Search engine optimization (or SEO) should not be something to worry about when running an online business. SEO is the first thing to consider when designing a website or creating content for your target prospects.
Website SEO-friendly is a must-do optimization process if you are serious in promoting your products or services through organic search. The target is to reach the first page of search engine results (also called SERPs).
SEO has a greater impact on how your website is presented to search engines or how often your pages are visible or ranked with the target keywords.
Your website might be the most elegant in design. But design without SEO optimization is meaningless. Moreover, optimizing a webpage without quality content is meaningless too – it doesn’t add much value to the readers and in turn, becomes the 5 seconds or less turning point.
This happens when users land on a particular page on your site and pogo-stick (or immediately hit the back button) to the search results. This habit of visitors landing and immediately pogo-sticking sends a bad signal to Google and if the process is repeated many times in a row, it means the page doesn’t deserve the current ranking position and it gets downgraded and the most quality pages gest upgraded in SERPs.
Unlike PPC where you pay for every valid click by used of promoted “focus keyword(s)”, SEO is an organic process where you promote your webpages both on-page and off-page with white hat search techniques. It’s free and the most natural process where there is massive competition for a targeted keyword.
To ensure you get the most out of SEO, it’s necessary to optimize every possible aspect of your website – be it the technical experience or the user-tailored content. Here are some of the top techniques you must apply to make your website SEO-friendly.
Create quality content.
This is part of the on-page SEO. Quality content attracts both the user and search engine. When promoting a webpage, content plays a major part in the SEO process. In fact, it’s what Google’s semantic search looks into.
Searchers love to digest copy that is superb informational, in-depth, unique, valuable and fully answers their questions. It must appeal to them. Why should I read a piece of content that can’t answer my problem?
For every piece of content in semantic search, here is what you should do:
- Create a copy with a clear focus – sharply focus around a single topic. It’s to make it simple for a user to digest as well as simplify the ranking process of search engines to identify the meaning of your content;
- Content should be of high quality. In fact, is an important asset because it:
- boost audience retention;
- create a positive experience for your potential customers, and
- compel them to come back for more.
- Know the user intent. Why should you create such piece of content? What is their search terms? You don’t have to use only keywords in your copy. Go the extra mile and add semantic terms related to the keywords you are trying to promote. Your idea is to create content that’s ideal and satisfies searcher intent, not just their exact search keyword;
- Semantic search is not about keywords. It’s Google’s algorithm process that tries to understand the meaning of the content just like a user. Don’t stuff it with keywords which can hurt your rankings or optimization process. Just sprinkle keywords naturally throughout your content;
- Consistently focus on long-tail key terms (or keywords).
The neat and well-structured website attracts and makes visitors stay. Understand the aesthetic of good design which should be clear, intuitive and fresh (or up-to-date). Site structure and navigation is crucial to SEO and your target users.
Structure your website with internal links to subpages to make it easy for Google to crawl and index it. Simple navigation and internal site structure make it easy for users to browse your website without getting lost. Make it easily accessible within no more than 3 clicks in-depth.
Using a static URL structure for all your pages is favored by search engines and most appreciated by users. Friendly URLs (brief, descriptive and relevant) communicate well with users. It’s even easy to spot spam URLs on SERPs.
For website SEO-friendly purposes:
- Include a focus keyword in a page URL;
- Only use hyphens in URLs;
- Avoid dynamic URLs. Use static ones like –
- x-domain.com/category/best-dog-foods or make it even shorter like x-domain.com/best-seo-tips;
- avoid URL like x-domain.com/category/?p=03906782.
Title-tag, meta-description, and ALT-attribute
A title tag describes your webpage content. Users just use the title tag to determine if it’s worth their concern. Search engines also use these criteria together with the quality of its content to rank your webpage. The higher you optimize your title (for click-through rate) and produce indispensable copy, you stand a higher chance to rank higher in SERPs.
Meta-description is a short description of your page content. It links your title and the content and often times used by Google as a description in SERPs together with the title.
ALT-attribute is used to describe unreadable context like images. It helps search engine crawlers better understand the meaning of your image and what it represents.
While optimizing these sections, make sure to use focus keywords inside it. It’s an added ranking factor in SEO.
Internal link building
The essence of search engines is all about linking. But this has evolved to include other SEO aspects like content and semantic search. And the advancement in Google search algorithms is always changing how SEO should be done.
When creating content, make it a norm to link to another related page. Internal linking should happen naturally. The page you are linking to should be related to the page you are dealing with.
Backlinks/ external linking
Google loves quality content. Make sure the external sources you are linking to are highly informative and quality. Don’t invest in sponsored links – it hurt your SEO in the long run. If you are looking to earn a backlink, create content that people would want to share and link back to you. You may also consider doing blog exchange opportunities but do not overdo it.
The more people get to know about your brand, the more you get traffic. Social media is a magic in this experience. Use it to connect with potential customers and increase your market outreach. But spreading your brand pages without quality content hurts your website SEO-friendly techniques. First focus on superb quality shareable content (with engaging, interesting, fresh, and informative topics) and use social media as a marketing strategy to push more visits to your site.
Check Your Speed
This is the measure of how fast the content of your website loads. In fact, page speed is the critical ranking factor that Google uses to rank a webpage. Users love the super-fast website. Slow loading site negatively affects your indexation.
Who wants to wait more than 8 seconds to get a webpage load? Super-fast loading sites have better user experience, but pages that take longer load time have higher bounce rates and negatively affect conversions.
Website SEO-friendly involves optimizing the following for better site/page speed:
- Reduce redirects;
- Optimize images;
- Leverage browser caching;
- Boost server response time;
- Use CDNs like Cloudflare.
Create a Mobile Responsive Site
Today, mobile internet usage surpassed computer usage and Google’s recommended design pattern is a responsive design. This is the report from Google research emphasizing the need to have a mobile responsive SEO-friendly website (making it easily accessible for all devices.). More users interact with their smartphones and it’s necessary to give them a good experience the moment they land on your website.
Poor mobile-optimized websites drive away a big percentage of potential traffic (or customers) as well as hurt search engine rankings. Google boost those sites which are optimized for every device.
While you head on to create a mobile responsive design, keep this in your checklist:
- Make information users look for easier to find. Optimize these content for all browser devices;
- Flash is bad for SEO. Avoid using it;
- Add viewport meta tag;
- Make website buttons visible on mobile (their sizes should be large enough);
- Use visible font-sizes. At least 14px or more.
Is your website mobile friendly? Here is Google’s mobile-friendly test tool you should use to confirm.
Create an XML Sitemap
There is a lot you can do with an XML sitemap. First, it helps search engines understand your website’s structure during the crawling process. You can also tweak the structure by determining which pages are of a high priority than others as you pass more data to Google. This is achieved by adding a tag on the XML sitemap.
XML sitemap works for all types of websites. Be it a new website or an old one full of content and internal links.
What’s more/ do you know of any other tip to make your website SEO-friendly?
Those are some of the top 10 tips to make your website SEO-friendly. SEO is a wide field and learning how to achieve your desired results with SEO is paramount. Do a lot of research and learn more. Every aspect – either big or small is very important. Changing a small part can be a big benefit to your brand rankings and sales.
Wynn Zhou is the co-founder of Digital M (Singapore SEO Agency), a marketing specialist at Novage Communications (Web design Company) and Host Chipmunk (Singapore Local Hosting). To date, she has 8 years of experience in SEO and has helped numerous SME in boosting their website ranking to page 1 Google. Read more of Wynn Zhou Here: https://digitalm.sg/seo-expert-singapore/.