Search engine optimization is one of the most important undertakings a newly minted website will have to undergo. As we say at syntaxNinjas LLC, what is the point of building it, if no one will see it?
Most internet users today still overwhelming use the major search engines (Google, Yahoo, and Bing) to find information on the web. A website owner would be missing out on valuable and free traffic to their website if they don’t properly optimize for the search engines.
The rewards for a website that is properly optimized for the search engines are bountiful, some of which range from getting free traffic to your website to generating revenue from online advertising.
In a gesture of goodwill and our commitment to the readers of our blog, we have compiled a list of actions a website owner must take for effective search engine optimization.
10 Search Engine Optimization Tips to Help You Get a Winning Website.
1 Keyword Research
To truly understand what needs to be done with keyword research, you have to put yourself in a potential web surfer’s shoes. If you were a browsing the internet for a certain topic, article or product you wanted to buy, what keyword query would you enter into a search engine field?
This method of thinking is what you should implement when you are building your web pages. Your web pages must include the relevant keywords that people would potentially enter into the search engines to be able to find your site.
When implementing your keyword strategy, be sure to use one of the many free keyword planner tools that are available on the internet.
2 Link building
Link building is one of the more involved aspects of search engine optimization but we cannot overstress its importance. You see, the internet or the web, whichever you prefer, is like one big popularity contest. The more quality links you have pointing to your website, the more important the search engines will think your website is. Sigh! I know it is high school all over again. You survived high school so you can survive this too.
As an illustration, let’s assume a high-quality website from a reputable organization like CNN or Harvard were to link to your website, your domain authority or website ranking would significantly increase. This would indicate to the search engines that your website is trustworthy enough to be recommended to a user searching for articles related to your website.
If, however, a low-quality website were to link to you, it could have a minimal to negative impacts on the popularity of your website. For this reason, any website owner, that is serious about building a website must craft a strategy to make their website “link worthy”-that is, make sure you build a website that other people would want to link to. Think of getting a link to your website as a recommendation from another website.
3 Multimedia Optimization
One of the parameters search engines use in determining whether they successfully responded to a user query is how long the user spent on that site. For this reason, it is strongly recommended for website owners to use multimedia (video, images, and so) to keep readers engaged on their websites for as long possible.
When using multimedia elements on your website, you have to keep a couple of things in mind. You have to make sure your use of images do not slow down your site. Also since search engine, bots are not human, they don’t consume your content the same way a human would. You have to make sure you use the “alt tags” on your images to indicate what the image or video on your web page is about.
4 Articles That Are Easy to Read
Remember, we mentioned earlier, how search engines want to ensure their users get the possible results. If your website is improperly designed, clunky or contains articles that are difficult to read, visitors to your website might click away in disgust. This will hurt the time on your site, which could ultimately signal to the search engines that the quality of your content is inferior and hence disreputable.
5 Submit A Site Map
A sitemap is a list of all the pages on your website and providing one in XML format would make the life of the crawlers looking to index your site a lot easier. There are several [https://www.xml-sitemaps.com]free tools that can provide the sitemap for your website in the proper format. Make sure you put them to use and submit the file they generate to the search engines you want to be listed in.
6 Indicate What Files You Want the Search Engine to Crawl In The Robot.txt File
A robot.txt file is a file in your root folder that tells the search engines what pages on your website you want them to crawl or not crawl. It is important you make sure this file is properly configured so as to ensure the search engines are crawling the pages you want them to crawl and avoiding those you do not want them to crawl. You can find out more about the robot.txt file by using this resource.
7 Social Signals
Going back to the point we made about popularity on the internet. Another metric search engines use in gauging the credibility of a website is how shareable it is. They jury is still out on the actual effect social effect have on your rankings but we think it is worthwhile to add a social media strategy to how you will place your website in the face of potential visitors.
In the past, people manually entered their websites into forms for the search engines to index but that was abused to the point where most of the search engines scrapped this practice. The way search engines discover new websites nowadays is by crawling other websites on the web. The more social outlets you are linked to, the easier it will be to find, crawl and index your website.
8 Meta Information
Keywords placed in meta tags used to be a way the search engines discovered websites on the web. Meta tags as a way of ranking websites were later scrapped due to abuse so they more or less do not contribute to your search engine rankings. Meta information, on the other hand, like alt tags for images or any other multimedia element on your website help the search engines better understand your page.
Also, when visitors to your website enter a query, part of the information they see on the search engine results page (SERP) is a summary of what the pages are about. This summary is usually part of your meta information. The titles of your web pages should also be optimized for the keyword you want them to rank for. Finally, using rich snippets to enhance the look of the meta information on the SERP could also lead to more visits to your website.
9 Good Link Structure
Your universal resource locator (URL) is another metric used to judge the relevancy and rank of your website on a search engine. Your URLs should generally contain the keyword you want your web page associated with. It must also be constructed in a way that does not confuse potential users. Finally, keep your URLs short, as [https://moz.com/blog/15-seo-best-practices-for-structuring-urls]research shows they are more shareable when they are of appropriate length.
Another factor that can hurt your rankings is if your website is not performing well. A slow loading site could turn your potential visitors off and subsequently reduce the time they spend on your site. The search engines could interpret this as an indicator that users to your site are not finding the information they need for the associated keyword. A good resource to test the speed of your page is the [https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights/]google page speed insights tool.
As you can see, preparing a website for search engine optimization is a highly-involved process. The rewards far outway the downsides of the work getting your website properly optimized. If you put in the time and effort to make your website rank well you will thank yourself for taking the time to read this article.
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