Promoting a website can be a challenging endeavor, but one way designers try to improve marketing efforts is through search engine optimization. The idea is to fashion a site so it is likely to be indexed by bots used by major search engines, such as Google. By adding appealing content, a website owner can achieve solid SEO results. Several factors come into play, including:
- On-site SEO
- Off-site SEO
- Website performance
The actual makeup of a website is by far the most determinant factor in how it’ll perform in search engine results. Foremost, a site should have original content that’s high-quality. All text on your site should be:
- Grammatically correct
- Structured and orderly
These factors are taken as quality signals by Google, and they allow the search engine to compare a page favorably or unfavorably against competing pages in the same niche.
Your primary goal in producing any site should be to generate content that’s unique and interesting. Avoid stuffing pages with keywords, as that’s now seen as a poor signal quality. Instead, focus on writing well and providing useful information about your chosen topic. If you’re building a product page, make sure accurate and valuable information is supplied.
Another on-site issue to keep an eye on is the combination of structure and code. Each page should have strong and descriptive titles that encourage searchers to click through. Likewise, the underlying code on a site should be competently structured and efficient. If you have concerns about how to achieve these goals, you may want to consult with a professional.
Competently structured SEO elements are often rewarded with additional benefits by Google. For example, a properly organized page that does a good job explaining a specific topic may be linked at the top of search results as a rich snippet that answers a specific question.
Every website exists, to some degree, in a context involving other websites. A science blog might link to an interesting page at NASA, for example. A photographer with an Instagram account might link to an article you wrote about different types of lenses. The spirit of the internet is sharing, and links are the way people celebrate whatever they find to be great.
This is what we think of as off-site SEO. It’s all the positive value being pointed toward your site by other sites. Google sees this as a strong quality signal, but remember that you should allow these links to boil up naturally. Just keep producing great content, and the links will come.
The way a website performs is surprisingly critical to its SEO success. This is because Google doesn’t want to send web searchers to sites that’ll frustrate them. For example, a penalty is assessed in search engine rankings when a site takes significantly longer than two seconds to load. Similarly, Google penalizes sites that display poorly on mobile devices when someone using a smartphone or tablet goes looking for information. It’s a good idea to check how well your website is performing from time to time.