So you decided on the layout and design for your website, but the question is how will your potential customers see your new website? How certain websites make it to the first page in Google, and others don’t? Web designers use what is called SEO, search engine optimization. SEO is used by experts to help rank you in the Google search engine and index your website. Think of the index as a catalog. Google crawls the internet every day looking for sites to discover. Indexing your site is like adding it to Google’s catalog. Indexing your site doesn’t just stop there. There are many steps in this very complex process.
The keyword content is part of the many processes of SEO and one that is essential. Google and other search engines have algorithms they use when crawling the internet trying to match the content you are searching for. Understanding those algorithms and being able to analyze keywords, strategically knowing the placement for that content, and tying it all together to create the correct content necessary to meet those algorithms needs is part of the web development. An SEO expert will also understand that not all websites work the same. What works for one website, might not for another.
Knowing how to adapt to a variety of web designs, ideas and companies is key.
An example of keyword content would look like this. Say, you own a clothing business, each page should be dedicated to its product. If selling jeans, one page should be solely about jeans with keywords as such, denim, pants, dress pants, jeans, etc. Relevancy is important to each dedicated webpage. Understanding keyword content will help optimize your website to rank top in Google.
Another big factor for SEO is video content. Video content is in high demand for consumers. According to Neil Patel, co-founder of NP Digital, it is projected that “80% of online traffic will be video content in 2021, with 43% of people saying they want even more video content.” It makes sense because we live in an instant gratification world with less patience. More people would watch a quick snippet of your video content than to read your blog posts. Most importantly, having the video content on your page will drive more consumers to your page ultimately increasing your SEO.
Images are an essential part of Google’s algorithm when crawling the web to rank sites. Images can be appealing to people and catch their attention resulting in an influx of traffic to your page. Seeing pictures can help people better understand what it is you are promoting. For example, although pictures aren’t tangible, it helps consumers make decisions when purchasing something from your website, or helps them to understand your content. It is very important to understand what images to use and how to use them. Be careful when uploading photos to your page. You want to make sure the image is scaled to size. What we mean by this is, if you are using a photo size of 1920×1080 pixels and the size of the photo on the site is going to be only 400×200 pixels, this will cause your photo to load slowly and the websites speed as well. You also need to make sure your file size is optimized as well. If not, this too could also delay the load speeds. Another important factor for image SEO is the file names you use for your images. Just as the example before about jeans, if your image is a pair of jeans your file name should match that. It should like this, denim-jeans.jpg. Your file name should be able to explain what the picture is without even seeing it. This will help Google connect the keyword content with the image.
Quick Load Speeds
Google loves websites with quick load speeds. Having quick load speeds is one of the determining factors Google looks for when ranking websites. This feature is huge and should be taken seriously. Not only is it important for SEO factors, but for your consumers as well. Even a ONE-second delay could cost you potential customers and revenue. Over 70% of those potential customers will not return. If your page loads slowly, customers will not find your site to be trustworthy.
Blog posts are probably one of the most important factors of SEO. Creating blog posts will help rank you quicker on Google. Why? Google wants to present you with the most accurate and up-to-date information. You cant change your homepage every day to provide fresh content, but you can provide said content with blog posts. Most start off thinking they can use short keyword content in their blogs to promote SEO. In reality, you can trigger long-tail keywords in blog posts which gives you a better advantage of being on page one, than fighting your competition for the number one spot on a vague keyword. For example, in the ‘clothing business’ we mentioned earlier, if we want to use the keyword “clothing” as our goal, we will never see page one on Google. It’s just too vague and too much competition. If we were to discuss specific clothing styles in our blog such as, “best jeans for fall?” or “what are the most comfortable jeans to wear?” this long-tail keywording could put us on page one for searches as such.
What are Meta Tags? These are the little snippets you see as a quick description under your website title on a google search. Although Google says meta tags arent part of the SEO algorithm process it uses, these are still essential. You want to stand out with your meta tag, as it is the first description of your company and what you offer. It can be the determining factor as to whether or not they click on your site. This tag could be key to bring in more traffic. Although it may not factor into SEO, it is just as vital and important to get right. You want to grab the attention of potential clients. You must use keywords in your description. The keywords that will be searched will also be bolded in the meta tag. Never use quotation marks in your meta tag description as Google will cut off the information you are trying to say.
These small six steps should help to get you started on your journey to SEO. Remember the following we covered:
- Keyword Content & Placement
- Video Content
- Image Optimization
- Quick Load Speeds
- Blog Posts
- Meta Tags
If implemented correctly as we mentioned, you will start to see the changes over time. You will not be on Google’s first page overnight. However, when done correctly, over the course of a few weeks you will start to notice the work you put in, take effect. Google’s SEO is forever changing, adapting to the constant changes the web faces each day. SEO takes patience, learning, and understanding. Knowing these few basic guidelines will help lead you in the right direction.