Search Engine Optimization is the practice of using multiple strategies, methods and tactics to optimize your website for a search engine and have more visibility online. More than 97% of the users in India begin their search journey with Google and this is the first and foremost reason why Search Engine Optimization for your website should be your top priority.
There are many ways on how to optimize your website for Google. Google now makes approximately 3000 updates to its search algorithm in a year. Hence, unlike the yesteryears where SEO was a one-time/yearly activity for most of the sites, it has now become a daily/weekly must-do task.
It is difficult for most organizations to allocate constant Product and Engineering bandwidth for SEO activities, even after considering the high frequency of Google algorithm updates. It is hence more prudent to optimize a site for the user than for Google. And as the end goal of Google is to provide the best search experience for a user, this will surely benefit you in the long run.
Do you keep pondering over questions like how to go with website optimization or what are the steps you must take to optimize a website? If yes, then you are lucky to have landed here (before continuing further, read more on What is SEO and Technical SEO):
17 Easy Steps On How To Optimize Your Website via SEO In 2020
Add Relevant ContentWithout content that includes relevant keywords to drive users to your website, it becomes difficult to rank well on Google SERPs (search engine results page). Hence, you must create good content pages on your site. Avoid copying content from other websites. Google is watching the internet more closely than you think they are and the emphasis on non-plagiarised, quality content is bigger than ever.
Header TagsEnsure that important On-Page SEO elements are marked with the correct HTML header tags. However, do use them sparingly. Too many H1 and H2s are not recommended.
Site NavigationThe site navigation or structure should enable the user to reach all pages on the site in an easy and orderly manner. This is beneficial for Google bots too as they can easily tell which pages are more important and reach them with ease.
Title & Meta DescriptionSpecify meta title, meta description and meta keywords for all pages. According to Google, Webpage Title plays an important role in ranking whereas Webpage Meta Description plays an important for CTR.
SitemapA sitemap acts as a map of all your site’s pages for Google bots. It helps them reach all the pages listed without missing anything. Ensure that there is a sitemap with the URLs of all pages. Submit this sitemap to Google via the Google Webmasters tools. To check the sitemap for a domain, visit its robots.txt file and check for https://www.domain.com/sitemap.xml or https://www.domain.com/sitemapindex.xml.
Robots.txtClearly name or list out those pages that you do not want to be indexed by Google in your robots.txt file. Adding a disallow tag to the pages you want to be restricted on the robots.txt is a good option. As an alternative to this, they can have a 301 redirect, no-index meta tag or Rel canonical.
Internal LinkingGood internal linking practices, including the use of breadcrumbs, footers, links to relevant sections, etc. will help the user to navigate your site easily and the Google bots to give more importance to critical pages.
Implement Rich Snippets or Structured DataUse rich snippets to highlight important, helpful on-page text in search results and have more users visit your site. A rich snippet appears between a URL and description on SERPs, providing additional information about the site or a page. For eg: If you search for ‘Paneer Tikka Masala’ on Google, amongst all the results that appear, few will show a video icon, rating stars and reviews — these are known as rich snippets.
Avoid Duplicate PagesIf multiple versions of a page exist with various URL parameters, ensure that Google does not consider them as duplicate pages. For e.g., https://www.infidigit.com/about/ and https://www.infidigit.com/about/?Source=affiliate are different pages for Google. You can ask Google to ignore this parameter by making an entry in the ‘URL Parameters’ section of the Google Webmasters tool.
Case Sensitive URLsGoogle is case sensitive. For e.g., https://www.infidigit.com/ABOUT/ and https://www.infidigit.com/about/ are considered as two different pages. Standardize the case on your site URLs. Either use upper case URLs or lower case ones throughout for uniformity.
Optimize Website StructureThe structure of your website and its URL is important. Do think ahead in terms of the creation of a few years worth of content. Hence, the use of ordered folders in the URL is recommended. You can use the date of posting or category of the product as the folder name.
Use ImagesImages are an important part of a website. However, there is also a possibility that in the quest for good-quality images, you pick larger images, which can affect page load speed. Do check the size of images before uploading them. There is no standard for the size of the image. Image formats like WebP, JPEG2000, etc. provide excellent image quality with minimum size. John Mueller on March 5, 2019, said – ‘There is no specific SEO benefit for hosting your images on your own domain name. The only reason you may want to host it on your domain name is so you have more control if you switch CDNs (content delivery network) in the future.’
Use Alt Tags for ImagesSpecify alt tags for images as <img src=”/image_of_me_468x60.png” alt=”My Photograph” />. This would be displayed on the image when you hover on it.
Use Descriptive URLsThe URLs of content pages and images are important. Do make them as descriptive as possible. A user should get a complete idea of what the content is about, just by looking at the URL’s structure. Do read more about this on our post on digital marketing.
Responsive WebsiteUsers connect to a website via multiple devices and the screen resolution of all these devices is different. So, use a responsive design (page adjusts to the screen resolution) to ensure that the URL of the page remains the same even if accessed from a laptop or a mobile.
Configure Google Webmaster / Search ConsoleRegister your site on the Google Webmasters tool to monitor its performance and errors. Registration for Google Webmasters is free.
Configure Google AnalyticsRegister on Google Analytics to track your site’s user behavior, overall performance and returns on investment. There is a lot more you can do with it and the standard version is free.
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