Search engine optimization is one of the most effective ways to increase website traffic, but it’s challenging to implement properly. If you manage your own site, it’s easy to make small mistakes that have a big impact on your search engine visibility. Fortunately, there are many simple ways to keep your website search engine friendly.
Even if you don’t understand all the technical terms, maintaining an awareness of common SEO problems can help you avoid pitfalls and stay ahead of issues as they crop up. Even experienced webmasters occasionally stumble when implementing new content or updating their site.
Fortunately, the solutions for most common issues are straightforward and easy to implement once you know what to look out for. These tips will keep your website search engine friendly and boost your visibility online:
Make Sure Your Website is Well-Organized and User-Friendly
Any website that’s designed poorly or has too many images and links to be easily navigated will create a poor experience for its users. Google’s primary concern is that people are satisfied with their experience when they visit your site. If they can’t find what they’re looking for or they’re too frustrated to stay, your SEO suffers as a result.
There are a few ways to avoid these problems. A well-organized website is an important first step. Large, busy sites with too many images and links are difficult to navigate and can be frustrating to users. When you’re creating your site’s design, take time to organize your content into easily digestible chunks.
5 Tips to Keep Your Website Search Engine Friendly
If you’ve made a website that both users and search engines love, it’s time to celebrate. Here are five tips to keep your website search engine friendly:
- Keep Up the Good Work
If you’ve done your homework and created a website that makes both users and search engines happy, you’re on your way to search engine success. If you want to keep your website in good standing with the search engines, it’s important to keep up the good work. This means continuing to provide value for users and avoiding black-hat SEO techniques. Good content is king, so don’t be afraid to update your site regularly with fresh content that provides value for site visitors.
- Be Sure Your Site is Mobile Friendly
If your website looks good on mobile devices, it will rank higher in mobile search results. Google has announced that it will soon begin using mobile-friendliness as a ranking factor in its desktop results as well. This means that if your site doesn’t look good on mobile devices, it could hurt your ranking, even on desktop computers!
- Avoid Duplicate Content
Duplicate content is bad news for both users and search engines alike. If two pages of your website contain identical or very similar text, this can confuse users and make them question the quality of your writing — not what you want! Search engines also penalize sites with duplicate content because it indicates that you aren’t providing unique value with each page of the site. It may be tempting to copy text from one page of a new website to another, but resist this temptation — duplicate content can hurt your site’s search engine ranking.
- Create a Site Map
Site maps are an important part of search engine optimization because they allow search engines to easily crawl your site and index its pages. If you don’t have a site map, search engines will have a hard time finding all of your content, which can hurt your rankings.
- Avoid Cloaking and Keyword Stuffing
Cloaking is when you show different content to users than you show to the search engines — this is bad news for both users and search engines alike! If Google sees that your site shows different content to humans than it does in its index, it will penalize your ranking with a manual action called “unnatural links.”
Keyword stuffing is when you cram as many keywords as possible into each page of your site — again, this is bad news for both users and search engines! Both cloaking and keyword stuffing can get your entire website banned from Google completely, so if you see any signs of either on your website, get rid of them ASAP!
Use Proper Content Markup
One of the most important parts of any website is the content. The items you show up for in search engines depend on the content of your site. If your content is not written in a way that machines can read, it will not be indexed in search engines. The most common mistake in content creation is using excessive markup.
Markups like bold, italic, and underline are there to help humans, not computers. You want to make sure that you do not use markup that is not viewable as plain text by search engines. This includes links, images, and a lot of different symbols.
How you write your content matters a lot. Make sure that you use the right keywords in your content but don’t overdo it. Using the right amount of keywords in your content is like seasoning a dish – don’t use too much or too little.
Write Good Descriptions
The description of your website shows up on the first page of search engine results. Many people will read your description before they click on your link. If they don’t like what they see or they don’t see what they’re looking for, they might not click through.
For that reason, it’s important to write accurate and compelling descriptions for each page of your website. A good description should not only include the keywords you want to rank for, but it should also be user-friendly. If you have pages that are targeting long-tail keywords, a short description might be enough.
But if you have pages targeting more general keywords, you’ll need a longer description that inspires people to click on your link.
Run Quality Tests to See Where You’re at
If you already have a website, you can still do things to improve your SEO. The first thing you can do is run some quality tests. The goal is to find out where you’re at and what you can do to improve your SEO. You can use a variety of tools to test your website. You can also download Google’s SEO diagnostic tool that checks how well your website is optimized for SEO.
There are a few things you want to check when you’re running quality tests on your website. You want to make sure that your website loads fast. Ideally, it should take less than two seconds. You also want to make sure that your website is friendly to mobile users.
Keep your site’s navigation simple and clear
When it comes to user experience, it’s nice that you’ve added a drop-down menu to your site, but it’s important that your navigation is clearly defined. If your users can’t find their way around, they’ll leave. Google measures the usability of your site in part by how many people click the back button.
The more clicks, the more frustrated your users are. Make sure that your main content and navigation are clearly defined to avoid this issue. Google also likes it when you include a sitemap to help users and search engines navigate your site.
The majority of SEO issues are based on one simple factor: your content is not original. Google has a very sophisticated algorithm when it comes to detecting plagiarism, but it’s not always accurate. If your content is written by someone else and you don’t have the rights to it, it may show up on your site. That doesn’t help your site at all. To avoid this, make sure that you are publishing original content that is relevant to your industry.
Now, this doesn’t mean that you can’t ever use a quote or a fact from another website or book. You just have to give credit where it’s due. If you use someone else’s content word for word, your site will be banned from Google. Many people make the mistake of thinking that all you need to do is throw in a few keywords, and your website will be at the top of the search engine, but that’s not the case.
That is why Google made the switch from the old algorithm to the new one, called the Hummingbird algorithm. This algorithm looks at your entire site and decides if your content is high quality or if it is a bunch of spammy keywords that don’t make any sense. This is why you see a lot of websites appear at the top of the SERPs that make no sense. To avoid this, you have to write human-readable content. This means that your content should be easy to read and understand. It should also make sense when someone reads it out loud.