If you’re thinking about designing a website or you’re seriously considering restructuring one that you’ve had lying around for years, there are multiple factors that you’d have to consider. Not only will you have to calculate the costs of operating that website and what’s involved to spruce up the overall design, but you’ll also have to contend with ‘other’ factors. SEO is a major factor when designing a website. Whether your website is a simple chip off the old block (maybe a personal one), or one that you later hope to monetize, optimization is vital.
What is SEO?
SEO is the abbreviated form of Search Engine Optimization. It’s a very tedious, yet effective process that is used in optimizing a website so that it reflects well on a search results page. It positively affects the visibility of your website when done precisely as stated in Google’s scroll of SEO practices and it hands you a sweet treat by attracting traffic to your website. Since the majority of Internet users on Google does not necessarily scroll past page one on a search results page (unless of course you’re like me and let curiosity take control), it’s crucial that websites make it to page one.
The Momentousness in SEO Practices
SEO practices for your website is crucial or as I’d like to say, momentous for several reasons. However, I’ll only discuss one significant reason why SEO (white-hat SEO, not black-hat SEO) needs to be implemented on your website. The Internet is like a highway. The more vehicles traveling on a highway would be an indication that it’s more pronounced, polished or established. That’s reality. The highway might not have any broken links, crooked structure, navigation is easy and the signs are easily comprehended without having the motorist thinking too much. In a similar manner, practicing SEO gives you the ‘highway’ feel. Since there are many websites created daily, it’s important that yours stand out. Good SEO practices will help you secure enough traffic to land you on the first results page and by maintaining your website’s design, navigation, structure, aesthetics, links and content you’ll keep visitors coming back.
If your website is used as a means for generating income into your business, SEO is able to help clients find you in a vast sea of websites. With good SEO practices, you’ll only get better and stay on top of your game.
The Ideal SEO Practices to Implement for your Website
The Structure of your Website
Your website structure is very important from not only a human’s perspective, but also for optimization purposes. The structure of your website involves how well links work, how easy it is for a visitor to find what they want onsite when they visit your website and how the links are used onsite. It’s important to have files organized and in their respective directories. If the layout of your site is logical, makes sense and is easy to crawl by search engines, this is a plus. If you keep those bots happy when they’re ready to perform their analysis and inspection of your website, everyone will be happy. Always remember to maintain the flow of your site by linking your pages, whether internally or externally. Do not leave broken pages or links unattended, rationalizing that it doesn’t affect your site. Additionally, keep clear signs on your site in the event a page is not functional at a particular time.
Your Site’s Navigation
This aspect of your website could have been easily expounded on in the preceding subject but I thought it’d be more effective to do so separately. Navigation refers to the course or path travelled. In this regard, your site’s navigation sheds light on how visitors move about onsite. When creating your site’s navigation for SEO purposes, the more shallow the site is, the better it’ll turn out. This means that visitors will be able to access pages that appeal to them. Since “intuitive design is how we give the user new superpowers”, according to Jared Spool, writer of Website Usability: A Designer’s Guide, lets create our website’s navigation in such a way that they not only powers up users to return but also search engines.
Your Site’s Meta Description
A meta data or description is really information about your post. It’s really a synopsis or glimpse into what your content is about. This is what viewers see in a search results page. Thereon, they’re able to read and determine which meta description they want to follow. For best SEO practices, ensure that your meta description is not above 160 characters (your characters should be 160 or less). Also, for every meta description that is penned, it’s important to incorporate your focus keyword. It’s of interest to note that if you’re too lazy to write a suitable meta description, Google will drop one right in for you!
With recent additions to Google’s updates, more thought has been put into content creation. Gone are the good old days of keyword stuffing and invisible text. In fact, Google has educated their robots so that they’re more fully aware of content that is poorly done or content that is worth crawling. Written content should be relative to your niche and lengthy. Google loves lengthy or long posts (Hey, I didn’t make the rules).
Instead of using long keywords adjoined, use hyphenated words to assist with ranking. Always try to use your focus keyword within the URL of your blog posts and also the title of that blog.
Optimizing your Images
Do you wish you were nameless? I wouldn’t want to be and I’m sure you feel just the same. Yet, many leave their images nameless. Why? They’ve failed to recognize how important naming there images are to SEO. When you name or label your images, you’re not only providing the reader with additional info, but you’re also using keywords to a maximal. If it was not said prior, using keywords in labeling images is a GREAT SEO practice.
Accelerating your site
I just hate having to wait for sites that take forever to load or give me what I want! Do you hate slow pages? Granted, the majority does. If you feel annoyed with regards to your site’s performance and the number of seconds, or minutes it takes to load, how do you think search engines will react?
The reality is, a slow website affects your SEO for the worst. As stated explicitly by Google, the speed of a computer is a very important factor ( although not the only factor) used to determine a page rank. We’re not aware as to how search engines work so giving a definite answer as to what fast or slow means is definitely out of the picture. However, what I do know is that speed does kill (especially when you’re a motorist), but is important to SEO.
If you’re not sure as to how well your site is doing with regards to speed, you can get all the details from Google’s PageSpeed Insight among other important information.
A rich Snippet
Snippets include your meta description, page URL, and title. If you were paying attention, you’d have deduced from this article that your focus or primary keyword should be incorporated in your title, meta description and URL. These are all combined to create the perfect snippet that is bound to draw attention to your website.