SEO is still king, and a majority of Internet traffic still comes from search. However, users mostly just follow links from Google’s first page.
Even more frustrating, especially for newbie marketers, is that the vast majority of searchers only click on the top five results on Google’s first page.
So if you’re not among Google’s top five search results, your chances for success look pretty slim.
That’s why, if you are an online marketer, it pays to know and use crucial SEO and web design best practices when you create websites and blogs.
It’s not that you need to know about the technical details of html if you’re not a programmer. But you need to understand how SEO and design work to effect maximum search engine exposure.
Most SEO is based on keyword-optimized content. However, factors such as file naming, image tagging, use of coding, and ensuring that your website loads quickly also contribute to search rankings.
Keyword-optimized file names
The search engines use several factors and sources to assess what a website’s content is all about. These include file and directory names.
Your site will get a much better ranking when all the elements, including file name, are keyword optimized. Assigning a keyword-based name to a file increases your chances of getting indexed properly without being penalized for re-using keywords.
Making the Most of Images
Keyword-optimizing images and videos on webpages is one of the most neglected tricks of skilled SEO.
Search spiders or robots are actually unable to determine what images or videos are all about, unless they are accompanied by a descriptive text and coding elements. This is where Alt tags come in very handy.
Alt tags tell the search engines what’s in the images. When you assign Alt tags to graphics and videos, be sure to use keywords, so they show properly on search results. This elevates a site’s keyword association, and pushes its relevancy to targeted keywords upward in search engine rankings.
Internal linking structure
Including a sitemap makes it easier for search engine spiders to find their way around your site when they’re looking for something new to index.
It’s particularly helpful for search spiders to determine what your site is being optimized for if you use keywords in navigation links.
Coding to highlight keywords
Headers and titles can also place emphasis on specific keywords. When you create titles or headers around content, try to keep them short.
Avoid using very long titles and headers with repeated keywords, or your site could be flagged for keyword stuffing. The use of headers also helps search engines identify important sections of a website.
Enhancing load speeds
These days, it’s not just consumers who hate sites that take forever to download. Search engines also frown upon them.
Load speed has now become an important search engine ranking factor. The intent is to encourage webmasters to enhance user experience: search engines have decided that load speeds are one of the most important factors in the user experience.
Among the best ways to enhance load speed is to minimize the presence of large files, and to shrink images to an acceptable size, in a say that doesn’t compromise speed or image quality.
While content is still king, that doesn’t mean you should take other page elements for granted. You will find that you rank higher if each design element of your site also gets the SEO treatment. If you pay attention to that, you will make it easier not only for humans to identify what your site is all about — you will also make it easier for search engine robots to give your pages their proper weight.
For more information on incorporating SEO into your site’s design elements, contact us and we will provide you with a free site assessment.