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Rebuilding a website with SEO is a necessary element of maintaining your online presence, whether it be to reflect the evolving changes in your brand, look more modern or help your website to run smoother and be more easily accessible.
SEO is important for ranking and increasing your website’s authority and there are a number of ways you can use it to help your website be the best it can be.
Internal linking is a sure-fire way to increase your authority on Google. It creates a sort of map on your website that links all your pages and makes it more easily navigated.
This enhances the user experience as their visit to your site will become much smoother and draw them to the pages that are most important which in turn increases the authority and enables you to rank higher as Google will learn your most important pages are in fact valuable to visitors.
It is harder for a search engine to crawl and index your pages if they cannot be found using internal links. The best way to ensure your most important pages are getting the attention they need is to put them no more than three clicks away from your homepage. Your homepage is the center of the spider web, if you will and the closer your pages are to the center, the more importance they convey.
See Also: How Do I Find My Blog Posts on Google?
When a user visits your website, all the internal links in the world won’t keep them on your page if the page has low readability.
On-page optimization is what your visitor will be reading and consuming so it’s important you get this right to keep users engaged.
Tailor the content to the target audience to encourage them to keep reading and avoid a high bounce rate. Make sure your content is informative and easy to consume with short paragraphs and a suitable tone. Always make sure you address the user’s search intent and go above and beyond to give them an answer which is better than anything else out there.
To make sure your on-page optimization is looking and performing at its best, there are a few key areas you can look at to help raise the value and authority of your page.
Page titles should always be relevant, informative, and catchy, instantly hooking your reader’s attention. Keep it under 60 characters and always include your main keyword. Treat headers in a similar fashion as well. H1’s, H2’s, and H3’s divide your content into manageable chunks and are a good way for you to broadcast your main keywords more to increase the value and power of your page for Google.
Meta descriptions are another useful little way to increase your SEO. Underneath the heading of your page on a SERP, there should be a short one-sentence summary of your page. Make it as descriptive and informative as possible to make it appealing to readers but don’t make it too long!
The best URLs should always match the page as closely as possible. Make sure they are kept short and precise to maintain readability and enhance the attractiveness of your page. A long URL could result in users not clicking your link so make it clear and easy to read with hyphens and as few random numbers and letters as possible.
Include keywords as well to better unify your URL with your content and reiterate your importance to the search engine.
Make sure you always mark the main URL with a canonical attribute in the code. This highlights to Google that this is the URL to use during crawling and indexing as sometimes you can end up with several URLs that are either generated automatically or old ones you forgot about.
The easiest way to secure your website, increase your reliability and encourage trust is to update your HTTP to HTTPS. This is a securer version, particularly important when dealing with personal information.
HTTPS encrypts your website to prevent leaks and hacking. The ‘S’ stands for SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) and having an SSL certificate signposts to users that your website is safe and secure to use.
Before launching your page, use SEO to perform an audit to make sure there’s no HTTP content like images and videos from an HTTP source on your HTTPS pages.
It’s easy to miss so make sure to double-check all your resources and media supplements to make sure everything is originating from HTTPS sources and further increase your chances of ranking.
58 million people in the UK use mobile internet so it’s important that you optimize your page for mobile viewing as well as computer viewing.
SSL is useful for mobile optimization, being a requirement for Accelerated Mobile Pages, or AMPs. This is the technology that ensures pages load quickly and smoothly on mobile, improving the user experience as no one wants to be sitting in front of their phone waiting for a page and all the media on it to load.
Google has also recognized the importance of mobile viewing as it uses mobile pages when deciding on rankings. So when you build your website on your computer, always remember to adapt it for mobile to take full advantage of Google’s algorithms.
Remember that mobiles have smaller screens and mechanical parts which means it operates with slower internet connections. Use SEO to make sure the page is as simple as possible so everything can load properly and you’re not overloading the bandwidth. Compress images, enable caching, and avoid redirects to help your page load quicker – try to get it under 3 seconds.
Another factor you’ll want to consider is pop-ups. On small screens, they can get very frustrating very quickly as they take up too much space. If you need them, make sure they’re small and don’t get in the way.
Keep in mind as well that mobiles are touch screens. Make sure the buttons are spaced apart and not too small so that they can be tapped easily. You should also make sure your page fits multiple types of screens to avoid scrolling to the side or flipping your phone all the time to read the content.
The easier your mobile page is to use, the more engaged your users will be and the more valuable your page will have to Google.
Images are useful for dividing up text into more readable chunks and generating interest in your page.
To make sure they work well on your website and keep your page light, compress the images. This will also help your page to load quicker. Use online tools like TinyPNG and Kraken or find a good plug-in that can help you do the job.
Describe your images in alt tags and captions to make them easier for Google to understand in relation to your content. Be specific and maybe even include your keywords to enhance the message you’re trying to send.
A sitemap consists of all the pages you want Google to crawl, making the crawling process quicker and easier as it follows your links.
There are two types of sitemap. HTML is for visitors and XML is for Google. You’ll find that most website builders create the XML sitemap for you and can be viewed at yourwebsite.com/sitemap.xml. Submit your sitemaps via Google Search Console on the Sitemaps tab. Just add a location and hit submit!
HTML sitemaps can be viewed by users and provide a chapter-like overview of the entire website. Use SEO to develop your sitemaps improve the user experience and review your sitemap before submitting. Check your URLs and update them regularly to maintain their values in the eyes of Google.
Don’t make your sitemaps too big and sprawling either. The smaller they are, the easier it is for Google to understand which pages have been deemed the most important. These are the ones it will crawl and index and your chances of ranking will increase.
Finally, audit your website to get rid of the last few creases. Make sure your page is running at the optimum speed, ensure that content is formatted correctly, and check that the mobile pages are running smoothly.
Get rid of any broken links and 404 errors. The fewer of these you have, the more engaging your website will be and you will have a lower bounce rate. This all adds up to ranking high in the SERPs so make sure you don’t overlook this final key stage in the SEO process.
After the website launch, keep an eye on its performance to identify any issues that might crop up see whether any of your important pages are underperforming, and make note of those that will need updating so that they can remain a valuable source of information.
SEO is the best way to make sure your page performs well. The better optimized your website is, the more valuable it is to users and to Google. This will help you rank high in the SERPs and improve traffic. Power is the name of the game so play the game right and ensure you come out on top.