Easy to find services
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is the process of increasing the visibility of a website in a search engine such as Google which use algorithms to dictate search engine behaviour - this includes tracking what people search for, and the search terms and keywords used.
SEO changes constantly – it is never complete. It’s an ongoing process where we analyse data, user behaviour, keywords, content and what our customers want to make sure they get the best user experience.
We optimise for people, not search engines
We write web content for our customers, not for the purpose of ranking higher. This approach means that customers are at the heart of our content standards and why Liverpool City Council ranks highly as a result.
We use the following SEO standards to make sure our websites are fully optimised without compromising the user experience:
- Indexing and crawling - we use index follow meta tags so pages are added to web searches.
- Page speed – we optimise pages so they load quickly to browsers.
- Site structure – this shows Google which pages of our site are most important, and will rank more highly.
- URL structure – we use SEO friendly URL structures which include keywords or topics.
- Meta description tags – this is the snippet of up to 160 characters which summarises a page’s content in search engine results. We write meta descriptions for all pages but we also make sure our content is well written for the web and mobile. Google sometimes pulls content from the page and dynamically inserts it as the description in results pages when it better matches the user’s query.
- Heading tags – we structure information using heading tags (H1, H2, H3, H4 etc) to break up content. This improves accessibility and readability, which is better for users and therefore better for SEO.
- Alt tags in images – These provide a text alternative for search engines. Including alt tags on images positively impacts search engine rankings.
- Internal link building – We link to related topics on our website if we think this is helpful to our customers. This helps Google understand the relevance of pages, the relationship between pages and the value of pages, which increases page ranking.
- Twitter and Facebook card tags – we include Twitter and Facebook cards on the council website. If information about a particular topic is shared on social media, it will pull back our content from the tags and an associated image.
Off-page (anything that’s not on our site)
- Link building – sites that link back to our pages as a point of reference demonstrates authority, relevance and trust in the LCC brand. In turn, it improves SEO. This can include social media marketing, PPC marketing, reviews and user generated content.
Mobile first and responsive design
Most people now use a mobile device for searches. This means that Google prioritises mobile search results.
We use a mobile first approach when designing websites, producing content and developing the information architecture to ensure the best SEO.
This means that if a site has both mobile and desktop versions, the mobile one is indexed. If a website is not mobile friendly it misses out on lots of traffic.
All our sites use responsive web design. This means that whatever screen size is used (desktop, tablet, mobile), content is accessible and easy to read, regardless of what device you are using.
With more people using Alexa and Siri it’s important that we optimize our websites for voice search.
Voice search mainly happens on mobile devices and as a mobile first council this helps our voice search optimization.
We write content solely for our customers and include the relevant metadata and local keywords which enhances voice search optimization (see also ‘featured snippets’ below).
We own and manage a number of Google business listings which help with local queries during voice search.
We have a Liverpool City Council Alexa app where customers can find their nearest libraries, one stop shops and Lifestyles centres, opening hours and ask when their purple, green and blue bins are collected.
All work we now do is developed with voice search optimization in mind.
Featured snippets - Position zero
Google can rank featured snippets highly. These appear above the first organic search result, boosting traffic and trust. Usually, customers won’t click on any other organic results.
Position zero is mainly question driven. The snippet pulls out the answer from web content into its featured snippet.
Content is king
The heart of good SEO and excellent user experience is content. We write content for our customers – not for search engines. See our content standards for more information.