Websites that do not pay attention to search engine optimization techniques when creating and developing content pages tend to get pushed to the bottom of the list when Google crawls the internet for an answer to a search query. Each SEO technique and practice is just as important as the last, and if a website enacts every one of them, it will be more likely to boost its rank on search engines.
The purpose of this guide is to help teach website creators how they can use SEO practices to improve the SEO of their website. When they take the correct actions with website and content development, SEO can increase the overall traffic within the site, which is something any website owner should want in order to promote their products and services better.
What Is Search Engine Optimization?
SEO is short for search engine optimization. SEO is one of the fundamental basics of upkeeping a website in the most effective way possible. When someone utilizes SEO techniques consistently with their newest blog posts and layout of a website, it makes it more likely for other people on the internet to find the site through search engines.
Google and other major search engines use algorithms to determine what results to show first when someone conducts a search. The base of these algorithms stems from several factors, including the use of:
- Meta descriptions
- User-friendly layouts
Since there is some knowledge out there of how to manipulate these algorithms into choosing a particular website for the top results spot on search pages, the host of a website must make the most of it.
Types Of SEO
SEO, although it seems simple, has many levels of optimization. There are two types or sides of SEO – technical SEO and content SEO. Both types are essential for the overall optimization of a website.
What Is Technical SEO?
Technical SEO is the steps someone would take to optimize their website to encourage better crawling and indexing of the site by search engines. This type of SEO occurs within the actual creation and development of the website and includes the optimization of metadata such as the page title, meta description, and alt text.
What Is Content SEO?
Content SEO involves the use of link building and social media marketing through optimized content creation.
SEO Audit Process
The process of SEO auditing starts with research. In the beginning stages of the SEO audit process for a website, related keywords and topics that have a high level of traffic and popularity online are located and identified.
These keywords and topics will become the basis for most of the SEO practices since they are the key to obtaining a high rank on search engines. They will also highlight which areas of content topics need more development on a website.
For instance, on a cooking website that posts recipes, if the top three keywords are related to “pressure cooker recipes,” then that site should check to see how many pressure cooker recipe posts are on the website blog.
The next stage in the SEO audit process is to “run a crawl of the site to inventory all URLs and their metadata.” Online reputation management services and other SEO-centric services usually conduct this crawl using the tools they provide.
The rest of the SEO audit process can include these tasks:
- Identification of broken links within the website
- Auditing metadata
- Uploading new metadata based on audit findings
- Clarification of other issues with pages on the website
- Using SEO tools to double-check the effectiveness of the new changes on the website
Other SEO-Focused Processes
These are some of the other SEO-focused processes that someone may consider doing to boost the performance of their website in relation to search engines.
- Check for duplicate content within the website
- Update contact information across all web listings for the site
- Create, update, or unify information on social media platforms, directories such as Yellow Pages, and review sites like Yelp
- Analyze competitor websites and compare in rank
- Create and submit a sitemap to Google Search Console
- Submit a robots.txt file to Google Search Console
- Use SEO tools to check page speeds
- Check mobile-friendliness
Best SEO Practices – Content Manager
Use relevant keywords in page titles and make sure those titles are between 50-60 characters.
The meta description is a type of page summary that touches on the purpose of the page. Search engines look at this description to know how to classify the page in searches. The content manager should ensure that the meta descriptions are up to par and not too long.
Headings within content increase user-friendliness and readability. The heading tags are used by search engines to identify the context of the page. H1, H2, and H3 headings should sensibly occur throughout the content.
The CMS (content management system) should use a plugin to handle metadata. The content manager can edit the metadata rather than letting the automated metadata remain. Automatically generated metadata is not always totally optimized for search engines.
Best SEO Practices – Developer
The web developer of the website should make sure that the URL addresses for the site are well-formatted. URLs should be easy to read; long strings of numbers, symbols, and parameters are not ideal.
User-friendliness should happen across all devices that can access the website for both the user’s sake and SEO. Google even prefers websites that are mobile-friendly over the ones that are not.
Pages should load fast. Delays can increase the chances of a person deviating from the page or the website entirely. Consider implementing AMP pages (accelerated mobile pages) for fast mobile loading times. The developer should also avoid duplicate content pages.
The canonical tag on a page will ensure that a search engine can verify it. This tag is an important feature the developer should include in the site’s source code.
To ensure a website’s success, the creator should implement each of these SEO practices when building it and continue to use them as new content happens.
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