The vast majority of people who are developing a website generally focus their attention and much of their efforts on the design and colors, leaving aside concepts such as usability or relevant SEO factors.
Today we talk about SEO – a set of techniques aimed at maximizing the user experience and interaction with a website. In this sense, search engines deliver better positioning or visibility to sites with a good user experience. The way sites get traffic and visits from the people they want to reach is the central idea of digital marketing.
SEO aspects should be applied to both a new website and those that has been in the market for years. Every niche and business online relies on SEO: from a freelance team of paper writers to well-known brands worldwide. While it is true that this can generate frustration in administrators, undoubtedly, developing an organic positioning strategy and complying with settings requested by Google will help your website to rank better from the beginning.
If you feel that your site needs a boost in rankings and usability, check out these 10 SEO recommendations, which you should not fail to consider to optimize your website’s search results.
1. URL Name, Server and Https
The name is an essential factor in generating brand recall and, therefore, the relevance of the new website. A site named hibiscustea.com will generate more brand awareness than hibiscussanfrancisco.com.
Another important aspect is the chosen hosting server because, depending on this, we can optimize and implement all of Google’s recommendations. Still, if our server is slow, the efforts and optimizations will not be relevant.
Google does not consider relevant the pages that do not have HTTPS. Therefore, you need to choose a server that delivers the facility to implement the SSL or security certificate to encrypt user connections.
2. Weight and speed
The site’s weight is an important factor for the organic traffic and usability of any digital strategy, as it defines the experience and satisfaction of the visitor. Compared to a similar slower one, a fast individual page can define user loyalty or abandonment and is a decisive positioning factor in displaying that page in search results, especially in mobile.
In general, images are the leading cause of a slow website. Therefore, all images uploaded to the website must be optimized in weight. It is unnecessary to upload a Full HD image of 8000 pixels if 90% of our users enter our website from mobile devices.
3. Basic tags
There are a series of tags that Google analyses when displaying a page in the search results, these must comply with established standards and rules, some of them are:
- Title: The title of the page must clearly indicate the page’s content, i.e., it must contain the name of the product or service, the name of the section, and the name of the website and, as far as possible, should not exceed 65 characters.
- Meta Description: The description should indicate what the page is about in summary, not exceeding 156 characters. It should contain a relevant description and keywords such as product name, page name, or brand name.
- H1: There can only be one H1 tag per page. The H1 tag contains the page’s title. There must be H2 tags as a subtitle on this same page, i.e., you should make a small caption as a subtitle to briefly explain the page’s content. These tags are used to prioritize content.
- Canonical: Each page should contain a rel=”canonical” tag. This tag indicates the main page when a website has duplicate content, i.e., the same content on more than one page. Remember that Google penalizes duplicate content.
- ALT: Images must contain relevant keywords in the file name, for example, “/folder/image-description.jpg.” It should have an ALT tag with the image description, as Google doesn’t see an image, it sees text, and these descriptions help it know what the image is about. The title of the image must also contain the description.
Google favors content and sites that have constant updates. Therefore, it is advisable to upload new articles constantly. These articles must have the structure of Title, Description, H1, H2, etc. The images must have the ALT and Title tags and must have more than 300 words, and remember to use the keywords for which users can search for this content. A site to see trends in keyword searches is the Google planner.
The keywords are still the gateway or visibility of your website, so it is considered one of the most important aspects. A clear example is if we sell hearing aids on our website, but we do not use the word “Hearing aids” but use “Headphones,” the visits will be reduced. If our public is international, we will have to investigate the keywords and their variations that generate more searches in each country to outline the positioning strategies.
Backlinks help Google know our website and its importance, and this can be explained in simple words as follows. If a very relevant page, such as a government site, has a link on its website naming my website, Google will consider that my website is important and relevant because a page with great relevance is naming it. The more backlinks there are on different websites, Google will consider a better relevance. However, don’t forget that getting fraudulent backlinks is penalized by Google, so the goal is to have relevant quality links.
7. Robots, Sitemap, Search Console
A robots.txt file is a file that sits at the root of a site and indicates which parts you don’t want search engine crawlers to access. Some search engines do not consider the robots.txt file, so it is recommended that each page of the site has its own tag, with attributes for robots such as index, noindex, follow, nofollow.
The sitemap is an .xml file with the list of pages of your site. This file tells search engines which pages you want to be shown in search results. With this sitemap, we can tell search engines about the hierarchy of our website and the updates made to it. A good practice is to keep the site’s content in an updated sitemap, so generate one and update it manually every fortnight or month. A Google tool called Search Console will be your best tool for Sitemap configuration and performance monitoring.
8. Mobile version
Google will not consider websites that do not have a responsive or mobile design technically. Therefore, it is of utmost importance that every website has correct mobile usability.
9. Constant optimisations
Constant optimizations are a relevant aspect for Google. This shows that we are taking care of our website and considering the recommendations that Search Console or its tools could give us. In the same way, we must constantly perform cleaning of toxic links that we can find because we must indicate to Google some pages that have a backlink to our site but are considered harmful for users who visit.
10. Buyer Persona
Knowing our audience is the key because we will create irrelevant content if we do not know who we are talking to. This is why it is necessary to use tools like Google Analytics, which will give us information about gender, age, city, devices, most visited pages, and other aspects that will help us generate relevant content.
Everything seems to indicate that the SEO factors that you should not fail to consider to optimize your website searches will revolve around three main aspects in 2022: user experience, quality content, and adhering to Google standards, so follow these recommendations and be sure to spectate a major SEO growth.