As a website designer, one of your top priorities is to get a high ranking in the search results pages of the most popular search engines so that you can attract a larger volume of traffic.
Getting a superior rank is only possible by optimizing the site so that your brand can enhance its awareness. The only way to ensure that your page rankings stay consistently high compared to your competition is by complying with all the requirements of the search engines and not being penalized for flouting any of their rules.
SEO and the Necessity of SEO
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the overall term used to describe methods employed to enhance the visibility of the website on the results page of the search engines. There are a number of ways of doing this ranging from the tweaking of the website structure and contents to off-page approaches like social media marketing, link building, etc. Good SEO practices ensure that your website ranks high in organic searches performed by search engine users. The reason why it remains so important is because even today more than half of traffic generated by websites is the results of organic search, with other methods such as paid search, social media, direct and other referrals ranking far lower.
With Google accounting for a lion's share of all organic searches, it is vital that your website is optimized for Google searches. To achieve superior and effective SEO, you need to know what search engines are really looking for.
1. Relevancy Is Vital
Google pays the maximum attention to providing the most relevant results to a query posed by a searcher. The extent to which the results are relevant is decided by the search algorithms of Google. While the exact way in which they operate is a secret, it is evident that relevancy is crucial, and factors in a number of elements such as the searcher's location, time of the day, his search history and past behavior.
2. Content Quality Is Important
The quality of content posted on the website is extremely important to Google. There are very clear indications that Google is preferring content that has substance and length over entries that just seem to have the correct keywords inserted. Content that is perceived to be fresh, original and informative will most definitely drive up your site rankings. A lot of importance is placed by Google on content that helps users to achieve their query intent; articles that are thoughtful and based on practical advice drive better traffic and are interpreted by Google positively.
3. User Experience
The user experience (UX) of reading a Web page is now deemed to be vital input to Google's search algorithms. Google looks out for sites and pages that are very easily navigable and searchable with content that is relevant and appropriate internal links.
4. Site Speed
Google is making a difference to the ranking it gives to sites that do not load fast, and may even be tagging results that employ Accelerated Mobile Page (AMP) hosting.
5. Multiple Device Compatibility
With an increasing number of Web searches being performed on mobile devices, Google thinks it is vital that your website is optimized for the various screen sizes that the contemporary user is likely to be using. Google has already made it clear that it prefers responsive page design that takes into account the screen size of the device being used.
6. Internal Linking
There are many advantages of internal linking; visitors get the option of accessing more information helping you to improve your ranking performance for certain keywords. As long as you take care to insert relevant links and use anchor text that is clear, you can substantially reduce your bounce rates. It is also recommended that anchor text pointing to the same page be varied as else there is a tendency by Google to view identical use as being suspicious. The use of internal links assists the bots employed by the search engine to discover more about your site's content.
Sites that are trusted by users as being relevant, useful and reliable are seen to have authority. Therefore, if you are able to acquire a link to a site with high authority; it is seen as a mark of trust. The more the quality of your content, the more the chances of you getting inbound links from authority sites, which in turn helps to elevate your site's status. However, the direct correlation between good ranks and inbound links are estimated to be reducing, and it may be possible that this may not be as critical to SEO as originally thought.
8. Local SEO
Increasingly, Google is placing more importance to serving results that include high rankings to local businesses because these are better poised to fulfill the requirements of Web searchers. Local search results are also ideal for immediate and impulse requirements that keep on cropping up in the lives of Web searchers. To take advantage of this preference of Google, make sure that you register in the My Business in Google and provide information that is accurate.
9. Images That Are Properly Tagged
Good quality images are often essential to improving the content quality. If you forget to include appropriate alt attributes to each image, then it is not possible for Google to interpret the importance of the images; and this fault results in the images being underutilized as far as SEO is concerned.
Among the most practical and effective ways of enhancing your site's rankings is by being present and active on various social media platforms. You should take care in publishing good quality content in blogs, and other situations where reader response is called for. Use the opportunity to publicize your website address. Google is increasingly trawling social media sites and when it encounters your site URL in the social media, it will factor it in when allocating page ranks. Again, the quality of your social media posts is of paramount importance.
Search Engine Friendly
Most people think that SEO starts after website design, but it is a wrong concept. From the images to the navigation design, every Web design element plays a key role to make a website search engine friendly. Pay attention to the aforementioned suggestions while designing a website to get optimum results during search engine optimization.
Martha Cummins is a senior Web developer who has considerable experience in dental SEO services, having being involved in a number of website development and optimization exercises for high-profile dentists.