What to Focus On When Optimizing Your Website for SEO?
Getting your website up and running is a very important step on the road to making your business scheme profitable. After all, in this day and age, the Internet is often the first choice when it comes to searching for info or various solutions. But having an operational website is merely the first move you should make. The next logical action is to make it as search-engine-friendly as realistically possible. Unfortunately, if you’re a newcomer to SEO, such a task may seem overwhelming at first. If you’ve never explored this field in depth, chances are you have no idea what to focus on when optimizing your website for SEO.
To aid you in that regard, we’ve prepared a short list of key SEO elements that you should attend to. It doesn’t matter if you’re running an online store or a public relations firm; these will allow your website to rank higher in results and become more user-friendly, resulting in much bigger traffic than ever before. So without further ado, read on as we explain the components most worthy of improving.
Work on Your Page Loading Speed
Page loading time has a great impact on the popularity of your website. Not only do slow websites rank lower in search engine results, but the longer it takes to load, the lesser the traffic and conversion rate. These days, almost half of the consumers expect the site to load in two seconds or less, with 40 percent of them quitting a website that requires more than 3 seconds to materialize. To put it simply, if your website takes even longer, you need to make improving its speed a priority. To achieve the best results you should consider the following:
Moreover, you can try to further compress said elements if individual pieces are larger than 150 bytes.
Reduce the Number of Pages Your Site Redirects To
This one should be easy to understand. HTTP request-response cycle takes time to complete, and each time your page tries to redirect, additional time is spent. Decrease said number to the necessary minimum to gain some additional page speed.
Take Into Account Browser Caching
These days it’s quite normal for a website to load in its entirety only once – the next time bits and pieces are simply taken from what is stored in browsers. Unfortunately, after some time, the amount of cached data can bloat and slow down the page speed.
To avoid that, check the expiration date for your cache. Depending on how often your site design evolves, set it to a realistic amount of time. If the said design is final and unlikely to change frequently, setting it to a year is reasonable.
Always Optimize Your Images
Determine the type of image you use, change them to a more optimal format (PNG file extension for simple graphics, JPEG for complex photographs) and make sure to compress them using a dedicated editing tool, e.g., Photoshop.
Perform Keyword Research
This process is a crucial part of any dedicated SEO effort. Keyword research focuses on correctly identifying and selecting the most efficient keywords that can be used to drive traffic to your web page directly from search engines. It’s a good choice to outsource it to a dedicated SEO company, as the process may be a bit challenging. But if you’re willing to do it on your own, here are some keyword qualities to consider:
The keywords you use must be largely consistent with the sort of products or services your website concerns or promotes.
To illustrate the point, a website focused on renewable energy sources should use keywords directly related to them, eg., “solar energy” or “green power”. Using something vague or rather disconnected like, say “the future” or “phone charger”, respectively, is only going to hurt your traffic in the long run as users might have a harder time finding on your site what they’re looking for.
On the other hand, if keyword relevance is high enough, your visitors will have fewer issues navigating efficiently on your web page. Search engines like Google can and in fact do recognize that, which will result in better positions in SERPs.
The rule here is simple enough – popular keywords drive more traffic to a website. On the face of it, that means you should do your best choosing the most popular keywords. And indeed, this is one of the tactics you can use. But bear in mind that incredibly popular keywords are a double-edged sword. The more widely used it is, the harder it may be to rank for it.
As such, a better choice initially would be to target keywords that are less competitive. Fresh sites are in fact recommending this approach as it means less need to contend with well-established giants, e.g., Amazon.
What users think when they enter a phrase into their search engines matters a lot. Correctly determining their intent can be crucial to having them visit your site and consequently being ranked higher for relevance.
We can distinguish three types of intent here: navigational, informational, and transactional. The first one refers to the queries aimed at specific actors, domains, or locations – a good example here would be “New Balance shoes”. If your site only deals with high-class footwear, obviously that keyword won’t work for you.
Informational intent can often be characterized as solution-seeking, f.e. “renovate rooms methods”. Finally, transactional intent is users looking to buy something, something eCommerce websites should target as a priority.
Don’t Forget About the Alt Text
Also known as alt description, this SEO optimization method helps Google and users determine the content of your site. If, for example, someone has excessively slow internet, yet is determined to visit your page, alt texts displayed in place of images will allow them to know what the pictures were about. Moreover, search engine crawlers used by Google and others use alt text to better index your images.
When it comes to formatting, focus on being concise and descriptive at the same time. To provide an example, “three lavender bath bombs in a plastic bag” is an okay alt text to use if your image displays exactly that.
As you can see, optimizing your website for SEO is a complex process that requires both effort and dedication on your part. That is why most people outsource it to professionals. But even if you do so, you should still be aware of the most important SEO elements and how they affect your site. This way you can make better and more educated choices when it comes to the future of your website, not to mention follow the SEO efforts with more ease. Good luck!