An introduction to the basics of SEO
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of presenting information in a way that makes search engines like Google see your website as an authority in your industry. If you really think about it, each of Google’s customers is potentially your customer. Since Google is referring their customer on to you they want to make absolutely sure they’re going to have a good experience. The methods of SEO are constantly changing but they are always focused on a positive user experience. SEO isn’t something you can plug into your website and forget about it, so it is imperative that your website design company understands first how to build a website that is optimized to be a easily indexed by search engines. There are a huge number of items that contribute to how a website performs with the search engines, but some notable mentions for this introduction to SEO are:
- Accessibility – No matter the device; desktop, tablet or phone; your website better work well and look good. We’ve been building fully-responsive websites for years, and Google has been officially backing it since 2015. If you’re getting a website and it’s not fully responsive, you’re not setting your site up for success.
- Content – Content quality refers to the depth, richness, age and relevancy of the information on your website, and the structure it’s presented in. Having high quality content means having content that answers the real questions your visitors are asking. Using keyword rich content structured with appropriate titles, headings, alt tags and links so that it’s easy for a user to follow and comprehend.
- Speed – Most visitors aren’t going to wait around if your website doesn’t load quickly. By compressing images and utilizing high-speed hosting, you’re able to keep your load time down, which keeps both your visitor and Google happy.
- Location – Your website is fighting for a spot on a search engine results page (SERP), and just like in real estate it is all about location, location, location. Providing clear information in regards to where you offer your product or service is essential in helping Google categorize your business as a resource. For example, “Lincoln Nebraska’s Best Web Design Company” will be much more impactful than simply stating “Best Web Design Agency”. Moral of the story? List your location and own it.
- Security – The little green lock in your URL is a signal that the website is trustworthy. That little lock lets your visitors know that your site is secured with an SSL certificates which adds bank-level security to your website, and make users feel more comfortable, especially if they’re submitting any type of personal information. Google sees SSL certificates as an extra measure of trust and accountability.
- Errors – Errors can often be avoided by making the effort to take the right measures. This means protecting against broken links by testing them, ensuring there’s no duplicate content on your website, confirming that website architecture is accurate and redirects are set up appropriately so your user can get where they want to go without any issues.
These SEO basics may seem, well, basic – but that’s the point.