5 Ways Website Optimization is About More Than Pretty Design
When you are marketing online, having a website with a great looking design is going to be a key factor in your success. The layout, design, and colors of your website should complement and correspond with your industry. This way, when an individual first lands on your site, they’ll be pleased and want to explore your website some more.
However, you can’t rely solely on the design of your website to boost your rank in the search engine results pages (SERPS). It’s going to require keyword research, building great content, having pages that load fast, quality links inside and outside of your site and optimization on each page.
Imagine if you see an automobile that’s flashy and looks great on the outside. You decide to drive it, hop inside and the performance is lackluster. Are you going to stay in that car and keep driving it or abandon it for better performance? The same scenario applies when you are using a website to market products and services—the inside performance must be just as good as how the outside looks.
Conducting Keyword Research
If you’re just starting out, there’s a long way to go before you have a number of keywords that are ranking where you want them on the SERPS, and even if you’re an established website, it is still going to take some work to have your keywords rank high in the top positions.
Keyword research will give you a good list of foundational keywords that you can optimize for your website. These are going to include keywords and keyword phrases that are based on your products or services. If you sell 30 products, you’re going to need 30 individual pages that are optimized for each specific keyword.
It’s best if you try to rank for keywords that have low to medium competition if it’s the early stages of your keyword research and implementation. Attempting to rank in a top position for a popular keyword in your industry will be difficult since you’ll be going up against established companies. However, this all depends on your time on the internet and how long you’ve been marketing your business online via SEO.
In addition, it is necessary to research the SEO of your competitors. They may be using keywords in a related niche that you haven’t thought of. If those keywords are bringing them traffic that’s converting into sales, you’ll want to implement those keywords into specific pages on your website too.
Fast Load Times
Another key factor in optimizing your website is having a quick loading time for all of your pages. This is actually a factor that Google uses to rank your website. If your site doesn’t load fast, don’t expect to be listed at the top of the SERPS.
If you’re looking for high-performance and a website that quickly loads, you may want to consider utilizing a content delivery network (CDN). When a visitor clicks on any link to various pages of your website, that request has to travel to your server and send data back. The time that it takes for this process to occur is known as latency.
The purpose of a CDN is to shorten that period of time. It does this by placing cache servers in various locations that have your website data on them. By doing this, a visitor will receive back information quicker when they click on a link to your website. So when a visitor comes to your website for the first time, your site loads in less than second and is ready for browsing.
Great Content Marketing
Building great content is now one of the key factors used to rank your website. The search engines expect your articles and text to have proper grammar and spelling. This means that your site’ s content must be well written and provide value to a visitor.
The length of your individual posts is going to play a factor in how well your site ranks as well. This will vary between different industries. However, a good rule of thumb is to have a blog post that is at least 500 words long.
It’s also going to help your website if you mix in authority posts that are longer. These might include articles that are 1000 to 2500 words long. The search engines really like valuable posts that have a length of 2000 words or more.
The text isn’t the only type of content that will create value. When possible, include high-quality images and videos that are relevant. It also helps if you can make your posts somewhat conversational. With longer articles, your visitors won’t want to read dry, stuffy content that’s written like a legal document.
Internal and External Links
The link structure of your website is also important. The key role of internal links is to emphasize important areas of your website that you want to lead visitors to. However, this should be done with some care.
If you use too many internal links to the same destination with the same keyword, it may look spammy to Google, and you’ll actually receive a penalty. Make sure you have slight variations when placing internal links on your website.
External linking is still an important factor for search engine ranking. The key is to have incoming links from quality sites. This is much more important than having a large number of low-quality links.
Optimizing Page Structure
Your pages will also have to be optimized so that search engines understand what each page is about. The titles on each page should have a keyword or keyword phrase that you are targeting. This should look natural and be descriptive for someone who’s reading it.
Optimize your page title for 70 characters and include words and phrases that grab attention. For example, if your website is about dog training, a good title for an individual page about Rottweiler training might be something like “Rottweiler Training in Five Simple Steps.”
A meta-description will also help rank your website and indicate what the page is about. Your keyword or keyword phrase should be used in this section as well. This is the snippet that you see underneath the main listing in the SERPS. Make it helpful and readable for visitors. Also as part of the page structure, think about including a link to your business page whether that be in a Google or Yahoo search engine. Make it easier for people to find you on the internet.
The last step to take when optimizing your page is putting keywords in your URL. Your URL may look something like www.yoursite.com/rottweiler-training-5-steps/. Simple, short and sweet is best.
As you can see, there’s a lot under the hood of a website that makes it tick. Just like an automobile, the parts inside are just as important and maybe even more important than the exterior. Utilize these five areas to make sure that your website is fully optimized.