What do you think about when it comes to website optimization?
- A site that loads fast?
- A site with high quality content?
- A site with pictures and videos?
- A site with easy to understand navigation?
When it comes to website optimization for SEO, there are over 500 different factors that Google’s search engine bots are assessing when they crawl your site. Site speed, content quality, navigation are just a few of the factors that Google looks at. With 500 or more factors to review, optimizing your website to perform better in organic search can seem like a daunting task.
Prioritization is important when looking to improve your website. Instead of just “working on your website”, it pays to know what factors will have the greatest impact on your websites ability to rank better.
Here we will outline some of the major areas to get started optimizing your website:
A website that is hard to crawl is a website that will not perform well in the Search Engines. There are multiple areas that can hinder a search engine spider’s ability to crawl and understand a website.
- Server Issues – A slow or inconsistent server can slow a search engine spider down to the point that it gives up trying to crawl the website. While the spider will return, this delay can have a negative impact on your site’s ability to rank for important keywords.
- PageSpeed – A site that is unoptimized when delivering resources to a user’s browser can have a negative impact on user engagement which results in a higher bounce rate (users looking at one page and then immediately leaving the website), lower conversations, and a loss in rankings. This is especially true for mobile users, which tend to be more impatient than those accessing the website on their desktop device.
- Mobile Friendliness – If your mobile experience is inferior due to slow page speed, unoptimized content layout (small text, images too big, big blocks of content, poor in page navigation for longer pages, etc.), or site navigational issues, your website will have lower user engagement and your rankings will be lower as a result.
“Content is king” is a common phrase you will hear from content writers. In some ways, this statement is true. Having optimized content can sometimes make up for other aspects of the site that are not as strong. On the other hand, poorly written content can have a detrimental effect on a websites ability to rank.
Here are a few things to keep in mind when optimizing your website’s content:
- Keyword Usage – Every page on your website should be unique and have a specific keyword targeted. On any page, you can target a number of keywords but there should be only one primary keyword. This keyword should exist in the meta tags (title, description, keywords), as well as in the page heading and spread in the page content. If the keyword is not utilized properly, the search engines will have trouble understanding what the page is about and what type of user the website is targeting. In some cases, we have spoken with webmasters who want to rank for a specific term, except the term appears nowhere on the page.
- Don’t talk to or like a robot – While the spiders crawling your website are robots, your content should be written for human visitors to your website. Too many instances of the same keyword phrase used, grammar/spelling mistakes, large blocks of content, or content that is difficult for users to understand will lead to poor behavior metrics, which will have a lasting negative impact on the page’s ability to rank.
- Answer Questions – Google has become increasingly more adept at understanding the purpose of content of a page and connecting the right users with that content based on what the search engine believes is user intent. When creating content, it is good to keep in the back of your mind that you are answering many different questions related to the topic of the page. If you have content that answers questions, you will keep the user engaged longer, get more links pointed to that page from users that believe that your site is an authority, and possibly get into Googles knowledge graph which tends to be at the top of the search page.
The backlink profile of a website continues to be a very important factor when Google is assessing the value of a website. Links, when attained naturally from quality sources, are votes of confidence that your site delivers value. On the other hand, links from low quality sources or links that are seen as bought can have a negative impact on the way that Google views your website. Assess the following factors to get an idea of, and improve, the quality of some of the external factors of your website.
- Your Link Profile – There are many third party tools that crawl the web and record links pointed to your website. These tools, like SEM Rush, Moz and Ahrefs, will also give you a spreadsheet with the links that they find along with other metrics like search volume, anchor text, and quality score. Taking a look at these reports can tell you a little bit about sites that are linking to your website.
- Competitor Links – These same tools can also give you links it has found for your competitors. A good measurement when assessing the quality of your link profile is comparing your stats with the stats of competing sites. This way, you can get an idea of how much of a priority it is to acquire or earn links.
- Link Pruning– In the process of looking at your backlinks and those of other sites, you may come away with the fact that you have too many bad links pointing to your website. If you have ever bought links, directly or indirectly, you will need to clean those up to avoid a manual or algorithmic penalty.
- Link Acquisition – You may also realize that the gap between your website and those of your competitors works out in their favor. Reviewing the backlinks of your competitors and getting an idea of the sites are linking to them, and the pages on competitor sites that are being linked, can help you improve the content of your site, close content gaps, and get an idea of the types of backlinks that would be most valuable to your website.
CaliNetworks Can Help You Optimize Your Website
While optimizing your website, there may come a point when you need help. At that point, you need a team that is dedicated to helping you get the best results. Our team cares about every one of our clients and can help your SEO campaign succeed. We offer website audit services, where we look at the areas above, as well as other factors like mobile optimization, social media engagement, and link auditing. You will receive a report with a list of items prioritized by importance as well as open lines of communication to ask our team anything about website optimization or SEO.
Our team is ready to work for you. Give us a call at 1-805-409-7700 today to get started.