Search engine optimization or SEO, is getting recognition for promoting quality content and great practices. Your present website might look very cute, hip and fresh; however, if you don’t practice updated SEO standards, you might risk having little or no traffic at all. It would be a waste to invest all those resources in creating the best-looking website if your site doesn’t even reach the first page of a search engine.
There are many SEO factors that are involved in ranking websites. The best SEO compliance is a total of all SEO practices like link building, website optimization and others.
Here are some tips on how an SEO-friendly website can be created:
Use Relevant Keywords
If you want to be found on the internet, you have to determine what keywords or phrases you can be found for. Imagine being a person looking for a service or product just like yours, and if you’re going to use a search engine to look for such a product or service, what phrase or keywords would best describe your service or offer? There could be hundreds of keywords or phrases, so you need to learn which ones are commonly used.
Keyphrase or keyword research is vital in this category. It’s quite a task to do and may take some time and skills, so you may need professional service from agencies to get the best results.
Create A Mobile Responsive Site
People are getting more and more active and on-the-go, so you shouldn’t miss out on the opportunity to maximize your online presence. A great website design is responsive on both computer and mobile devices. Billions of people are using mobile smartphones that’s why you need to invest in a mobile responsive website.
To optimize your website for mobile, begin with a responsive design that adjusts to varying screen sizes. Prioritize fast loading times by compressing images and leveraging browser caching. Ensure clickable elements are touch-friendly and spaced apart to prevent misclicks (and missed clicks). Simplify navigation using concise menus and clear call-to-action buttons. Test your website on multiple devices to ensure compatibility and a seamless user experience.
Regularly monitor mobile usability issues through tools like Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test. Remember, a mobile-optimized site not only enhances user experience but also positively impacts search engine rankings.
Mention the Keywords
If you have discovered the best keywords for your niche (using Keyword Research), it’s time to mention those keywords in the content you write in your website. Don’t expect that your keyword will work without ever mentioning it in your content.
But also make sure that you don’t overmention them so you don’t get flagged for keyword stuffing.
The ideal keyword density (the ratio of keywords to the total number of words in content) has been a topic of debate among SEO professionals. However, most agree that there’s no fixed “perfect” ratio that guarantees rankings. Historically, a keyword density of 2-3% was recommended, but with search engines becoming smarter, it’s more about the quality and relevance of content than a specific percentage.
Overstuffing content with keywords can lead to penalties from search engines, a practice known as “keyword stuffing.” Instead of aiming for a specific density, it’s crucial to:
- Write naturally and for the user first.
- Use keywords where they make sense, in context.
- Incorporate semantic keywords and related terms to enrich content without repetitive keyword use.
Using tools like Google’s Natural Language API can help in understanding content’s relevancy and keyword association. Always prioritize writing valuable, user-centric content over achieving a particular keyword density.
Optimize Title Tags
Another way to use the keywords effectively is by adding them to the title tag. It’s that set of words that comes out when you hover your mouse on the tab of your browser. This is why keywords are essential because they tell the search engines how to find you on the web and what to show when showing your results in search rankings.
Optimizing title tags is crucial for SEO because they play a significant role in influencing click-through rates from search results and helping search engines understand the context of a page. Here’s how to optimize title tags effectively:
- Prioritize Primary Keywords: Start the title with the most relevant keyword for the page. For instance, if your article is about “Digital Marketing Tips,” your title might start with “Digital Marketing Tips: 10 Strategies…”
- Be Concise: Ensure your title tag is within 50-60 characters. Search engines may truncate longer titles in the SERPs.
- Stay Relevant: Make sure the title accurately reflects the content of the page.
- Avoid Keyword Stuffing: Repeating keywords in the title can appear manipulative and can harm user experience. Stick to a natural, readable format.
- Use Branding: If space allows, consider ending the title with your brand or website name, e.g., “Digital Marketing Tips | YourBrandName”.
- Entice the User: A title should be compelling, encouraging users to click on your link. Pose a question, provide a solution, or tap into curiosity.
- Use Dividers: To distinguish between different parts of your title, use separators like “|” or “-“. For example, “Digital Marketing Tips | YourBrandName” or “Digital Marketing Tips – YourBrandName”.
- Avoid Duplicate Titles: Each page on your site should have a unique title tag to avoid confusion for both search engines and users.
- Incorporate LSI Keywords: These are semantically related terms. If your primary keyword is “Digital Marketing Tips”, an LSI keyword might be “Online Marketing Advice”. Using such terms can provide more context.
- Monitor Performance: Use tools like Google Search Console to analyze how your title tags perform in terms of impressions and click-through rates. Adjust as necessary based on data.
By crafting clear, concise, and compelling title tags, you not only improve your SEO but also make a strong first impression on potential visitors.
Optimize The Images Alts Too
Optimizing image alt attributes (often referred to as “alt tags” or “alt text”) is essential for SEO and for ensuring web accessibility, especially for users with screen readers. Here’s how to optimize them both in general and specifically on WordPress:
General Best Practices for Image Alt Text Optimization:
- Describe the Image: Be specific in describing the content of the image. If the image is a golden retriever playing with a ball, the alt text could be “Golden retriever chasing a ball.”
