Did you know that 93 percent of all online experiences start with a search engine? If you are building a site or need to optimize your current one; you need to know the importance of ranking.
If your site is struggling to rank in the search engine results: you are losing money.
The big question is what do you do to improve your status and click-through rates. It’s time-consuming, but not really hard.
Here are 18 tips to help you create a search engine friendly website.
1. Choose Relevant Keywords
Before you can begin to optimize your website, you first must consider what search phrases you want to use. This may sound easy enough; after all, you want to be found for your services and/or products. However, there are so many different keywords that are relevant and you can’t optimize for all of them.
For example, this article has chosen “how to create a search engine friendly website” as its primary keyword.
It’s important to choose keywords that are relevant and those that will have a high search volume and low competition. It will require that you do some research on the various keywords suitable for your company.
Yes, it’s a labor-intensive job, but rest assured it will bring you results. This is the first step in creating a great site, as the keywords will lay the foundation for your entire marketing campaign.
2. Utilize Title Tags
Now that you have your keywords, the next step is to optimize the appropriate page. Those keywords will be added to the title tag. A title tag is quite simply the name of the page. When you put your mouse over the tab it will display the page’s name.
This is an excellent way to tell the search engine what content you have. The search engine will use these tags to help rank your site. Title tags are so important because they have your relevant keywords incorporated into them and they are the first thing a potential user sees.
3. Create URLs That Are User-Friendly
One of the finer details of making your webpage friendly to search engines, and which cannot be ignored, is the URL structure.
Sure, it’s not big on many experts to do list, but it has a great deal of importance to the process. The URL needs to tell the person about the page without them looking any further. It makes your page more user-friendly, and it is also SEO friendly too.
Have you ever seen a poorly structured URL? It may look something like this:
The person clicking on this link will have no clue what this page is about.
By switching the URL to the following,
a person can easily see what the page has to offer, and they don’t have to click on the site for more information.
Remember the small details, as they are important.
4. Utilize Heading Tags
A vital part of the optimization process is to add keywords to the header. The header is the area that tells what the page is about. If the keywords you selected are not relevant, you will quickly know.
The bounce rate will go up, and the average time that visitors spend on your landing page will drastically drop.
It’s vital to spend time and come up with the perfect keywords. Keywords should be used with the H1 header. However, you may also include variations of the words in H2 or H3.
The key is to keep it natural and try not to over-stuff the landing pages with too many keywords. First of all, it doesn’t look good. and second, the search engines will penalize you for it.
5. Optimize those Images!
The need to optimize your images is not really a tip but rather an order. Save them to an SEO friendly file, and when you need to put them on your site, all you have to do is enter the description. Again, it is one of the little things that people think doesn’t matter, especially if they have a whole website to operate.
The real reason is that people love lots of pictures to look at. By making sure, they are filed properly, searching for them the next time around will be a piece of cake.
You want to use numerous graphics and pictures to complete your site, but filing them will ensure that they are obtainable at a moment’s notice.
6. Mention The Keyword in the Content
Sometimes the most obvious things are the ones that people forget about. Once you have your optimized pages completed, go through there a couple times and make sure you have used your appropriate keywords in the content.
Read the content out loud a few times, and you will be surprised what you discover. As a general rule of thumb, the keyword should be mentioned no more than once or twice per every 500 words.
Remember not to keyword stuff your content. The days of ranking with keyword stuffing are over. Search engines frown greatly on useless keywords.
7. Check for Duplicate Content
You need to make sure you don’t have any duplicate content. The search engines don’t like it, and they can also penalize your website for doubles.
Never lift your content from someone else’s pages either, as this is considered to be plagiarism. If the search engines discover duplicate content, they will downgrade your website.
Consequently, duplicate content is found where there are two versions of the same page. It can be an oversight, but it can cost you big time in the rankings.
Product pages are an additional area where duplicate content is widespread. Thus, make sure to create exclusive product descriptions for all inventories, and include other pertinent information.
This will present important data to your site visitors. It should include adding reviews from happy customers and sustaining content. You want your customers to have a pleasant visit when they come to your site.
8. 301 Redirects
A 301 redirect is the most efficient and search engine friendly method to indicate that a page has been moved. You should only use this when the page is “permanently” moved and you have replaced it with new content.
More often than not, people use a temporary 302 to redirect. This does not pass the authority of the current page onto the page that it is redirecting to.
