Your SEO needs to be a top priority because if no one can find your website, no one can purchase your products or services.
SEO can be a daunting topic, but in this blog post, we will cover the fundamentals of on-page SEO to give you a better understanding of the overall concepts and how you can apply them to your business.
To put it simply, on-page SEO refers to how to create content and structure your website to make Google favour it, hopefully resulting in your website ranking higher. The key components of on-page SEO are as follows:
- Website Speed
- High-Quality Content
- Meta Tags
- Mobile-Friendly Design
To determine your website’s Google ranking, it needs to be analyzed or “crawled” by Google. If your website can’t be easily crawled, Google can read that as an error or as a badly designed website, and your website can be consequently ranked lower. You can ensure that your website is easily crawlable by fixing broken links, avoiding duplicate content, and improving your website’s structure.
If your website has internal links to other pages within it, you need to ensure that all of them work correctly so that Google can easily crawl through your website without running into any errors. If Google runs into any broken links, regardless of your content, Google can deem your website non-user friendly and lower your ranking.
Similarly, your website’s general structure can affect how easy it is to crawl. For example, if you have web pages that are only accessible through a very specific series of links, those pages are hard to find as Google crawls your website, which also indicates that users will also have a difficult time. Google values websites that are easy to navigate, so if you have any web pages that are complex to reach, rearrange your website structure to make everything more accessible.
Moreover, avoid duplicating content. In the past, duplicating content and forcing Google to crawl through keywords was a method to improve Google rankings, but since then Google’s crawling process has developed and will penalize websites that have duplicate content.
No one likes a slow website, including Google. Today, Google values fast loading speeds as almost instant load times are what users have come to expect. Furthermore, Google can also recognize a slow website that causes users to bounce away. Just as users do, Google favours websites that load fast, and will reward them by ranking them higher.
There are a variety of methods to improve your site speed, some more technical than others. Starting with the less technical, you can improve your website’s speed by picking the right host, and compressing your website’s images. If your website gets more traffic than it can handle, your loading times can suffer. Picking a host with the capacity to handle your website’s traffic is an easy way to ensure your website maintains fast loading times. In addition, compressing your website’s images is another simple method to improve your loading time. Larger files take longer to load, so by compressing your images, you can reduce the amount of data necessary to load your website.
On the more technical end, minifying your website code, reducing webpage redirects, and using asynchronous loading and browser caching are other methods to improve the speed of your website. All of this can be very challenging if you aren’t tech-savvy, however, all of these things can be accomplished if your website is built on WordPress, simply by installing a few plug-ins. In fact, we believe that WordPress is the best CMS when it comes to SEO. You can learn why in our blog post, Why WordPress is the Best CMS.
Optimizing your website speed is an essential part of SEO, but after your website loads, its content needs to be of high value if you want to rank higher.
Creating high-quality content that drives traffic means creating content that caters to your audience’s needs and providing solutions to their problems. It doesn’t mean stuffing your content with the keywords you think your customers will search for.
In the past, people may have had success with keyword stuffing, but SEO has since evolved to value genuinely good content. Similar to how Google rewards fast websites for improving the user experience, Google also recognizes and rewards high-quality content catered to the user.
That doesn’t mean keywords are irrelevant, it means that tailoring your content to your audience will outperform content tailored to game Google’s SEO requirements. When creating or optimizing your website’s content, begin with crucial keywords in mind, but write to answer your audience’s questions, problems, and intentions.
You may have never given them too much thought, but title tags and meta descriptions can also impact your website’s ranking.
Title tags refer to the webpage’s name that appears after users make a google search, while meta descriptions refer to the short description beneath the title tag and the URL. On the back end, these tags are placed into the first section of your webpage’s code. In short, these tags are what Google first uses to determine what your content is about.
When writing your title tags and meta descriptions, keep them short, within Google’s guidelines, and don’t stuff them with keywords. Again, rather than trying to game Google’s SEO requirements, use words related to the intent of what users are searching for, words synonymous to your keywords.
Google is moving further and further away from valuing websites that cater to keywords, to websites that cater to user intent.
Today, approximately half of all web traffic is from users on mobile devices, and to cater to those needs Google now operates on a mobile-first index. This means that Google will prioritize and display mobile-friendly websites as the top search results. In regards to SEO, Google’s mobile-first index means that mobile-friendly design is now an extremely high-value SEO metric.
To make your website mobile-friendly, it needs to respond to the screen size it is being displayed on by adjusting its images, text, and layout to accommodate for the different devices including computers, tablets, and smartphones.
You can learn more about the importance of mobile-friendly design in our blog post Why Your Website Needs to Be Mobile-Friendly.
SEO can be a challenging concept to grasp, but with an understanding of the main factors of on-page SEO, you’re well on your way to improving your Google ranking, increasing your web traffic, and boosting your sales. But, if you want to jumpstart your journey of improving your website’s Google ranking with Panta’s SEO experts, contact us today!