Why Optimise Your Website for Search Engines?
There are a lot of websites out there, around one billion worldwide. That’s a lot to take in, and a lot of choice for anyone browsing or searching. This is why it’s so vital that your website can be easily found and is attractive to your audience. This isn’t just about how it looks, in fact your web design should involve all sorts of factors in order to ensure your website performs to its best capabilities. This is optimisation.
What Does SEO Mean?
SEO, or search engine optimisation, comprises all the things you can do to make your website more visible. These are both on-page and off-page. On-page SEO is to do with the technical things that can make a website more noticeable; whereas off-page means activity around social media marketing and building links.
Organic search engine results are those that make your site rank higher on a search page without you taking out pay-per-click advertising.
With web design, it’s important that you have strong site architecture and navigation to help search engines index it. Google is particularly interested in the user experience when it comes to ranking websites, and Google accounts for around 90 per cent of global organic search traffic.
Search engines look for certain qualities, which will then affect how it ranks a website.
Relevancy and Quality
Google ranks relevancy very highly, which means whether or not a site provides the relevant answers to the questions people put into Google. Search engines have internal alogrithms to determine how they provide these results, but relevancy will influence them – the searcher’s search history, for example, and when they’re searching.
Consider also local SEO, where what you’re offering is particularly relevant to people searching locally. Google is increasingly ranking the location of the person doing the searching as important.
The quality of your content is also crucial when it comes to SEO – it needs to be helpful and useful and, importantly, written for humans, not search engine algorithms. Focus less on keywords and more on your users and their experience.
Speed and Compatibility
How quickly your pages load will help differentiate your site for search engines, and ensuring that your site is compatible for viewing on mobile devices is absolutely vital, with Google now prioritising this.
Google likes it if you widen your readers’ options, which means providing plenty of relevant links to other relevant, useful material. This can help give off trust signals to search engines, and using conspicuous anchor text can help reduce your bounce rates.
Links can also help boost your rankings for certain keywords, if Google can see the common keywords across linked sites, indicating that more people are searching for these words. And the more internal links Google picks up from your site, the more trustworthy it’s likely to rank it.
Meta Descriptions and Image Tags
Meta descriptions can improve the chances of a searcher clicking on your result, and properly tagged images means that Google can actually read them.
Contrary to some commonly held opinions, the internet is not always about the shock of the new. If you publish useful content in the form of guides, or advice, it can be evergreen in terms of its value. So don’t always be thinking of the fresh hit, but instead work up some ideas that will have enduring value to searchers and site users.
LV Media specialises in web design for Manchester, Stockport and the North West. We design and build websites that really work for business, and we know how to optimise them to get the best results.