12 Ways to Optimize Your Website for Google Search
Ranking high in Google and other search engines is a key component of successful online marketing. Studies show that 94 percent of users never scroll past page one. So if your website isn’t near the top, you’re seriously limiting online visibility and sales.
Most people who run a blog or website want to see more traffic to their pages regardless of what industry they are in. Website optimization is the process of customizing and presenting content to be found by search engines and readers. It helps you get your site in front of people looking for what you have to offer, whether it’s a product or service or just helpful information.
What is SEO?
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of affecting the online visibility of a website or a web page in a web search engine’s unpaid results—often referred to as “natural,” “organic,” or “earned” results. In general, the earlier (or higher ranked on the search results page) and more frequently a website appears in the search results list, the more visitors it will receive from the search engine’s users; these visitors can then be converted into customers. SEO may target different kinds of search, including image search, video search, academic search, news search, and industry-specific vertical search engines.
What are the benefits of website optimization?
Optimizing your site isn’t just about improving your rankings. It’s also about attracting more visitors who are likely to be interested in what you have to offer. When you increase your visibility on search engines, you also make it easier for people to find relevant pages, which means more traffic and more potential customers.
Here are 12 ways to optimize your website for Google search.
1. Keywords and Content
Use relevant key phrases in the title, headline, images, ALT text, headings (H2, H3), page URL, and content of web pages. Optimizing these elements ensures that your important keywords are used throughout the site to boost visibility.
2. Site Structure
Create a site map to make it easier for Google’s bots to crawl your pages. The site map (or index) is an HTML document that provides links to all of the web pages on your website and should appear in the root directory of your domain. You can host this document on your website or submit it using Webmaster Tools.
3. Page URLs
Page URLs should be short, descriptive, and keyword-rich. Avoid using session IDs or tracking variables to start or end your URLs because it will create unnecessary clutter in the link. The URL string should communicate the topic of each page. Google displays up to 70 characters of a page’s URL in search results.
4. File Names
File names also play an important role in website optimization because they are used for indexing purposes by search engines. Therefore, make sure your files are named correctly. Pay attention to spaces, underscores, dashes, and other punctuation. These characters can affect how file names are displayed on search results pages. If you’re unsure which naming convention to use, stick with hyphens or underscores instead of spaces.
5. Page Titles and Headings
Each page should have a unique title that closely matches the content on the page. This is your opportunity to communicate your keywords, so it is important to choose titles carefully. Also, make sure you use H2 and H3 headings throughout each web page (H1 can be reserved for main headers such as large heading or banner text). Search engines typically interpret H2-H6 headings as subheadings of the main content, and they will index these accordingly.
6. Content Optimization
Use effective SEO practices like using LSI keywords in anchor texts (of internal links) and META tags; describing images with ALT text; optimizing pagination parameters for better indexing; avoiding duplicate content on different URLs. Many search engines also consider the number of outgoing links to other websites when ranking web pages, so it’s best not to link out to too many pages. Otherwise, you’ll divert users and the search engine crawlers away from your site.
7. Links and Link Structure
Link structure is important for SEO because inbound and internal links help search engines determine the topic of a webpage and its content relevance to a user query. The more relevant, authoritative, and trustworthy inbound links, the better they will be for your rankings. It’s best if all inbound links direct users to unique domain names (instead of subdomains). Using LSI keywords in anchor text is beneficial as well.
8. Social Media and Local Search Optimization
Social media and local search go hand in hand because they rely heavily on product and service user reviews. Therefore, social media optimization (SMO) is important for your website SEO strategy to succeed at local search marketing. Most of the top results in local search show up with an abundance of reviews, so get listed on all popular social media sites like Yelp, Google Business, Angie’s List, and more!
9. Quality Content vs. Quantity
The success behind Google Panda was that it rewarded high-quality websites over low-quality spam websites by giving them a better page ranking and higher visibility in SERPs. To avoid being punished by Panda filters, create content with the user in mind. Focus on delivering a satisfying experience to visitors by having original and informative articles, infographics, and videos that will keep them coming back for more!
10. Image Optimization Tips
Optimize your images with descriptive file names, captions, and ALT text. Correctly formatting META keywords is also important because it tells Google what your site is about without reading or analyzing HTML code. You can use a free tool like Screaming Frog SEO Spider to view this information. It will even create a spreadsheet that you can download for further analysis later.
11. Conversion Optimization (CRO)
It’s also good practice to regularly analyze your conversion rate optimization (CRO), which stems from finding out the most influential techniques during specific user sessions. This is especially helpful if you’re working with e-commerce websites trying to increase sales. Google Analytics provides in-depth reporting on user behavior with funnels, goals, events, and custom reports. It can even integrate with your AdWords account for increased visibility into the performance of ad campaigns!
12. Optimizing Your Homepage
You don’t want to bombard users by throwing up numerous ads when they first visit your site. Many ad networks will automatically fill vacant space on a web page with affiliate links, whether you like it or not, so make sure you disable these codes when testing out different layouts for your homepage. There is plenty of content on your website that is search engine friendly which you can monetize instead.
Bottom Line on Optimizing Your Website for Google Search
If you want to stay ahead of the changes:
- Test out different elements on your website.
- Test new ways of formatting content, layouts, colors schemes and see how it affects search engine rankings.
- Make sure that your website is mobile responsive so users can access information on the go!
The more user-friendly your site is the better chances of converting them into sales.