“You must do SEO on your website” – the normal phrase you hear every time you say website design. If you don’t already know, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a process to get more traffic or visits to your website. The reason why it is a process is because it has a lot of things that is required to optimize your site for the search engine.
Here’s a simple explanation: you are looking for a flower shop in your city so you go online search of the web for ‘flower shop Chicago’ (called keywords) and the search engine lists you with the appropriate flower shop details. You mostly don’t go to second or third page and click on the top 3 sites on the list. To make sure you get into the top 3 list when they type those keywords you need to have your site optimized.
But the question is why website design and SEO goes hand in hand. The reason is that there are two breakdowns in SEO: Onpage Optimization and Offpage Optimization. Onpage includes all activities or changes to be done on the website itself and offpage are the activities done outside of page. So, when designing a website if you take SEO into consideration and design it accordingly you will be saving a lot of time and resources.
What are onpage activities?
The onpage activities are a bit on the technical side where you need to select keywords that people search for. Just like the example of ‘flower shop’ your keyword selection should be related to your business. There are lot of rules you need to follow as if you miss out on it you might be penalized. You don’t have to worry about it too much and can let the experts handle it.
The most important and the best practices of SEO Onpage optimization are:
Content with targeted keywords
Content is the key ingredient of the website. You need to have relevant content based on the keywords that have led them to your site. This doesn’t mean you abuse the usage. The content should be targeted to give information to you viewers that result in lead generation or sales. After all that’s the main reason you do SEO.
There are many updates and algorithm Google and other search engine follows that tracks your website authenticity. Knowing the rules to know how to break them doesn’t apply here. The search engine and your target are the same; to give what the user is looking for.
These are page headings and appear in the browser as well as search results. They are also keyword based and should be clear on what your content is about. General practice for using title tags are of 70 characters.
They are an extension to your title tags. They appear in the search listing and gives you a better opportunity to make your customer click your link. A description tag should not exceed 160 characters as they will appear in dots after that.
These are proper html tags that are used to highlight the keywords or the headings. Just like we have a properly structured letter with the Date on the left or right, subject in the middle the header tags serves a similar purpose. They are like H1, H2, H3 etc. tags which shows the main heading and sub headings. One thing to care about using these tags is that you can only have one H1 tag per page.
Anchor text that links between pages
Anchor text also highlights the keywords in between contents. You must have notices Wikipedia does it all the time. When you are going through the articles there are links to different pages when you come across a topic. But with website you can be smart about it and use keywords as anchor text.
Image ALT tags and Filenames
It’s not just the contents that needs managing, even the pictures and files for downloads needs to have proper names and tags. Using these are a good practice and search engine ranks you website well if you follow all the necessary steps.
What are Offpage activities?
Besides, the search engine there are other ways to get more traffic to your site. The offpage activities refer to all the promotion activities done outside your webpage. You can check my article How to get more visitors to your site for more information on Offpage SEO.