Guest Post by: Emma Tomlinson
Do you have a skill in website development and design? Are you interested in earning money by creating artistic or professional-looking sites for a client?
If you answer yes to these questions, then you have to know that this job requires more than the capacity to produce a domain that most users can easily navigate or check out. You must also have basic knowledge on search engine optimisation (SEOImportance of Search Engine Optimization or SEO in WordPress Blog. Read more ... »).
The main reason is that SEO serves as the foundation of a website or blog site (that is, if your services include building one). If you have knowledge and expertise on this aspect, putting your client in the first search result page is a breeze.
Accordingly, around 70-80% of Web users prefer organic results compared to paid adverts. Additionally, approximately 70% of this group choose organic links. To top it off, an estimated 75% of them never go beyond the first page.
What do these figures indicate then?
With that said, here are essential optimisation ideas you have to learn more (especially if you only have little knowledge about it).
1. Ensure fast loading speed
Have a look at the image to determine the important of quick loading time.
If the users have to wait for several seconds before a webpage loads completely, most of them would probably leave to search for another resource. This can lead to a high bounce rate, which measures the number of visitors checking out the landing page (the first page they come across when viewing a website) only, an indication that they do not find any relevance or incentive for visiting the site.
Not only your target audience finds this aspect important, spiders also consider it a factor that helps with indexing (though a small one at that).
Now, you can please both humans and search algorithms by putting these strategies in mind.
- Upload images that are less than 30 kilobyte (KB).
- Use CSS 10-KB style sheets without Flash content.
- Place less blog plug-ins.
- Lessen the amount of HTTP requests.
2. Come up with unique and engaging content
So, what should your website contain? The answer depends on its theme or purpose. Is it purely informative or is it going to be an ecommerce site?
If it is the former, you (or a content writer) can write articles with interesting topics and supplementary videos or images. If it is the latter, you can post pictures with brief descriptions.
But no matter the site’s niche or function, do not forget to add relevant key phrases. And by “relevant”, it means that the keywords have to associate with topic.
3. Get rid of duplicate content
Generally, search engines assume right away that copying and pasting Web information is “spamming”, which is an easy means of getting high ranking. While you ensure that you produce original content only, some website owners out there will copy it. This can have a bad effect on your ranking.
You can eliminate the likely of duplication by uploading certain plug-ins or picking a canonical URL.
“Canonicalization – To gain more control over how your URLs appear in search results, and to consolidate properties, such as link popularity, we recommend that you pick a canonical (preferred) URL as the preferred version of the page. You can indicate your preference to Google in a number of ways. We recommend them all, though none of them is required (if you don’t indicate a canonical URL, we’ll identify what we think is the best version.” (http://support.google.com/webmasters/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=139066)
4. Provide a title, description, and a set of relevant keywords for each webpage
These are important SEO elements, so do not forget to integrate them. The first two aspects (title and description) appear in search results with the latter as “summary” of the content (see image for more insight).
As you can see, both the title and description contain the keyword. This is essential because it makes indexing easier, which in turn increases the page’s visibility in SERPs. Of course, you must also incorporate these terms throughout the content.
5. Optimise images and videos
Other than keyword optimisation, the users and search spiders find your website through “alt tags” in videos or images. So, if you want to increase your webpages’ appeal, add these elements and place tags using the key phrases you are targeting.
6. Apply internal linking
Doing this allows you to boost on-page SEO since it can be one way of telling search engines which type of information you provide. Additionally, it lets you enhance the ranking of your inner webpages. Moreover, it offers a convenient experience for the users because they find it easy to navigate your site.
7. Create descriptive URLs
You have to remember that search algorithms look into words and not special characters or numbers commonly found in several links. Therefore, take time customise URLs adding them with related keywords.
8. Place a navigational path
The breadcrumb trail is a great guide for the users because it gives them a tread of the pages they have visited, allowing them to work their way around the website easily. Additionally, it serves as a good way of internal linking.
As a last note, you have to know that these are not the only aspects you need to learn, as the information here is basic. If you want to become an expert webmaster, you need to enrich your knowledge before immersing fully into website development and design.