Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is an important component for every website because it is, literally, the way customers find your business. Proper optimization makes your site visible to search engines, improves user experience, and increases site ranking, all of which drive relevant website traffic. If you have a beautiful website with poor SEO, your potential clients will never see it, which is why it’s imperative to follow website optimization best practices.
What is SEO?
An optimized website has a few distinct qualities:
- High performance and speed
- Mobile usability
- High search visibility
- A high level of backlinks
- Proper tag and header usage
- Enhanced metadata
- Relevant keywords usage
- Strong security
- Structured data and schema markup
- Relevant content
The faster the website, the better. Having a slow website is the number one reason people leave a site and go to another to find the solution. Approximately 50% of people expect a site page to load in two seconds. Site speed also directly affects conversions. When people find what they are looking for quickly, then meaningful actions and conversion rates are much higher.
Accessibility is equally important to speed. Websites must be accessible on, both, desktops and mobile devices and should include provisions for disabled users. Most people create their websites on desktops, so it is crucial to check that the layout properly converts to mobile. Keep in mind that many people conduct Google searches on their phones, and if they click on a website that has a funky format – not mobile-friendly – they will quickly leave the site.
Relevant keyword usage may seem obvious, but often, industry-specific professionals do not realize the terms that people use in a Google search are not, necessarily, the terms that they use in their day-to-day jobs. Tools, such as Moz, are extremely helpful for keyword research – just be sure to use language that appeals to the client and target audience.
Another quality of an optimized website is security that, not only, guards your visitor’s data but also keeps your website safe. If there is any signal to the visitor that the website is not secure, they will likely leave and never return. It’s also a good idea to include an option to accept cookies on your website as this alerts users that you are tracking their digital footprint.