A website that can't capture visitors' attention through Google is like a flavourless dish: nobody benefits from it, and all the hard work done is useless. Unfortunately, many website administrators create their homepages WITHOUT acquiring a preliminary comprehension of how effectively they can obtain a good Google ranking.
After a few weeks since the website's launch, they search for products or services on Google and are surprised to observe that the search engine cannot locate their homepage. Let's see in nine steps how to avoid falling into this situation.
Optimising the SEO of a website in 9 steps
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In the world of business and self-employed professionals, a website plays a much larger role than a simple digital business card: if it has been carefully developed, it can serve as a means for the acquisition of new clients, cancelling the necessity to excessively invest in paid advertising or to maintain a constant presence on social media. A further advantage of concentrating your online marketing on a website is the chance of intercepting prospects early on, at the beginning of their decision-making process.
In fact, before choosing a service provider, clients of interest conduct online research. Therefore, your objective must be to guarantee that your website ranks high in the search results for queries relevant to your target audience. This represents the heart of online marketing and the key to attracting new customers.
1. Meaningless website
Nobody likes to hear that their website, created with much love and at great cost, presents significant difficulties. Still, immediately after the surprise comes the realisation: Oh no, we really neglected users during the entire design phase!
The fact is, a website designed WITHOUT an SEO concept is usually appreciated by only one person: its owner. After all, nevertheless, the website must not only please the owner but also his potential customers. This is precisely an SEO strategy's goal: designing a website with an eye on the user from the very beginning.
If you want to optimise your website according to SEO, the first step is to analyse it thoroughly and ask yourself critical questions. It is even better to ask the following questions to at least five people belonging to your target group:
- Is the effectiveness of your site evident? Can visitors easily find what they are looking for, or do they have to navigate through several levels to get there?
- Is the design of your site well planned? Is the readability of texts clear? Are the colour schemes appropriate? Are the calls to action (CTAs) recognisable and distinctive?
- Is the intent of the pages clear? Is it obvious what is being offered or sold? Are users guided in understanding what action to take on each page?
- Do users feel comfortable? Websites with excellent usability ensure fast loading, clear organisation, and easy navigation between pages. In addition, they include features such as efficient internal search.
- Does your site offer real value? Simply advertising your services is not always well received. A more sophisticated strategy engages potential customers through high-quality content. This is the reason why corporate blogs, for example, are effective in attracting new customers.
2. Simplifying the menu
From your point of view, every single target page is important. However, you would make a serious mistake by providing your website with a huge menu just to guarantee visibility of every single page to prospects. To obtain a competitive advantage in the contest for the top Google search results pages, it would be necessary to simplify your menu to a maximum of seven entries, if not less. Menus with a higher number of entries can be considered by domains that have already reached a certain authority level.
3. Finding and keeping keywords
Without an SEO strategy you won't have a clear direction about which terms you should be found on Google so as to convert clicks in purchases or orders. As a consequence, the third essential step to improve your ranking on Google is given by the keyword research. You can deepen the functioning of this process in our article about the various types of keywords in our blog.
Please note that the goal is to be found on Google and other search engines using keywords that your target audience uses to search for your products or services.
4. Using keywords correctly
Once you have found relevant keywords, the next step is to use them correctly. To improve your ranking on Google over the long run, your CMS (Content Management System) must satisfy certain requirements, especially for the on-page optimisation possibilities.
For the keywords researched in the previous step to help your site rank better in search results, they must be used correctly. First of all, always use the main keyword only once, especially if you want to avoid keyword cannibalisation. What is that? If you use the same keyword for several pages and/or blog articles, Google does not know which of your content is the most important for a search query. Even worse: the search engine assumes that YOU don't know either. This can lead to a scattering of optimisation resources and can make it more difficult to rank well in SERPs (search engine results pages).
In addition, it is crucial to present content in the appropriate format: key pages of your website (such as the home page and the offering section) need to be optimised for different keywords than blog articles. Within the scope of blog articles, we mainly focus on so-called search queries. On the other hand, the main sales pages need to be optimised for transactional keywords. Therefore, it is essential to align the searched keywords accordingly.
5. Intelligent keyword positioning
If you want to increase your website's attractiveness to search engines, you must send the right signals to Google. This goal requires the use of relevant keywords identified during step three. To enable Google to understand your page's content, the Googlebot scans your page's structure and content.
Posizionare accuratamente le parole chiave all'interno dei testi (sia nelle pagine di destinazione che negli articoli del blog) permette a Google di individuare più efficacemente le informazioni cruciali e di indicizzare di conseguenza il tuo sito web. In parole semplici, questo si traduce nell'esistenza di posizioni strategicamente significative in cui è fondamentale inserire le parole chiave.
Carefully positioning keywords within texts (both on target pages and in blog articles) allows Google to successfully identify crucial information, consequently indexing your website. In other words, this translates into the existence of significant strategic positions in which it's fundamentally inserting keywords.
