Who needs a beautiful website if no one knows it exists? There are over 1 billion websites. However, this number fluctuates every day as websites are lost or launched. Of this, only over a hundred million are active.
Thus, with all the websites out there, businesses need a plan to find their way to their specific audience. This is where SEO comes into play.
Short Brief on SEO
Short for search engine optimization, SEO is what you should use to draw organic traffic (users) to your website. It employs strategies to optimize your website and its pages so that these appear on top of results pages for certain keywords. This helps improve the quantity and quality of traffic to a site or web pages.
Thus, you need to develop a website that’s not only pretty, but also SEO-friendly. How do you that?
Here are six strategies to develop an SEO-friendly website:
1. Choose an SEO-Friendly Domain
First off, you’ll need a domain name that reflects industry perception as well as the frequent searches that your target market or audience makes about the products and services you offer. For instance, if your site is about web creations and management, then choose a domain name that reflects website development solutions. This way, your target audience can easily identify your online brand and find your site to be more trustworthy and reliable.
Choose a domain name that allows you to stand out in the industry. It should be unique and inspire the confidence of potential customers. Also, pick a name that features keywords in the search terms whenever your target audience is looking for info about the industry. Pick a domain name that readily and clearly points to your business.
2. Search-Friendly URLs
A URL is different from a domain. Short for Universal Resource Locator, URLs are the complete web addresses used to find a specific web page. While a domain is the name of the site, URLs lead to any one of the pages within the site.
A URL that’s not search-friendly won’t rank as well. The best URLs contain the keywords that can help describe the contents of the page. You want to limit the categories in your link. Also, you need to separate the words in your URL and use hyphens instead of underscores in doing so.
Be careful with CMS using automatically generated special code and numbers for page URLs. A good CMS should give you the ability to modify and improve your site’s URLs.
3. Employ Responsive Design
If you want to develop an SEO-friendly site, you need to integrate a responsive design. A responsive design allows your site to adapt seamlessly to whatever device that a user is using. Whether users access your website on a desktop, tablet, or smartphone, they’ll need to get the version of your site that’s best suited for their device.
But, how does a responsive design play a role in SEO?
Each device features a different screen size. If your website doesn’t adjust to fit those screens, users will not have a positive experience on your website.
Imagine seeing a desktop version of this site while using your smartphone. It would appear really small on your device, and you would struggle even reading the texts or clicking on links.
So, what will you do? Tap the back button and look for another site that’s optimized for your smartphone screen.
Overall, the importance of a responsive website is that it can keep traffic on your page for longer and increasing audience satisfaction. This should help boost your site’s ranking in the search results.
4. Easy Navigation
The goal of your site is to provide information about your services and products to potential customers. Research shows that visitors favor a website where information is very easy to find. This means that moving from one page to another should be natural, easy, and seamless.
The best way to make your website navigation easy to provide a site map on your homepage. This allows your audience to click on any web page from the home page or landing page. Such provision means that searching information will be seamless and easy.
5. Think Speed
Speed is crucial for an SEO-friendly website. Internet users don’t like waiting for sites. If people are leaving your website because it takes ages to load or navigate, it can cost your placement in search rankings.
Thus, you need to think fast. There are several things that might be slowing your site:
- Outdated CMS
- Too many plugins
- Poor server performance
- Too many or large graphics and image files
Also, if your pages suddenly become a trending topic, you may also experience slowdown on your site, due to too much traffic. While it’s a good thing, make sure that you can handle the influx of visitors to your site without lagging on performance.
6. Manage Your Links
Links within your site build credibility. Think of them as endorsements to increase the trustworthiness of your site.
There are two types of links— internal and external.
Internal links connect the different pages on your site. It’s a way of introducing your audience to other pages within your website. It helps in increasing the time a user spends on your site, boosting the chance to cross-sell or upsell and improve engagement.
External links are links from high-authority websites. These give search engines the impression that your webpage is trustworthy as it connects to useful resources online.
When using links, you need to do so professionally and sparingly. Not all links are equal. Some can increase trustworthiness; others can pull down your ranking.
Link to high-authority links only. Also, make sure that the reader will find value and relevance in the links. Otherwise, these links can confuse readers and become a turn-off.
Building an SEO-friendly website is challenging if you don’t know where to start. But, by implementing the top SEO strategies and tips from above, you can efficiently develop an awesome website equipped with the necessary features to appeal to the SEO standards.