SEO stands for search engine optimization. If your website is SEO friendly, the chances of it ranking better in Google and generating website traffic from those rankings is greater. To put it simply, in order to "do better" in Google or other search engines, your site must be SEO friendly!
SEO has what is called on-site SEO and off-site SEO. Your on-site SEO would be the things that someone can control or change whenever needed. Your off-site SEO are things that are not directly on your website that you have control over immediately, such as links from other websites to yours. For this post we're going to focus on the on-site SEO stuff.
First off your code must be clean and structured well. This makes it easier for a search engine to "read" and will help your site load faster and properly.
To check up on this visit your website, right click and view source. You'll see a bunch of stuff you don't understand, but here's a few things you can look for:
- Where do you starting seeing the actual content from the page? If it goes forever before you can see this stuff, there's probably a bunch of unnecessary code loading on your page, muddying it up and slowing it down.
- When you get to the content, do you see things that are affecting the look such as font styles, colors sizes, etc? If so your code has too much inline styling which should be taken care of in CSS.
- There are a bunch of other things to look for, but explaining them in a blog post will not be enjoyable to read. If you are concerned about the code, have an SEO look it over.
Your URLs should be legible and contain similar keywords used elsewhere on the website. For example, do your URLs look like this: http://YOURDOMAIN.com/p=23 or http://YOURDOMAIN.com/relevent-keywords/?
It's even a bigger deal with dynamically generated website pages such as ecommerce. If you have a site like this do your URLs look like this: http://YOURDOMAIN.com/productID=fcy3h374hcncwsk or http://YOURDOMAIN.com/products/widgets/blue-widget.html?
If your URLs make you cross your eyes looking at them, you've got a problem.
This is a big one and chances are, you are probably struggling here. You should have enough content on the page to describe what the page is all about. This can't just be a bunch of keywords, it should be in a format that a human can read. If you want a page to rank for a specific keyword, that keyword must be in the content. This has changed a lot as search engines has become smarter, but it still doesn't take away the importance of good content.
There should be a page title on every page and every page title should be unique and relevant to the page associated with it. If you have a CMS such as WordPress, you should be able to control what your page title says pretty easily. If you aren't sure, it also shows up in the tabs at the top of your web browser...just hover over it and it will show you what the page title is.
This goes along with your content. There should be a heading that leads into your content, almost like the chapter of a book. You should be able to control this with your CMS. It's important to have only 1 H1 headings.
This one is simple...your website pages must load fast! Go to Google Page Speed Insights and run a test.
How does your website render on mobile? Believe it or not, Google is able to tell how usable it is on mobile. If it doesn't render well it could hurt your chances of the website showing for searchers using a mobile device.
Complete an SEO Checklist
If you read through this post thinking, "I still don't have a clue", don't worry...all is not lost. You can download the SEO checklist by clicking the image below, even better...we'll complete the SEO checklist for you! This will save you time and stress if you are already confused!