The most important points are as follows:
- Title and meta SEO: the importance of meta data will be explained in point eight.
- Use of headers: The h1 is the main header. It appears only once on the whole page (landing page or blog article) and is an important signal for Google to classify the content correctly. The h1 can, but does not have to be identical to the SEO title. Variations of the keyword should also be used in subtitles (h2 to h5).
- Teaser: to make the topic clear, the main keyword should already be present in the teaser.
- Images: image SEO is often forgotten, but it is an important part of search engine optimisation. You can read how image SEO works in my wiki article on the alt tag.
6. Content is king!
Could it be that content is an outdated practice that is not interesting anymore? The question often arises as to whether content really matters that much... What is the answer?
If you wish to be identified by new prospects on Google, it's vital to have content, as search engines such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo! operate based on text. They analyse information within a website and determine the website's thematic classification based on that data. This thematic categorization influences the search query (keywords) for which that website and its subpages are shown in web search results.
A low number of high-quality texts on your website limits the search engine's capacity to learn and comprehend the nature of your activity. Even if your website's content is professionally written and the introductory, presentation, and offer pages offer Google a complete vision of your profession, sadly, that does not mean that Google trusts your competence and puts you in a favourable position in search results. Here we get to the next point: Google identifies (and rewards) quality!
7. Quality pays
Here's another aspect that website owners don't like to be mentioned: low-cost content is not sufficient to dominate Google's search results rankings. And they are definitely unable to generate high-quality leads. This is due to the fact that, first, your clients appreciate (and expect) quality, and second, Google appreciates (and rewards) quality.
The higher the price of your products or services, the more your website must reflect that level of excellence. Generic content, trivial advertising slogans, and rushed blog articles do not capture attention. The situation is further complicated when grammatical or spelling mistakes occur. It should be remembered that in many circumstances, the homepage is the first impression a prospect has of you, and we are well aware of how important a first impression can be.
While potential prospects can simply click anywhere else and turn to a competitor if your website is not to their liking, Google reacts more severely. As the search engine's main goal is to satisfy users, Google takes active measures against poor or misleading content. To learn more about this, we recommend you take a look at our article, 'Avoid Google penalties: SEO practices to stay away from'.
The concept introduced by Google to counter low-quality websites is called EEAT, which stands for Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trustworthiness. Google evaluates these three factors for each website. If the assessment is negative, the page appears less frequently and in lower positions in the search page results (SERPs).
8. Don't forget the meta-data
Metadata, also known as meta tags, refers to the non-visible aspects of a website. This implies that, while they are read by search engines, they are not visible to users in the visible content of a blog article or landing page. A concrete example of metadata is given by the 'alt' tag (also known as alternative text). Alt attributes provide search engines with an alternative description of what is represented in an image or graph.
Highly relevant 'alt' attributes include the SEO title and meta description. Google uses this information to create a preview in search page results (SERPs); the site title is also displayed at the top of the browser tab. The SEO title and meta description are a crucial aspect of your OnPage optimisation, as they must stimulate the Google user to click:
The preview displayed by the blog article or landing page in the search results should arouse the user's interest and prompt them to click. However, it is important to avoid clickbaiting, as misleading promises will damage your website's reputation in the long run.
If you have developed your website yourself, it is likely that you need to make changes to the meta data in the HTML code of the page. If you are using a content management system (CMS) such as WordPress, you can edit the site title and meta description via your SEO plugin.
9. Bribing Google
Obviously, we are not talking about corruption in the literal sense. However, there is a reason why Google rates some websites more positively than others. And even though there are still agencies that claim otherwise, if a website does not enjoy a high quality rating from Google and does not offer a satisfactory user experience (or customer experience), Google Ads will not help much either.
First of all, paid advertisements do not automatically guarantee that a visit to your website will actually result in a conversion. Secondly, you will need to invest a significantly higher budget in your advertisements if Google judges that the quality of your website is not up to scratch. In this context, the so-called Google Ads quality score also comes into play.
So what can you do concretely to make Google favour your site's visibility over that of your competitors? How can you improve your site's ranking in search results? The answer is simple:
Google appreciates what users appreciate. Therefore, your primary goal must be to offer a truly exceptional user experience on your website. In this way, you can ensure that your site visitors send positive signals to Google, such as staying on your page for a long time and interacting with numerous subpages. Google rewards these signals by improving your site's ranking in the search results pages (SERPs).
Optimising the SEO of a website with a professional
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With our support, you can maximise the potential of your website through high-quality SEO services. Our dedicated team optimises every aspect of your site to ensure optimal visibility on search engines. Through advanced optimisation strategies, in-depth keyword analysis, and content optimisation, we strive to improve your ranking in search result pages. Whether you are looking to increase traffic, generate quality leads, or improve your online presence, DevInterface is by your side to help you meet and exceed your SEO goals. Contact us now.