All businesses need websites, but the best websites incorporate 5 key SEO elements.
In 2020 it is not simply impractical but also quite rare for any business to run without a website. Websites serve as a universal source of information that is easily accessible from anywhere, anytime, thanks to mobile devices.
The demand for web developers and web designers is higher than ever. Designers and developers must focus on website SEO in the early stages of a website.
With the sheer volume of websites that are launched and maintained daily, it is imperative to account for search engine optimization (SEO) in the development process.
Developers should also want to avoid having to rewrite parts of the website simply because it is not compatible with the current SEO landscape.
With millions of potential Google search results on any topic, how do you ensure your website ranks in the top results for your desired keywords?
Putting in consistent and focused effort to make your website more recommendable by search engines such as Yahoo and Google will give you much better chances to come up higher in organic search rankings.
Manage your website with an SEO strategy in mind and reach more customers through your website, making the most of having a page in the first place.
4 Key SEO Elements to Include in Your Website
- Page titles with keywords
- Optimized meta descriptions
- Short and unique URLs
- Information about images
1. Page Titles With Keywords Show What Your Content Is About
Page titles help search engines sort content. The title must contain keywords relevant to the search.
Make sure your title perfectly describes what the page is about. This is how search engines rank results for specific search terms.
Let’s say you are developing a site for a business that sells fresh, roasted coffee beans. Which of the following titles will yield the best results from SEO?
The title “Freshly Ground Coffee Beans by a Professional Coffee Maker,” places emphasis on the maker of the coffee rather than the beans.
If someone searches for “coffee beans,” this page will still show up in the search result but will be ranked lower.
In addition, fewer people might click on this page if they assume the page offers professional coffee makers rather than beans.
A better page title would be “Roasted Coffee Bean Assortment.” This title covers everything that is needed - perfect, both in terms of Search Engine Optimization and for the website’s end customers who will in turn sort look through the results and choose what to click on.
2. Meta Descriptions Summarize Your Page
Meta descriptions are a simple and effective summary of what your page offers. Set these up for every subpage of your website.
Make sure your meta descriptions content uses unique sentences and succinctly describe what your page offers.
It is positioned directly below the page’s title as showcased in the screenshot.
The best character range is between 140 or 150 symbols. Remember, it has to be differentiated from other metadata descriptions on similar pages, offering a similar product in order to stand out.
This does not affect how search engines rank web pages on a technical level, but it does affect how many people would click on the web page you developed once they see the offered results. This would allow for more people to be converted from a visitor to a customer of the product.
Additionally, the meta description is supposed to target specific keywords and should be developed in a way that compliments and advertises each specific page.
3. Unique URLs Guide Users and Crawlers
Search engines read phrases and words in your pages’ URLs. It is therefore important to choose a URL that contains the relevant keywords you want to target.
Give each of your pages a unique and relevant name so they are easily searchable. Avoid misspelling, since misspelled words will not appear in searches for your targeted keywords.
You want your URL to be sensibly structured, but you also want it to be slightly different from other URLs so it will stand out.
If you are developing an artist’s portfolio and they are showcasing their best portrait photography, for example, naming the URL something in the lines of “www.portfolio.com/page3” is not descriptive enough for search engines or for searchers viewing the page.
Here are some examples of good and bad URL structure:
Bad URL Structure:
Good URL Structure:
This will in no way direct the engine or the people towards what the page offers.
4. Information About Images Makes Your Content Accessible
Human beings are very good at understanding and assimilating visual information. When it comes to computers, however, don’t rely on machines to recognize objects and images on your website’s pages.
Search engines can often detect basic information such as color schemes and whether or not there is a human on the photo or not, but you need to assist the engine in understanding what the picture represents.
Alt-text is a line of code that describes an image. Make sure every image on your page has alt-text.
In this example from Moz, you can see the alt-text for this image of a bag of Doritos highlighted in the page’s code.
Upgrade your searchability by naming the picture files as you upload them, in addition to assigning each with tags once uploading it to the page.
Next time you get a coffee delivery and upload a picture of your brand new merchandise be sure to name the photo something in the lines of: “bag of coffee beans” or “coffee beans in bulk”.
This way when someone searches for those keywords your picture will come up in image searches.
Web Development and SEO
Search engine optimization is becoming more and more important for web designers, developers, and content creators.
Search algorithms and crawlers are sophisticated enough to weed out the bad or spammy content and only showcase the best that the internet has to offer.
You are always offered the best and nothing less. You can quickly find the best options for whatever it is you are looking for within minutes and you do not need to look any farther than the first few search result pages. Next, think about creating useful content and an internal linking strategy that will keep people on your website.
Web developers must create sites that fit well into those algorithms and avoid being flagged as spam.