Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the art of making your website appeal to search engines, such as Google, Bing and DuckDuckGo. It can generate free traffic to your website and help it grow. Optimizing your website for search engines is important, because it helps search engines know what your website is about. Remember that a website which ticks all the Search Engine Optimization (SEO) boxes is not the goal! Optimizing your website with SEO techniques should help search engines understand your website better, help users find the information that they need and bring technical structure to your site.
Why is Search Engine Optimization (SEO) important?
When you create a website, you want people to find the content you create. There are a few ways to increase your reach when creating a website. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is one of the ways to increase the reach of your content. Search engines are getting better at understanding your content and serving it to searching users. When using a Search Engine Optimization techniques you help the search engine better understand your website in general. A few reasons why you would want to focus on Search Engine Optimization (SEO):
- It helps users find your website and the content you create
- It is a “free” source of traffic (you do need to spend a lot of time on it)
- You will score higher in Google, Bing and other search engines
Optimizing your website for search engines is a time-consuming task and takes a lot of time. It is therefore a long-term strategy which you can use to organically grow your website. When you do it the right way, your visitors will increase slowly but steady!
Why choose for Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is one of the many ways you can increase traffic to your website. It is generally a good idea to do at least a little bit of SEO optimization, because it can make such a difference in traffic. Remember, Search Engine Optimization is a long-term strategy! It can take several months of hard work to increase traffic with SEO, maybe even longer depending on the topic of your website.
Search Engine Optimization is a good way to increase traffic to your website, but is not the only way to generate more traffic. Depending on your case it could also be useful to increase traffic with the following channels:
- E-mail marketing
- Search Engine Advertisements (SEA)
- Display Advertismenets
- Affiliate marketing
- Social media marketing
As you can see there are multiple ways to increase traffic to your website. It is important to think about a strategy which you will follow for your website. The decision you make depends on the time, money and short/long-term strategy that you are following.
Which factors are important for Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?
There are multiple ranking factors which you have to consider when optimizing your website for search engines. Search Engines use complex algorithms to serve users the right answer to their question. A few ranking factors are known, but some remain a secret for the general public (and even Google themselves).
The basics of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) consists of three main subjects:
- The content on your website
- The technical build-up of your website
- The user experience on your website
Be aware that we are simplifying a lot with these three main subjects. Multiple websites state that there are over 200 ranking factors in the Google Search Engine alone. This does not mean you have to check over 200 boxes to score high in search engines, but gives a clear example of why SEO is not an exact science.
The content on your website
When you create a website, you are filling it with different kinds of content. Search engines try to get an understanding about your website and the content on your site. Remember, search engines focus completely on helping users find the right answers to their questions. The content you create on your website should therefore be helpful to the searching user.
This is why blogs are so important for websites. With blogs about the right topics you help the user to find what they are searching for. Search engines like these blogs, because they are helpful and answer the question someone could have. The blogs (content) you create should be about your niche and not something completely irrelevant to your website. If you have a website about bicycles you should create content about bicycles, because seach engines will know that your websites talks mostly about bikes.
Let’s say you have a car dealership and want to generate more traffic to your website. A few ways you can generate traffic to your website is creating content about cars. A few blogs you could create for example are:
- The best car to buy in the year ….
- Things to consider when buying a car
- 8 tips for buying your first car
The content you create should be of high quality, otherwise you wont help the searching user. Search engines will “punish” bad content, because people won’t find the answer they are looking for. Always try to make your content fit best with the audience you are serving.
The technical build-up of your website
The technical build-up of your website is important for the Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Search engines need to easily identify what your content is about. There are many technical optimizations you can do to your content. A few of those optimizations are:
- Structure your text with the right heading (H1, H2, H3 etc.)
- Use the right keywords in your text
- Make useful content for the user to read
- Make use of a good URL for your post
- Create a good site structure
Again, we are oversimplifying here. There are a lot of ranking factors which you have to consider when creating a website. Good content is one of the core items to rank higher, but the search engine needs a little bit of help to know if you have good content. The technical build-up helps search engines understand your website and content better. You can find a list with 200 ranking factors for Google over here.
We have talked about good content and bringing structure to your website. In marketing terms a lot of time this is called on-page Search Engine Optimization (SEO). When you are creating a website, it is important to choose a good webhosting company. A webhosting company makes it possible for visitors to view your site. Not all webhosting companies are the same, because they offer different performance for your site. A few metrics which search engines measure on your site are:
- How fast does the website load
- How fast can the user interact with your website
- Which websites are referring to your website
- What is the structure of your website
- How many 404 error’s does your website have
There are a lot of off-page SEO optimizations you can implement on your website. One which many companies are focussing on are generating as much backlinks as possible. When there are multiple high quality sites referring to your website, search engines tend to believe your website has good content. Therefore, many people want to exchange links to get as many as possible (Link buying). We do not recommend to do this. When search engines find out that you have been buying backlinks, they will punish you in the search results.
Google Core Web Vitals
When focussing on the technical side of your website, it is important to take the Google Core Web Vitals in consideration. The Core Web Vitals focus on creating a great user experience for users visiting your website. Most of the Core Web Vitals focus on the loading speed and interaction with your website. This is why a good webhosting company is important, because they need to make your website visible as fast as possible. You can read more about the Google Core Web Vitals here.
The user experience on your website
The Google Core Web Vitals play an important role of delivering good user experience to visitors. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) also focusses on the user experience on your website. Search engines know how long visitors have been on your website. A website with many pop-ups, advertisements or other distractions will score lower in search engines. This is because people tend to leave these websites rather quickly, because they are annoying to use.
Another important factor is the usability of your website on mobile devices. Depending on your website, you will see a lot of mobile visitors. It is important to give these mobile visitors a good user experience. The Google Core Web Vitals therefore also measure speed and usability on mobile devices, which can be an important ranking factor for your website.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the art of making your website appeal to search engines. There are over 200 ranking factors which influence the ranking of your website. Your content, technical implementation of your website and the user experience play a significant role in being able to rank higher in search engines. Therefore, it is important to at least implement a few significant ranking factors on your site.