So now that you know what search engine optimisation (SEO) is (see SEO Basics Part 1: What is SEO - can I do my own SEO), it’s time to look at the finer details of how SEO actually functions. In the second in this three-post series, we’re looking at how Rocketspark can help you with your website’s SEO.
SEO can be a lot of work. But if your web platform has the right technical foundations, you have a big head start because a lot of the initial hard work has already been done for you. Just as a chef’s gourmet meal begins with a good set of sharp knives, it’s crucial that your website has the sharp tools for ranking well before you start to add the ingredients of SEO, like great fresh content, inbound links and title tags.
Technical foundations: keeping your tools sharp
Rocketspark has a lot of built-in SEO services and features. Here’s what Rocketspark provides to ensure you have the right technical foundations for ranking well:
- Fast load times. With all other things being equal, Google will rank a faster site ahead of a slower site. They want to present the best results to the users of their search engine and they know we don’t like waiting for a page to load. How do we ensure speedy load times?:
- Rocketspark websites are hosted with fast high-quality hosting in New Zealand, the United Kingdom and Australia.
- Our code is refined to ensure the page loads quickly.
- We’ve built our own image caching engine. Uploading a large, 5mb image is usually overkill—it doesn’t need to be anywhere near that big for a website to look good. So when someone visits your site, we show them an image that has been optimised for the size displayed. If you drag-and-drop an image into a wider column we’ll retrieve a larger copy from the original image on our server.
- Canonical URL.A page can be accessed via several similar URLs. For example, both www.rocketspark.com and https://rocketspark.com take you to the same page. The problem with these different URLs is that Google treats them all as different pages, which can dilute your page’s ranking. Rocketspark avoids this by again using a 301 redirect (see above for explanation) to point those URLs to the canonical (main) URL. This means that Google is told that all the other links point to the same page.
- Title and description tags. Title and description tags are important sign posts for Google. It’s your way of telling Google in a line and a couple of short sentences what a particular page is about. These tags also are also what what people typically see in search results. Rocketspark makes it easy for you to enter your title tag and meta-descriptions for each page and we provide a reminder in your dashboard so that you don’t forget to complete these important items. Learn about how to use title tags and description tags in SEO Basics Part 3: How to do SEO to get higher search rankings?Even if you don’t set up any title or description tags we’ll still put your business name in as a title tag automatically so at least you’ll have some
- Correctly tagged headings. The headings on a website are all tagged with unseen tags which show Google what are the most important headings on a page. Rocketspark sites employ H1, H2 and H3 tags and these tags are automatically applied to your headings depending on which block you add to your site. Learn about how to use headings correctly in Part 3.
- Internal and external links. Linking to other pages on your website is a powerful way to boost your Google rankings.
- Rocketspark makes it easy to create text and image links using our text and image editors.
- Google looks to see what text description is used on a text link, called “anchor text”. When you create a text link, it’s important to use descriptive text such as “view our SEO guide” rather than something generic like “click here”. Our text editor makes adding your own anchor text simple.
- 301 redirects. If you engage us to move your website to Rocketspark, we set up“301 redirects” for your old URLs which is a way of redirecting users from your old site to your new one without losing your ranking history. This preserves all those brownie points you’ve earned previously instead of having to start from scratch. If you have a DIY site and want these redirects set up please send through a list of the old URLs and the corresponding new URLs to our support team and we’ll set them up for you.
So there you have it: that’s what Rocketspark does for you. That’s a good thing, because even if you didn’t do anything else, at least you’d know that some SEO things were taken care of. But to really rank well in search engines, you’re going to need to do some of the hard yards and get to work yourself. Carry on to part 3 of this series on SEO: SEO Basics (Part 3): How to do SEO to get higher search rankings?