Over time, websites that are well optimized get more traffic creating opportunities for more leads and sales. However, SEO requirements keep changing, and keeping up with new developments is important.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is what helps web pages get better rankings on search engine result pages. The higher up a website ranks, preferably within the first ten, the better because most people never go past the first page.
Improving SEO rankings
These are some of the most important SEO ranking factors for any website wanting to optimize its online presence.
Driving users to trustworthy websites is what search engines strive to do. Websites that begin with HTTP are not considered as safe as those with HTTPS encryption.
HTTPS is the SSL certificate that proves a website has a secure connection and its an added layer of security that protects any of the information exchanged between the site and its users.
Accessibility and crawlability
Search engine bots crawl the URL of a website to look at its content. They also need to be able to understand the content to understand what the page is about.
Bots can be helped to do this if the website is well-coded, has a robots.txt file that informs them where to look for site information, and is provided with a sitemap listing all the pages.
A mobile-friendly website has a responsive design that adjusts its content to the size of the users’ screen, whether it is a desktop, tablet, or smartphone. More searches are now conducted from mobile than ever before, and mobile-friendly websites are as important to search engines as they are for users.
Content and Keywords
High-quality content on interesting and relevant topics is without a doubt among the most important SEO ranking factors. The content should be well-researched, in-depth, and well-written. Besides offering something valuable to users, fresh content also boosts visibility because it attracts search crawlers.
Content creation also requires the use of targeted keywords, and these should also include long tail and generic keywords.
The way users interact with a website also determines how a page is ranked by search engines. Click-through rates (CTR), time spent on a website, and the percentage of people who leave a website quickly (bounce rate) are all considered.
Websites can be optimized by using high-quality graphics and web design. Users should be able to navigate a site easily, and this can be done with easy to follow site architecture and internal links. Search result snippets need compelling titles and descriptions using meta tag SEO.
One of the leading SEO ranking factors for some years now has been the load speed of a website and its pages. Fast loading pages are one of the best ways to improve the user experience, and slow sites are penalized by Google.
Everyone expects pages to load quickly, and most users will abandon a page if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load. Google uses 5 seconds as its cutoff.
One of the most overlooked factors concerning page loading speed is how it is affected by web hosting.
Shared hosting plans are ideal for small business owners. These are affordable and easy to use, but the more visitors a website has per day, the more bandwidth and RAM is needed for better performance. VPS, Cloud, and Dedicated servers offer more resources for busier websites. Better hosting services may cost more, but the costs are recouped from better sales.
Adriaan Brits, CEO at Sitetrail Digital Marketing agency explains that “ load speed is not merely a matter of UX and design, but also the ability to choose right when it comes to web hosting providers”.
Therefore, optimizing a website for SEO is not enough if the web hosting service is not appropriate for the volume of visitors to the website. A good web hosting service should also offer scalability and flexibility to site owners, ensuring that they have the necessary speed to make conversions.