A temporary redirect is not the same as a permanent one so be sure to use a 301, not a 302, whenever possible.
9. Maintain an XML Sitemap
One of the important technical aspects of SEO perspective is to have an XML sitemap. This will allow the search engines to see the entire content of your website when they crawl.
It is additionally one of the easiest ways for you to give information about your website to the engines; therefore, it needs to be one of the main priorities.
If you have pages that you don’t want the search engine to crawl, then you need to use a robots.txt file. If you want to keep some sensitive information private, you add this text file. It’s perfect for the check-out area of the site where the privacy of information is a must.
11. You Must Have Meta Descriptions
Now that you’ve added your title tags, your H1’s, and keywords in your content; it’s time to do the meta description. Many people don’t truly understand what a Meta description is and they leave it out.
This is the simple description of your page that will allow the search engines to give potential viewers a snippet about your site. You must clearly describe what is on the page and have some sort of call to action.
The goal here is to entice the reader to come to your site versus that of a competitor. It is the place where you get the chance to speak directly to your potential customers and it makes a big difference overall.
If you think it’s not important, see how many times you personally use a meta description before visiting a site.
12. Trample Competitors with Microdata
Microdata is using things like schema and rich snippets. They are superior in allowing your site to stand out from your competitors.
It is a very crowded world and even if your business is one that you think is not that popular, you will be surprised how many competitors you really have.
You may need to do some research on rich snippets and schema, but microdata is something that every site can benefit from.
Navigation is a vital aspect of a site. It is significant that you build a clear pecking order, which will help when search engines crawl your site. Be sure to keep your customers’ journey at the front of your mind.
Due to the fact that SEO is constantly changing, it’s becoming quite clear that the needs of the consumer should be the first consideration in every marketing strategy.
You want to succeed, but you don’t want your site to be penalized. Look at your pages carefully and make sure your customers can get around with ease. Is your checkout process simple? Are they able to easily get from one page to the other? Be the customers and view it from their eyes.
14. Content Is King-So Start Writing
The algorithms used to rank pages in search engines are vastly different today than it was five years ago. The search engines want content that is pertinent to the topic matter. If you are writing on carpet cleaning, it will compare it to all the other articles.
It is going to rank them according to the site that has the best content. If you are still keyword stuffing, you are doing it all wrong. In fact, keyword stuffing could get your site demoted, not promoted.
You need to write an article that is pertinent to your site but also something that the people would be interested in viewing. The Meta description will get them to look at your page, but your content will keep them there.
15. Expand To Social Media
Social media is a gift to businesses. Whether it is a small mom and pop shop, or it is a huge corporate conglomerate, makes no difference. Social media is the marketing opportunity of a lifetime.
You can connect your web page with your social media accounts, which allows you to meet your customers where they are. Who doesn’t have a smartphone tuned into Twitter and Facebook all day long? Write content that takes them from their social media site to your page.
Offer coupons, free estimates, and other attractive offers to get them to see what you have to offer. The biggest folly in today’s business marketing plan is not using social media to help boost their revenues.
16. Make Your Site Mobile Friendly
Have you ever tried to get onto a site and it won’t allow you to access because it is not mobile friendly? Many of your customers that visit your page will do so from their cell phone or tablet.
While you don’t have to open all options to a mobile phone, at least allowing some user-friendly services will help. You will drive customers away if they can only access you through a computer. With 5 billion people using a mobile phone, making your site, mobile responsive is imperative.
17. Check Your Speed
One of the most annoying things about a site is when it is so slow it won’t load anything. Have you ever tried Black Friday shopping and your icon just sits and spins?
These pages are overloaded at that time and cannot handle the traffic. The sad thing is when you go to a site when there isn’t something special going on and get the same outcome.
You can check your speed by going to this website: http://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights/.
Try your speed and see if it is a hit or miss.
18. Don’t Get In A Hurry
The biggest problem that people have is that they expect their changes to work overnight. The changes that you made, while valuable, aren’t going to work in the blink of an eye.
If you have done all that you are supposed to do, you must now sit back and wait. If your site was done properly, it will bring great results.
The only problem is there is no way to tell when. Be patient! If it doesn’t happen quickly, don’t try to fix it. You just have to wait and eventually your hard work will pay off.
Building a site that is optimized for the generation we live in is difficult. However, by following these 18 steps, you will well be on your way to a bigger and better SEO quality site. Don’t leave out anything. From Meta descriptions to Title Tags; it’s all important.