Almost without exception, the goal of any website is to attract web traffic. In all honesty, this is something that revolves almost entirely around search engines. By improving your blog visibility, you can grow web traffic organically.
Many new website owners tend to place a great deal of importance on the visual aspect of design. While design aspects may play a part in Search Engine Optimization (SEO), there are far more things than that to consider.
How to Optimize SEO for Best Site Visibility
1. Website Design
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Let’s get this point out of the way first. Yes, website design plays a role in SEO but in different ways than you might think. Visually, most people design their websites to appeal to human users – which is great. To influence search, you also need to consider;
Mobile First Concept
However, in order to satisfy SEO requirements, you need to take into account mobile useability. With shifts in technology, much of the world has gone mobile. This means that more users are shifting content consumption from desktop to mobile devices.
Google knows this and wants websites to ensure that visitors get an optimal mobile experience as well. Always ensure that you have a website that looks and does well on various screen formats.
Aside from having readily accessible navigation for users, your blog also needs to have the means for Google to navigate it easily. While web crawlers can run through your blog page by page, it works much more quickly if you have a good sitemap in place.
Sitemaps help search engines improve the ways they crawl your site. They serve as a guide and top-down view, giving vital information such as additions and updates from a single source.
2. Improve Speed and Reliability
Reducing Load Times
Speed is an important factor that affects your SEO as well. One of Google’s aims is to help build a faster web. Because of that, it encourages websites (including blogs) to meet certain speed standards for improved user experience.
Various factors contribute to the time it takes a web page to load. These include web server response time, distance to server, technologies driving the website, web page composition, and more.
There are many things you can do to improve the speed of your website. For example, switching to a better quality web host, using tools to analyze web technologies behind competing sites, and choosing a web server closer to your target audience.
Quick Tip: Rely less on websites that provide outdated web hosting reviews. Leverage on those who actively track and analyze data for a more accurate picture of web hosting server speed and reliability.
Aside from how fast your site loads, having it perform reliably is also an indication to Google. If your site is frequently unavailable, it may have an impact on your SEO. Make sure to use a site monitoring tool so you can react quickly in case your site suffers an outage.
If you find your site having frequent outage issues, it may be time to either move to a plan with more resources or seek out a more reliable web host.
3. Focus Highly Towards On-page SEO
On-page SEO is perhaps one of the biggest contributors towards high blog visibility. It demonstrates to Google not just how well your web pages are optimized, but the potential value to users seeking information.
Improve Content Quality
Content is the cornerstone of any blog. However, in order to pass your content on to readers, you first need to convince Google that it’s worth directing visitors towards. Although Google works on Algorithms, it looks out for points that real visitors should pay attention to.
For best results, make sure you focus on content that meets Google E-A-T guidelines. This means articles you publish on your blog should demonstrate your site’s Expertise, Authority, and Trustworthiness.
This can be achieved in many ways. For example;
- Writing comprehensive articles (long form content)
- Linking to good quality sites
- Proper formatting and structure
Each of your articles should be built around specific keywords to address the needs of readers. Once you’ve decided on the keywords to focus on, look towards building a structure that will fill those needs.
In order to do this, it’s recommended that you make use of an SEO service or tool like Ahrefs. Although it may be expensive, it is definitely worth it if you’re trying to build a blog for commercial purposes.
These tools can help you;
- Identify low hanging fruit (keywords easy to rank for)
- Better target SEO keywords
- Choose the right keyword groupings
Quick Tip: Avoid keyword stuffing at all costs!
The structure of your article also plays a part in its assessment. As with all proper articles, you should make sure that your articles are built logically and indicated as such. One way of doing this is by ensuring that you make use of proper headers.
For example, place a proper header and associate it with the correct sub headers for anything that goes under it. This can be done with the use of H2, H3, and so on. It’s a simple way of ensuring that the article is easily legible by readers and search engines alike.
Don’t Forget Images
Images are not just for visual appeal but if used correctly, can also contribute towards your on-page SEO. This is done by ensuring that you add Alt-text which is what you see when you hover your mouse over an image on the site.
Alt-text is another element which helps search engines identify and categorize the content of a blog page. This can ensure you appear on the relevant search pages as well.
Let’s have a look at two examples of alt text for an image of pancakes:
A good example of Alt-text would be:
<img src=”pancakes.png” alt=”Stack of blueberry pancakes with powdered sugar”>
<img src=”pancakes.png” alt=”pancake pancakes pan cake hotcakes hotcake breakfast food best breakfast top breakfasts breakfast recipes pancake recipe”>
4. Spend Time Building Valuable Links
Backlinks are links that lead towards your blog or individual articles on your blog. These factors are taken into consideration not just by quantity, but also quality. It is much easier to get a backlink from a relatively unknown site than it is for an authoritative one.
The bigger and better a website is, the more they are concerned about the links that are associated with it. Building a solid backlink profile takes much time and effort. While there are ‘SEO agencies’ that sell backlinks, avoid these at all cost.
Most sites which sell batches of backlinks outright scams. Buying links from sources like this will do your site more harm than good, possibly leading to it being completely blacklisted by search engines.
To build proper backlinks, try to pitch articles to good quality websites. Many of them will allow you to post content which is helpful to their readers. In exchange, they may allow you to embed a link back to your site.
Quick Tip: Inbound links are vital, but pay attention to your outbound links as well. Try to always link towards reputable sites.
5. Make Use of Social Media
There is a misconception that social media influences SEO, but that is only marginally true. Still, because of the ‘social’ aspect of content sharing, there are multiple fringe benefits that blogs can look towards from these channels.
Because social content has the potential to go viral, you can get an unusual proportion of traffic from these sources. While this might not be entirely reliable means, the scope of coverage alone may generate increased search interest.
Quick Tip: Content for social often needs to be built correctly in order to succeed. Avoid simply smacking down some text and links. Different types of content also will perform differently on various social media channels.
6. Make Use of SSL
This one-shot thing to do is something that may seem small but is increasingly vital. Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificates help establish encrypted links between clients and servers. That means the readers who visit and your blog.
Thanks to an increasingly active Internet, cyberthreats have grown along with the number of websites. Search engines want to protect their users, so they will consider how secure a website is before sending traffic to them.
Many web hosts today offer free SSL certificates which you can make use of. This is something you need to take note of especially if storing any form of user data on your site.
Quick Tip: Be wary of some web hosts that sell SSL certification. Some, like GoDaddy, will make things difficult for their users to use free SSL since they want you to buy commercial ones from them.
Conclusion: The SEO Road is Rocky and Tough
Be that as it may, it is also the only way towards truly good visibility on search engines. The points I’ve shared on this article are just key highlights and there is much more detail involved in improving SEO.
It’s a long and arduous process, in some cases more art than science. The only true way of mastering it is through following basic principles and making adjustments based on what you observe.
If possible, take you time and make any changes gradually so you can observe cause and effect. Documenting the process can help you in the long run, as well as help in reversing from any negative impact.
Jason Chow is a digital marketer and WordPress fan. He has been working with internet marketing for more than 5 years. He loves to connect with like-minded bloggers, website owners and even entrepreneurs. He is currently associated with WebRevenue.io.