Optimizing your website for SEO enables you to attract traffic and provides you with numerous opportunities to convert visitors into customers. An optimized website returns better metrics – it has a better bounce rate and visitors spend more time on its pages. This means search engines are likely to rank it highly. The best time to begin thinking about optimizing your website for SEO is when you are setting it up. If you are in the process of building a new website or have launched it already, here are several things you could do to optimize it for SEO:
1. Pick the right domain name
Search engines use domain names to identify web pages before ranking them. Where possible, use a domain name that is easy to remember, relevant to what you are doing and features the main keyword that you wish to rank. For instance, Google searches pages that cover the topic that users query in their search requests. For instance, if a user searches ‘optimize website with SEO’, the search engine could look for sites that explain how to optimize websites for SEO. At the same time, the search engine will focus on prioritizing content published by trustworthy sites. Content from authoritative websites tends to get a better ranking than sites that are less authoritative.
2. Research your keywords
One of the most important aspects of SEO is keyword research. Numerous websites out there that are similar to yours are working to rank highly on search engines too. With such competition, you need a strategy to stand out. Keyword research can help you identify the phrases and keywords you target customers use to search for information online. Such research also enables you to know how contested those keywords are on the search engines.
To identify the keywords you need to feature on your website, you need to clarify the main subjects and terms that you want your SEO efforts to focus on. There are several SEO tools you can use to get keyword data and suggestions. Though most of them charge a subscription fee, the keyword planner by Google can be a good place to start at zero cost. Bear in mind that SEO is highly competitive and when your website is still new, it cannot compete with popular sites. As such, be specific in your keyword research and opt for long-tail keywords as opposed to short-tail keywords. For instance, using a keyword like ‘central London motor competition’ is better than using ‘motor competition’.
Once you’re done researching your keywords, decide the niche phrases you want to target. You could opt for those with low volume and little competition, high volume – high competition or a combination of the two.
3. Make your meta descriptions unique
Though meta descriptions do not influence your search engine rankings directly, they play a critical role in improving click-through rates based on search results. When visitors view your webpage on the search results, they are able to read your meta description.
The words that match the keywords that visitors searched appear in bold on the meta description, capturing the attention of the visitor. Since they are still deciding which site to visit at this point, visitors are likely to click on the site that resonates with their search – an aspect that pushes traffic to your site. To optimize your website, develop a relevant meta description for each of your website pages. Make it a practice to include keywords in the description in a natural way to attract your target audience to your website.
4. Use SEO friendly templates
Website builders today provide templates that have inbuilt SEO friendly templates like slides static website generator. The templates are well coded in an easy-to-crawl way, optimized for mobile devices and easy to modify. Though not much focus is required on back-end coding for these templates, it is not enough to fully optimize your site for search engines.
In addition to templates, develop intuitive navigation on your site by including different meta descriptions and titles that are optimized with your keyword phrases. It is important that you ensure each page on your website features hundreds of optimized words.
5. Create a blog and build links to your website
One sure way to optimize your site for SEO is to create a blog. Developing well written and researched content increases the authority of your website and provides you with a huge opportunity to use keyword phrases on your website. Consider using high quality, long-form blogs as these perform better than short-form content. When creating the content, your focus should be on providing your readers with quality content, as opposed to quantity.
In addition, use your blog content to build links back to your website. One way to achieve this is by promoting the best articles you have developed with the aim of earning citations for top-notch sites and writers. Another strategy you could employ to generate backlinks is offering to guest post on other sites in your niche, then link back to the best content you have created on your website. To succeed in backlinking, ensure that your links both valuable and relevant to your audience.
6. Optimize your images, page URLs and title tags
Each image on your website offers you extra opportunities to optimize your website for SEO. Consider customizing the name you give each image with a keyword – this makes it easy for search engines to pick it up. At the same time, the URL of each page on your site should be customized so that it communicates what your visitors can expect on the page and is easy to remember. Also, try as much as possible to include primary keywords on your URLs.
Also, optimize your title tags for easy identification by search engines. When crawling the web, search engines seek to know what a page is about – this makes title tags interesting spots to use primary keywords. When writing your title tags, consider keeping them short because a search engine such as Google only displays up to 60 characters on its results page. Avoid stuffing the title with keywords – having just one primary keyword is enough.