How to Optimize a Website in 7 Easy Steps
Ask yourself this: is your website optimized? Being optimized is so much more than having a fast, responsive website.
It’s what makes you rank better on search engines. Sites like Google want to know that your site is pleasing its visitors by being responsive and has all the components of an optimized website.
If you’re rolling your eyeballs thinking SEO doesn’t matter, think again. Search engine optimization is crucial for organically growing traffic.
Wanting your website to be seen by more people than the amount of traffic you get now? Here are a few easy ways on how to optimize a website.
Resize Image Files
Do you know what can make a website lag? Pictures.
It doesn’t matter if you took the pictures yourself, had them professionally taken or downloaded them from a stock site. If the file size is much too large to load in a short amount of time, expect visitors to leave.
Even if everything loads before the pictures do, you can still expect people to click away from your site.
To make sure your images are optimized, you’ll need to learn how to resize your images. Learning to do it the right way will ensure your image isn’t gritty or blurry.
Add Alt Text
Now that you know how to resize image files, there’s another way to optimize them. And the way to do that is with alt text.
Alt text is ultimately what tells search engines what the image is. Think of it as describing scenery to someone who’s blind.
It’s also another place you can add your keyword. Instead of choosing a separate keyword for your images, use one that’s relevant to the information on that page.
Have Readable URLs
Have you noticed how some websites have URLs that are typed in plain English while others have random letters and numbers? Now here’s another question: which do you think is better for SEO?
If you picked the first option, you’re correct. Picking the latter would result in Google not being happy with you.
As with any kind of text on your website (besides code, of course) it should be readable. Write your URLs like a human. Whatever the title of that specific page is, you can have that as the URL.
It’s best to keep it short and to the point but there isn’t really a character limit.
Take Page Titles into Consideration
For those that don’t know, Google uses your page titles as a preview of what people will be clicking on. This also tells the person looking up search results which one is most relevant to their inquiry.
Here, you want to brief yet intriguing. Again, it’s all about writing like a human. You can still include your keywords (which is smart on your part) but make sure it reads naturally.
Also, Google determines the length of your titles in pixels. Therefore, if you use wider letters, you’ll have less space. You have 512 pixels to fit your title into but if you want a more defined number of letters, less than 70 will suffice.
Don’t Forget to Optimize Content
A lot of business owners become confused by what Google and other search engines are wanting when it comes to content. To be brief, they want content that’s readable and of high-quality.
So how exactly do you create high-quality content? By using keywords relevant to your niche and the topic you’re writing about. Choosing keywords that have nothing to do with what you’re writing is a big no-no.
You also want to keep in mind how the different keywords you use relate to one another. Google made it so no one writing content has to focus on the number of keywords used. Although, you should still avoid overusing one word or phrase.
As for the length of content, it varies. If you have a blog, aim for at least 500 words or more per post. For copy, focus on the purpose of the page rather than a specific length.
Outbound Links Matter
It’s important to know who you’re linking to from your site. Having a link to a website that looks like spam is obviously a bad thing.
Sites like those can easily affect your own. That’s what’s known as black-hat SEO. They promise quick results but it ultimately has you ending up on Google’s bad side.
To remain on their good side, link to high-authority sites. And remember to make affiliate links no-follow so you don’t get dinged by Google. Knowing who to link to and who not is just good SEO practice.
Be Aware of Ad Placement
It’s no secret that no one likes a slow loading website. But what makes it even worse is when there are dozens of ads. Even if your site doesn’t have a lot of ads to begin with, it’s where they’re placed that’s important.
Having ads above the fold is a huge no in the eyes of Google and your visitors. No one wants to be bombarded with a video ad playing at the top of your site. It’s not only distracting but plain bad for SEO.
Google might knock you down a few because they want your content to be the main focus. To avoid that, place your ads below the fold. Let your content shine first.
Keep User Experience in Mind
One thing that’s sure to drive visitors away is a messy website. Images that load slowly along with walls of text and confusing navigation is a recipe for disaster.
Remember to create your website for humans, not bots. If your site looks outdated and acts like it too, don’t expect Google to favor you.
Now You Know How to Optimize a Website
You don’t need a web designer to optimize a website for you when you can easily do it yourself. All these tips are intended to be easy to follow and remember so you can grow your traffic organically. Knowing how to optimize a website will be better for you in the long-run in terms of SEO.
For more information on on-site optimization, check out these other blog posts!