As any SEO specialist will tell you, optimizing web pages is a multifaceted task that comprises a wide variety of disciplines. From content writing to HTML, the territory that SEO, as a discipline, covers is wide ranging. However, it can generally be said that the main goal SEO’s every facet is to help drive a webpage higher up in the search engine rankings. Google’s algorithm is put in place in order to assist its users in their search for the best results based on the keywords they’ve inputted. This is done through providing suggestions; but not just any old suggestions, only the best (and by best, I mean the most relevant and well written) content comes out on top of the pile. However, in order to provide such quality suggestions, Google first needs to examine and evaluate each web page by referring to several factors related to the page’s functionality. These include: how quickly the page loads, whether the images presented on the website are optimal, whether the data contained on the web is well structured, the relevancy of the page in regards to the query, and so on.
Table of Contents
1. Technical SEO Techniques for Optimizing Your Webpage
Google is constantly updating its algorithm so that SEO strategies will also always change according to these developments. The following are some of the latest SEO techniques that you can use in order to optimize the SEO of your website:
- Install the Yoast SEO Plugin
Yoast SEO is an application that utilizes features in order to help you analyze & improve the SEO quality of your web pages. The main features of Yoast SEO include changing title tags and meta descriptions, analyzing your content, changing permalinks, and verifying Google Webmaster Tools.
- Using Google Analytics
Google Analytics can track the activity of your web page visitors from what pages they visit to the length of time they spend on your web pages. By utilizing this application, you can see the value of your web page to then make a decision whether the web page’s performance is good or there are things that can be improved.
2. Keyword Optimization
A central technique is conducting research on the keywords relevant for your web pages. Look for keywords that potential web visitors might input when coming across your content. There are several steps to keep in mind when doing keyword research, including:
- Search Volume: Targeting Popular Keywords
Search Volume is the number of keyword searches conducted in regards to a certain keyword within a certain duration of time, usually 1 month. Of course, the recommended keywords are those that have the most search volume results; however, keywords that gain a lot of hits might also be too general to effectively lead potential visitors to your web pages.
- Search Volume: Targeting Less Competitive Keywords
Although this point might seem to counter the previous mentioned point, there is a reason to actively search for less popular keywords, that reason being that keywords that are overly popular and have an abundant number of searches are already being competed over by websites that are already established. So, specifically for younger websites, it is usually the more pragmatic option to target less popular (but still very relevant) keywords, or adding longer word combinations to make long tail keywords.
- Keyword suggestions
Leverage keyword suggestions functions such as the autocorrect feature in word processing software; in fact, you can use the recommended words that come up when using the ”synonyms” option in Microsoft Word to add to your collection of valuable keywords. Another good strategy is to use the drop down search suggestions that appear under the search bar to note some popular word combinations in use.
3. Increase Web Page Speed
Web page speed is a key factor in managing your website. The reason here is quite easy to relate to: if a page takes longer than five seconds to load, the web visitor will most likely get a case of itchy fingers and simply close the page. In other words, the longer it takes to load your page, the quicker visitors are in hitting the “back” button. Here are some nifty tips to keep your website well greased and your bounce rate low:
- Proper Image Optimization
Image optimization is usually the most common culprit in slowing down loading times. A lack of proper image optimization (ie. image compressing) leads to your pages potentially holding some megabytes worth of junk to load, and since the standard practice is to have a page weigh under 500KB (as recommended by Google), it might be a good idea to think twice before stuffing your visitors’ field of vision with a multicolored mile worth of pictures.
The next step is choosing the most suitable file type to convert your images into. PNG is usually the most heavy set of these formats, retaining the most quality resolution as well. The next is JPEG, which uses lossy optimization features, which discards some KB worth of space automatically. However, the most recommended of these formats are WebP because it is the most compressible format, although it is not supported by some browsers.
- Use Google’s PageSpeed Insights
If you need a general estimation of how fast (or slow) your webpage is doing, consider using the free to use site “PageSpeed Insights.” Just enter the page that you want checked out into the single search bar on their homepage and select the analyze button. After which, you will be given a percentage score on the general outlook of your site’s speed. Under this info, a list of “optimizations found” will summarize all current improvements that are working to speed up your page. But the section that’s of more importance is the “possible optimizations” section, which shows improvements that could be implemented in beefing up (or down, if you’re nit picky about grammar) your loading times.
4. Create Interesting and Relevant Content
Quality content, simply described, is content that is relevant (or authoritative) and well written. Looking at the basics of SEO, this is perfectly understandable, as it is Google’s job to provide highly relevant web pages from the most credible sources to its users. To churn out golden eggs worth of content takes a lot of hard work and dedication, but the general rule of thumb is to be highly specific in your writing endeavors; make sure, for example, to create content for a very specific audience. Furthermore, make sure to focus your attention on a singular topic; refrain from being ambiguous.
5. Optimize Title Tags
In the search engine results, only your page’s meta tags will appear. Meta tags consist of title tags and meta descriptions. The title tag is the title of the content on the web page that appears in search engine results. Try to keep the title tag concise because if it’s length is too long, Google will automatically truncate it within the preview. The meta description is a brief summary of the content on your web page. The meta description will appear just below the title tag.
Although your title tags have no direct influence on your page’s rankings, they do help influence users in potentially visiting your site. It all really depends on how well written and concise the information that appears in the search engines are. Make sure to utilize all the right keywords within the prescribed title tag word limit; for meta description, this is usually 110 to 120 characters.