Basics of SEO: 10 Essentials for Website Optimization
If you are a business owner that you know that we’re now in a digital age. Therefore it’s vital to your business to understand the basics of search engine optimization (SEO).
What is SEO?
You may be asking what is SEO? To put it simply, SEO is an umbrella term. Basically all methods for website improvements can be nested under this umbrella. SEO methods will ensure that your business website is visible to potential customers and that your content is found within search engine results pages (SERPs).
Methods can vary be behind-the-scenes technical practices (on-page SEO) to linkbuilding and social media marketing (off-page SEO). All of these methods with make your site more visible.
For instance, organic results are important and this means that your website’s pages appear naturally for a variety of keywords as opposed to paying for the position for those keywords.
Why SEO Is Essential for Your Business?
You need to provide your visitors with the best experience possible. In order to do this you need to make sure that they can easily navigate your site. Google also keep a close on on user experience, so your site architecture should also be extremely strong.
A majority of your website traffic will come from organic search. Google accounted for 90% of global organic traffic in 2015. Not only this, but the top five results also accounts for 67.60% of all clicks. After that, positions six to 10 only account for just under 4%.
Thus, if your site’s not ranking in the top five results you’re not being seen. We’ve prepared this list of the 22 necessities to help you get there.
How Do I Optimize My Site for Search Engines?
When users are search online, search engines will provide the most relevant results. The user may use a simple query or question such as “when was michael jackson born?” or something a bit more precise like “what is the best italian restaurant near me?” The result displayed by search engines will also be based around relevancy…such as the user’s location and search history.
#2 Quality Content
Today Google’s main focus is on is on content that is not only useful, but is also written or created with the user in mind. So instead of using keywords or popular search queries, consider writing with human intention first and search engines second.
#3 User Experience
As discussed earlier, your site has to be easy to navigate and search. Your content also must be relevant to industry niche and you should link to relevant internal pages or content. Doing this the write way can encourage your visitors to explore your site even further and stay on your site and/or convert.
#4 Site Speed
Your page load time is most definitely a ranking factor for search. Ideally, your web pages should load in 3 seconds or less, otherwise there is an error and time may require reduction.
#5 Multi-Device Compatibility
Many users don’t have desktop computers, they may use tablets or mobile phone. This is something you should definitely take into consideration. Google also expects your website to be optimized for mobile containing responsive design.
#6 Internal Linking
Whenever any content is published on your website, whether it be a main service page, testimonial page or blog post you should always link internally within your site. This will help to send traffic to different pages on your site ultimately sending higher trust signals to Google. Internal linking can also help:
- Reduce your bounce rates
- Encourage visitors to read more of your content and stay on your site longer
- Improve your rankings
- Assists Google in crawling and indexing your website
A website with authority is one that industry experts, search engines and users will trust. To increase your site’s authority you’d want to link to other authority sites in order to add value to your own. When high quality links are combined with your high quality content, you will also become an authority.
#8 Meta Description & Title Tags
Although meta descriptions may not necessarily improve your SERP rankings, it can help you become more visible so that your part of the 67.60% of websites getting searchers clicking on your site in search. All meta descriptions should be kept between 155 and 165 characters, relevant to the title, headline and content for best SEO practices.
Meta title tags are what tell search engines and visitors what your site or specific pages are about. Keyword should always be used within your title tag. Branding should also be included in a consistent way within all of your title tags.
#9 Schema Markup
Add a Schema markup to your html pages. This will make your search result more attractive by including customer reviews and ratings, images and other useful information. Search engines such as Google prefer this method of markup.
#10 Tagged Images
Alt attributes are most often times forgotten in website optimization. When adding images to your site or to content you want to be careful to not overlook this because Google can only read your alt text, they cannot see your images. Your alt text should be descriptive and when appropriate use relevant targeted keywords. Your site will be easily accessible for visitors using screen reader software too.
There is a lot of different methods you can use to optimize your website and aid your SEO efforts, this list is just the beginning. But, it’s a great start to help you hit the ground running. Having an SEO expert like Light Speed Web on your side can also prove to be quite valuable.