- Be Concise: Keep alt text descriptive yet brief. Aim for a sentence or less.
- Use Keywords Sparingly: It’s okay to use relevant keywords in alt text, but ensure they fit naturally and are contextually relevant to the image.
- Avoid “Picture of” or “Image of”: Screen readers already identify it as an image, so phrases like these are redundant.
- Functional Images: If an image has a functional role, such as a button or a link, ensure the alt text describes the action or the destination. For instance, an image button to submit a form could have the alt text “submit.”
- Decorative Images: If an image is purely decorative and doesn’t convey any essential content, use an empty alt attribute (
alt=""). This informs screen readers to skip the image.
Optimizing Image Alt Text in WordPress:
- Upload Descriptively Named Images: Before even adding to WordPress, name your images descriptively. Instead of “IMG12345.jpg,” name it “golden-retriever-playing.jpg.”
- Using the WordPress Media Library:
- After uploading an image to the Media Library, click on it.
- You’ll see fields like “Title,” “Caption,” and “Alt Text.”
- Fill in the “Alt Text” field with a descriptive phrase for the image.
- Using Classic Editor:
- Click on the image you want to edit.
- Click the “Edit” button (pencil icon).
- This will bring up the Image Details popup where you can add or edit the alt text.
- Using Gutenberg (Block Editor):
- Click on the image block you want to edit.
- In the Block settings on the right, under “Image Settings,” you’ll see the “Alt Text” field. Input your descriptive text there.
- For Theme and Widget Images: Some images set via themes or widgets might not be as straightforward to edit. In these cases, refer to theme documentation or consider using plugins that allow you to optimize such images.
- Plugins: There are SEO plugins like “Yoast SEO” and “SEOPress” that can help remind you to set alt text for your images if you forget.
Remember, the primary purpose of alt text is to describe images to users who can’t see them. Keeping this goal in mind will guide you in crafting meaningful and effective alt text, benefiting both SEO and accessibility.
Make Your URLs Simple
Don’t complicate things for your audience. Make your URL structure simple and straightforward, which is something that can easily be remembered. A person should know what your website is about by looking at the URL and not having to click on the link to find out. If a URL is too wordy, it gets too confusing and difficult to understand and may just be neglected.
But URLs are also important for SEO, serving as a straightforward identifier for a page’s content. A well-structured URL is both user-friendly and search engine-friendly. Here’s advice on creating simple URLs and optimizing them with keywords:
- Keep it Readable: Aim for URLs that make sense to users. A readable URL gives users a clear idea of the page’s content even before they click on it. E.g., “example.com/tips-for-baking-bread” is more informative than “example.com/post12345”.
- Use Keywords Wisely: Incorporate primary keywords in the URL to enhance relevancy for search engines. If your article is about baking sourdough bread, a URL like “example.com/sourdough-bread-baking-tips” is optimal.
- Avoid Unnecessary Parameters: Dynamic parameters can clutter URLs. Whenever possible, use clean, static URLs.
- Limit URL Length: While there’s no set limit, shorter URLs are more user-friendly. Aim for a concise representation of your content.
- Use Hyphens to Separate Words: Hyphens are widely recognized as word separators, making URLs more readable. Avoid using underscores or spaces.
- Avoid Keyword Stuffing: While it’s beneficial to include keywords, overdoing it can appear spammy. A URL like “example.com/bread-baking-bread-home-bread-tips” is excessive.
- Consistent Structure: If your website has categories and sub-categories, reflect that hierarchy in the URL. This structured approach aids user navigation.
- Use Lowercase Letters: To prevent confusion or duplicate content issues, always use lowercase letters in URLs.
By crafting clear and keyword-optimized URLs, you enhance user experience and provide search engines with stronger contextual clues, positively impacting your SEO efforts.
Write Original and Quality Content
The content should be unique, original and exciting. Don’t attempt to copy content from another site since it won’t help your website, and it may even result in penalties. Remove any contents that are duplicated from other sources. Write your own content and make your audience appreciate your information, not say that they have read it before somewhere else. If you’ve heard the phrase “content is king” before, believe it. It’s true.
Be Up To Date
Websites fail to get noticed when the contents are outdated. Having a website is not just about having one. It takes maintenance and constant updating – that could mean weekly uploads of brand-new content. Your website should be consistent with the information you provide, stick to your niche and don’t mislead your audience.
If you haven’t done it yet, then you better do it now. You should start incorporating your social media accounts on your website and vice versa. Use them to spread your content as a marketing strategy to push for more visits to your site. Post engaging topics that people will find interesting and informative enough to like and share. And, if people get interested, they will look for the source of such a fantastic post.
Check Your Speed
Your website should not take too long to load; otherwise, people will just hit the back button and move on to the next website. People go to great lengths paying for high-speed internet and have no patience waiting for a crawling website. The following may be the culprit if your website is slow to load:
- Free website server
- Too large or too many pictures or graphics
- Too many plugins & external scripts
- Outdated CMS
- No cache and performance optimization
Remember, search engine optimization (SEO) isn’t an instant formula to get your website on top of the search results. You have to work hard for it, and it may take months or even years to get you where you want. It all depends on the work you put in it and the contents you make. Building authority and trust don’t happen overnight.