Optimizing a website – how it impacts SEO?
Google likes optimized websites. Your clients like them, too. How to help Google robots and users get the information we want to send? The key word is optimizing. We will show you what to pay attention to in order to make a website show up on SERP.
Why is it worth it to optimize a website?
Let’s start with what impacts a website’s position on SERP (Search Engine Page Results). We’re talking about the elements featured on the website (on-page) and the factors outside of the website that influence its condition (off-page). The internal elements that require optimizing include content and keywords (in the headers, in the URL address), the information architecture, HTML code, adapting the website to mobile devices, content updating. The factors that are outside the website yet still impact it include links directing to the website, the quality of websites that feature the links, the degree of trust towards the website based on the TrustRank algorithm, social media signals.
Improving the above parameters leads to, above all:
- higher position in organic search results – users’ trust towards the website and advantage over competition,
- high position of a website with a regional profile in local search results – reaching the people within the closest proximity and gaining customers in a selected area, better usability and speed of the website – users spend more time on the website,
- bigger traffic on the website – growing conversions/sales, tailoring the content to expectations – building long-term relationships with the content recipients,
- appearing on Google for selected phrases – reaching the potential clients,
- visibility on Google News – the website will be featured on a page that displays news from different news websites,
- website’s presence on Google Discover – it’s a place where users get the information they need on a mobile device without having to search for it.
How to optimize a website?
Optimizing a website for search engines is a process that is complicated and spread over time. There are plenty of ranking factors, but we’ve selected the main ones that will guide you through optimization and help you learn the reasons for your failures in SEO so far.
Mobile version of the website
Ever since the mobile first index, effective SEO that doesn’t take mobile devices into account is pretty much impossible. Mobile indexing means that for indexing a website, Google mainly uses its mobile version. In July 2019, Google activated default indexing for mobile devices for new websites. We can test a website using a mobile optimization test from Google Search Console.
Page loading time
The page loading time is something we should check regularly. It is one of the ranking factors for Google. Verifying a website in terms of loading time is done using such tools as PageSpeed Insights from Google, among others. The speed result is based on data analyzed by Lighthouse – an automated tool for improving the quality of websites.
You can check the loading time for any website and get suggestions at the following address: https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights/. Other noteworthy tools include: webpagetest.org, uptrends.com, the Chrome DevTools extension for developers.
Online security is a priority to users. A secure website = a trustworthy website. The SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate is an encrypted security protocol that makes it possible to send confidential data. Which in turn is encrypted by the browser and the server. If a website has a padlock next to its address, the user is informed that the data sent and received is private.
How much does an SSL certificate cost? The price for a certificate depends on its duration of use and type. For example, an EV (Extended Validation) certificate is the most expensive option and it includes a field with the company’s full name, which has to be verified with adequate documents. The prices vary from a few dozen to a few hundred zloties a month.
A website can be secured with the HTTPS (HyperText Transfer Protocol Secure) protocol, which protects the confidentiality of data between the computer and the website. Implementing the SSL certificate (change from HTTP to HTTPS) impacts SEO. Google rates websites with a security certificate higher, as evidenced by the results. Let’s not forget that redirecting comes with changes to the URL addresses.
Optimization of graphics
The graphic elements of a website are content too and as such they also require optimization. The graphics impact the page loading times – a heavy file takes longer to load. That’s why we should optimize its size without any damage to the user experience. Another issue is the attributes. The first is the alt attribute, which is the alternative text. The user sees it when there are problems displaying the graphics. The second is the title attribute that can be seen upon hovering the pointer over the image. We should also remember about a caption for the picture, which will be included in the content.