Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

SEO stands for "Search Engine Optimization". It is the process of maximizing the number of visitors and affecting online visibility of a particular web page or website on a search engine's natural, organic, or earned results. The website which is ranked higher on the search results page of search engine will receive high volume traffic of visitors.

What is Organic traffic?

The marketing discipline which is focused on growing visibility in non-paid search engine results is known as organic traffic. The opposite of organic traffic is paid traffic, which arrives to your website via other paid advertisement or links on another web page.

How SEO works?

The search engines like google, bing, yahoo etc. has a crawler that takes search query (the word you type in a search box or word you speak) and goes out to gather all the information they can find on the internet and brings all the binary results (0s and 1s) back to the search engine and build an index. That index is then sent through a search algorithm which tries to match all possible data with your search query and gives the list of links which contains the answer of your search query.

How to optimize your website?

Optimization of website is basically applied for search engines, accessibility, and performance. The highly ranked website in search engine results in easy to use, loads quickly to increase traffic, avoid user frustration, and increase the overall quality of the website.

  1. Optimization for search engines

  • Analysis of the website

It is the most important step in SEO to analyze and determine the necessary changes you need to make in your website. In this process evaluation of navigation, context, consistency, and overall cosmetics of the website need to be determined. The search engine looks at the domain names, title tags, and header tags to assist them in ranking. It is most important to maintain the consistency in content with the subject of the article.

  • Review other websites

Knowing competitors in the industry helps you gain better understanding of things you need to improve and accomplish. We don't want to copy competitor's legal rights however, it is always helpful for you to identify and improve your weak points.

  • Research about keywords

Keywords are the popular search terms that leads visitors to site which contains related title, content or any blog post. It is important to analyze and include the popular keywords in your website. Well performing websites in search engine always consists of rich keywords. Basically, keywords are included in header tags, title tags, meta tags, anchor text, and URL of the new pages.

  • Provide new content

New content is a major factor to attract visitor in the website. High volume traffic of visitors leads to higher search engine raking result. It is wise to update your content at least once a week and also keep in mind that each page should have at least 350 words for the optimal results.

  • Link your website with other websites

Use of incoming links to your website or back links to other websites can also increase web traffic and search engine ranking. Link your website on other relevant blogs and forums and also ask them to link their content with your website. It is a smart idea to find a journalist or website owner who cover the content of your website and include the link to your page on relevant topics will create an organic piece of content which may boost the incoming traffic and increase the search result listing.

  • Use a sitemap

The sitemaps protocol allows a webmaster to inform search engines about URLs on your website that are available for crawling. A Sitemap is an XML file that lists the URLs used in your website. It allows webmasters to include additional information about each URL: when it was last updated, how often it changes, and how important it is in relation to other URLs in the site. This allows search engines to crawl the site more intelligently. It is uploaded in the root folder of your web server. Having a sitemap will also help you track the current links that have been used in your website and also allows you to update or remove non-working links as a part of SEO efforts.

  • Validate your HTML code

While search engines don't care whether your HTML code is error-free, they rely on the basic correctness of the code to find out which portions of your web page to index. If your HTML code contains errors, it is possible that only portions of your web page are included in the search engine's database. HTML validator works to check the HTML code for proper markup to make sure that all pages of a website are built in accordance with Web standards. You can use W3C or another site to validate your HTML by checking it for errors.

  • Re-asses your website frequently

You will need to re-assess and re-optimize your website at least once a month. Generating a new report every month gives you an idea of which keywords are most successful, and which are falling down that allows you to increase usage of appropriate keywords and get rid of inefficient ones. Change of keywords along with their respective trends changes website's audience.

  • Use of CTA in the content

A CTA (Call to Action) consists of short paragraph like three or fewer short sentences which encourages a reader to take an action by clicking a link, calling a number to engage in your website. You want to provide internal links (avoid links to the external websites) for the reader to improve amount of time for which they stay on your site.

  1. Optimization for accessibility

  • Use of readable URL

Most of the websites list different pages as "url/number" (e.g., http://www.yourwebsite.com/12345) by default making specific pages difficult to remember for the readers. Enabling a permalinks option in your website's page allows you to create memorable name like http://blog.miyozinc.com/others/search-engine-optimization.

Using good URL structure is an SEO technique that is often neglected. However, it can give your site a considerable boost. When it comes to choosing a good URL it’s all about usability; if it’s good for users, it’s good for search engines. That’s why you should use keywords instead of random words and numbers.

  • Create a 404 page.

