You want to optimize your website for Google? In this article you will learn how search engine optimization works and what to look out for.
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Why You Should Optimize Your Website for Google
In case you didn’t know it yet: you definitely want to optimize your website for Google! Why? Because you want more customers.
But one step at a time: optimizing your website for Google will help it rank better on the search engine results page (SERP). In consequence, more people will find your website and visit it. In an online-marketer’s words: your website will get more traffic. This in turn increases the likelihood for you to get more customers.
The only question then is: how can you optimize your website for Google? In this article, we will guide you through various tips and tricks.
Tip 1: Use the Right Keywords
It all starts with the right keywords, meaning the right search terms. Why exactly are they so important? That’s actually quite easy: you don’t want the whole world to visit your website. Ideally, you only attract those users, who are interested in your portfolio and use the corresponding search terms (keywords) in their Google search.
Imagine your company is selling temperature sensors. Some relevant keywords here might be “temperature sensor”, “temperature probe” and “thermocouple”. Thousands of people search for those exact keywords every single month. If you want your website to appear in the search results for those keywords, you will have to use them on your website – in the page title as well as in the text itself.
And by the way: if you want to learn how to find the right keywords, check out our article Finding the Right Keywords.
Tip 2: Offer Relevant and Useful Content
You know your keywords? Excellent. Then we can move on to the content, which could be in the form of texts or blog posts. Search engines keep getting better at understanding and evaluating text. Therefore, the importance of content and its quality has grown significantly in the past years. Pointlessly filling pages with keywords – also called “Keyword Stuffing” – does no longer work.
We’ve called this article “Website optimization for Google”. But in real life, you will need to focus on optimizing for the user. Delight the visitors of your website with relevant and useful content that matches the keywords. And remember that self-advertising isn’t what users typically find useful 😉 In addition to text content, users particularly love infographics, illustrations and videos.
Remember: Optimizing your website for Google = Optimizing your website for the user
Tip 3: Ensure Good Readability and Clarity
Producing really valuable content is a lot of work and quickly adds up. Unfortunately, online users only dedicate a few seconds of their attention to it. For that reason it is super important to design content in such a way that it is easily consumable. We recommend using short sentences that cut directly to the chase. Furthermore, you should definitely divide your text into paragraphs and use sub-headlines to give users a better orientation. Add a table of contents and you are good to go! It can also be useful to highlight certain important terms or sentences.
Tip 4: Useful Linking and User Guidance
It’s all about taking your user by the hand. Make navigating your website as straightforward as possible and link to related content on your site whenever it makes sense. This provides you with two advantages: users stay longer on your site thanks to cleverly placed links. And the search engines are happy, because they love internal linking. They use these links in order to better understand the connections between different URLs of your website.
Now that we’re already talking about links: classic linkbuilding through bought links to your Website violates the Google guidelines and has practically been ineffective since 2012. But if other companies link to your website in a meaningful way, then that’s always a plus. However, our own experience has taught us that you can make it to the first position on Google even without external links.
Tip 5: Website Optimization for Mobile Devices
Speaking of the first position: if your website isn’t optimized for mobile devices, you will never get there. Why is that? Because mobile use of the internet accounts for more than 50% of all traffic worldwide. With Google, mobile usability was introduced as a ranking factor as early as 2015. The switch to the “Mobile First Index” started in 2018. However, the coronavirus pandemic has led to Google announcing a grace period till presumably spring 2021. If you do not have a mobile friendly website yet, we strongly recommend to change this as soon as possible. For more information on that matter, check out our articles Mobile Optimization and Mobile First Index (coming soon!).
Tip 6: Performance and Loading Times
Quick question: what do you do when a website takes too long to load? If you’re like most users, then you will at least be annoyed. You will probably even leave the website. That is because users want results immediately. A good user experience therefore relies on your website’s loading speed and reactivity.
Both can be improved by reducing the file size of images, caching your website and removing advanced features. You can find more information in the article Improving your Website’s Performance.
Tip 7: Website Optimization for Google with Tags and Sitemaps
Google treats every subpage of your website as a separate document. These are always listed in the same format on Google search results: with title, URL and description. The title is particularly important, since it is the first thing users notice. Hence, you have to equip all of your subpages with suitable titles in form of a title tag. They should ideally include the most useful keyword of the respective subpage.
Since search engines still work more or less text-based, they have difficulties interpreting images. Here you can also make life easier for Google by implementing alt tags, which essentially are descriptions of your images. These should also include your main keywords. Contrary to title tags, they are not visible to the user but readable for search engines. Your well described images will then not only improve your rankings but can also be found more easily on the Google images search.
There’s one more thing: the sitemap. It’s mainly intented for search engines and gives them an overview over your webite’s content. To help Google out, you should ideally provide a sitemap.
Conclusion: Optimize for the Sake of the User
This was a lot of input. Here’s an overview of the key takeaways:
- Find and use the right keywords
- Present useful content to your target audience
- Make your content clear and easy to navigate
- Optimize your website for mobile use and reduce loading times
If you want to optimize your website and are in need of support, get in touch with us now.