08 Oct SEO Must-Haves for Your Website
Search engine optimization (aka SEO) is a buzzed-about marketing tool that can help you rank better on Google. And when you are trying to grow a business, ranking high on Google for specific keywords is the holy grail. Investing time into learning about SEO, and regularly optimizing your website and being mindful of best practices for the content you create is one way to help you rise above the competition. The basics are not as complicated as they seem – here are our top SEO must-haves for your website, which will lead to better search results and user experience.
Keywords & Meta Description
Keywords and meta descriptions should be relevant to the content of the web pages they describe as they allow search engines to understand what a page is about and index your web pages accordingly for relevant keywords or keyword phrases. Keywords (& phrases) are what people type into Google that makes it possible for searchers to find your site. Aim for words or phrases with significant search volume, high relevance to your offerings, strong conversion value, and reasonable competition. Meta descriptions can help improve your click-through rates, as they are often displayed in search results.
A site map is a list of pages of a website. Why are they essential? It is how search engines crawl and index the website so that the content within it can be ranked within the search results. Again, not only your website but also your web pages. Note that there are two types of site maps: HTML & XML. You should have both, to assist with organization, help define the value of your website, as well as help you identify areas where your site navigation can be improved.
When featuring images on your website they should be professional, properly sized and appropriately named using keywords in the file title. Optimized images will improve page loading speed and user engagement, making it easier to index and rank. Using keywords lets Google know what the image is and organize in their ‘images’ tab for increased reach and links back to your website.
Fast & Mobile Site
The speed of your website is a visitor’s first impression. Slow sites create frustrated users that bounce off while fast sites do not. This is why Google demands speed and takes it into account when ranking your company website. We recommend using GT Metrix to check how your site is currently performing, as well as help you recognize areas in which you can improve SEO. Your website also MUST be mobile responsive – adjusting to the best user experience no matter the device (pinching with your fingers to magnify a website is NOT mobile responsive). Mobile-responsiveness will have a direct impact on your SEO ranking and organic traffic so if your site is lacking this, it’s time for an update.
An SSL Certificate is what makes your site go from HTTP to HTTPS. Sites with this will commonly show a lock in the browser url. It allows secure connections from a web server to a browser. In the past, it was found on sites needing to secure credit card transactions, data transfer and logins. Now, Google wants to see it on every site and will drop your ranking if you skip this (they may even show users a warning that deters them from accessing your site).
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