KEYWORDS + CONTENT: THE HOLY GRAIL OF WEBSITE OPTIMIZATION (PART 2)
Your website often facilitates the first point of interaction between your business and the customer. This presents a great opportunity for you to create a positive and efficient first impression. However, if website optimization isn’t taken into consideration, either no one will ever find your site, or worse, it can actually result in a negative user experience – yikes!
Our last blog discussed the importance of keywords and content. In this second installment, we’ll cover some of the other important factors for improving the optimization of your digital content, including page load times, internal linking, and mobile design.
Page load times
This is one of the most important parts of a site’s usability and SEO. Not only is it one of Google’s 200 ranking factors that influence a website’s position in organic search results, but if your website does not load quickly, you have a high risk of losing visitors in a matter of seconds.
Some load-time considerations include:
- Resize large images – Make sure they are in standard file formats, such as JPG, PNG, and GIF.
- Avoid text graphics; stylized text that is actually just another image taking up space, and doesn’t help SEO.
- Avoid unnecessary plugins – Social plugins are a must-have, but when it comes to apps and other plugins, always check to see if there is a better alternative (built in to CMS, for example), or don’t use it at all.
- Avoid redirects – Increase serving speed by avoiding redirects. Fix any broken links you may have.
- Optimize caching – This allows images and files to be saved by the browser or proxy, rather than downloading them all over again from the network each time the page is visited.
These are just a few of the many tips and tweaks to decrease page load times–and impatience from your users.
An internal link points to another page on the same website. They’re valuable because:
- They allow users to navigate a website,
- they help establish information hierarchy for the given website, and
- (perhaps most importantly) they establish page authority and distribute ranking power throughout the site.
Internal linking strengthens overall search-optimized value of a website by providing clear paths for spiders, prolonged sessions for users, and a tight-knit network of pages and posts. Internal links are also convenient because you can integrate them into your content on an ongoing basis, like blog articles, for example.
There are several things you can do to take advantage of internal linking.
- One option is to create lots of content, because internal pages equals internal links.
- Another way is to link deep into your pages; SEO is more effective when you link past the top level of your site (home page, contact us).
- A third principle is to link to content that is relevant to the source context. It’s more effective for your reader to link to related pages rather than throwing a bunch of internal links in for the sake of linking.
Long story short, internal links are one of the most straightforward and simplest ways to generate SEO uptick.
A recent report by Smart Insight showed that 80% of those polled prefered to search the internet using their smartphone. This shows that more people are interacting with businesses through their mobile device today than ever before. And, it’s likely that mobile devices will continue to be the search-device of choice moving forward.
If your website isn’t optimized for different platforms, your users will have to work even harder to find the information they need–or ditch the site altogether.
Because mobile users are often either on the go or in an area without Wi-Fi, page loading speed is more important than ever. Make sure your site design is efficient and simplified:
- Most website designers are now designing their sites to be mobile and tablet optimized, but if your website is not, follow some of the principles below:
- Don’t use flash design, pop-ups, or buttons that are too small for someone’s fingers to click.
- Remember that you’re working with a small space, so your titles, URLs, and descriptions must be concise without compromising the quality of the information.
There’s a lot to consider when it comes to website optimization, and the tips above are just one piece of the puzzle. But, as you work through the complexities of SEO + Content optimization, be sure to remember that the goal should be to create an enjoyable user experience. All other considerations should help you achieve this goal.
Have more questions about content strategy and/or website optimization? Leave a comment or, better yet, get in touch!