Over 60% of internet users find the websites they need using search engines. When you take a look at the analytics for your site, you will find that most referral traffic comes from search engines. This is why search engine optimisation, or SEO, remains a key instrument to use in digital marketing. Missing out on search engine traffic means missing out on a lot of potential customers.
SEO itself is a complex digital marketing instrument, but an SEO campaign always begins with optimising your site for better SEO performance. Before you can start appearing in search results, you need to have a site that is friendly to search engine crawlers. Worry not, because the tips and tricks we are about to discuss in this article are how you can start optimising your site right away.
Mobile-friendly sites perform better SEO-wise; this is no longer a secret. Google and other search engines are starting to prioritise mobile-friendly sites in search results, especially when the search is coming from mobile devices. In fact, sites that only works on desktop computers are starting to disappear from mobile search results.
You need to have a mobile-friendly site. It is useful not just for SEO, but for catering to a wider audience as well. Fortunately, designing a mobile-friendly site is easier thanks to responsive design. Through careful planning – and even more careful execution – you only need to design the site once for all devices.
The URLs you use are also important. In the old days, using strings and parameters in URL made a website appear advanced; that’s certainly not the case today. You want your URLs to be friendly to search engine crawlers in order to boost the site’s SEO performance.
There are a few things you can add to your URLs to make them friendlier to search engine crawlers. For starters, you can add the title of the page (or the title of the content) to the URL as it will immediately improve the site’s SEO performance.
As an added measure, you can also add categories and other taxonomies to the URL. Just make sure you don’t end up with URLs that are too long for everyday users. A good format to use is: [domain name]/[category]/[post title]/ as your URL, since this format gives the most SEO boost.
Optimising images is the next thing you can do to make your site friendlier to search engines. Performance is a big part of your site’s ranking these days, so images need to be optimised properly to keep the site performing well above the expected rating.
Optimising images is relatively easy. You start by removing unnecessary information like metadata and colour profile. You then compress the image to make it smaller and more suitable for web use. Lastly, fine-tune the delivery of the image within your site for maximum SEO impact.
How you use images within your website matters too. You want to make sure that every image comes with its own ALT tag. Search engine crawlers will not be able to understand the image unless you attach a relevant ALT tag to it.
Aside from adding ALT tags, you can also optimise the site further by using CSS elements instead of images whenever you can. When you need to add a plain background, for example, it is easier and more optimised to use CSS background-colour rather than an image.
Don’t Forget the Scripts
Navigation and SEO
Don’t forget to include a consistent and clear navigation to your site too. Crawlers will follow the navigation menu of your site to fully map the site itself. At the same time, users rely on that navigation menu to browse through your site and find the information they need.
Having a clear and concise navigation is just as important as submitting a clear sitemap to search engines. We spoke to Aaron of The Evergreen Agency, who are a leading SEO agency in Oxford and he advised paying very close attention to both the navigation and sitemaps in order to achieve the best results SEO-wise.
As you implement these tactics and improve your site’s SEO performance, you will see it appearing more often – and higher – in search results. The small changes you make can have a big impact in your site’s SEO performance, so keep working on optimising your website and attract more search engine traffic to your site.