But it is not a race. You cannot hit the accelerator and just speed your way to the top. Ranking on Google takes time, effort, and conscious strategies. From the very beginning.
You’ll have to bring the first two ingredients. We have the third one right here. Learn, understand, and get ready to lead.
SEO – What, Why, And How?
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the most misunderstood word on the web today. Every other person on the world wide web claims to be an SEO expert. But no one really knows the SEO meaning.
SEO is a combination of strategies and techniques to drive more traffic to a website by making that website rank higher in Google search results.
After all, organic search drives in 53.3% of all website traffic.
But SEO is not optimizing your website or webpage for the search engine crawlers alone. You also need to optimize it for the actual reader too.
Because the actual reader’s reaction or lack thereof and their best interest are what drives Google’s algorithm. Also, no point in being on the top spot when your audience doesn’t find worth in your content.
But again, is SEO worth the hype? Well, it drives over 1000% more traffic than organic social media efforts. So yes, the hype is worth it.
Now, enough of the what and why let’s get to the how…
Getting Started With Building An SEO Friendly Website
SEO isn’t something you can do overnight. The best way to make your website SEO-friendly is to build it that way.
If you pick a website builder that won’t offer you the liberty and scope to optimize your website for SEO, you won’t be able to do anything later.
The following features will help you spot an SEO-friendly website builder.
Ability to customize title, meta description, URL, and header tags.
Optimized URL structure and simple to add 301 redirects.
A robust internal search feature with proper indexation of internal search results.
Creating an SEO-Friendly Website – 15 Tips To Do It Right
Only 5.7% of pages rang in top 10 results within a year of their publication.
Why? Mostly because the webmasters try to optimize their pages after publication. The web design is not SEO-friendly, i.e., the page is either not accessible or indexable by search engines.
When Google crawlers aren’t able to find or list your website, obviously, you’d never rank.
Here’s how you can avoid making that mistake and have an SEO friendly website design –
1. Use Alt Tag
Google cannot read and understand images as well as it comprehends text. A description of what the image is about, called ‘alt tag,’ helps Google understand it. And rank your page higher when it feels the image is related to the search query.
2. Avoid Hidden Content
Content that is behind forms and expandable menus is great for a clutter-free design.
And for the most part, Google can comprehend and access the content behind these tabs or accordions. However, sometimes the process isn’t as smooth. Hidden content isn’t crawled, and rankings are affected. Try to avoid hidden content whenever possible.
3. Use Video Transcripts
Just like images, Google has trouble understanding and indexing video content. But you can help Google by adding transcripts for your multimedia content. When you add a video to a page, also add its transcript so that Google and crawl and understand it properly.
4. Check The Use Of The ‘noindex’ Tag
The noindex tag in your robots.txt file tells the search engine crawlers about the pages that you don’t want to be shown in search results. These could be membership-only pages, pages under construction, or pages for internal use only.
But it isn’t uncommon to accidentally add a noindex tag to other pages as well. Make sure the pages you want to tag are not marked with the tag in your robots.txt file.
5. Use an SEO Browser
To understand how crawlers see your website, you have to get in their shoes. Zeo SEO browser is a free tool that lets you do that. Enter your website’s URL on the tool and see how crawlers see your site. If some content isn’t visible in the SEO browser, it means Google also isn’t able to see it. Fix such issues.
6. Use SEO-friendly Website Templates
Fast loading, mobile-optimized templates will give your website an edge over templates that are code-heavy, slow loading, and not optimized for multiple devices. If your template isn’t optimized, all other SEO optimization efforts will fall flat.
7. Keep Your Website Architecture Simple
Category and sub-category pages should be logically arranged such that Google crawlers should know where they are supposed to go. This prevents the crawlers from accidentally leaving out a few pages while indexing. A clean architecture also helps your audience navigate the site better. And a happy audience sends major signals to Google that your site is worth ranking.
8. Create Unique Content
Duplicate content sits high on the list of things that Google hates. If the crawlers find that your content is duplicate, they will not rank it. Don’t copy, and be original to be rewarded by Google in rankings.
9. Use Canonical Tags
When you are selling a product in 4 variants, you’d like to have a separate page for each, right? And you cannot obviously have separate contents for pages selling a blue bucket and a red one.
But in the eyes of Google, different versions of the same page look like copied content. It would severely penalize such pages in rankings. To let Google know that they are different versions of the same page, use canonical tags. Also, you don’t want different pages from your own domain competing against each other. Canonical tags also signal Google that one of these pages is worth ranking and the others are just variations of it.
10. Pay Attention to Your URL Structure
When your URL structure is a confusing mess of random numbers and alphabets, Google gets bamboozled. The result? The crawlers don’t understand what the page on the confusing URL is about, and thus the page doesn’t show up in relevant searches. That’s bad news for you. Keep your URLs simple and legible. Using keywords in the URL is also beneficial, given that it makes sense.
11. Focus on On-Page SEO
Meta titles and descriptions, updated robots.txt file, sitemaps (HTML, XML, and text), internal linking… things you need to do on your page. Everything that you do on your page to optimize it comes under the on-page SEO umbrella.
12. Don’t Forget Off-Page SEO
Over 66% of pages on the web have no backlinks. You shouldn’t make that mistake. Backlinks (when other websites link back to your domain) are like votes. Google counts your votes to decide if your content is valuable enough to be ranked or not. However, make sure you don’t indulge in black hat practices. Link farming, buying links, hidden and irrelevant links should be avoided. Go for guest posting, content roundups, skyscraper link building, or even broken link building tactics, if you please.
13. Optimize Your Content
Unique content that offers value to the reader and is properly structured with headings not just reads well but also ranks well. Your readers will like it, and even Google crawlers will also be able to better understand it.
14. Consult Search Console
Use the Google Search Console to check if all the pages of your website are properly indexed with Google or not. If you don’t see a green checkmark, some pages have indexing issues. Fix them with suggestions from the Search Console.
15. Ensure Audience Engagement
Google’s crawlers vet and rank content for the end-users. In trying to appease the workers, don’t forget to engage the masters. Make sure your website is engaging and informative. High bounce rates would signal to Google that your page isn’t what the audience is looking for. This means your content won’t be considered worth ranking higher in SERPs.
SEO Friendly Websites – Step 1 To Success
With the right SEO software and tools and the strategies that we have mentioned above, you can develop an SEO-friendly website quickly and correctly.
And now that you know how to create an SEO-friendly website, get cracking and start ranking.
Post Written & Sponsored By:
Lesley Haughtis a professional writer, web developer and CEO of WebBuildersGuide.com. For 7 years he’s been working as a web interface developer and he has a huge experience in website development. Also, he’s fond of photography, marketing, and of course, writing articles. His work was published in different popular online magazines.