Page, Site & Link Structure
Imagine your readers open your book to see that the table of contents is out of order, multiple chapters have the same titles, some chapters are missing, and the content isn’t in the correct place. Would they still read it? It’s not likely. Neither will Google because structuring a website is no different. It’s key for a website to be well structured and designed for users to easily read and navigate. This is done through a series of ‘tags’ within the metadata and site-wide link structures that define content and page hierarchy to the Google crawlers.
Next, we need to look at your link structure. This is the focus on how all your web pages are connected, the order in which pages are viewed (user flow/experience), how the pages are linked to other sites (external links), and how each page can refer the user to other valuable content on the site (internal links). Don’t forget: User experience is a major ranking factor for Google. So, as a website owner, you can’t underestimate it. It’s pivotal to always keep the end-user in mind, and this part of the technical SEO process is how we ensure you’ve done that.
Site Performance Optimisation
Everyone at least once in their lives has clicked on a website that took (what felt like) a lifetime to load. If you want proper SEO in St Albans, then you need to take performance into account. It’s 2022, people don’t have the patience to wait for a page to load and they are incredibly likely to leave if they need to wait. That’s why site speed and performance are key in ranking. Google knows that your site needs to be in tip-top shape, and it will penalise you for running a slow show. So, how do we do it? By fixing the essentials like optimising your images, cutting back unused code, and making sure you’re getting the most from your server/hosting service.
Let’s go back to our St Albans clock tower image. Imagine you uploaded this straight to your website from your new iPhone 13 Pro. That image with all its data is stored on your website’s server that must be pulled from that server EVERY TIME a person is on that page. The higher the resolution and data the image has, the more time it takes to load on a page. Unless you have access to an expensive, high-quality server, you’re never going to have the speed you need to keep up with the competition, leading to higher bounce rates and poor rankings. Our team goes into your site and optimises every image held on the server, converting them into a high-resolution webp format so they’re quick to load and maintain their quality. In many cases, we can take websites from a 10-second load speed (slower than frozen molasses) down to less than 1 second (The Flash would be jealous).
Removing Unused/Excess Code
Our second step in performance optimisation is removing excess code that isn’t being used. Did you know, website templates are some of the most common ways that people will begin building a site? Most webmasters take what they want from previously built templates, build on top of them and then leave the rest hidden in the backend. Well, just like images, code is data, and it needs to be loaded each time someone accesses a webpage on your site. If your site has a large amount of excess code, it will inevitably slow your site down. Don’t believe us? Test your site speed on Google and look for yourself! Our team goes into every line of code to make sure that your site is running only on what is essential to keep it going and leaving all the unnecessary junk behind.
Auditing Your Server/Hosting Service
Not just the king of a country, king of the world! Real, valuable content is the single most important factor in ranking a website. So, all you need to do is jump on a computer and start typing up whatever comes to your mind in whatever jumbled mess it comes out as, right?
There is NOTHING more valuable than the content on your site because it’s YOURS. It’s UNIQUE to YOU and YOU are the only person on the planet who can provide the exact expertise that YOU do!
SEO St Albans: Our Agency’s Off-Page SEO Process
After our team has completed all the on-page SEO on your site, you should be ranking right? Some of you might be! Unfortunately, those rankings don’t tend to stick and will dwindle under your competition if more action isn’t taken. Now more than ever you need to implement an off-page SEO strategy that tells the world all about your bestselling website!
Google is all about natural and organic links, not links designed for a jump in rankings. The algorithm knows what these types of links are and where they come from, labelling them as a platform violation. If your links end up on sites like these, or if your site is caught creating backlinks for the sake of ranking, you could get penalised, and your rankings dropped. Unfortunately, most people don’t find this out until after the fact…
A great example of citations is Mac Testing of St Albans on Yell.com. They have loads of great reviews, all their information right in one place, images, and a direct link to their website. We’d consider this as great St Albans SEO.
Can you name 3 or more people in your life who do not and never have engaged with at least 1 type of social media? Be it YouTube, Facebook, Instagram or any other social platform… We can’t! Over the last decade, our entire society has been shaped by social media and Google factors that in when ranking sites. They specifically place a high value on shared and featured content across social media because they can trust that the information is authentic. When creating articles and running campaigns, our team publishes those links and content on relevant social media platforms including Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn. These provide you with safe, effective links that will help you grow your network, increase organic traffic, and increase your marketing ROI without any repercussions from the almighty Google Gods.
If you’ve ever Googled a company, then you more than likely have seen their Google My Business. This is the little box on the right side of the SERP with the company’s information. This is a feature that Google introduced in 2014 called Google my Business (GMB). This nifty tool is your one-stop-shop for providing all the relevant information that your target audience needs including a description of your organisation, physical location (or lack thereof), service areas, contact info, hours of operation, images, products for sale, reviews, and real-time updates. A GMB isn’t mandatory for ranking a page, but it sure helps. Data shows that a GMB is important for your local SEO rankings, and we optimise every aspect of it, so your St Albans digital storefront is in perfect working order for your next visitor.
This GMB has:
- Opening Hours
- Online Chat
- Link to website
- Social Media Link
We know what you’re probably thinking, ‘This is about organic traffic, not paid traffic. What the heck?’ Well, believe it or not, a healthy PPC campaign with a small budget does help your website’s organic traffic! When traffic starts flowing into your site, whether organic or paid, Google takes that as a signal to help you rank better organically. This doesn’t mean you should dump a bunch of money into paid ads or create some extravagant ad campaign. Our team sets up a simple, inexpensive, and easy to monitor campaign based on the targeted keywords we found. This gives your site a little help with traffic, but a big reward in rankings.
Is hiring our SEO company in St Albans worth the investment?
We think the answer is yes!
(from a completely unbiased opinion 😁)
Due to the pandemic, business was catapulted into the digital realm and it’s fundamentally changed the way we operate as a society. We were forced to go digital and there is little to nothing preventing us from going back. We will never get rid of the market on St Peter’s Street, or a Mr Whippy at the cathedral. But for the rest of us business owners, local and international business has forever shifted to an online world. By implementing SEO in St Albans and the local area, your business can:
- Increase Organic Traffic
- Grow Your Brand
- Increase Sales
- Boost Conversions
- Grow your Network
- Stay Ahead of Your Competitors
- And much more…