The infamous 404 page is encountered when a user attempts to access a URL that no longer exists/never existed or has been moved without any form of redirection. The 404-page results in an error by default, but you can create your own 404 error page for common issue. A good 404 page should include a link to the main site, a table of contents for popular links and concise but light-hearted message informing the user that they've reached into broken link.

  • Site navigation section.

The site navigation can be of many forms, but it usually appears as a hamburger menu (☰) in one of the upper corners of the site page. Users can click the menu icon to view a list of common pages (e.g., About, Blog, Help, Downloads, etc.). If possible, implementing an in-site "Search" function will also help users search your site for more specific content or features. In an ideal world, every single page of your website would be accessible from that one or site-wide website menu with the option to jump between pages is considered as a best user and SEO friendly navigation.

  • Create responsive website

Web pages can be viewed using many different devices: desktops, tablets, and phones. It is called responsive web design when you use CSS and HTML to resize, hide, shrink, enlarge, or move the content to make it look good on any screens and any devices. Since most of your site traffic most likely comes from mobile users, therefore optimization for mobile phone is a crucial step. Google has stated multiple times that responsive design is their preferred mobile configuration, leading many to speculate that responsive sites might get a rankings boost.

  1. Optimization for performance

In this age of instant updates and same-day delivery are the need of the customer and site visitors simply are not going to wait very long for your website to download. Web performance and download speeds are a growing science and research shows that milliseconds can make a real difference in customer behavior and get those sales conversions.

Some of the website performance optimization techniques are as follows:

  • Minimize use of intensive applications

Website that use lots of Flash or Java can take much longer to load. Try not to rely on these for your basic web page, and don't make Flash videos play automatically.

This is an issue with sites which automatically play embedded (e.g., YouTube) videos as well.

  • Reduce the image size

According to the HTTP Archive, 61 percent of a website’s page weight on a desktop computer is images. Make sure that your images are appropriately sized. Reducing the actual image size and combining images into CSS sprites to reduce HTTP calls significantly improves the site performance. There are various tools available on the web that reduces image size without sacrificing the quality.

  • Use a CDN

A content delivery network is a system that uses distributed servers to deliver websites and another web content depending on user’s location, and website’s content. Essentially, a way of taking a websites static files, like CSS, images, and JavaScript, and delivering them through web servers that are closer to the user’s physical location which helps load website faster.

  • Cache as much as possible

Caching is a mechanism for a temporary storage of web pages in order to reduce bandwidth and improve performance. When a visitor arrives at your site the cached version will be served up unless it has changed since the last cache. This saves server time and makes things altogether faster. Make sure this feature is enabled on your website.

  • Load JavaScript asynchronously

Another trick is to think about loading any of your third-party JavaScript asynchronously. Nowadays websites are increasingly integrated with third party content: social media, chat features, commenting services, information feeds, and others. So, if you load JavaScript asynchronously then in the event when the third-party crashes, your page won’t be held up trying to load that resource. Therefore, loading JavaScript speed up the page load.

  • Review your hosting service plan

If you’ve gone through the all the checklists mentioned above and still find that web performance is impacted, check with your hosting provider to see whether you have shared or dedicated hosting. A shared hosting account often involves sharing server space with dozens of other companies where website speed is impacted by the number of people using the servers. If this is the case, then it may be time to consider a dedicated plan where you have sole access to the server which results better user experience and site performance.

  • Adopt cloud-based website monitoring

Cloud monitoring is the process of reviewing, monitoring and managing the operational workflow and processes within a cloud-based IT infrastructure. It is the use of manual or automated IT monitoring and management techniques to ensure that a cloud infrastructure or platform performs optimally. Moreover, it is a broad category that includes web and cloud applications, infrastructure, networks, platform, application, and micro-services. Some cloud monitoring tools do it all, from managing your cloud capacity to tracking your website speed.

There are significant advantages to offloading your website monitoring to a cloud-based host such as cost, scalability, efficiency etc. If you’d like to get onboard with the latest in cloud-based monitoring, then you should try a 24/7 monitoring service. It allows organizations to monitor their network anytime and from anywhere. For instant, you can tell when your hosting service goes down, accompanied by timely notifications (via everything from live phone messages, to texts, to email and Twitter). Or you can load test your website to determine at what point it starts creating traffic issues.

 

References:

https://moz.com/learn/seo/what-is-seo

https://www.wikihow.com/Optimize-Your-Website

http://www.monitis.com/blog/8-ways-to-improve-your-website-performance/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Search_engine_optimization