All well respected and trusted businesses have their own websites that show up on page 1 of search results. But how should a smaller business with a new website try to stand up to the competition? That is where search engine optimization or SEO comes into play.
SEO is the process of optimizing your website and ad words to drive maximum traffic to your site. This process involves good placement of keywords for your target market, a visually pleasing design, readability, load times, and quality content. Since SEO is such a large topic this article will serve to introduce you to SEO and how to set up your website so that it is search friendly.
To begin it is important to understand that Google determines the contents of your website through crawlers. These web crawlers go through your site and check if it is viewer friendly and relevant to your keywords. This is why all of the elements listed earlier are important to incorporate correctly on your website. Other factors like bounce rate can inform Google that your website is falsely advertising itself in the search results page. Here are ways you can use the elements to benefit your search ranking.
Keywords are important to have in your website for the obvious reason that they are what draw people to the site. The main focus of your keywords will be in the H1 and H2 sections of each page. It is important to note that you should only have one H1 since more will dilute your keywords for that page. The next place you will put some keywords and a call to action will be in the Meta description of your page.
Good UI Design
It is necessary for your website to have a good user friendly design to it. This is a small part in SEO but mainly just a good practice in general. If people can’t find where they want to go easily enough they may give up and consequentially effect your bounce rate.
Readability refers to the way your page reads. If you have a blog page that is not coherent or jumps from one subject to the next sporadically then crawlers may determine that the content is not relevant and affect the search rank of the page. It should read easily enough in short sections and stay true to the subject at hand.
Load times are very important for websites. Google found that a half second increase for switching their results page to 30 results instead of 10 resulted in traffic dropping by 20%. People are impatient in today’s fast paced society and they don’t trust load times of more than a couple seconds. Though it doesn’t have the most importance with SEO directly, it does with people visiting your site affecting your SEO indirectly. Try to shoot for a 2 second load time at most, if you can’t seem to get it down that low then there are multiple different methods you can use to decrease it. You can find a link to those solutions here.
They say content is king, but that seems like an understatement when it comes to web design and pleasing consumers. Good content has multiple characteristics to it with relevancy being at the forefront. After that you should make sure that your grammar is flawless and reads smoothly. Any pictures that you use should be well edited and perfectly clear.
As long as you cover all of these tips then your website will be well equipped with great content and ready to rank higher in search results!