Building a search-engine friendly website means that search engines like Google or Bing discover the website, read and interpret the content accordingly, and include it in their indexes. Once indexed, search engines will showcase the most relevant web pages to users based on their topics of interest.
Developing a website to be search engine friendly is key, as the purpose of having a website in the first place is to make your business stand out online and be visible for potential customers ready to do business with you.
Note: It takes time for SEO strategies to render results. So, the earlier you include SEO in the website development process, the higher the chance the website will rank faster in search engines.
Applying search engine optimization techniques later, after design and development have been completed, may delay website performance and require more time and resources to make it user and search engine-friendly.
Use this guide when developing a website to make sure you do not miss some of the most important aspects of a search-engine-friendly website.
1. Ensure that your website is secure using SSL certificates.
An SSL certificate (Secure Socket Layer) enables an encrypted connection for your website visitors so that their data such as email address or credit card info are protected.
A secure website with SSL certificates in order displays a lock before its domain name and starts with HTTPS. Alternatively, a non-secured website sends negative signals to search engines, warning visitors about the dangers of visiting that website. So, before anything else, make your website both user and search-engine-friendly by enabling a secured connection to your website before publishing it.
2. Add title tags and meta descriptions on each website page.
Google needs to understand what a web page is about to know when that is suitable to appear in search results. Title tags and meta descriptions with keywords included play an important role in serving this purpose. So, set aside some time and add title tags and meta descriptions as soon as the webpage content is created to help Google and other search engines understand your content.
3. Use appropriate header tags for your website content.
Headers (counted from 1 to 6) are crucial for organizing and structuring information on a website to make it both user-friendly and search engine-friendly. Pay special attention to H1 (page title) for SEO purposes, as this serves the function of describing the main topic of a page to both humans and bots. So make things easier for search engines and help them display content to interested users by using the right headers for your text.
Tip: Using the correct headers on your website signals search engines that your site is also inclusive and accessible for people with disabilities; as people with impaired vision use programs that function pretty much the same way a Google bot works when crawling (reading) a web page.
4. Write alternative descriptions (alt-text) for images.
Because Google cannot "see" pictures, it needs some extra help to interpret images. Writing alt text using relevant keywords is another good opportunity to suggest to Google when to display your website content for people interested to see it. So don’t miss this step when building your website!
A good practice is to add the alt text at the same time you optimize images (compress, reduce the size, etc.). That will save you some time as you will not have to go through the image editing process later again. However, a double-check for alt text before website launch is always a good idea.
Tip: Image alternative texts are crucial for persons with impaired vision to understand the website content as they use programs to read them. Needless to say, an accessible website is well received by search engines.
5. Optimize pictures for the web.
Images may slow down a website significantly if they are not optimized first. Evidently, search engines do not like slow websites as they aim to provide high-quality websites for their users.
There are numerous apps you could use to reduce the image size and compress pictures without losing image quality.
Tip: Performing regular website speed tests during the web development process (especially when adding images or videos) is ideal to monitor website speed and also identify which images may cause issues.
6. Create an internal link structure on your website.
Internal linking refers to pointing one page to another on a website. By linking pages internally, you connect the pages based on their related content. Obviously, by providing structure, internal linking enhances the user experience on your website.
From an SEO perspective, internal linking also helps search engines understand the site structure and how your website content relates. So consider using this strategy during the website designing process for your search-engine-friendly website.
Use these 6 SEO strategies during the website designing process to add value to your website, provide a great user experience, and make your website search engine-friendly. These search engine optimization techniques will help you achieve faster results, and you will avoid spending time and resources on a poorly executed website.
Contact Adept Marketing Solutions if you need help building or redesigning your website to make it user and search engine-friendly.